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“Collect it all”, “exploit it all”: 5 Eyes economic surveillance

Written By: - Date published: 9:10 pm, May 15th, 2014 - 54 comments
Categories: accountability, capitalism, democracy under attack, john key, slippery, Spying, us politics - Tags:

I am in the process of watching the videos of Glenn Greenwald, as interviewed on Democracy Now about his new book No Place to Hide.  It’s posted on the Daily Blog by Selwyn Manning.  I am in the middle of the first video.

It’s mind blowing stuff. The extent of the NSA-led 5 Eyes surveillance systems is a leap from sci fi into our daily lives. ( NSA is the US state surveillance agency, and the 5 Eyes include the equivalent agencies in the UK, Aussie, Canada and NZ’s GCSB).

GCSB Key

There is a strong focus on economic surveillance in the use of the systems.

The first post and video, as Manning explains the significance of the latest revelations for NZ:

In this interview Glenn Greenwald reveals and describes new collection postures – or new methods of surveillance used by the the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA) etc.

The interviewee makes references to dragnet “Sniff it all’, ‘Know it all’, ‘Collect it all’, ‘Process it all’, ‘Exploit it all’, Partner it all’, data surveillance taking place in all parts of the world.

The Partner it all reference raises questions as to the accuracy of New Zealand and Australian government assurances that such surveillance is not targeting citizens of these countries.

A graphic slide follows, demonstrating the surveillance methods.

For New Zealand, the latest information indicates that John Key and GCSB boss Ian Fletcher have questions to answer – they appear to have misled the people of NZ. Manning states:

The public interest demands the Prime Minister explain how this information is not incongruous to his assertions that New Zealand citizens are not having their communications data trawled, netted, and processed by the Five Eyes network – operations that appear to include the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB).
Some of the new stuff Greenwald talks about in the interview:
He outlines the extent of the economic surveillance that includes spying on the UN, oil companies, corporations, and the US department of commerce, and much more.  The NSA has spied on the Brazilian company Petrobras, spied on international economic conferences, the World Bank, the IMF, and the Swift banking system. The NSA has “customers”  like the CIA, and the US departments of agriculture and commerce, which make requests of the NSA.
After all the fuss that the US authorities, and others have made about the intensive surveillance in commercial technologies, alleged to be done on behalf of the Chinese government, there’s this at about 17 minutes 14 seconds into the video – Greenwald says that his new book describes this intrusive and wide-reaching practice by the NSA:

..all over the world, people buy routers and switchers and servers, which are the devices that let corporations or municipalities or villages provide internet service to large numbers of people at once

when somebody orders a product from Cisco [for example as well as other US companies], Cisco then ships it to that person. The NSA physically intercepts the package – takes it from FedEx or from the US mail service, brings it back to NSA headquarters, opens up the package and plants a back door device on one of these devices, reseals it with the packer e-seal and sends it on to the unwitting user, who then provides internet service for large numbers of people – all of which is instantly redirected into the repositories of the NSA.

The Snowden material includes email communications describing how they do this, along with photos of it being done.

GCSB protest-17

Greenwald then talks about the cooperation among the 5 Eyes partners. At about 28 minutes into the video, he says his book includes a letter from a “high level Australian official” who asked the US government to help it to spy on Aussie citizens.

Of importance with respect to the questions John Key and Ian Fletcher need to be asked, Greenwald explains

If you listen to these governments, in response to the stories that we’ve been reporting, what they’ll say is, to their own citizens, “You don’t need to worry because there’s all these restrictions on how we can spy on you. Yes, we can spy on the rest of the world as much as we want, but” these governments say, “when it comes to you, our wonderful citizens, we have all kinds of legal restrictions,..

This is the kind of thing that Key and Fletcher have said to us. Greenwald refers to a document, published for the first time, that he claims shows these governments,

will ask their surveillance partners to spy on their own people, and then give them the fruits of that surveillance. So they can learn everything that they want to know about their own population, while pretending to abide by the legal restrictions that have been imposed on them.

So, Mr Key, what exactly do you know about all this?  What haven’t you been telling us?

Part Two of Greenwald’s interview has been posted here on The Daily Blog.

54 comments on ““Collect it all”, “exploit it all”: 5 Eyes economic surveillance”

  1. Mike the Savage One 1

    This is a good reference, and also to TDB, which I am getting more interested in – for a political blog.

    I think that this stuff is worth researching reveals heaps and more, but this may here be wrongly placed as only being about “economics”.

    This is about damned PRIVACY, dear all, damned PRIVACY, and think about that, please! We are all watched all over, more than most think, even here, while I write this, I fear.

    • karol 1.1

      Yes, it’s about privacy – or more importantly intrusions into our daily lives. But that is all done in the service of corporate power – we are all just saleable commodities.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        It’s done in the service of corporate power and political control – including if necessary, blackmail and intimidation.

        The security state started full surveillance of Barack Obama when he was running for Senator. They will also have full email, text, phone call, web and internet search records going back at least a few years for every candidate standing for Parliament this year.

        There is no possibility of an actual democracy and free country under these conditions, where the deep state knows every thing about every facet of your life and what you are doing, while the citizens know absolutely nothing about what the activities of the power elite and the deep state.

  2. mickysavage 2

    Good post Karol. I have a go at a post but ran into writer’s block …

    There was a passage from Greenwald’s book which I thought explained a great deal.

    Deciphering the archive and the NSA’s language involved a steep learning curve. The agency communicates with itself and its partners in an idiosyncratic language of its own, a lingo that is bureaucratic and stilted yet at times boastful and even snarky. Most of the documents were also quite technical, filled with forbidding acronyms and code names, and sometimes required that other documents be read first before they could be understood.

    For me this summed up the Government response perfectly. Key’s interview with John Campbell was a perfect example. Of course everything is OK, we have nothing to worry about, there are legal protections and this Government respects our privacy.

    But there is nothing stopping Governments spying on each other’s citizens as a proxy.

    And can you imagine the Government having this much power and access to information and not exercising it?

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      Deciphering the archive and the NSA’s language involved a steep learning curve. The agency communicates with itself and its partners in an idiosyncratic language of its own, a lingo that is bureaucratic and stilted yet at times boastful and even snarky

      The language is designed to hide the immoral, unprincipled and unconstitutional purposes behind the activities.

      Like a blandly worded technical plan for the efficient liquidation of Ukranian Jews in World War 2.

  3. Hi Karol, thanks for the reference. Much appreciated. You are right to follow the economics thread, as this is being used as part justification for surveillance alongside other definitions of national security. It appears that economic and commercial security was given a parity comparable to defence/offensive security in large part during the GW Bush presidency and expressed in the 2002 National Security Strategy document.

    There is also a commercial/service element expressed now within New Zealand’s new GCSB and TICS legislation.

    The commercial element is often overlooked when we evaluate/debate the merits or otherwise of security responses to threats. Remember, the NZ SIS gave potential negative economic consequences when justifying its issue of a Security Certificate against then asylum seeker Ahmed Zaoui back in the early 200s. The SIS only coughed up that gem of information when forced by the High Court to present a summary of justifications for the issuing of the Security Certificate.

    David Fisher over at the Herald is also doing great work in making sense of this stuff. As is Russell Brown at Public Address. Definitely worth checking out.

    • karol 3.1

      Thanks, Selwyn.

      I don’t know as much about it as some of you guys. I have been following the shift towards a more extensive embracing of economic surveillance. The appointment of Ian Fletcher, with his background was part of that.

      There seems to me so much information coming out via Snowden, I need to digest it a bit at a time.

  4. Anne 4

    One of the unintended (no doubt) ironies is that it is inevitable that the NSA – or maybe one of the other 5 Eyes countries on their behalf – is spying on John Key.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      They are spying on John Key, on Angela Merkel, on Barack Obama, etc.

      The real question actually is WHO is spying on them and WHY

      In addition to the economic aspects (eg it has been shown that the NSA spied on G12 negotiators at a major meeting) this kind of security state surveillance activity has to be seen in a wider context of increasing social deprivation and resulting social unrest in many western nations.

