web analytics
The Standard

Collins’ last stand

Written By: - Date published: 6:55 pm, April 2nd, 2012 - 46 comments
Categories: same old national - Tags: ,

It was pretty clear listening to John Key’s press conference today that Collin’s has been told she’s on her own with her defamation suit.

Not so much because she’s having to fund it herself. Although I doubt very much that she made this decision without someone having a quiet word about how she won’t be getting taxpayer dollars for this misadventure, the reason could have simply have been how politically difficult that would be.

What was more telling was Key’s comment on whether she had a chance. To quote the man himself:

you’re really asking the wrong person as… I’m not… um… legally educated, if you like

Aside from the fact that the words Key was looking for was “a lawyer”, there’s no way he wouldn’t have sought an opinion on the unprecedented and high-profile defamation case his Justice Minister is taking against two opposition MPs and a state-owned broadcaster.

Which means he’s either been told she’s got no chance or he’s hanging her out to dry.

Either way this is looking more and more like Collins’ last stand. However it may offer just the sideshow the nats need to take the focus off the increasingly apparent fact they govern for their mates and the rest of us can go to hell.

46 comments on “Collins’ last stand”

  1. felix 1

    “Which means he’s either been told she’s got no chance or he’s hanging her out to dry.”

    I’d say it’s both.

    • Anita 1.1

      Is it the second because of the first? Or the second because he always wanted to and she finally gave him a chance?

      • IrishBill 1.1.1

        I reckon the latter.

      • felix 1.1.2

        Could still be both of those, too 😉

        But yeah, Key seems like someone who knows when his position is threatened well in advance. Those famous trading instincts, eh?

  2. Might this be the end of her political career then?

    • Pete 2.1

      Not for a while. Civil cases that go to court in NZ take on average 608 days from go to woah, according to a study from Otago University (pdf)

      Collins is probably banking on not having to go to a hearing until after the 2014 election. Or even quietly dropping it (sometimes settlements include non disclosure provisions which would gag Little, Mallard and Radio NZ if they’re unwise enough to accept such provisions). The defamation case itself won’t be a death of a thousand cuts, though – if you look at the Chris Cairns case in England, once it got to court it progressed relatively speedily.

  3. tsmithfield 3

    Irish, I don’t think public funding for Collins was ever going to fly, given the public opposition to this idea (81% against in the Herald poll today, for instance). So, I am not sure too much can be read into National not funding the legal action.

    I do wonder if this is a “best form of defence is attack” strategy from National, not just Collins, given the pressure they have been under lately. Even if the defendants win, it will be costly for them, given that they are unlikely to be fully reimbursed for their costs. So, the least expensive way for them to nip this action in the bud before it starts costing money would be for them to dump what ever they have into the public arena, forcing Collins to drop the action if it is clear she can’t succeed. Therefore, the longer things go on without them doing this will make me start to wonder if the defendants are really just bluffing themselves.

    Also, Collins herself funding the action sends out a message to the electorate that she believes strongly enough she has been wronged so as to fund the action herself.

    Also, do you think it is dangerous that people may be a bit to glib in putting their faith in Lange v Atkinson? I don’t believe this case would give people the right to say anything they wanted too about politicians. But if people believe they are protected, they might well say things that end up being a lot more lose in their comments than they otherwise might have been. So, I wonder if there is more risk to the defendants than what many seem to think.

    Interesting times.

    • shreddakj 3.1

      I think it really just comes down to trying to shut down criticism. What they said was hardly defamatory, and if it isn’t true would have worked better as a piece of political ammunition for Collins instead of a defamation lawsuit.

      • felix 3.1.1

        Yep, the whole thing reeks of desperation.

        A minister desperate to keep her job and desperate to avoid accountability. And a PM desperate not to get any on himself.

        • Balanced View 3.1.1.1

          Actually, desperation was demonstrated in Mallard’s unfounded comments, desperately trying to invent a scandal. I can’t wait to see how this ends.

          • shreddakj 3.1.1.1.1

            Hah! Now that is funny, claiming Mallard invented this scandal. You’re either a complete imbecile or you’ve been living under a rock, this scandal comes well and truly from within the National Party.

          • mickysavage 3.1.1.1.2

            Spot the CT clone.  They will keep on harping on how Mallard has no backing for his comments.  Guess what, he does, bluffing will not work.

