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Contactless cards: capitalism thrives, customers lose

Written By: - Date published: 9:24 pm, July 28th, 2013 - 36 comments
Categories: capitalism, crime - Tags: ,

Yesterday on Open Mike we had a bit of a discussion about contactless (“tap and go” or “wave to pay”) credit and debit cards as the result of an article linked by Dv, about technologies used by thieves to pilfer small amounts from unsuspecting people’s cards as the pass by.

Banks are keen to get everyone using them, with customers in some places overseas, when given a choice, opting to stay with older style cards.  Increasingly overseas, as here, banks are not giving customers a choice.  Yet, in spite of assurances, several kinds of problems have been experienced.  Banks are pushing this technology, even before solutions have been found for the weaknesses.  Apparently it is because the cards make transactions faster, and thus people end up spending more money.

Chris Gardner explains the technological pilfering problem in his article on Stuff:

Billions of dollars worth of New Zealand credit card transactions are at risk from a new breed of hi-tech pickpockets armed with electronic skimming devices available online for less than $100.

The devices – sourced from China – target the latest credit cards incorporating wave-to-pay technology, and can empty your card balance without you even realising.

However, it seems only small amounts tend to be pilfered from cards as the contactless function is usually for payments under about $NZ80.00. Furthermore, a Visa spokesperson, Caroline Ada, is quick to downplay the problem.  She says,

that even if a fraudster should “read” the information from a contactless transaction, the information would have limited use.

There had been no reports of fraudulent reading of Visa payWave cards in New Zealand.

“Only minimal account information is stored on a Visa payWave card, which is less than traditional magnetic stripe cards or contact chip cards. In fact, newly issued Visa payWave cards do not even transmit the cardholder’s name during a transaction,” she said.

And apparently there are metal sleeves or wallets made from wire mesh that can protect cards.  These can apparently be bought online, but wrapping a card in tin foil would make it just as secure.  I tried that, but how do you stop the foil falling apart each time you access your card or wallet?

Additional problems with contactless cards have shown up in the UK. In May, 2013,  a Guardian article described some undesirable side effects of the cards:

You hop on a bus and pay the fare with your Oyster card – then, weeks later, you’re going through your finances and discover that the money was taken from your “contactless” credit card instead. You’re left scratching your head as to how this could possibly have happened. Not only have you been charged on the wrong card, you’ve effectively been charged twice for the fare, because you pay for a weekly travelcard to be loaded on to your Oyster card.

This scenario is already being played out in London now that passengers on the capital’s buses can pay using credit and debit cards displaying the contactless payment symbol.

This speedier method of payment, is now resulting in customers having to take time to take precautions:

Transport for London (TfL) is warning people to stop keeping their Oyster card and contactless payment cards together in one holder/wallet/purse to avoid problems caused by clashing technologies.

There’s also been reports of people having had money taken from their contactless cards in department stores when they weren’t planning on using the cards.  And, a reverse problem has been encountered the card wouldn’t work when an Oyster and contactless card were together in the same wallet.

The Daily Mail reported in June that, according to  Ross Anderson, “professor of security engineering at Cambridge University”, in contradiction of the Visa spokesperson quoted above,

‘The problem with contactless cards is they have been rolled out in a haphazard way without careful thought into the consequences.

‘With a modified phone, which can be put together easily, a bank account can have its details stripped from a contactless card in seconds. With the list of someone’s last ten transactions, a thief can use that to answer a bank’s security question.

‘That’s not all they need to know, but a determined thief will be able to get the other information fairly easily and have access to your bank account.

‘Banks blame the stores and vice versa, but the people losing out are customers having their details stolen. The big beneficiaries are the firms who invented the inadequate technology – and, of course, the thieves.’

bank card rip offs whose in your wallet

However, it’s not only the inventors of the contactless technology that are benefiting, but the banks and other businesses.  According to The Smart Card Alliance, contactless cards have resulted in merchants seeing increased sales volumes, and fewer costs due to the ease of transactions. They claim an added value of increasing the amount of transactions and,

 improved customer acquisition and retention.