      Combine this with law changes in the USA enabling the use of US military forces against US citizens on US soils, and in the UK allowing the British Government to strip citizenship from immigrants leaving them stateless,with no legal protections, becoming simple uncomplicated legal targets for say, drone strikes.

      When the power elite grant themselves powers on this scale, history has shown that they will eventually be used against the ordinary citizens, not if, but when.

  5. Mike the Savage One 5

    While we all agree on much, be aware, that we happen to live, oh, gosh, horrible, in a CAPITALIST SYSTEM, and yes, what are yo all going to do about it? I have my answers, which I will not publish here, for your own “protection”, but hey, this is absurd, you want a socially inclusive, fair and just society, but tend to now accept, that the capitalist system can “deliver’ this.

    I fear you are IDIOTS, and that is what you will be proved as, no matter from where you are and what you stand for . People will need to rethink and re-plan and more, all over the planet, and [prepare for the future, which will not be easy. Best wishes, HC

  6. AmaKiwi 6

    When Key, Obama, Cameron, Abbott say, “You can trust me” it is irrelevant.

    These powers are not given to individuals but to the offices they hold. Even if I do trust these particular men, I cannot trust that the people who will hold their offices during the rest of my life will ALL be trustworthy.

    Key is expecting us to accept it is impossible for another Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Putin to come to power. History shows it is highly probable one will.

    These spy tools will insure their absolute control over us all, including our PM.

    • AmaKiwi 6.1

      Are Key supporters happy this spy data might soon be in the hands of David Cunliffe?

      This is EVERYONE’s fight.

    • Colonial Viper 6.2

      When Key, Obama, Cameron, Abbott say, “You can trust me” it is irrelevant.

      Not only irrelevant, but alarming that all would use this same worn out formula in destroying democracy and civil rights. For it was none other than Thomas Jefferson who said this famous quote:

      In questions of power let no more be heard of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the Constitution.

      And so, these rulers and their crony governments have been at every step undermining the constitution and its civil rights, replacing principled law with law which would be more at place in a military dictatorship, and subverting the courts.

      While I see the NZ Herald Online front page bleats on about National reducing Government debt, the same debt that National ran up in the first place. No longer simply farcical or funny, we are now entering dangerous times.

  7. thatguynz 7

    Isn’t it funny that when Nicky Hager wrote about precisely this topic in his 1996 book “Secret Power” he was labelled as a kook and a conspiracy theorist. Where are all those naysayers now? Gosman?

    More to the point why isn’t John Key (as the current minister in charge of intelligence services – god knows any of the previous PM’s could be pulled up on the same issue) being absolutely reamed over his blatant mistruth that NZ’ers aren’t being spied on by the GCSB. Granted, historically they haven’t been directly spied on by the GCSB – the GCSB just supplied the target or word list to the NSA, GCHQ etc who technically did the spying for them and then feed the results back. Nonetheless, it is semantics, the outcome was still the same. Why did it take a US based whistleblower to finally wake NZ up to a reality that was exposed 18 years ago?

    • framu 7.1

      the lie bit is soo bad that im surprised key isnt openly laughed at during interviews

      heard a great little exchange last night on the radio, where key basically admitted the lie

      he did the usual line hes been running, but when the journo dug a teeny bit further key repsonded with (paraphrasing) “if you listen closely to what i said you will see im telling the truth”

      yes, quite – your well known for such linguistic wriggle room mr key

      • karol 7.1.1

        As reported in this morning’s article my David Fisher, Key gives himself a little wriggle room:

        John Key has said he is aware of “some” but not all of the tools used by the Government Communications Security Bureau amid fresh questions over an intrusive piece of spyware showcased by the United States’ NSA to their Kiwi partners.

        The Prime Minister stuck to his position in refusing to talk about “operational” details of the spy agency’s work.
        [...]
        Mr Key refused to say whether the NSA helped fund the GCSB, despite Snowden documents showing Canadian and United Kingdom agencies received funding.

        2 significant points there.

        • emergency mike 7.1.1.1

          “Asked if he knew the tools used by the GCSB, he said “some of them”. “I don’t go into the techniques the GCSB or SIS use.””

          Er, shouldn’t the minister for the GCSB be aware of ALL the tools they use? Him being the one and only elected official responsible for it’s “I can’t talk about it but trust me” ‘oversight’?

          Hands up who feels another John Key brain fade coming on?

      • karol 7.1.2

        This is last night’s Checkpoint clip, in which Key says that:

        Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

        This is what went down:

        Key said:

        We don’t talk about the operations of the operational details of the GCSB but we have given two assurances which I continue to stand by, and that – ah we don’t undertake the mass surveillance of New Zealanders. We don’t collect metadata on a mass basis of New Zealanders. And we never use our partners to circumvent the law.

        On further questioning Key said:

        I’m quite happy to stand by the two statements I’ve just made and if you listen to those very carefully you’ll understand them.

        But, that looks like 3 statements to me.

        Anyway, the reporter then went on to say that the GCSB originally said they believed metadata was not included in the official meaning of “communications” in the law. Last year’s revision to Act doesn’t refer to metadata. However, an official statement of the Act’s intention says that metadata is treated the same as content, which means warrants would be required.

        • karol 7.1.2.1

          With Key’s statements in mind, looking at the Snowden material (link just added to the bottom of my post above), this comes to mind.

          The US has been collecting data via transnational telecoms cables and routers as it passes through the US.

          p. 105:

          FAIRVIEW – Corp partner since 1985 with access to int. cables, routers, switches. The partner operates in the U.S., but has access to information that transits the nation and through its corporate relationships provide unique accesses to other telecoms and ISPs. Aggressively involved in shaping traffic to run signals of interest past our monitors.

          Also, as in Keith Locke’s post today, a lot of GCSB’s active spying is on supposedly friendly governments.

          The US already has a wealth of data collected on Kiwis. Presumably, they can supply it to NZ when required….?

    • Tracey 7.2

      and Hager is often right because love him or hate him, he bases his work on documented evidence. You have to read his work to know that though.

  8. Tautoko Viper 8

    I have concerns that the US is able to influence our election by spying on the opposition MPs either using NSA/GCSB and putting the info into Key’s top drawer. This gives Key time to counter or spike any opposition ideas. When you look at the way the US has interfered with South American countries, then you would not find it difficult to believe that they would go out of their way to help retain John Key who is pro US. Time to shut our NZ eye!

    • framu 8.1

      yup – the USA’s leadership has a long and sordid history of dirty tricks in other peoples back yards

      and while some might cry “tin foil hat” your theory isnt that implausable once we consider historical and current events

  9. AmaKiwi 9

    For 35 years, the most powerful American was not a President. It was J. Edgar Hoover, who had blackmail info on every US president from Roosevelt to Nixon.

  10. Tracey 10

    GREAt post karol. Thanks again for this.

    I briefly posted when Ian Fletcher appeared at the Privacy Forum and reportedlt said

    “First of all it would be illegal if we were doing that and we don’t act outside the framework of the law, that’s a really important point to start with”.”

    Funny, if we don’t do it, why on earth would we waste time and money on a presentation, taking people away from their valuable work, to examine how and why to do it? Mr Fletcher, is that good use and time on taxpayer,s money??

    he then told us

    “He also offered an assurance that neither the GCSB or any foreign agency was engaged in the mass collection of metadata or information about New Zealanders’ communications which can be sifted for patterns that might point to areas of interest for authorities.

    “We don’t do that stuff. It’s important to keep on saying that.””

    Again Mr Fletcher may have been telling the truth, we weren’t doing it, but we were still in training from the NSA on how and why to do it. Forked tongue?

    And he appeared to be honest about his desire to divert attention from the very stuff just revealled by Mr Snowden

    “Mr Fletcher said his speech to the forum today was intended to “move the debate to start thinking about the kind of organisation, rules and framework for order that our community might want to have so that we can all live our online lives as safely as we can”.”