          • felix 3.1.1.1.3

            If you were right (and you’re not) and Mallard did “invent a scandal” (and he didn’t) then you’d have to take your hat off to him wouldn’t you?

            It’s already taken out a senior minister, cancelled the PM’s holiday, tied up most of the National party for a week and a half with firefighting and damage control, and seriously embarrassed one of the frontrunners for the top job (and the clock’s still ticking).

            Not bad for something Trev just made up, eh? Well done that man.

          • alex 3.1.1.1.4

            Great pseudonym Balanced View. Really makes you come across as unbiased and not at all like a National troll.

          • Balanced View 3.1.1.1.5

            I was referring to the scandal of a minister “deliberately leaking” the email. Honestly, do you really think that Mallard should be able to make unfounded accusations without fear of reprisal? Imagine what parliament would be like if this was allowed.
            I find it hard to believe that he has proof the leak was deliberate and came from Collins, if he had this piece of dynamite he would have already released it. Also, with a court case pending, isn’t it now his responsibility to prove she did as opposed to her responsibility to prove she didn’t?

            • lprent 3.1.1.1.5.1

              No, he doesn’t need to have proof. They merely have to show that they had a reason to suspicious. Read Lange vs Atkinson. She is a politician and a minister. It is in the public interest that her actions are speculated on.

              It is Collins burden to prove that the speculation and/or evidence was completely unreasonable. Basically she has no real chance…

              I think the other commentators are right. Your intelligence appears to be impaired or you are talking about things that you have no understanding of.

              • Colonial Viper

                You have to ask, which legal eagles were advising her in taking this decision? Or did she just shoot from the hip having done first year law many moons ago? Weird.She doesn’t seem to be making her decisions rationally at all.

                • lprent

                  She was a lawyer. She will be aware of the law. I don’t think this will ever go to trial, and I suspect that she was aware of that it was a vaporous threat when she issued it.

                  Kind of silly. I for one just look at it as being on a par with the rest of her ineffectual political life. She talks tough and does bugger all. Reminds me of McCully

            • Balanced View 3.1.1.1.5.2

              So much abuse on this site.
              Actually I don’t know anything about the legal part oft this issue, that is why I asked a question.
              I agree that her actions should be speculated upon. But surely so should his? I’m not really fussed either way, it’s all a bit of a sideshow to the real issue, but it doesn’t sit right with me that one MP can make a statement about another seemingly without any proof. And then when she takes actions to defend her name, she cops abuse for it. Crazy

              • Colonial Viper

                You’re not really any good at this “logic” business are you?

                As for the abuse…harden up.

              • lprent

                She “cops abuse for it” because as a lawyer she should know how unlikely it is that she can win or even make a case. As a politician she is quite aware that this level of scrutiny is normal and that speculation between politicians is normal. After all she does it herself to a rather over the top degree – for instance referring to Benson-Pope as being a pervert in the house.

                Her actions appear to be motivated for reasons of intimidation and stifling debate about her than anything else, in the opinion of most around politics. Even if you take them at face value as you seem to do, then they look like the actions of someone who is too thin skinned for politics.

                Besides which, in my opinion, Judith Collins is one of the most bigoted gutless hypocrites around political life. She regularly abuses and criticizes many people, but will only do it from the safety of parliament or by bad mouthing large groups of people. Essentially a rather spineless individual.

                Perhaps you should read up about the disgusting history of Judith Collins? You do sound somewhat ignorant about it.

              • Balanced View

                This is my new favorite website! Everyone is so highly strung!
                lprent, thanks for your explanation. I was aware of some of what you noted. That doesn’t mean I can’t look at this issue separately although I can understand where you’re coming from.
                Felix, I hope you’re wearing your medic alert bracelet, I am worried for you.
                I understand parliamentary privilege, but if everyone walked outside the doors and said whatever they liked, then PARLIAMENT would turn into a farce.
                Thanks for clarifying the burden of proof though on any possible defamation case, I guess I was swayed by the Chris Cairns case where it was reported Modi had to prove his claims.
                I look forward to the next name calling session.

                • felix

                  “I understand parliamentary privilege, but if everyone walked outside the doors and said whatever they liked, then PARLIAMENT would turn into a farce.”