They also claim something that gets a bit lost in corporate speak: i.e.

service providers can now differentiate themselves with innovative new form factors.

as well as

delivery of payment products into a variety of product types targeting different cardholder segments that have specific desires for their shopping experience.

I’ll let you work out what those last two points mean.

The Smart Card Alliance has a lot of big players in their membership, including the main producers of contactless cards, Mastercard and Visa.

So, basically, in their rush to get more of our money, these institutions that spend a lot of time warning us to handle our fincances in secure ways, ultimately care less for our security and more for their profits.  And they don’t seem to care about the extra worries and hassles their rush for profits may visit on us.

36 comments on “Contactless cards: capitalism thrives, customers lose”

  1. QoT 1

    I do love how when the question is “can people steal my money?” Visa’s response is “don’t be silly, of course they can’t steal your identity.” And by love I mean “am filled with rage at their shitty irresponsible spin”.

    • karol 1.1

      Ha. I missed that one. Good catch.

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      Actually it was more of “of course they can’t get information that would let them later compromise your account and steal money”.

      So they did answer a question about stealing money, just not what was actually asked – can someone charge $80 onto my card when I’m sitting on the bus / train without me knowing.

      Now, I think this fear is a bit overblown, because it wouldn’t take too long for someone to report a suspicious transaction. Anyone carrying out such transactions vis-a-vis must have a merchant account with a credit card provider (through some avenue), therefore it would be very simple for the credit card company to trace all transactions relating to that merchant account and refund all of them.

      • McFlock 1.2.1

        That assumes that the merchant account-holder is the end criminal, rather than simply having a Tony Soprano standing over his shoulder looking for debt payments. And that’s if the merchant’s financial systems haven’t been cloned or compromised in some other way. A good day’s work in the central city could net ($79.99*1000 people passing by that morning) $80k. Merchant gets nabbed, but the proceeds are withdrawn/transferred that afternoon before the banks close. Good luck tracking the cash flow before it money evaporates into cash or goods.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1

          So, an electronic transaction that is on record and traceable isn’t traceable?

          One of the reasons why I like money going to full cashless is that it’s going to make crime so much harder. Still, it has to be done through a government system because, as the LIBOR scandal showed, the private banks themselves are criminals.

          • McFlock 1.2.1.1.1

            It’s traceable, right up until you take it out of the electronic system or launder it.

            And I believe larger-denomination notes are sort of tracked (branch they went out, branch they came in).
            But if I want a few grand from a small business owner, I could get them to run the scam (on pain of pain) and divert the money from their company account somehow. By the time they get caught, I have quite a bit of cash and they go to gaol.

          • muzza 1.2.1.1.2

            Draco, your heads in the sand again mate. If you think all digital is going to reign the banks in, you are off your rocker!

            Harder crime with digital – Not for the banks though, which will still be private, not nationalized, that is NOT going to happen!

            BTW, you do understand that the global monetary system is almost 100% digital already eh?

            • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.1.2.1

              If you think all digital is going to reign the banks in, you are off your rocker!

              I didn’t say that. I said that the banks need reigning in as they tend to be criminals.

              Harder crime with digital – Not for the banks though, which will still be private, not nationalized, that is NOT going to happen!

              Oh, it could happen – just need to keep pointing out that the problem that we have is the private banks and the way that they scam everyone.

              BTW, you do understand that the global monetary system is almost 100% digital already eh?

              Yep, I am and that’s why I get pissed off with people who still think that cash matters.

              • muzza

                Cash is the final barrier in the system, B!

                Be careful what you wish for, the banks won’t be anything but private, it’s not going to happen. Those who own the banking system, have far too much power, actually pretty much all of it, which can be seen by way of no change, despite the world acceptance, that the banking system is s criminal enterprise!

                That’s power!