    If I understood the Pm corectly last night he said he couldn’t comment on the NSA presentation and so on cos he doesn’t know the detail of what the GCSB is doing. He then porceded to answer a follow up question with an answer that couldn’t be possible unless you did know that detail?

    from the herald today

    “Asked if he knew the tools used by the GCSB, he said “some of them”. “I don’t go into the techniques the GCSB or SIS use.”

    But he repeated his oft-stated position that there was no mass surveillance of New Zealanders and that partners in the Five Eyes network were not used to get around the law.”

    • karol 10.1

      Where did you hear the PM last night? radio? TV?

      • Tracey 10.1.1

        tv3

        I was fascinated by their news coverage… if anything sold the govt a lil short on the budget but gave the 5 eyes coverage quite high billing.

        • karol 10.1.1.1

          I got bored with the saturation budget coverage (a lot of sound and fury – more spin from the government than anything useful), and switched to looking at the Greenwald videos.

    • karol 10.2

      The 3 News Report.

      It’s the same statements as played on Checkpoint.

      Basically, you are saying, Key doesn’t know all the tools used by GCSB, but then indicates he must know when giving an assurance that they don’t use the 5 Eyes partner’s to circumvent the law.

  11. Anne 11

    A brief interview on RNZ with former GCSB head, Sir Bruce Ferguson on RNZ on the latest revelations. What I found very interesting is that he was not aware of the information supplied by the Canadians re- the spying on the Brazilian govt. and other Brazilian entities which occurred during his term as chief.

    I can’t say I know Bruce Ferguson but I did have a few dealings with him 20 odd years ago when he was a senior Air Force officer. Unlike John Key, who happily lies if its in his interest, I have no doubt whatsoever that if Ferguson says he had no knowledge of it then he is telling the truth. And if he knew nothing about it then that must mean the prime-minister of the day, Helen Clark knew nothing about it.

    I don’t consider such information as an “operational matter” and it is deeply concerning if the head of the GCSB and the prime-minister of the day were not kept in the loop. What other information might have been withheld from them?

    • karol 11.1

      Keith Locke has posted today on the material showing that Key must have known about the spying on Brazil.

      • Anne 11.1.1

        I haven’t read Keith Lock yet karol, but it should be remembered that Bruce Ferguson was essentially booted out of the GCSB by John Key. For public consumption he retired early. And we all know Key replaced him with someone he personally knew. The position was temporarily filled… until he was able to get his man back to NZ.

        • karol 11.1.1.1

          Ferguson was also a military man. Key replaced him with someone with more of a focus on digital and economic surveillance.

          • Anne 11.1.1.1.1

            Key replaced him with someone with more of a focus on digital and economic surveillance.

            Yes, and it doesn’t take much imagination to figure out from where the “instructions” were emanating. I distrust Key in every sense of the word and – as I’ve said here before – he is ultimately NOT working in the interest of New Zealand and New Zealanders.

          • Tracey 11.1.1.1.2

            yup someone with digital experience but we are noy doing mass digitial finance… if correct it was a stupid appoint ;)

          • Huginn 11.1.1.1.3

            Key replaced Ferguson with Ian Fletcher, who has a background in Intellectual Property.

            I wasn’t convinced by Ferguson on a Morning Report.

            Fletcher’s beginning to make the right sorts of noises when he talks about moving ‘the debate
            to start thinking about the kind of organisation, rules and framework for order that our community might want to have so that we can all live our online lives as safely as we can.’

            But first he has to concede that the Snowden revelations have led to a massive erosion of trust – and I don’t see that coming from him when he flatly denies that the GCSB has been involved with collecting our meta-data on the scale that we all think it has.

    • Tracey 11.2

      the problem is we view the very nature of spy agency work as deceptive… we are rarely going to believe anything they say.

      • thatguynz 11.2.1

        You’re right Tracey, valid point :)

        I’d also go so far to say that I actually believe that our membership of 5 eyes will in time prove to be detrimental internationally – if it isn’t already. Think of it in these terms – we currently have (what is touted to be) a fairly lucrative FTA with China and have stated that we are keen on growing this relationship. Politically and intelligence-wise however we are closely aligned with the US and Western bloc. Should the Asia-Pac situation between the US and China develop in a detrimental fashion, where will that leave us?

  12. karol 12

    I’m just scrolling through the PDF with Snowden material supporting Greeenwald’s book. On p 167, there’s this interesting document, headed: “Secret//Rel to USA, FVEY” (note micky’s point above about the dense coded language).

    What’s the threat?

    *Let’s be blunt – The Western world (especially the US) gained influence and made a lot of money via the drafting of earlier standards.
    + The US was the major player in shaping today’s Internet. This resulted in pervasive exporting of American culture and technology. It also resulted in a lot of money being made by US entities.

    P187 refers to collecting info on the “vulnerabilities” of “jihadists” AKA “radicalizers” – vulnerabilities is indicated as personal moral failings (sexual, financial) that could be used to undermine their credibility – ie smear campaigns.

    P190 – on “Online Covert Action” – previously made public – strategies circulated to NZL (GCSB).

  13. Tracey 13

    I suspect key would be chuffed if he were being spied on… plays into his need to feel important.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      What do you mean IF? He is (almost certainly) being spied on – as are we all. And so is every other leader allied with the USA. By the USA.

      • Tracey 13.1.1

        yup… but he sees it as a compliment. I wonder if they have to use uppers when going through hiz stuff.

      • MaxFletcher 13.1.2

        Exactly right.
        But you can’t be spied on if you are willing to just give away all that info anyway

  14. Tracey 14

    the person overseeing the gcsb, the prime minister, must know all the tools being used because otherwise how can he determine if they are operating within the law?

  15. McGrath 15

    No-one really cares about the GCSB story anymore. The only way that will change is if hard evidence of spying (eg hard disk of NZ metadata) is found in GCSB possession, and that I suspect is unlikely.

    • McFlock 15.1

      move along, nothing to see here….

    • emergency mike 15.2

      Yeah you may as well just shrug your shoulders and change the channel aye. Have another brew maybe.

      Anyone with half a brain should care about the implications of Snowden’s revelations. I’m sure that some peoples brains enter fog mode once a story has lasted more than one year, or a couple of weeks perhaps, but you should probably speak for yourself on this point.

    • Huginn 15.3

      Disagree with you on this, Mcgraw.
      This is very important to a small group of voters who may not be very interested in politics. The sort of person who rarely reads a newspaper or watches the news on tv – maybe doesn’t watch TV at all any tv at all – but who is outraged, totally incandescent, that the NSA and GCSB have been weakening the Internet by building back doors into the infrastructure.

      People like this will vote for the Internet Party, and under MMP, their votes be very important.