                  Good lord. It’s like Brett Dale with spellcheck.

            • felix 3.1.1.1.5.3

              Oh “Balanced”, you are a one.

              “Honestly, do you really think that Mallard should be able to make unfounded accusations without fear of reprisal?”

              Eh? If what he’s said is unfounded, there are reprisals. Like being sued for defamation for example.

              Christ on a bike that’s what this whole discussion is about, Collins and her “reprisals”. Thing is she doesn’t seem all that keen on following through with it, which does tend to make people think that Mallard, Little, and Radio NZ might not be as “unfounded” as you think they are.

              “Imagine what parliament would be like if this was allowed.”

              wtf? Parliament is like that you terminal fool. You can say damn near anything in parliament without being sued. It’s a fairly important principle of our system of representative democracy. Can you imagine how parliament would ever work without parliamentary privilege?

              Are you really so dense you thought this was all about something said in parliament?

              “Also, with a court case pending, isn’t it now his responsibility to prove she did as opposed to her responsibility to prove she didn’t?”

              No. It would be her responsibility to prove she had been defamed.

              But who says there’s a court case pending? Only you and Collins so far, and it’s been fairly well established that at least one of you is a complete fucking idiot.

        • Frank Macskasy 3.1.1.2

          And a Prime Minister who is also on the defensive… http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2012/04/03/key-defensive/

          Things are not looking good for Dear Leader.

  4. Custers last stand maybe.
    Huge price to pay for being dogmatic.

  5. tsmithfield 5

    Collins sets out the rules of engagement. It pretty much ties in with what I said above.

    Collins said Radio NZ had responded to her letter last week but they too still faced legal action.

    “There would be no cost and no case to answer if Mr Mallard, Mr Little and Radio New Zealand told the truth and presented their evidence,” Collins said.

    This statement suggests to me that the aim of the action is to flush out whatever the defendants have, rather than suppress anything. The alternative is for it to start costing the defendants money. Probably not too much of an issue for RNZ. But given that the other defendants have said they will fund their own costs independently, it could get expensive for them very quickly. Therefore, the logical option is for them to dump the truth into the public domain straight away, to nip the action in the bud before it starts costing them money. If they don’t, then they can look forward to some expensive legal bills they could otherwise avoid.

    • Kotahi Tane Huna 5.1

      lol TS, do you think Little and Mallard will pay the slightest bit of notice to Collins’ bullshit threats? But then I seem to recall you telling us that ” Key and Smith have had the smarts to front-foot this. Next they will stonewall. It will be forgotten within the week.”

      How’s that working out for them?

      • tsmithfield 5.1.1

        They’ll have no choice but to take notice if proceedings are filed and they start having to dig into their own pockets.

        And the previous comments about Smith and Key front-footing were made on the basis of what was known at that stage, which was one letter. The whole game changed once it became known he had written more than one letter.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 5.1.1.1

          Oh I’m sure they’ll cope. The potential for ridicule would be worth the ticket price on its own, and guess what – their political careers will be just fine too. Collins’? Not so much.

          This is great. Collins looked like a real contender at one point, a possible leader. Now she’s a toxic waste trap waiting to spew all over her mates. Nick Smith was good enough but Collins is a bonus 😀

      • Jackal 5.1.2

        One of them front-footed it off a cliff; the stone wall is about to fall on their heads.

    • “This statement suggests to me that the aim of the action is to flush out whatever the defendants have, rather than suppress anything. ”

      What would Radio NZ have, that requires “flushing out”?

  6. Blue 6

    My first thought was that Key is letting Collins hang herself.

    The defamation action is absurd and totally without legal merit, and it’s political suicide. If this is a taste of what Collins’ political judgment would be like as PM, then it’s better for National if she self-destructs now and is out of the leadership race.

    But then I recalled John Key’s own idiotic mismanagement over the tea tapes saga, and decided to put it down to simple incompetence.

    Born to rule Tories who can’t quite work out why no one else thinks their supposed reputations are as precious as they do.

    • Collins’ day of reckoning is coming. It will be the day when she has to reckon with the stupidity of her actions and the attendant consequences.