                • Gosman

                  “…Global monetary system is almost 100% digital already”

                  Ummmm…. not quite. I don’t think you even know what that term means and are just spouting stuff that comes in to your mind. Please explain what a 100% digital monetary system is.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    The problem with contactless cards is they have been rolled out in a haphazard way without careful thought into the consequences.

    This.

    We’re seeing it across NZ as different bus companies get different technology companies to put in place different contact-less cards for payment of bus fares. In Auckland I have to carry three payment types to get across town: Snapper Card out West, ATHop for trains and some buses and cash for the rest.

    This excess complexity and unneeded expense could easily have been avoided if the whole lot was rolled out by government or even if the government had just set some standards for the cards first (with a proviso that no card would be rolled out until the government had set standards). Actually, the standards are the most important as they could clearly set security standards, whose liable for the fraud on them and they also increase competition.

  3. infused 3

    So how many people has this happened to? More so than skimming?

    Only contactless cards I’ve seen so far are credit cards.

    • karol 3.1

      My Auckland Hop card is contactless – wave it in front of the machine at the beginning and end of each journey.

      There have been problems. First there’s the problems DTB mentioned, then,

      In April 2013 several problems with the AT HOP card system were exposed, including being able to top up the card using other people’s bank details, money not correctly loading onto the cards and a lack of legal backing behind fines imposed on riders who haven’t paid.[14]

      And there may be others with contactless credit and debit cards – people won’t necessarily know if they don’t check their statements carefully.

      And the pilfering machines don’t seem to have reached NZ, yet.

      Also, I think a lot of people don’t realise their credit/debit cards now have a “wave and go” function.

    • Lanthanide 3.2

      Metrocards in Christchurch have been contactless since 2003.

  4. vto 4

    All cards are slower than cash.

    • weka 4.1

      and produce a lot more pollution.

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        Not true. Cash requires armorguard trucks driving all over town to transport money between banks and shops: shops buy change and then send their takings back to the bank.

        Cards on the other hand simple change some numbers in a bank account.

        • weka 4.1.1.1

          I was referring to the thermal printouts saturated in BPA.

          Still, would be interesting to see a cradle to grave environmental analysis of cash vs electronic money.

          • karol 4.1.1.1.1

            And at least with cash, there isn’t the added intrusion of an individual’s every move and purchase being picked up in metadata sweeps.

    • Lanthanide 4.2

      Debatable. Depends on the customer and also the checkout operator. If it’s a simple $50 and you have a $50 note, then it’s fast. If you get someone scrambling around for change etc, then contactless cards can easily be faster.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      Nope, cash is far, far slower.

  5. s y d 5

    whats the fucken hurry? where is everyone going that they need to be there earlier than before?

    • weka 5.1

      People have less time now because of all the txting and answering cell phones and looking on the internet they have to do.

    • Arfamo 5.2

      whats the fucken hurry? where is everyone going that they need to be there earlier than before?

      Back to fucken work. To pay the banks. :(

  6. McFlock 6

    Depending on how your wallet or purse is laid out, you could put the foil on the outside of the pocket rather than the inside. But a hole punch in the corner of the card definitely works on some passive contactless cards – break/change the aerial and there is no frequency resonance, so no power to the chip.

  7. Rosie 7

    Hmm, that’s interesting folks. Maybe for once my inherent distrust of wireless technology/things to do with banking may have a basis.

    I received my Kiwibank MasterCard in the mail recently. It’s only for emergencies and I needed to make a $25 purchase on my credit card last week. (I think the limit is $80 for a tap n go purchase). The shop assistant suggested I use the tap n go function and I said nah, don’t trust it. She replied and said, no me neither. We proceeded with the more traditional electronic method.

    As well as not trusting it and having had fruitless discussions with the KB complaints person about their relentless push to get their customers away from physical customer contact for banking services (they assume everyone has a smartphone), I wouldn’t use it because the advertising makes me so frowny face.