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    In the last couple of days there have been two columns looking beyond the election to, in the eyes of the authors, the inevitable internecine Labour blood-sports that follow. Each has a purge to propose. Phil Quin thinks Labour is...
    Polity | 31-07
  • Students’ first-in-family policy needs support
    Free education for the first person in a family to undertake tertiary study is a creative, innovative and transformative proposal from New Zealand students, says TEU vice-president Sandra Grey. Tertiary education is full of...
    Tertiary Education Union | 31-07
  • Fiji: The law means nothing II
    Last month, we saw how Fiji's electoral law works in practice, when the supervisor of elections was instructed to register dictator Voreqe Bainimarama's "Fiji First" party despite the name being similar to that of the wound-up One Fiji - an...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • Unbelievable
    Why didn't Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully act sooner in the Malaysian diplomat case? Because he couldn't be arsed reading his email:DAVID SHEARER (Labour - Mt Albert) to the Minister of Foreign Affairs: Did his office receive an email at...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • The last day
    Today is the last day of Parliament for the term. After spending the morning on non-controversial legislation - including apparently the anti-slave-fishing bill - the House will have its last Question Time and then an adjournment debate. And then they'll...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • Traffic still at 2007 levels
    Gerry Brownlee’s media release yesterday trumpeted up traffic levels in 2013 surpassing those in 2012 – apparently this is a sign of New Zealand’s economic recovery that we’re driving a bit more. Transport Minister Gerry Brownlee says increases in vehicle...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Oily pigs at the trough
    We all know that National MP Simon Bridges is a lackey for the oil and gas industry. But what wasn't readily apparent is just how much taxpayer's money the Energy and Resources Minister is willing to throw at his oil...
    The Jackal | 30-07
  • World News Brief, Thursday July 31
    Top of the AgendaRussia Reacts to New U.S., EU Sanctions...
    Pundit | 30-07
  • God Save The People!
    THE WORDS to When Wilt Thou Save The People? were written in 1827 by the "Corn Law Rhymer", Ebenezer Elliott. The refrain, "God Save the People!", is, of course, the radical working-class agitator's rejoinder to "God Save the King!"Elliott's song became the...
    Bowalley Road | 30-07
  • Why ACT always needs to play the race card
    During the 2011 election Don Brash was leader of the ACT Party, and he did something really stupid and crazy, but also rather admirable: Act leader Don Brash is calling for the decriminalisation of cannabis, saying prohibition of the drug has...
    DimPost | 30-07
  • Declan Waugh continues his distortion of Finnish fluoride research
    In my last post (Another fluoridation whopper from Declan Waugh) I described how Declan Waugh (a self-professed “scientist and fluoride researcher”) badly misrepresented data from a Finnish study which had concluded the prevalence of ailments attributed to fluoridation were “likely connected...
    Open Parachute | 30-07
  • The 40 Percent Solution.
    Challenging The Conventional Wisdom: The Labour Right believes the party can only succeed by conforming to the prevailing political and socioeconomic orthodoxy; the Labour Left understands that the whole point of the party is to challenge and change it.PHIL QUIN writes a...
    Bowalley Road | 30-07
  • Who wins the Education Debate ?: UMR and Herald-Digi Polls on Quality Teach...
    Herald-DigiPollThe Herald have just released further results from a Herald-DigiPoll (part of their Mid July political poll), which finds that "New Zealanders would rather money was spent on improving teaching standards" - ostensibly National's position - "than on reducing class...
    Sub zero politics | 30-07
  • Hard News: The crybaby philosopher
    Earlier this week, Act Party leader Jamie Whyte notified the world that he had delivered a speech entitled Race has no place in the law and, it seemed, sat back in anticipation of plaudits for his tremendous argument.Sadly, the next...
    Public Address | 30-07
  • Policymaking in a hyperglobalised world
    Speech to a conference of the Industry Training Federation and Polytechnics, 31 July 2014 First, some context. We are living through a turbulent decade. One element is the coming of age of a disruptive technology, digital technology, which is turning...
    Colin James | 30-07
  • Scientists criticise National Science Challenges
    Tertiary Update Vol 17 No 25 Radio New Zealand has used an official information request to expose serious unrest among scientists this week over the way the government is handling its NationalScienceChallenges project. The...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • League tables due out this week
    The TertiaryEducation Commission will publish 2013 educational performance indicators (EPIs) this week. The information ranks universities, polytechnics and wānanga institutions on their performance against the criteria, and inevitably morphs into league tables. However, TEU...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Joyce monitoring, not acting, on loan cuts
    The tertiary education minister Steven Joyce dodged a question last week about whether he would exempt medical students from the seven-year limit on student loans. Answering a written parliamentary question from Green MP Holly...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Whanganui prisoners want automotive course back
    Prisoners who want to study at UCOL are the subject of a fierce debate between TEU’s UCOL branch president Tina Smith and Whanganui MP Chester Borrows. Chester Borrows told the Wanganui Chronicle last week that...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Fascinating chart on global income change
    Last year Joseph Stiglitz, Prof James K Galbraith, and Branko Milanovic presented a paper that included the following graph, which set the economics world all a-twitter: It shows the change in income around the world in roughly the first 20...
    Polity | 30-07
  • Nurses celebrate partial victory for new grads
    Nurses celebrated yesterday when they learned their 7000 signature petition had helped pressure the government into funding a further 200 more positions in the nurse entry to practice (NEtP) programme for every new graduate...
    Tertiary Education Union | 30-07
  • Adjournment Speech
    Speech – Mana Party Itd be nice to be able to say that for all the differences between us and this National government and its coalition partners, the last three years had seen our country come out of the Global...
    Its our future | 30-07
  • Development opportunities after CRL: Will Newton become a second Newmarket?
    A couple of weeks ago Auckland Council quietly released a new version of its Capacity for Growth Study. The CFG study is an important and interesting document – it models the potential for future residential and business development under current...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Novopay Exemplifies National’s Governance
    This National led Government is strong on ideology, weak on process and reluctant to accept responsibility. The Novopay debacle exemplifies all of these well.When questioned about Novopay, National Ministers will never accept full responsibility. Initially the Government blamed Labour because they...
    Local Bodies | 30-07
  • Labour’s living wage announcement welcome news for public servants
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Labour’s commitment to ensure all core public service workers are paid at least the...
    PSA | 30-07
  • Novopay debacle shows danger of contracting out public services
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the Novopay debacle shows core public services are best provided in-house. Glenn Barclay, PSA...
    PSA | 30-07
  • Israel celebrates killing of children
    As the Israeli bombardment and occupation of Gaza intensifies with Unicef estimating that 230 Palestinian children have been killed to date, the international response to numerous Israeli war crimes appears to be floundering. Although an investigation will be conducted, without...
    The Jackal | 30-07
  • A video has emerged showing far-right Israeli protesters celebrating the death of children in Gaza in Tel Aviv this weekend.The protesters, who were picketing a much larger anti-war demonstration in Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square on Saturday night, can be seen...
    The Jackal | 30-07
  • Novopay triumph for government
    Today the National government announced the future plans for the troubled education payroll system Novopay. The system has had a rough ride since it was implemented almost two years ago. At parliament today the Cabinet Minister for Fixing Up Really Bad...
    My Thinks | 30-07
  • Stuart’s 100 #3: Plane Tree Avenues
    Stuart Houghton’s 100 ideas for Auckland continues 3: Plane Tree Avenues Franklin Road, with its historic plane trees, is one of the most loved streets in Auckland. What if plane tree avenues defined all the major city fringe streets? This...
    Transport Blog | 30-07
  • Too Much some recent articles on Inequality
    click here for these...
    Closing the Gap | 30-07
  • Nick Smith hides shameful vacant house numbers
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has lodged an official complaint against Housing Minister Nick Smith with Parliament’s Speaker for refusing to release data on the number of vacant state houses around the country. “Nick Smith is clearly embarrassed by the...
    Labour | 31-07
  • GC Star supports Beyer +video
    Star of reality TV series The GC, Alby Waititi, has thrown his support behind Mana’s Te Tai Tonga candidate Georgina Beyer. In a short video clip, Waititi announces that he supports “the iconic and the wonderful” Beyer in her bid for New Zealand’s...
    Mana | 31-07
  • Mana supports the Silent Leaders Challenge
    “Tomorrow I will be participating in a challenge to break the silence about hearing loss”, said MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “I’m doing it to feel what it is that those who are hearing-impaired face every day”...
    Mana | 31-07
  • ADJOURNMENT SPEECH – MP Hone Harawira
    It’d be nice to be able to say that for all the differences between us and this National government and its coalition partners, the last three years had seen our country come out of the Global Financial Crisis with a...
    Mana | 31-07
  • Evidence refutes doomsday wages predictions
    Minister of Labour Simon Bridges should cut the tired old rhetoric about rises in the minimum wage causing job losses and understand New Zealand has a serious problem with low wages and working poverty that needs to be addressed, Labour’s...
    Labour | 31-07
  • Slow, sluggish, not sweet at all
    Rural communities, frustrated by slow and unstable broadband, have been delivered a two fingered salute by Steven ‘Everything’s Sweet ’Joyce, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Mr Joyce deliberately obfuscated and refused to answer questions on the actual connection numbers...
    Labour | 31-07
  • McCully’s excuses in tatters
    New evidence has emerged today that shows Mr McCully’s excuses for not knowing about the Malaysian diplomat case don’t stack up, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Mr McCully said he had received no information about the Malaysian diplomat...
    Labour | 31-07
  • Poisons Centre 50 years; celebration or wake?
    The Government’s plan to roll a number of helpline services together looks set to proceed with disastrous consequences, Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson David Clark says.  Latest reports suggest Australian company Medibank is the most likely provider....
    Labour | 31-07
  • Green Party statement on passing of FCV legislation
    The Green Party congratulates all parties in Parliament for supporting the completion of the Foreign Chartered Vessel legislation.Legislation passed today ensuring the end of a shameful era of human rights abuses under successive governments and several fishing companies."Human rights and...
    Greens | 31-07
  • Govt must condemn Israel’s killing of civilians in Gaza
    The New Zealand Government must condemn Israel for its indiscriminate bombing of Gaza that continues to inflict massive civilian casualties, the Green Party said today.At least 15 people, mostly children and women, died when the school in Jabaliya refugee camp...
    Greens | 31-07
  • Veterans short-changed by new Act
    National Government reasons for rejecting a recommendation by the Law Commission to give veterans a payment to cover funeral expenses don’t stack up, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs spokesperson, Phil Goff. The Veterans’ Support Bill passed its Third Reading in Parliament...
    Labour | 31-07
  • Labour will establish Centres of Vocational Excellence
    A Labour Government will set up Centres of Vocational Excellence to boost training and innovation in industries that are vital to our economy and our regions, Labour’s Employment, Skills and Training spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics play a...
    Labour | 31-07
  • THEY CAN’T ALL WIN OFF THE RACE-CARD – Harawira
    “They can’t all play the race card and expect to win off it”, said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira, following comments by ACT Leader Jamie Whyte, Conservative Leader Colin Craig, and NZ First Leader Winston...
    Mana | 30-07
  • Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall
    Moves by the Government to increase the number of training placements for nursing graduates will be seen for what they are – a cynical election ploy, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Health Minister Tony Ryall has just announced the...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Māori Party blocks the end of slave fishing vessels
    Labour is appalled the Māori Party has refused to allow a final reading of legislation to abolish slavery conditions on foreign charter fishing vessels in New Zealand waters before the end of the Parliamentary term, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Ae Marika! 29 July 2014
    It wasn’t till I read John Armstrong’s column in the NZ Herald last week that I realised what a huge impact the Internet MANA tour has had, but the reality is that we achieved what no other political party has...
    Mana | 30-07
  • Unconditional Gaza ceasefire needed now
    The Israeli response in Gaza is disproportionate and with the firing of tanks and mortars into civilian areas, increasingly indiscriminate, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “Eight children were killed in Gaza last night, they were playing in an...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Novopay’s end must not be bulk funding’s beginning
    The end of the disastrous Novopay system must not serve as a stalking horse for the next big threat National poses to schools - the bulk funding of teacher salaries, the Green Party said today."Today's announcement that the National Government...
    Greens | 30-07
  • Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights
    A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth are shared fairly by all New Zealanders, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “That will put around...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue
    It will be cold comfort to teachers and school staff still struggling with Novopay that the National Government has finally stepped in to rescue the failed payroll system two years after it was introduced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says....
    Labour | 30-07
  • Auckland consents down second month in a row
    National’s housing policy is in disarray with building consents in Auckland falling two months in a row, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Statistics New Zealand’s latest building consent figures show consents in Auckland are down for the second month...
    Labour | 30-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins
    The Green Party today launched its plan to protect the world's smallest and most endangered dolphin, the Maui's dolphin. The plan is the third component of the Party's environmental priority this election: clean rivers and beaches.The key policy points in...
    Greens | 29-07
  • Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media rele...
    The government is fudging the figures over Wellington road project, Transmission Gully, the Green Party said today.The New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) said today it had let the contract to a Public Private Partnership (PPP) for "a net present cost...
    Greens | 29-07
  • New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders
    New Zealand needs to listen to Pacific Island leaders when it comes to climate change action, said the Green Party today. Discontent with New Zealand and Australia is rife at the 2014 Pacific Islands Forum leaders' summit which commenced today...
    Greens | 29-07
  • National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed
    A Wall Street Journal article exposing the Government's attempts to lure deep sea oil drillers to New Zealand shows National will stop at nothing to open up our coastlines to deep sea oil, the Green Party said today.The article outlines...
    Greens | 29-07
  • Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong
    Gerry Brownlee has shown how badly he is managing the rebuild by getting his figures wrong on how many houses are needed in Christchurch, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “Gerry Brownlee today tried to poor cold water on the...
    Labour | 29-07
  • Annette Sykes to launch campaign for Waiariki Annette Sykes, MANA candidate...
    At midday tomorrow, Annette Sykes will officially launch her campaign to win the Waiariki electorate seat for MANA in the upcoming general election. “A key goal for MANA this election is to mobilise our people to vote, especially rangatahi, and...
    Mana | 28-07
  • Minister shouldn’t stop Fish and Game doing its job
    It seems that Conservation Minister Nick Smith has again been caught out interfering to allow more pollution in our rivers, the Green Party said today. Last year the Department of Conservation submission on the proposed Ruataniwha Dam was suppressed after...
    Greens | 28-07
  • Public deserves electoral integrity
    National's deals with spent political forces ACT and United Future will be met with a deepening sense of unease over the manipulation of MMP, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says."These parties have no electoral mandate and will return to Parliament only...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Out of control costs raise questions about National Science Challenges
    Amid strong criticism of the value of the National Science Challenges from some of the country’s senior scientists, new figures show administrative costs are skyrocketing while the level of investment in actual science remains a mystery, says Labour’s Innovation, Research...
    Labour | 28-07
  • Low build numbers and faulty repairs: what has Brownlee been doing?
    Despite being a man in a hurry new figures show just 2160 new homes, thousands fewer than needed, have been built under Gerry Brownlee in the last two years, say Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford and EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove....
    Labour | 28-07
  • Joyce’s heavy hand stifling innovation
    The National Government should allow scientists and businesses to get on with innovation rather than allow Steven Joyce's heavy hand to direct it, Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman said today. Dr Norman was responding to reports today that several...
    Greens | 27-07
  • CERA spends almost $2m on 7000 flights
    CERA has spent $1.8 million on 7286 flights from Christchurch to Wellington in three years – a huge waste of money as Cantabrians still wait for solutions, Labour’s EQC spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove says. “Of course CERA officials do need to...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Nick Smith oversteps the mark yet again
    Nick Smith has yet again completely overstepped the mark as a minister – this time with a threat to muzzle Fish and Game if they don’t keep in line with Government’s views, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “Nick Smith...
    Labour | 27-07
  • Georgina Beyer to stand for MANA in Te Tai Tonga
    “It’s great to have Georgie on board” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP.  ”She’s strong-minded, stands up to be counted, and has fought for the rights of those who haven’t had any – and won.  That...
    Mana | 27-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our beaches from oil spills
    The Green Party today launched its plan to protect New Zealand beaches from oil spills. The plan is the second component of the Party's environmental priority this election: Rivers clean enough to swim in again, and beaches safe from oil...
    Greens | 26-07
  • Auckland rail use spike shows need to start link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    The Green Party today welcomes Auckland Transport figures showing rail patronage has soared by 23 percent in June from June 2013, demonstrating both the value of electrification and the need to immediately get cracking building the Auckland City Rail link."We...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Puhoi-Warkworth decision doesn’t stack up
    The Board of Inquiry decision on the Puhoi-Warkworth motorway gives the green light to a project that doesn’t stack up, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour would spend $320 million immediately to fix the accident black spots, put in...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Key must stand Brownlee down during investigation
    The wise thing for the Prime Minister to do is ask Gerry Brownlee to hand in his transport warrant and to stand him down for the duration of the CAA investigation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “It’s not good enough...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Puhoi highway won’t help Northland roads
    The draft decision by the Environmental Protection Agency to grant resource consent to the proposed $1.65 billion Puhoi motorway doesn't stop it being a waste of money, the Green Party said today. "The Puhoi motorway is an unnecessary waste of...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Green Party to focus on issues not sideshows
    The Green Party has launched its creative for the 2014 election; Love New Zealand. The Green Party campaign focuses on the issues where there is concern that we do not love New Zealand enough; our increasingly polluted environment, increased poverty...
    Greens | 25-07
  • Coleman must come clean about FBI briefing
    Former Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman must come clean about when he was told the FBI was investigating Kim Dotcom, Labour’s Associate Security and Intelligence spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Jonathan Coleman has previously said ministers were not aware of the American...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Regional economies need tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 25-07
  • Kiwis to get the final vote on amalgamation
    New Zealanders will get the right to have a final say on any proposed local body amalgamations, says Labour’s local government spokesperson Su’a William Sio releasing Labour’s Local Government policy today....
    Labour | 24-07
  • Dr Rajen Prasad’s Valedictory Statement
    Draft Hansard Parliamentary Record. Subject to correction. Bula vinaka. Namaste, Mr Assistant Speaker. Thank you very much. Tēnā koe. I am a lucky migrant and am privileged to have received as much as I have from this country for over...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Darien Fenton’s Valedictory Statement
    Nga mihi nui - kia koutou. I acknowledge all Members of Parliament I have served with and I do so without rancour or criticism. Over nearly nine years in parliament I’ve found that despite furious debate about political difference, most...
    Labour | 24-07
  • Immigation and Kim Dotcom – Harawira
    “I just got a call from National Business Review reporter, asking whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given MANA’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Nats to announce 2nd crossing without rail
    Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says it has been leaked to him that John Key will rule out a rail option when announcing an accelerated timeframe for Auckland’s $5 billion second harbour crossing next month. “I understand the Government’s plan...
    Labour | 24-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    “I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples” said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, ”but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end...
    Mana | 24-07
  • Jamie Whyte loses the plot and why this is Dame Devoy’s finest hour
    I was a damningly critical voice over Dame Susan Devoy’s appointment as the Race Relations Commissioner, but her righteous condemnation of Jamie Whyte’s farcical statement that Maori somehow have the same legal privilege of 17th Century French Aristocracy is such a courageous stance...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • Latest Roy Morgan Poll: Labour jumps 6.5 points up to 30%, National tumble
    Latest Roy Morgan Poll: National down to 46%, Labour up to 30%, Greens down to 12%, NZ First down to 5%, Maori Party up to 1.5%, Internet MANA up to 2,5%, ACT, United Future and Conservatives stay unchanged. To take into...
    The Daily Blog | 31-07
  • What is the nature of satire? Issues for the Human Rights Commission as the...
    Congratulations to Fairfax media for their detailed coverage of the current Human Rights Commission case being asserted by Louisa Wall that Al Nisbet’s cartoons were racist and deserved censure. Pity Fairfax published the cartoons in the first place however. The Human...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour promises $2 boost in minimum wage
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Labour promises $2 boost in minimum wage Labour leader David Cinliffe From the New Zealand Herald By Derek Cheng Wednesday July 30, 2014 A $2-an-hour boost to the minimum wage, scrapping the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • THEY CAN’T ALL WIN OFF THE RACE-CARD – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: THEY CAN’T ALL WIN OFF THE RACE-CARD – Harawira Posted on July 30, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“They can’t all play the race card and expect to win off...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labours policies a step change for working people
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Labours policies a step change for working people “After six long years of working life getting tougher in New Zealand workers have been given a real choice today with the announcement of Labours...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Novopay’s end must not be bulk funding’s beginning
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Novopay's end must not be bulk funding's beginning Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | Press Release Teachers have endured two years of hell, never knowing from one week to the next if they’ll...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Green Party launches plan to protect our Maui’s dolphins Wednesday, 30 Jul 2014 | Press Release The Green Party today launched its plan to protect the world’s smallest and most endangered dolphin,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • USA: One year after her conviction Chelsea Manning must be released
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: USA: One year after her conviction Chelsea Manning must be released Exactly one year after Chelsea Manning was convicted of leaking classified government material, Amnesty International is renewing its call on...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • EU must close all loopholes in the torture trade
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: EU must close all loopholes in the torture trade The European Union (EU) must urgently strengthen its laws to enable member states to immediately ban the trade in new devices and...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Swaziland: Deplorable sentences against journalist and lawyer stifle free s...
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Swaziland: Deplorable sentences against journalist and lawyer stifle free speech The sentencing of a newspaper editor and a human rights lawyer to two years in prison on charges of contempt of...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Graduate nurses put pressure on Ryall Moves by the Government to increase the number of training placements for nursing graduates will be seen for what they are – a cynical election ploy,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Māori Party blocks the end of slave fishing vessels
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Māori Party blocks the end of slave fishing vessels Labour is appalled the Māori Party has refused to allow a final reading of legislation to abolish slavery conditions on foreign charter fishing...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Unconditional Gaza ceasefire needed now
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Unconditional Gaza ceasefire needed now The Israeli response in Gaza is disproportionate and with the firing of tanks and mortars into civilian areas, increasingly indiscriminate, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer....
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Labour will raise minimum wage, restore work rights A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Taxpayer to fork out millions for Novopay rescue It will be cold comfort to teachers and school staff still struggling with Novopay that the National Government has finally stepped in to rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Auckland consents down second month in a row
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auckland consents down second month in a row National’s housing policy is in disarray with building consents in Auckland falling two months in a row, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Statistics...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • A brief word on why Murray McCully’s email didn’t work in New York
    Ummmmmmm. What? An email to Foreign Minister Murray McCully’s office about former Malaysian diplomat Muhammed Rizalman bin Ismail invoking diplomatic immunity remained unopened for weeks – allegedly because communications were limited as the minister travelled to New York. So Muzza...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The infallible NZ Police
    You would think 44 years after one of their own framed an innocent man by planting evidence that the NZ Police would admit they got it wrong. Not so. The whitewash report yesterday into the Crewe murders does the usual...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Just how crazy is ACTs Whyte Supremacy?
    Two reasons why Jamie Whyte’s claim that Maori are as legally privileged as 17th Century French Aristocracy is possibly the most stupid thing anyone has ever said. 1 – That easy-Maori-University-entry chestnut is one of the worst examples the right...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour Commits To An End To Factory Farming
    Revelations that the Pigcare Accreditation scheme is still failing animals despite protestations from the Ministry, resulted in a day of national action across the country last Saturday. Thousands rallied in the centres against factory farming for a historic outcome for animals. For the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Has Apartheid Israel committed war crimes?
    Last week 29 of the UN Human Rights Council’s 47 members voted to set up an inquiry into possible war crimes committed by Apartheid Israel during it’s latest bloody purge of the Palestinian people. It’s interesting to note the only member...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Mr Fixit is broken – Novopay becomes Neverpay
    There are deals so poorly agreed to with the barest amount of oversight green lighted for ideological reasons so mangled and damaged that not even Steven ‘Mr Fixit’ Joyce can dress it up beyond the turd cake it is. Novopay is one...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The Right-wing – strong on crime!
    . . National, ACT, and the Right, generally, are renowned for being “tough on crime”. What follows are just a few examples,  to illustrate National/ACT’s “toughness”. . . Ms Hauiti isn’t the first MP to mis-use tax-payer’s money, and most...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The 40 Percent Solution: Chris Trotter responds to Phil Quin.
    PHIL QUIN writes a mean political column. His long-standing connections to the right of the New Zealand Labour Party are extensive and strong. When he writes about politics, especially electoral politics, it is from personal experience and with considerable authority....
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Labour’s new worker policy – $16.25 minimum wage
    Labour’s much anticipated worker policy has been released. It’s a mix of the aspirational and the smart. $15 minimum wage by Christmas this year, bumped up to $16.25 next year while banning the 90 day right to sack laws and...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • The Liberal Agenda: 30th July- 3rd August
    Wednesday GAZA: Setler colonialism, apartheid and resistance panel discussion Want to know more about what’s going down (and has been going down since 1948) in Gaza, and by extension the Palestinian territory?  Come along to this panel discussion. No boring...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • NZIFF: New Zealand’s Best
    Eleven   Saturday night was New Zealand’s Best at the New Zealand International Film Festival. The collection of 6 short films are selected from over a hundred and are all of very high quality. They compete for a number of...
    The Daily Blog | 30-07
  • Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media release
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Govt fudging figures over Transmission Gully – Green Party media release Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release “The Government needs to come clean. In fact, the cost is $125 million per...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: New Zealand criticised by Pacific Island leaders Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release “John Key and his government need to step up and take climate change seriously.” New Zealand needs to...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • So where are the Taxpayer’s Union on Simon Bridges luxury oil dinners?
    So where is David Farrar’s astroturf fake union, the Taxpayer’s Union, to criticise the quarter of a million spent on luxury wine and food to woo the oil industry then? Luxury oil summit during Rugby Cup was an ‘investment’Energy Minister...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • ACT show their true racist colours
    ACT Party conference in Epsom last week At some point ACTs low poll ratings were going to have to force ACT to stop pretending to be some free market under grad fantasy and get them back to their true purpose...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Broken English, broken government, broken climate
    Bill English’s unguarded statements on climate change demonstrate just how out of touch the National Party leadership really is, and how important it is that they should be forced to face facts. A couple of weeks ago finance minister Bill...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Privilege Lost
    Elton John didn’t get it wrong when said that sorry was the hardest word. It’s a word whose mere utterance can be seized upon as a sign of weakness and topic of ridicule, while simultaneously expressing understanding and opening the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST POST: Curwen Rolinson – A Vote For NZF Is A Vote For NZF – For Na...
    I’m loving this “Duelling Banjos” thing me and Bomber have got going on at the moment - he writes a piece castigating NZF for imminent existential failure due to Cons, I write a refutation setting out why we’ll be back. He writes a...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, holidays
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking on Radio Hauraki...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Laila Harre to run against Key in Helensville
    Another full house in Rotorua as part of Internet MANAs road trip Another day, another full house for the Internet MANA road trip. John Armstrong understands the energy now swirling around Internet MANA, and the latest announcements of Georgina Beyer...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Waiting for Gower’s Twittering of indignation…
    .   . Key has made his call; deals with ACT and Peter Dunne are in – a deal with the CCCP (Colin Craig’s Conservative Party), is out; . . Now we can look forward to TV3′s political commentator, Patrick...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National’s desperate oil drilling agenda exposed Tuesday, 29 Jul 2014 | Press Release A Wall Street Journal article exposing the Government’s attempts to lure deep sea oil drillers to New Zealand shows...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Owner of Kiwis’ favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action
    MIL OSI – Source: Oxfam NZ – Headline: Owner of Kiwis' favourite tacos takes bold stand for climate action The maker of Old El Paso tacos, Betty Crocker cake mixes and Haagan Daz ice-cream has today committed to industry-leading measures...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Out of touch Brownlee gets numbers wrong Gerry Brownlee has shown how badly he is managing the rebuild by getting his figures wrong on how many houses are needed in Christchurch, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 29-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood: Weekend at Bernie’s lll – ACT in Epsom
    While no one will be surprised by yesterday’s deal to prop up ACT in Epsom, the audacity of it is still astounding. ACT is a political corpse. Their sole MP has been found guilty of electoral fraud and bides his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • So how’s all the ‘ Labour Party man ban’ hysteria working out for you...
    Remember all the screams from the media at the so called ‘man ban’ of the Labour Party? Labour’s attempt at gender equality was really just more evidence of Labour’s man hate,  feminists were taking over, heterosexual red blooded men burnt at the stake....
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Paul Henry; the issue is you, not flag-burning
    There will always be reductive, dangerous and reactionary responses to different forms of oppressive violence by our western, often biased, mainstream media. These reactionary responses purposefully distract from the real issues and those who are at the root and the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Oh now John Armstrong and Vernon Small want to talk about policy?
    The audacity of the mainstream media seems to know no end. This week both John Armstrong and Vernon Small had the hilarity to demand a focus on policy and not ‘gotcha’ politics… John Armstrong: The ‘gotcha politics’ disease is afflicting...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: “They put Maori centre stage” – Harawira  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press Releases“I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Burning the flag or accepting the evil
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Burning the flag or accepting the evil Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesBurning the Israeli flag in Auckland in protest over the murder of innocent civilians...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid”
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: TAXPAYER UNION “outrageously stupid” Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Hone Harawira, Press ReleasesJordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says a MANA billboard “appears to have been funded by taxpayers”,...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches te reo Māori policy  Posted on July 24, 2014 by admin in Annette Sykes, Press Releases, Te Hamua Nikora“MANA...
    The Daily Blog | 28-07
  • Seafood NZ Says Kaikoura Conservation Legislation a Template
    Seafood New Zealand has hailed the passage of the Kaikoura (Te Tai-o-Marokura) Marine Management Bill by Parliament today as a template for seafood and environment conservation measures throughout New Zealand. Parliament passed the bill into law on the last...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Whale Watch Kaikoura Welcomes Third Reading of Bill
    Whale Watch Kaikoura General Manager Kauahi Ngapora today welcomed the third reading of the Kaikōura (Te Tai ō Marokura) Marine Management Bill....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • NZ performers welcome Labour Party proposal
    NZ performers welcome Labour Party proposal to restore fairness and certainty for NZ workers Equity New Zealand today welcomed the announcement by the Labour Party that if elected, it would restore the right of film and television workers to collective...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Tear Fund’s Obsession: Food And Sex (Trafficking)
    Food and sex have always been kindred bedfellows; both are sensory experiences that ignite the passions. For TEAR Fund, however, the relationship is less savoury and more complex. We work in the darkest brothels of Southeast Asia where young girls...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Poll July 14-27: Nat 46% Lab 30% Gr 12% NZ1 5%
    National (46%) lead over Labour/ Greens (42%) cut significantly as Key rules out deal with Conservative Party but says National would consider a deal with NZ First (5%)...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Study could be used to counter high suicide rates
    Should social media companies such as Facebook and Twitter be subject to moral obligations with regards to their customers' mental health? In the wake of the furore following the “Emotional Contagion” study carried out by Facebook themselves, the question...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Labour’s Minimum Wage Proposal a Backward Step
    Democrats for Social Credit finance spokesperson Chris Leitch has attacked Labour’s proposals to increase the minimum wage labelling it ”a backward step for low and middle income earners”....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Sealord applauds passing of Fisheries FCV Bill
    Sealord Group has welcomed the passing of the Fisheries (Foreign Charter Vessels) Amendment Bill as a move that will safeguard workers and protect New Zealand’s sustainable fishing reputation....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Liam Butler interviews Hon David Cunliffe
    With older Kiwis comprising a growing proportion of New Zealand's population we all need to recognise the significant contribution they make to society - not only as taxpayers and consumers, but as employers, paid workers and volunteers....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • GC Star Supports Beyer
    Star of reality TV series The GC, Alby Waititi, has thrown his support behind Mana’s Te Tai Tonga candidate Georgina Beyer....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • New ACC Executive appointments announced
    ACC Chief Executive Scott Pickering today announced appointments to the ACC Executive Team effective from 1 September. The new Executive, which contains new roles and responsibilities, contains five members of the existing Executive and two new appointments....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Ministry CEO Hides in Office for Award Ceremony
    Following this morning’s coverage of the extravagant expenditure by Pauline Winter, the CEO of the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs, Porky the Taxpayers’ Union mascot visited the Ministry’s Wellington Office to present the Union’s first “Troughing...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Students’ first-in-family policy needs support
    Free education for the first person in a family to undertake tertiary study is a creative, innovative and transformative proposal from New Zealand students, says TEU vice-president Sandra Grey....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Fishing Bill a major step towards fixing industry problems
    The Maritime Union says the passing of a bill reforming the fishing industry is a major step in fixing serious problems....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Waikato-Tainui marae to receive $15 million top up
    Waikato-Tainui Te Kauhanganui marae are set to receive a one-off grant worth more than $15 million. Following the call from Te Kauhanganui, sixty-six marae will receive a base grant of $150,000 and an additional per capita grant based on the...
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Outdoor Council Backs Fish and Game in Minister Smith Stoush
    A national outdoor recreation council has backed Fish and Game in the wake of an argument with Conservation Minister Nick Smith over the organisation's advocacy role for cleaning up New Zealand's rivers from a deteriorating state....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Income Equality Aotearoa New Zealand Inc. – Closing the Gap
    Simon Bridges says increasing the minimum wage will cost us at least 6000 jobs, hurt businesses and reduce growth. Rubbish, says Peter Malcolm National Secretary of Income Equality Aotearoa New Zealand Inc....
    Scoop politics | 31-07
  • Call on Pauline Winter to Front up Or Resign
    Responding to the Fairfax report that taxpayers are footing the bill for the Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs’ Chief Executive and to fly to Auckland most weekends, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Petition generates progress for new nurses
    Last week the New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) launched a petition to get a nurse entry to practice (NEtP) programme for every new graduate nurse. This week, and more than 7,000 signatures later, we are very pleased to hear the...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • NZ Parliament backs media freedom in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland applauds the decision of the New Zealand Parliament to give its backing to genuine media freedom for local and international journalists in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Wellington protest rally to march for Gaza
    “Marchers from Wellington Students for Justice in Palestine intend to lay memorials at the Rabin memorial in Harris Street during a protest rally on Saturday. The names of some child victims of the Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip will...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte calls Dame Susan Devoy to resign
    Dame Susan Devoy has responded to my speech calling for racial equality by publicly condemning it as “grotesque and inflammatory"....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • WW1 anniversary: Peace vigils on 4 August
    Monday, 4 August, is the 100th anniversary of the start of World War One, "the war to end all wars". Peace Movement Aotearoa, in association with Quakers, is coordinating nation-wide candle-lit vigils on 4 August, in conjunction with peace...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Making It Easier for Disabled Voters to Have Their Say
    The Electoral Commission is making it easier for disabled New Zealanders to enrol and vote, with the confirmation that telephone dictation voting will be in place for the 2014 general election....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • AA welcomes lower drink-driving limit
    Lowering the adult drink driving limit is one good step forward in making our roads safer, says the Automobile Association. Parliament voted last night to reduce the blood alcohol limit to .05 for drivers aged 20 or over. The AA...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • RSA welcomes Veterans Support Act
    The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association welcomes the passage of the Veterans Support Act into law tonight. RSA National President, Don McIver, says that while it has taken a long time to get to this point, and there...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Political debate Thursday July 31st at Whanau Centre
    Waipareira will host a political debate on Thursday at Whanau Centre, Henderson, starting at 7pm. Hosted by broadcaster Willie Jackson, candidates will be asked the tough questions about Whanau Ora, the future of the Maori Seats, Housing, Child Poverty...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • They Can’t All Win Off the Race-Card
    “They can’t all play the race card and expect to win off it”, said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira, following comments by ACT Leader Jamie Whyte, Conservative Leader Colin Craig, and NZ First Leader Winston...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • New Zealanders Being Gouged by Electricity and Liquid Fuels
    New Zealand consumers of electricity are being price gouged to the tune of about $1.388 million while the companies pocket the profits, a new economic analysis released today by the Iwi Leaders Forum reveals....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Push For Gender Confusion In Schools
    Family First NZ is warning schools about an agenda to bring gender confusion in to schools in areas such as changing rooms, sports teams and school uniforms....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour work and wages policy good for working people
    The Maritime Union says Labour’s new policy on work and wages, announced today, is good for the working people of New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Joint Statement on EU-New Zealand Partnership Agreement
    Joint Statement on EU-New Zealand Partnership Agreement on Relations and Cooperation (PARC) by High Representative for EU Foreign and Security Policy Catherine Ashton and New Zealand Foreign Minister Murray McCully...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Time to lift unliveable wage rates
    The Service and Food Workers Union has welcomed Labour’s determination to lift New Zealand’s unliveable wage rates. The Labour Party today announced their Work and Wages policy....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Judith Collins and Women’s Refuge – ‘Doing a Katie Bradford’
    In Rethinking’s latest blog; http://blog.rethinking.org.nz/2014/07/judith-collins-and-womens-refuge.html Kim Workman suggests that Ms Collins treatment of the Women’s Refuge in a recent Q and A interview, could spark a new slang term in the national lexicon – ‘Doing...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Independent candidate advocates monetary paradigm shift
    Waikanae veterinarian Dr Amanda Vickers is standing as an independent for the Otaki electorate, with a view to modernise monetary policy....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Review of Radiocommunications Act 1989
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) has today published a discussion document reviewing New Zealand’s Radiocommunications Act 1989. The discussion document looks at issues including competition regulation, technical parameters on...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Unite Union welcomes Labour Party increase to minimum wage
    Unite Union welcomes the announcement today by the Labour Party to increase the minimum wage by $2 per hour by early 2015....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Taxing Struggling Families to Boost Bureaucrats Shameful
    Responding to Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement that a Labour Government would ensure public servants would receive at least the Living Wage, significantly more than their private sector counterparts, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour reforms show commitment to tackling inequality
    The NZ Labour Party’s just-announced industrial relations agenda demonstrates a clear commitment to tackling the growing inequality in New Zealand and restore democracy to our workplaces, according to FIRST Union....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Debacle shows danger of contracting out public services
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says the Novopay debacle shows core public services are best provided in-house....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Public servants welcome Labour’s living wage announcement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Labour’s commitment to ensure all core public service workers are paid at least the living wage will be welcome news to thousands of hard working New Zealanders....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Commission urges politicians to stick to the major issues
    In the run up to the general election Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is urging politicians to “do the right thing and stick to those major issues that will help make New Zealand a better place for all our...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Statement on behalf of Rochelle Crewe
    Rochelle Crewe has lived a life of anonymity. The tragic killing of her parents in 1970, when she was only 18 months old, has understandably been the subject of much media attention in this country in the four decades since....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • All parties need to help save Maui’s dolphins
    Forest & Bird is urging all political parties to adopt the recommendations of scientists - and the International Whaling Commission - in order to save to save the Maui’s dolphin from extinction....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Navigating Our Future Conference: Leaders’ Dialogue
    As pre-election positioning heats up and the environment has emerged as a key issue, the Leaders’ Dialogue at EDS’s annual conference next week will be an opportunity to interrogate the main parties....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour’s policy promises a return to fairness at work
    Workers across New Zealand will benefit from the Labour Party’s work and wages policy, says the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union. “Labour’s policy is a comprehensive package which will lift wages, lower unemployment, and build a...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Labour’s policies a step change for working people
    “After six long years of working life getting tougher in New Zealand workers have been given a real choice today with the announcement of Labour's Industrial Relations policy package,” CTU President Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Tear Fund Launches Emergency Appeal for Gaza
    As the death toll surpasses 1000 in Gaza, TEAR Fund has launched an appeal to help civilians caught up in the conflict between Israel and Palestine. TEAR Fund CEO and chairman of the NGO Disaster Relief Forum Ian McInnes said,...
    Scoop politics | 30-07
  • Democrats for Social Credit Party celebrates 60 years
    Monetary reformers from across New Zealand will celebrate the Democrats for Social Credit Party’s (DSC) 60th anniversary at its annual conference at Quality Hotel Elms in Christchurch this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
  • 100-Gun Salute to Commemorate Beginning of WW1
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF), with WW100, New Zealand’s First World War centenary programme, will commemorate the beginning of the First World War for New Zealand next Monday, 4 August....
    Scoop politics | 29-07
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