  7. bad12 7

    Slippery isnt a happy man at all,the way this was to play out as dictated by the 9th floor was to indulge in a spot of ”drag the problem person through the mud” and the faithful will all fall into line again in a week,

    Attempting to drag Pullar through the mud by highlighting Her big bucks settlement with Her private insurance company and have one of the tame yapping puppies form Prime allude to the fact that that payout may have been even bigger went down like a lead balloon,

    Crusher,s determination to charge headlong into legal action against Mallard and Little thus dragging the ACC saga out into the dark passages of the future with the risk of yet even more damaging revelation to come also wasnt part of the plan to manage this little debacle post Nick Smith,s timely resignation,

    After the Epsom tea-cups melt-down where Slippery after 3 years as Prime Minister was finally being asked to justify His existence by a pissed of press with other than smile and wave carefully scripted 5 second media opportunities the last thing the Prime Minister wanted to encounter was a press corp provoked to further hostility by one of His Ministers suing the press for what was said on live radio in an interview with Little and Mallard,

    Such an attack on them,(yes the press in the end see themselves as ”them),the press can now only conclude when weighing both the Epsom incident where the Prime Minister himself set the Police onto the press and Crusher,s law suit against RadioNZ as an attempt to silence ”them” from following stories which dont show National in a good light,

    Having had a dream 3 years where the press openly ridiculed then Labour leader Phil Goff painting anything Goff said or did with derisive comments in what looked from here to be a united and co-ordinated campaign Slippery must be losing the odd bit of sleep dreading what the next 3 years of His new relationship with the press,parts of which are now openly hostile to Him,will do to His presidential style of popularity,

    If the TV1 political poll is any indication, Slippery having lost 4% of His personal popularity since the election,it aint going to be pretty,but,if you are into blood sport the next 3 are a must watch…

  8. ianmac 8

    And on a lighter note Steve Braunias writes a naughty column outlining a day in Judith’s Diary.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/timaru-herald/opinion/steve-braunias/6668349/The-Secret-Diary-of-Judith-Collins
    Bryce Edwards sure can pick ’em.

  9. DH 9

    If I was a lawyer I’d be salivating over the thought of defending a suit like this. I’m not saying I’d win but there’s a whole heap of great arguments for the defence.

    If memory serves me correctly defamation is when a person is lowered in the public esteem by false accusation(s), or words to that effect. I’d think a politician would struggle to prove loss of public esteem over something like this. Plenty of case history that says it’s water off a ducks back to the public. Paula Bennett had plenty of accusations levelled against her in similar circumstances and she still got voted back in, which kinda suggests the public esteem argument is on shaky ground. False statements alone don’t make defamation.

    I think she’s daft to pursue this, on a hiding to nothing there IMO.

    • King Kong 9.1

      If you were a lawyer it would only be because they had intoduced a moron quota at the bar.

      Using your ridiculous argument I think you also might be able to find examples where politicians have been accused of skullduggery and been kicked out by the electorate.

      • DH 9.1.1

        Oh I could come up with plenty more arguments. As a lawyer I’d have nothing to worry about but it would be fun trying. Politicians occupy a special place in the public esteem and that provides plenty of scope for trying to convince a jury that the bar for defaming them is a lot higher than for a private or professional person. Good lawyers like a challenge.

        I think she’s daft to pursue it because it will have repercussions whether she wins or loses. Politics will get more spiteful.

        • Kotahi Tane Huna 9.1.1.1

          Collins is a politician and a lawyer. That bar you mention is impossibly high – her public reputation is that of a person who tells lies for money.

  10. tsmithfield 10

    I would expect that if Collins is actually prepared to file proceedings then Mallard et al will have something to worry about. That is because both statements of claim and defence will need to be filed soon, even if the case takes a while to get to court. Thus the basis for both the claim and defence will be known in fairly short order.

    Therefore, I don’t think she would have taken a position on this if she didn’t think she could carry through with it, as she would quickly be found out to be bull-shitting if her statement of claim didn’t stack up, or if she bailed before filing proceedings. So, my prediction is that she will proceed with the case.

    I don’t think she actually has to win the case. But, if in the proceedings it becomes clear that Mallard et. al. have been relying on dodgy evidence then public opinion will fall behind Collins. So, we could get a fairly good idea of the true situation within the next couple of months.