    There’s the All Blacks ad. All Blacks, say no more, I’m not their biggest fan. Then there’s the ad where everyone is dressed in grey, looking like dreary cloned office workers, in line to pay for lunch. There’s a freak out when the character in the ad pays in cash, – the cashier treats him with contempt and the customers stare at him like he’s a moron. One ad is saying “you can be like your hero, the all blacks, and use tap n go, then you’ll be cooler than you actually are”. The other ad says “you’re a loser and an outsider for not using pay n wave”. (or the other way around, didn’t pay enough attention to see what cards are represented in what ad) Like syd at #5 says, whats the hurry?

    I’ve gone back to using cash, in general. You know where you’re at with good ol’ cash. And, yes, it does cause a stir.

  8. Tiger Mountain 8

    Carry cash, notes and gold coins with you and you are off the grid to a small extent, just the original withdrawal (from a branch counter not an ATM) shows up.

    Of course a hundred in store cameras and CCTV lenses will record you regardless but it is still freeing to see the look of horror or condescension when you set down some real money. Online purchases they still have you by b***s as you need a debit card at the very least, but get a Prezzie card not a full debit card as there is less tracking again on what you are up to especially compared to full credit cards.

    A wad of cash is helpful in unexpected situations too–powercuts, and natural disasters.

  9. insider 9

    Contactless cows: capitalism thrives, customers lose

    Banks are keen to get everyone using this new thing called ‘cash’ complains feudal lord William FitzWilliam despite significant security issues compared to the traditional cow.

    “This new cash stuff is flimsy, hard to identify, easily lost and not resistant to water like a good cow. Consumers could be losing the equivalent of millions of kilos of prime beef a year due to the ease with which cash can be stolen.”

    Increasingly overseas, as here, banks are not giving customers a choice and refusing to accept payment by cow for basic transactions, FitzWilliam said. Many businesses are now only accepting cows by prior arrangement. The banks are adding cow handling fees,. Soon the banks will shut down the cow transfer and settlement system completely, he worries.

    “Yet, in spite of assurances, several kinds of problems have been experienced. Banks are pushing this new cash technology, even before solutions have been found for the weaknesses. Apparently it is because the cash makes transactions faster, and thus people end up spending more money.

    “Now with a cow, the security is very high. They can’t slip out of your wallet to be picked up by people in the street, and they can’t be easily transported and hidden,” says Lord FitzWilliam. “It’s just driven by banksters trying to trick us with so called convenience. I blame John key…for everything.” The Standard is five and a half.

    • karol 9.1

      I prefer grain myself. Easier to handle, and you can eat it when there is nothing to exchange it for. Easier to store and cook than a cow.

      You just can’t eat money.

      And John Key is up for any kind of barter – money, shares, state assets, convention centres, wine for journos, gifts for baby princes – all to enhance his own political power. It’s all about power, who is calling the tune, and who benefits.

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    Frankly Speaking | 14-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Key ducks but can’t avoid High Court slap
    The High Court’s slap in the face to John Key and his Government over Chorus has left it with no option but to accept the Commerce Commission’s lawful process in deciding the price of copper, says Labour’s associate ICT spokesperson...
    Labour | 09-04
  • First home buyers shut out as LVRs bite
    The bad news continues for young Kiwis as the latest Core Logic report shows the proportion of first home buyers has declined since LVR lending restrictions came into force, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Twenty two centres across the...
    Labour | 09-04
  • MANA – and, or, or not – DOTCOM
    Both MANA and the Internet Party share goals in common with other parties, like getting rid of National and reining in the GCSB. There are also differences, as there are with other parties as well. MANA accepted a request to...
    Mana | 09-04
  • Wise heads want wise response
    Labour accepts the challenge laid down by the Wise Response group to protect and future-proof New Zealand’s environment and economy. A petition calling for urgent action was presented to Labour’s Environment and Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey at Parliament this...
    Labour | 09-04
  • Greens support high profile Kiwis’ call for climate action
    The Green Party fully supports a group of high profile Kiwi business people, lawyers, academics and commentators delivering a petition to parliament today calling for the Government to take the threat of climate change more seriously.Wiseresponse, a group of over...
    Greens | 09-04
  • Mayor’s jobs initiative shows up inactive Govt
    Auckland Mayor Len Brown and the Auckland Council are to be congratulated for providing opportunities for young people to get into work, but it stands in stark contrast to the National Government overseeing spiralling youth unemployment, Labour’s Employment, Skills and...
    Labour | 08-04
  • National discovers public servants needed after all
    New figures released today show National has done an embarrassing U-turn after discovering it actually does need the public service, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Wellington now has the most public servants it has had since 2000. Figures...
    Labour | 08-04
  • School closures about saving Hekia, not kids
    The National Government's decision to merge Phillipstown and Woolston schools is another disaster for Christchurch and proves this Government is more interested in saving face than in what is best for children, the Green Party said today."Hekia Parata's stubborn refusal...
    Greens | 08-04
  • Cosgrove writes to invite Countdown to Committee
    Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove has today written to the Chief Executive of Progressive Enterprises Dave Chambers, asking him if he would accept an invitation to appear before the Commerce Select Committee. “Yesterday National MPs blocked my motion to invite...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Phillipstown will get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour government will allow Phillipstown School to stay open, with a review after two years, Labour’s Associate Education spokesperson Megan Woods says. “Hekia Parata has failed the Phillipstown community with today’s decision to close the school. “It is disgraceful...
    Labour | 08-04
  • State Housing waiting lists go through the roof
    The waiting list for State Houses has risen by over a thousand in the past three months, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Low income people are feeling the sharp end of National’s housing crisis. A shortage of affordable houses...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Hekia Parata fails to answer basic questions
    Education Minister Hekia Parata’s inability to answer even the most basic questions about her proposed new Executive Principal roles will have alarm bells ringing in school communities all around the country, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools are already concerned...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Guy gets it wrong by any measure
    The Ministry for Primary Industries being forced to reprint rulers designed to help recreational fishers measure their snapper catch is right up there on the incompetence scale, Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI is having to spend another $8000...
    Labour | 08-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • TV News Geography
    TV News Geography...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The best bit about gay sex
    The best bit about gay sex...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 1
    On not voting 1...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 2
    On not voting 2...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour on trucks
    Labour on trucks...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Claire Trevett shows how biased msm works
    Read this nonsense by Claire Trevett… David Cunliffe denies claims he is ‘running scared’ Labour leader David Cunliffe has dismissed claims he is running scared from Prime Minister John Key and playing hard to get over a Campbell Live series...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Why won’t Judith Collins identify who the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is?
    Rumour as to the real reason Judith Collins won’t reveal who the mysterious Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is who dined with her at a private dinner is because the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ wasn’t some lowly border official and they are actually a junior ranking member...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fighting PNG corruption and social media gags with … outspoken blogs
    Graphic: shutterstock.com Dr David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific THE BLOGGING war is hotting up in Papua New Guinea – just when things are getting riskier with draconian proposals over cybercrime law on the horizon. The state target for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • UNbelieved – the true racism of NZ
    Racist Cartoon by Al Nisbet sums up the casual racism NZers enjoy The New Zealand government must consider United Nations rebukes on their indigenous rights record as ordinary and unremarkable by their casual reaction to the latest indictment - delivered through the clear and clinical...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: What has ACC Minister been doing? Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Judith Collins has made such little progress on ACC’s unacceptable privacy practices and needs to be held to account for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Labour turns wheels for cycling safety With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: SPEECH: Institute of Directors LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour LeaderSpeech to the Institute of Directors15 April 2014, Auckland It’s a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: More Oravida endorsements from John Key The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in recei...
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in receivership News that the high New Zealand dollar has claimed another textile firm has come as a huge shock to...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have been driven to the wall by a...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley to perform live in Auckland
    Press Release: Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Maori Party $5000 per ticket John Key Fundraiser at sexist Northe...
    So MANA can’t contemplate an alliance with Kim Dotcom because he is wealthy and MANA is not and that’s a terrible hypocrisy. Shock. Horror. So what is one to make of the Maori Party holding a $5000 per ticket closed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • David vs Goliath – Key’s housing affordability TV debate challenge
    John Key allowed his frustration to get the better of him at yesterdays press conference when he responded to a question on housing affordability by shooting back that he would debate David Cunliffe on the issue. Cunliffe has accepted. The...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Deborah Manning joins Team Cunliffe
    Deborah Manning is a very good friend of mine and seeing her join Team Cunliffe in Wellington is just another example on top of Matt Mcarten and Clint Smith’s appointments that Cunliffe is serious about putting together the best strategic...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?
    If a tree falls in a forest, does Simon Bridges hear it?...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000
    A picture says a thousand words, this one says about 20 000...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Comparing Key to Snowden
    Comparing Key to Snowden...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Latest Banksy
    Latest Banksy...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Valuing Teachers
    Valuing Teachers...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Plans-to-tax-the-rich-will-result-in-capital-flight-and-the-talented myth
    Plans-to-tax-the-rich-will-result-in-capital-flight-and-the-talented myth...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • TPPA is corporate thuggery
    TPPA is corporate thuggery...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Why we need feminism
    Why we need feminism...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Method In His Madness: Why did Russel Norman make Labour an offer it couldn...
    THE LINE FROM LABOUR is that the Greens made them an offer they couldn’t accept. Delivered in the condescending, world-weary tone one usually associates with a headmaster reprimanding one of the dimmer boys from the Lower-Fifth, the suggestion, clearly, is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • iPredict has possible MANA-Internet Party alliance at 3 seats
    Latest iPredict scores has MANA at 1.1% and the Internet Party at 1.5% – combined that’s 2.6%, the party list percentages would roughly be… 2 seats (i.e. electorate and one list): (1.2%) 3 seats: (2%) 4 seats: (2.8%) 5 seats:...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Adam Bennett and his wonky Tai Tokerau logic
    Adam Bennett, the NZ Herald’s political reporter, has published a column with some wonky Tai Tokerau logic… Unless the Mana Internet alliance pulls off the unlikely feat of reaching the 5 per cent mark on election night, all of this...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley performing for MANA fundraiser
    Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed by an...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Businessman who is taking Blogger to court for defamation attacked
    The NBR are reporting (paywalled) that Matt Blomfield, the businessman taking Cameron Slater to court for defamation, has had been attacked last night with shots fired at his home. How vicious and nasty. Thoughts are with Matt and his family....
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • When in trouble – blame the “filthy benes”!
    . . A recent Roy Morgan poll had some very disturbing news for National and it’s shrinking support-base; .   . The poll results; Right Bloc National: 43% (down 2.5%) Maori Party: 1.5% (down 0.5%) ACT NZ: (0.5%, unchanged) United...
    The Daily Blog | 13-04
  • Border ‘butchers’, absentee poll reps and West Papua’s growing strife
    A West Papuan in handcuffs at a recent “Free West Papuans” rally in Auckland. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC THE INDONESIAN parliamentary elections this week were disappointing on a number of fronts, especially for presidential frontrunner Jakarta Governor Joko “Jokowi” Widodo. His...
    The Daily Blog | 13-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. “Any steps that can be taken to lower smoking rates will result in New Zealand workers and their families having healthier and better...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke
    Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke Hugh Pavletich Performance Urban Planning Christchurch New Zealand 16 April 2014 The Housing Accord entered in to today between the Government and the Christchurch City Council, can only be described as a joke. Christchurch...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Infographic : World Giving Index 2013
    Infographic from Charities Aid Foundation World Giving Index 2013 A Global View Of Giving Trends (click to see full size version)...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tranter questions CEO’s assurances
    “There is a bizarre notion among bureaucrats, politicians and others that if they say something then it must be so - despite all evidence to the contrary” said David Tranter, Health spokesman for Democrats for Social Credit....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
    In its oral submission to the Health Select Committee today, UNICEF NZ expressed its strong support for the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill as a measure that will help reduce the uptake of smoking, and urged parliament...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Whitebait partners look for solutions