    The case itself might end up being settled out of court, or never be proceeded with to court. But if her position looks favourable on the initial proceedings then that may be all she needs.

  11. Lovechild 11

    If the public purse was to be opened, the cabinet manual says that Judith Collins ought to have discussed the matter with the Prime Minister and the Attorney-General (who will usually consult the Solicitor-General) when forming the intention to take proceedings as a plaintiff.

    The only reason given in the cabinet manual for Cabinet to authorize such a personal action at the Crown’s expense is if it is in the public interest.

    It seems Ms Collins preempted consideration by cabinet of whether a public interest exists in funding her defamation action.

    This made it difficult but not impossible for cabinet to agree to fund the action.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Singing the Budget Blues
    Despite our 'rock star' economy over the past three years it has not increased Government income to the level expected and the Government has not been able to deliver its promised surplus. If income doesn't change, but priorities shift, then the… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Submit on Mill Rd
    Julie-Anne Genter, the Transport spokesperson of the Green Party has put out the following press release on the Mill Rd project that we have written about here, and here: Take 5 minutes and make a submission on Mill Road Auckland Transport is… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    10 hours ago
  • Budget Blues
    Twenty five dollars a week can’t be bad, can it? For families on the breadline, it’s surely better than nothing and every little helps. And when the total spend is $790 million, that’s not peanuts, is it? – even if… ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    10 hours ago
  • Punakaiki Fund and Snowball Effect
    22 May 2015 Punakaiki Fund will soon be presenting an offer through the Snowball Effect platform. We are pleased to announce that we have selected Snowball Effect to present our fund raising offer to members of the public. Equity crowdfunding… ...
    Lance WiggsBy Lance Wiggs
    10 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    10 hours ago
  • Game review: Republique
    Score: 6/10 Republique is an episodic stealth game set in a dystopian society. You play a hacker who is aiding the escape of Hope, a young woman trapped in this world. Though the games attempt to deal with heavy themes… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    frogblogBy Mojo Mathers
    11 hours ago
  • Labour MPs are taking it to the Government in the House over their destruct...
    ...
    11 hours ago
  • The price of rotten cops IV
    Remember the Nelson Red Devils case? Back in 2012, drugs and firearms charges against 28 alleged gang members were thrown out because police abused the court process by forging a search warrant and an arrest warrant to build the credibility… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    12 hours ago
  • Best and worst New Zealand flag designs
    Dan Taipua, Dave Bell and Lucy Zee review some of the designs submitted for the for the new New Zealand flag. Check out the full gallery of designs here. ...
    12 hours ago
  • World News Brief, Friday May 22
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    12 hours ago
  • A hard rain is a’gonna fall.
    Although I am loathe to prognosticate on fluid situations and current events, I have been thinking about how the conflict in Iraq has been going. Although I do not believe that the Islamic State (IS) is anywhere close to being… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    12 hours ago
  • Got business out of town? Need a hire car?
    Whether you are heading of town for a conference or taking a break and need a hire car, your TEU Member Advantage program has you covered.  Use your member benefits to access either reduced car hire rates or excess on… ...
    13 hours ago
  • An abuse of the OIA
    In the wake of revelations that Prime Minister John Key had systematically and repeatedly bullied, sexually harassed and assaulted a cafe waitress, the New Zealand Herald published a piece exposing the victim. It seemed like retribution, and the involvement of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    frogblogBy Eugenie Sage
    14 hours ago
  • Calling Peak Car?
    There’s often a lot of discussion around the future of transport – particularly in cities. We’ve talked many times before about how transport trends are changing, how we’re seeing people drive less and catch PT more, how changing preferences amongst younger people in… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Australia’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on...
    The prohibition against torture is one of the cast-iron features of international law. You're not allowed to torture people, and you're not allowed to return or extradite people to a country where there are substantial grounds to believe they will… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    14 hours ago
  • Fiji: Removing the opposition
    Last year, Nauru's government abused its parliamentary majority to suspend the opposition from Parliament on a spurious privilege motion. Its a disease which is spreading: last night, Fiji's "democratic" regime did the same, suspending an opposition MP for making a… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    14 hours ago
  • Budget 2015: Don’t worry about the surplus, worry about this… Whiteboar...
    Bill’s budget put a bit of extra change in the pocket of poor families, but that came at the cost of the promised surplus. But should you be worried about it? With government debt still only at 25%… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    14 hours ago
  • The productivity trap – heads they win, tails we lose
    The article below was written in 2006, so some of the stats are a bit dated.  However the fundamental argument remains.  For instance, NZ productivity growth continues to be poor and NZ capitalists remain behind most of the OECD in… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    15 hours ago
  • Attention leftie campaigners: Watch Lynton Crosby
    This is a video of Lynton Crosby, of Crosby/Textor fame and infamy, talking about how he approaches campaigns. It is well worth an hour of any serious campaigner's time - whether they're of the left or the right. I've… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    15 hours ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Out there in the world
    Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of the… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    16 hours ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
    When Paul F Tompkins got into comedy in the mid 1980s, the formats with which he’s achieved most renown and popularity didn’t actually exist. “None of them did!” he yells, laughing, into the phone during an interview about stage… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
    16 hours ago
  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    18 hours ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    18 hours ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    20 hours ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    21 hours ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    21 hours ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    1 day ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: Media releases and tertiary education coverage
    We will update this page over the next few days with media releases and news stories on Budget 2015 and its effect on tertiary education and on employment. Radio NZ: Govt tightens education purse strings The Government is expecting fewer… ...
    1 day ago
  • Helping Our Heritage Come Alive – Mt Eden Rd
    This is an image from Mark Bishop. Here are the previous posts: Queen and Wellesley, Newton Rd, Kingsland These images were developed by merging together various historic black and white photographs (all from the “Sir George Grey Special Collection” –… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015 shows no plans for public sector wages
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says this budget does not address the wage rises needed across the public sector. ...
    1 day ago
  • Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
    I keep coming across this very naive form of chemophobic scare-mongering – the use of safety data sheets to frighten consumers about trace chemicals in their environment, food and drink. Here is an example anti-fluoridation propagandists continually use – safety data… ...
    1 day ago
  • World News Brief, Thursday May 21
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon they see
    When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live… ...
    1 day ago
  • Andrew’s little Poem
    by Don Franks Twas the night before Budget When just for a change Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle On which a publicity moment might dangle Some little device… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • One good thing
    Today's budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards - as they have every year… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Budget tougher for students – NZUSA and TEU media release
    Lowering the annual fee increases for students from 4 percent to 3 percent means universities, polytechnics and wānanga will have less money, say national student and staff unions NZUSA and TEU. Slightly slower fee rises are no good if the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Lala-land forecasts on housing investment
    Some of the forecasts in the Budget beggar belief, and when they almost inevitably turn out wrong they spell disaster for New Zealand families. Here’s the clearest example. In the last year, investment in residential property ballooned by 16%. In… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Cynical bribery on the horizon
    Bill English has said time and again that new spending initiatives of around $1 billion each year are the responsible thing to do, and are the new normal. And, in the next two years, he is as good as… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Share of the economy going to workers continues to fall
    The BEFU documents today have unwelcome news for workers. Over the next four years, the share of the economy that ends up in the hands of workers through their wages will fall by around 1.3%. That 1.3% of GDP,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Bill English’s Budget illustrates complexity in welfare system
    Budget 2015 has been touted as a package for the poor. And it certainly delivers them more money. However, it gives with one hand and takes away with the other, revealing the confusing and perverse nature of our welfare system.… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Pathetic half-measure on housing
    Yesterday, Paddy Gower thought he had a big scoop. He had leaked Budget docs alluding to a big government-lead house-building programme in Auckland. Today, the pathetic truth is revealed. The Budget puts only $52.2m – as a one off –… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Good idea on child poverty. Pity about the tinkering package.
    I can only speak personally, but I am genuinely pleased that the government is following through on its promise to focus on child poverty. New Zealand’s rates of child poverty are appalling, and anything that helps to bring them down… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Why there won’t be a surplus next year, either.
    Having failed to reach surplus in this, his promised year, Bill English looks set to fail next year, too. Having been over-optimistic this year to the tune of almost $1.2b – comparing BEFU 2014 to BEFU 2015 - Treasury has… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago

  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    10 hours ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    11 hours ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    11 hours ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    14 hours ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    14 hours ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    16 hours ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    1 day ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    1 day ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    3 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    4 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    4 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    1 week ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere