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Dear John Armstrong

Written By: - Date published: 6:45 pm, June 26th, 2014 - 82 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, democracy under attack, john key, labour, Media, national, newspapers - Tags:

Dear John

I read your column this morning in the New Zealand Herald and I must admit that I was surprised.  Yesterday’s revelation that Donghua Liu had confirmed  that he never actually bought a bottle of wine for $100,000 at a Labour Party fundraiser and that most if not all of the donations he made were not actually to the Labour Party I thought was significant and damning news.  But your only reference to this in your article was to the letter that Cunliffe signed 11 years ago and suggested that his supposed mistake about this was significant.  You did not mention John Key’s much more significant mistake about who Donghua Liu actually donated money to and how much and I thought this would be considered important because it was an attempted unjustified smear by the Prime Minister on the Leader of the opposition.

I personally do not blame Mr Liu for what has occurred.  He is obviously an energetic businessman who has sought to engage with the powers that be in his new country of New Zealand and clearly his english is poor.

But something extraordinary has gone on here.  Someone has taken a written statement from him and then leaked out information that was clearly wrong.  Then your paper received leaks of this information and printed the rumours apparently without even seeing the statement.  And after you received the statement your paper then reinforced the message while allowing Labour little chance to respond.  And even after doubts were raised about the nature and veracity of the donations this your paper has tried to reinforce the perception that Labour had received a donation by the use of headlines such as this one:

herald article liu donation confirmed

The basic problem John is that it looks like National has played the Herald like a puppet on this issue.  Even worse it seems that the Herald has been complicit in the manufacturing of a scandal that with the benefit of hindsight has no substance.

Is this what politics has sunk to?  Winning by smearing using baseless innuendo where the result is more important than the truth?  And don’t you think it is clear that the Herald has been used to peddle what essentially is a lie?

But you then chose to use your column to suggest that John Key had it all over David Cunliffe in Parliament yesterday.  I watched a replay and thought that the opposite occurred.  You were right to say that Cunliffe and Key threw different statistics at each other.  But you could have said that Cunliffe was talking about the median wage, Key talked about the average wage, and the median wage is a much more effective measurement of what is happening with the poor because every time a rich person gets a huge wage increase the average wage goes up but the median wage does not.  Instead of this you presented this as a victory for Key using your perception of body language.

I am sorry if you feel that lefties keep beating up on you and the Herald.  It is just that many of us campaign actively and there is nothing worse than talking to someone who may otherwise be a supporter but they are affected by rumour and innuendo reinforced by the articles your paper publishes.  There are not many of them but this election will be very close and every vote will count.

So how about it?  How about the Herald reports on the background to the manufacturing of an attack on Labour, reports more news and has less gushing homilies on how great John Key and National are?

82 comments on “Dear John Armstrong”

  1. blue leopard 1

    Armstrong is in love with Mr Key,

    I hate to think of the despair that poor Mr Armstrong will be filled with when he is unceremoniously dumped once he is no longer of any use.

  2. Saarbo 2

    Hear, hear.

  3. DS 3

    Dear John,

    You are a shameless Tory hack.

    Yours Sincerely,

    -DS.

    • Tom Gould 3.1

      Let’s not forget Tim Murphy. John Roughan. Shayne Currie. The National Herald dream team. And Rachel and Cameron too?

  4. Tom Jackson 4

    Why bother trying to reason with the Herald? They’ve declared their side and should be treated accordingly.

  5. swordfish 5

    All Power and No Responsibility.

    Influential agenda-setters like Armstrong need to be thoroughly Shamed into doing the right thing.
    He needs to know that his reputation’s at stake. Same goes for a number of other journos who haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory over the last 2 weeks.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      Those without a conscience don’t feel shame.

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        In fact they peer upon those with a conscience, those whose morals and principles hold them back, as being weaker and foolish, mere prey to the predator.

  6. Karl Sinclair 6

    Alternative Media and Monitory Democracy
    How odd Mr Armstrong does not want to write an update on the Key Liu bow without an arrow smear campaign.
    It’s great to see The Standard countering the mainstream media and its associated government spin machines and there overabundance of fake news.
    However, are we not just small sparks of illumination in the infinite vacuum of corporate/government driven media?
    How best to harness these sparks, bring together a consistent ‘flow or Flux’ of content that evolves and grows stronger like the sun? That gains coverage to new audiences illuminates them, gives people counter arguments (or if you like a counter education).

    The problem we face maybe one off illumination. Like the moon, if it didn’t spin at all, then eventually it would show its far side (dark side) to the Earth while moving around our planet in orbit. How do you get to this audience?

    What sites like The Standard are performing can be described by termed by the author John Keanes who wrote the book “The Life and Death of Democracy” as MONITORY DEMOCRACY. This Monitory democracy might provide the illumination?

    Keane provides a succinct summary statement about MONITORY DEMOCRACY in the introductory chapter of his book (2009; chapter titled “Bad Moons, Little Dreams”):

    “[T]he years since 1945 have seen the invention of about a hundred different types of power-monitoring devices that never before existed within the world of democracy. These watchdog and guide-dog and barking-dog inventions are changing both the political geography and the political dynamics of many democracies, which no longer bear much resemblance to textbook models of representative democracy, which supposed that citizens’ needs are best championed through elected parliamentary representatives chosen by political parties.

    From the perspective of this book, the emerging historical form of ‘monitory’ democracy is a ‘post-Westminster’ form of democracy in which power-monitoring and power-controlling devices have begun to extend sideways and downwards through the whole political order. They penetrate the corridors of government and occupy the nooks and crannies of civil society, and in so doing they greatly complicate, and sometimes wrong-foot, the lives of politicians, parties, legislatures and governments.

    These extra-parliamentary power-monitoring institutions include — to mention at random just a few — public integrity commissions, judicial activism, local courts, workplace tribunals, consensus conferences, parliaments for minorities, public interest litigation, citizens’ juries, citizens’ assemblies, independent public inquiries, think-tanks, experts’ reports, participatory budgeting, vigils, ‘blogging’ and other novel forms of media scrutiny.” (p. 14; online here and here)

    http://twotheories.blogspot.in/2012/03/praise-for-monitory-democracy-concept.html
    Another example of this Media Monitory Democracy is given by

    Media Lens
    http://medialens.org/index.php/about-us/what-is-our-objective.html
    “Quote: Our aim is to raise awareness of the systemic failure of the corporate media to report the world honestly and accurately. We encourage readers to challenge the journalists, editors and media managers who set news agendas that traditionally reflect elite interests. Any improved performance resulting from this public pressure, while important, is always likely to be marginal. So we also hope to encourage the creation of non-corporate media – good examples are Democracy Now!, The Real News Network and ZNet – that offer genuine alternatives to the corporate mainstream.”

    The question then, is how do you bring together these sparks of light, to create a sun that is cohesive, will illuminate people (I am not saying persuade) as to what is really going on rather than just hiding the dark side of the moon. How do you produce and coordinate alternative news that can reach the hundreds of thousands of voters who could potentially change this election. With all these opposition parties etc shouting something different, maybe its time to get a clear message together that is, No to National.

    The Standard and other sites are doing this. I Just wonder though, are we not preaching to the converted. How do you cross the void to greater audiences. What mechanisims in terms of Monitory Decmocracy can be used?

    Another Quote from Media Lens:

    “When corporations own the news and advertisers ‘sponsor’ the shows, journalists know they are above all answerable to the company managers and allied interests who pay their salaries. The mere public, especially voices of dissent, can be treated with indifference, even contempt. Journalists have power without responsibility, and they know it.”

    http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/2014/766-the-great-white-nope.html

    If this is the status quo in NZ, we are in trouble, particularly when it seeps into TVNZ and RNZ

    The Standard, Mickey Savage, keep the lights shinning please. Cover Mr Armstrong in garlic, expose to the light, then saute.

    “Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one–the gentle slope, soft underfoot, without sudden turnings, without milestones, without signposts,…Your affectionate uncle, Screwtape.”

    “It is funny how mortals always picture us as putting things into their minds: in reality our best work is done by keeping things out.”

    C.S. Lewis,The Screwtape Letters

    • mickysavage 6.1

      Thanks Karl for your comments. I like the phrase “Monitory democracy” it has a real resonance to it.

      And you are right it is a matter of preserving our democracy and trying to present an alternative, non corporate view of the world.

      If you want a cogent description of the effect of social media on the MSM I can recommend Jim Parkers post at http://failedestate.com/stuck-inside-of-mobile/

      In particular this passage:

      “What is starting to dawn on traditional media executives now is that digital advertising dollars are shrinking both in absolute and relative terms. The advertisers won’t pay print rates for digital. But not only that – the money being spent on digital ads is overwhelmingly going to Google and Facebook, not the old intermediaries.

      The fact is the “audience” is not passively consuming the SMH or The Australian as it once did. Instead, they are on their phones, actively engaging with Twitter or Facebook feeds and sharing and riffing on what they see. And, naturally enough, the advertisers will go where the audiences are.

      Stepping back from it all, media companies for 15 years have mistaken the information revolution as purely a technological change. We were switching platforms, so that just meant shifting the journalism from print to desktop to tablet.

      But this revolution is as much a cultural one. The media has been disintermediated, which means a journalist’s role shifts from institutionalised “Voice of God” handing down tablets of stone to freelance curator and explainer, working with the community to do what journalism has always done – to get to the truth of things.

      The mistake people make out of all this is to conclude that the destruction of the media’s business model destroys journalism. In fact, it merely destroys an institutionalised and industrialised concept of journalism formed in the 20th century.”

      • Tracey 6.1.1

        we already have a monEtory democracy. ;)

        Fascinating how quickly the right harnessed blogging for propaganda purposes.

  7. jaymam 7

    Dear NZ Herald,
    Please make your website subscrber-only, so that nobody will read it any more. We have plenty of blogs to get news from, and we can even post messages on those blogs whether we agree or disagree with them.

    • weka 7.1

      lol, nice one jaymam. Bring on the paywall!

    • Jenny 7.2

      LOL

    • Well my wife and I accepted a free ‘couple of weeks Herald. We both agree that it is most likely the worst morning newspaper we have ever had.. My East -End London born wife is just waiting for the phone call asking her if she has enjoyed the paper and if she wants to buy it. Oh dear !!
      that poor sap has no idea what he is in for.

  8. Tautoko Viper 8

    Great column, MickeySavage.
    The challenge to John Armstrong and the Herald is for them to examine their consciences and ADMIT to themselves that their role as the Fourth Estate is to report the truth to the citizens and that they have fallen short.

    Is it right for the Fourth Estate, upholders of the truth, to allow themselves to
    become complicit in deliberate acts of misrepresentation of the facts (which appears to be the case in their continued handling of the Donghua Liu Labour donations- for which there is NO confirmed evidence).

    Assuming that they were sucked in by whoever supplied the “evidence”, the Herald and John have had the opportunity to clarify the actual evidence but instead have chosen to save their own faces instead of highlighting the fact that Labour have been accused without solid evidence and that the PM had propagated these rumours.

    I say SHAME!

    • weka 8.1

      Shame is right.

      I think we need to consider the possibility that Armstrong has no shame. Key certainly doesn’t as a general rule. If Armstrong has no shame, then what next?

  9. Mike the Savage One 9

    “But something extraordinary has gone on here. Someone has taken a written statement from him and then leaked out information that was clearly wrong. Then your paper received leaks of this information and printed the rumours apparently without even seeing the statement.”

    I am afraid this is a flawed comment and post and does not deliver much argument.

    This is not about “leaked” documents, it is about blatant intentional manipulation and mischievous lying and worse. It is something John Key knew about for weeks, so he cannot be excused out of this equation, and the fact is, it was based on FALSE, MADE UP, INCORRECT, information, that was then spread throughout the whole mainstream media!

    John Armstrong may have some responsibility, but given his past recored, where he has been wrong at many times, but also correct at other times, perhaps he was MISLEAD, and relied on false info, that was “fed” to him and others?

    So do not make this a vendetta against one journalist, it is the WHOLE JOURNALISTIC PROFESSION in New Zealand that must take heed, that must rethink, that must reconsider, that have a DUTY, to be honest, fact based, reliable and BALANCED.

    We have NOT got much of the latter, so while the MSM are so dependent on advertising, and also public “appeal”, perhaps this is a totally timely reminder, that MONEY and INFLUENCE should NEVER be allowed to set the tone in reporting, and analysing what goes on. Otherwise we may as well abolish democracy, be honest about it, and let the PLUTOCRATS run the show here.

    So, dear MEDIA, we are WAITING and WATCHING, to see whether you finally get the message.

    • mickysavage 9.1

      Well …

      1. I agree that a story should not have been written without a copy of the statement. The fact that it was speaks volumes.
      2. It seems almost inevitable that the person who supplied the Herald with the info about what was in the statement also supplied it to Key.
      3. The Herald broke it. Key amplified it.
      4. The Herald continued the story when the statement was provided to it even though the contents of the statement were clearly nonsensical.
      5. You criticise me but I get the impression you are agreeing with my post.
      • Linz 9.1.1

        Below is a transcript of the interview with Tim Murphy the day after the Donghua Liu story broke in the Herald on Sunday. “New Zealand Herald stands by its story” From Morning Report on 23 Jun 2014. Murphy was obviously feeling very cocky about it and let it be known they didn’t bother to check any facts:

        Labour issued a statement yesterday rejecting claims about donations from Donghua Liu published in the Herald on Sunday newspaper saying it hasn’t found any record of them and challenging anyone with evidence to put it into the public domain. The paper reported on Sunday that the millionaire businessman donated more than a hundred and fifty thousand dollars to Labour including a hundred thousand dollar bottle of wine signed by former prime minister Helen Clark at a Hawkes Bay fundraising event. The paper’s followed up this morning with comments from former Labour Party minister Rick Barker . The New Zealand Herald editor is Tim Murphy. Good morning.
        Good morning, Susie.

        Do you stand by your story?

        Well, what’s not to stand by? Donghua Liu made this claim, he signed it, we have the document, now whether he is correct is yet to be seen, but he certainly – this was an affidavit or a statement that people have been talking about, seeking, we found it, verified that it was from him, that he made those statements so we published them.

        Now, you are saying it’s a statement or an affidavit; which one is it?

        Ah, It’s a statement, sorry, people have been talking about it all week and it’s some signed statement.

        And the difference between the two is what in meaning?

        Immaterial in some ways. One’s for obviously in front of a solicitor or someone like that but ah this is..

        Is a statement no less reliable ultimately?

        Well, no, we’ve done it over that he wrote this and he’s made those claims.

        The timing of this. You got this signed statement and it’s signed the third of May, We’re getting on for the end of June now Why are you running it now?

        Well, because this issue’s been boiling all week. Ah and there’ve been talk of this statement ummm

        But why’s this not got into the public domain sooner?

        Well, because we obtained it on Saturday. We obtained it on Saturday, contacted the Labour Party as they say, and published Sunday. That was something that we’d been seeking ummm we had a statement on Friday for Saturday from Donhua Liu himself which he wouldn’t discuss numbers. This is not from him direct umm and ahh it that took til Saturday to get it.

        So hang on a minute, if you got this statement just in the last few days, why has Donhua Liu been making these statements and getting them signed and getting this all sorted out some weeks before?

        Well, that’s for him, but our understanding is …

        So where did you get it from? Did you get it directly from him?

        No. And we’re not going into where we got it from obviously but the, er, his reaction was in writing this I understand was in light of the Maurice Williamson affair and Labour’s claims immediately after that, that he put pen to paper, signed it, and I don’t, we don’t know where he submitted that to, or whether he did so, but um, that’s the provenance of it.

        To just try to clarify some of the dates in this statement then, Labour have said they have no record of the fund raiser on the 3rd of June, the way it’s written down is 3 slash 6. Is it the other way round? Is it the sixth of March?

        We don’t know and that’s something that they’re going to check today. We asked them yesterday whether they had somebody to check that reverse date, but we don’t know so we’re looking into that and it’s one of many things still in this statement, still to be picked over and inquired into.
        …..
        I’ll continue on another post.

        • Linz 9.1.1.1

          Continuing:
          Why have you not though shown this statement to Labour?

          For that reason, really. There’s still more to be done and there are issues of sensitivity around it for us. All these things don’t get passed over and we’ve sort of received a bit of an ultimatum from Labour saying Just provide it to us, but that’s not the way it works in these things. I imagine it will come out but it’s a matter of us working through some of them first.

        • mickysavage 9.1.1.2

          Cheeky beggars. The data from the photo clearly showed it was June 3, and it seems that it was not a Labour fundraiser at all …

          • jaymam 9.1.1.2.1

            The Herald photo of the wine bottle did have a date stamp 2007/6/3 which was cropped off by the Herald, who also cropped off the person on the left who was “unknown”. The Herald have typed the date 03 June 2007 into the metadata. The camera date may be wrong. There were no Labour fundraisers on 3 June 2007, but there was one on 30 June 2007 at the Old Sofrana House in Britomart. Here is the interior of Old Sofrana House now, after extensive alterations.
            http://i62.tinypic.com/21cbj8j.jpg
            There are brick arches in much of the building. The Herald photo also has arches in the background.
            I still think that Rick Barker or the Herald would know the details of the photo and where it was taken.

            • Kiwiri 9.1.1.2.1.1

              There is also another person who will be able to give details about the photo – the guy whose image was initially published and then subsequently very quickly cropped out.

    • Tracey 9.2

      i thought ms suggested armstrong had been used and misled. If he has written a retraction, apology or deeper analysis, and it has been refused, he should resign and sell his unpublished story to the heralds competitors.

      That is what courage looks like. That is what ethics look like. Ethics are easy to have but damned hard to live by. Heroes arent just peolle who run into burning houses, they are people who stand up tall and say “enough” even when there are personal consequences.

      This starts with armstrong and is rightly pointed in his direction. He has more power than you give him credit

  10. fisiani 10

    [deleted]

    [lprent: Find and read my previous note. ]

    • Weepu's beard 10.1

      Just ban him. He’s a troll according to the rules and by any definition for that matter.

      [lprent: Generally F does play by the rules. (S)he also responds to warnings. That is why (s)he gets the consideration when (s)he screws up and gets my gentler warnings. Past performance on the site plays some part in sentencing. ]

  11. David Shand 11

    He is just a National Party cheer leader – a clear pattern over a long time.

  12. Blue 12

    Why bother with Armstrong? He really couldn’t be stuffed any further up John Key’s arse.

  13. Visubversaviper 13

    Is his mouth all screwed up because he had left his teeth at home, or because it has spent too much time affixed to Jonkey’s butt?

  14. hoom 14

    Johns resignation may be in order

  15. Ed 15

    I still want to know why National have only shown $20,000 donation from Liu in their returns when John Key said it was hundreds of thousands. And why won’t National release the letters MPs wrote supporting Liu’s citizenship application?

    • NZ Femme 15.1

      The OIA requests for the Banks and Williamson letters are currently with the Ombudsman’s Office. In some ways, if they do take their time, providing they’re released prior to the election, it might not be such a bad thing. Particularly if they don’t paint things in a good light. A bit of mud on National and Acts faces wouldn’t go astray a bit closer to the election. Not that the two (ex)politicians are around anymore.

  16. Stuart Munro 16

    I really think the focus on Armstrong is inappropriate – yes, he’s a vile lazy prejudiced incompetent hack, but the Herald has throngs of editors and colleagues to remind him of journalistic ethics and bring him to a reasonable facsimile of his senses – this it has failed to do.

    Armstrong’s failure is of personal professionalism, but the Herald’s is the more serious: commercially motivated institutional failure. This institution needs to be regulated. Ultimately the degeneration of MSM is a proof that the neo-liberal model of foreign institutional ownership is inadequate. Foreign media institutions are insufficiently attentive to the professional responsibilities, and should incur an additional tax to support local professional media. The parasitic Faifax/Murdoch model is failing our democracy, it is appropriate to act to prevent our democracy failing with it.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      The NZ Herald has good people and not so good people associated with it but your point is sound: as an institution its a fucking rat ship of courtiers to the 1%.

  17. Jrobin 18

    It would be interesting to know if any of the regular more fair minded writers do feel ashamed. Just saw smarmy mr Roughan of creepy psychophantic bio grovel. Reading the excerpt though was v dull but hardly appealing to average kiwi bloke. 2.4 million for a section! Oh now we can see why you have so much compassion for the poor, Mr Key. And how upset John was at the thought of losing because of the GCSB. Oh thanks that is a good hint? Lets get back to reminding him of this sore point. He obviously thought his days were numbered but didn’t factor in general amnesia and indfference. Guilty secrets maybe……..interesting.

    • xtasy 18.1

      Most of us feel ashamed about what goes on, but there is only so much most of us can do. We must be understanding and keep up the fight, thanks, best of wishes.

  18. Peter 19

    You are on to it! Both sides of the political spectrum deserve so much more from The Herald. Most of their regular writers fail miserably when it comes to honest political debate.

  19. the herald this morn has published a whining/self-justifying editorial..

    ..with not a hint of any apologies..

    ..and probably penned by roughan..

    ..(just before he popped off to the launch of his hagiography on key..)

  20. North 21

    Wow…….such commitment to fearsome journalism at the Herald this morning……so noble !

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11282539

    More aptly should read “Cries of bias will not stop bias……sorry, reporting……and anyway, we don’t give a fuck. We can and we will. That’s how we roll……(over). So fuck off !”

    I don’t have the time so could someone who does please list the falsehoods and false equivalencies the Herald invokes in this pious editorial confirming its award to itself of the Pulitzer Prize.

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      The NZ Herald has fucked up in a very simple way in terms of basic journalism standards.

      It wrote up as facts which it did not cross-check, from sources that it did not carefully examine, and portrayed matters in a way which played fast and loose with the truth. It cast in printed word as fact without underscoring how uncertain many of the matters it was relating actually were.

      And now it is paying the price and I am sure that it will continue to pay the price both in terms of circulation and more importantly, credibility.

      • Tracey 21.1.1

        Didnt it only publish part of the statement ot not show the whole statement to labour before going to print? Pretty sure that is a breach, unless you are the Truth

  21. North 22

    Put the Herald in pre-Mandela South Africa. Starting around Verwoed times and moving through. No prizes for guessing in whose favour the Herald would apply its ‘stellar’ journalism. None either for being able to guess to a word its pompous justification of no journalism at all.

  22. Grumpy 23

    [deleted]

    [lprent: I see you haven't responded to my note on http://thestandard.org.nz/reverse-ferret-bites-pm-on-arse/#comment-838047. Bad idea. Banned 3 months. ]

    [lprent: Apologies. OAB pointed to the comment that I missed. Ban rescinded. ]

    • rudman @ the herald..is like campbell @ tv3..

      ..surrounded by ‘establishment-lickspittles’…

    • North 23.2

      Predictably a patently facile false equivalency there Grumpy. ‘Opinion’ expressed by Rudman. Based on fact as to the chronology but expressed as opinion. The Herald flew into this bullshit calling it ‘Fact’. Plain and simple – ‘Fact’. To restore any sort of balance Rudman’s opinion would need to be a screeching, scandalised denunciation of National’s access for cash scams and its overall corruption. Mention too of The BLiP List. It was not.

  23. Saarbo 24

    Touched a nerve at NZH. Refer to todays editorial.

  24. politikiwi 25

    I see there’s an anonymous editorial on the NZH website this morning, responding to the criticisms of bias:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11282539

    Completely ignores the issues, in my view.

    • Tracey 25.1

      john roughan is confused, he thought his last name was armstrong and thought everyone was dissing his great literat tome on the greatest living leader of the free world.

    • politikiwi 25.2

      The commentators on the NZH column are giving them a right spanking, too, which is good to see.

  25. Sable 26

    The MSM are not to be trusted. There are so many examples of misrepresentation of the truth they are legion. Time for legal reform and tougher penalties for media outlets that do not objectively report news stories.

  26. Observer (Tokoroa) 27

    Watching “The Herald” mutilate itself is not pretty. They could simply state that their political columnists and reporters exist to further the cause of Mr John Key, using any low standards to do that.

    A true mission statement like that would be at least a truthful step forward for their Rag.

    Each day the Herald printing press runs currently, it reinforces the well known and easily proven fact that reporters and columnists tend to be the true low life of all careers.

    The Herald political collection is unrelenting poison masquerading as garbage.

  27. Barnsley Bill 28

    I think you guys might be calling time on this a bit early. And I am frankly astonished that the author is not keeping his head down.
    Steven Ching has spoken at last and the links to the author, his legal practice, DC and Raymond Huo are very interesting.
    More to come no doubt as the pressure increases.

    [lprent: If you want to raise something then provide links.

    Ok he is probably talking about this stupidity at Kiwiblog. Apparently saying that you are involved with the Chinese community and work / associate with other Labour activists is a crime now according the hypocritical fuckwit Farrar. Needless to say he seems to believe that being Nationals pollster, having permanent card access to the 9th floor, and apparently largely making his living either off National means that he can be regarded as being a independent commentator. But working for a suburban law firm with a labour leaning associate does not.

    I'm tired of your silliness. If you want to say something then say it rather than pissing me off looking for it. 3 month ban. ]

    • One Anonymous Bloke 28.1

      “More to come”.

      More of what? So far you’ve got a bunch of lies that Key and the Herald are backing away from as fast as their slimy monopods can crawl.

      • Kiwiri 28.1.1

        A heads up for the next round of smears? (And how many more to go before Sep 20?)
        Let’s guess – this upcoming one will be aimed at people associated with the Labour Leader?
        And the Auckland paper now known as the NZ Disgraced will run the story for their corporate patrons and the National Party?

        Meanwhile, Labour’s Capital Gains Tax is gaining support.

        • Wonderpup 28.1.1.1

          There was a claim that there would be a revelation from the right about the left each week for the 13 weeks until the election.

          If that was a serious strategy, I hope its being re-thought, as even my lumpen mates are starting to dislike the ‘gotcha’ b.s. They are even questioning the practicality of owning owls. Who knows, they may even vote!

        • One Anonymous Bloke 28.1.1.2

          A heads up indeed.

          An unhealthy obsession with things,
          Connected to old Mr. Ching,
          From ten years ago,
          Are signs don’t you know,
          Of desperation and kitchen sink flings.

          • Kiwiri 28.1.1.2.1

            The initial poorly fact-checked story was … what?
            Now, it is about … erm ahh …

            In relation to the NZ Disgraced and National Government rubbish, I say to Progressive Voters – be pissed off, be very very pissed off and make that clear on Sep 20th.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 28.1.1.2.1.1

              Attacking a 73 year old man over things that happened in 2004. After all, grieving families are fair game.

              • Kiwiri

                My suggestion to Cunliffe, Moira and the team would be to set up a small ‘Smear Response Unit’ to manage the ongoing drip-feeding nonsense.

                Cunliffe, Labour MPs and candidates should be fired up even more by these attempts to march on and campaign hard.

                • Kiwiri

                  After pointing out this link, I will sanitise my mouse:

                  http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11281832

                  “The Herald can now reveal that the Auckland businessman [Steven Ching], who organised dinners where guests donated $1000 to sit beside former Prime Minister Helen Clark, approached the office of David Cunliffe about Liu’s residency bid.”

                  • lprent

                    And Steven Ching has denied it. I can’t find the statement and it appears that the Herald hasn’t published it

                    http://dimpost.wordpress.com/2014/06/27/the-difference-2/

                    But failing that, the sum total of the Liu story is that we have a newspaper with right-wing editorial sympathies who published a false smear story about a left-wing political party fed to them by the government in the immediate run-up to the election. And it’s still ongoing. Yesterday they published a story about a former Labour Party fundraiser called Steven Ching, linking him with Liu and Labour. Ching issued a statement disputing all of the allegations and adding that the Herald never even bothered to contact him to check their story. At this point in the train-wreck you’d think they’d be a little more cautious.

                    Oh I hadn’t red my email from last night…

                    26/6/2014
                    To whom it may concern:
                    From: Steven Ching
                    1. Today (June 26,2014) the NZ Herald’s report regarding me was incorrect. The Journalist Jared Savage didn’t consult with me before making the story. I don’t know who had made Mr.Liu to buy the wine and book for Labour Party. I reserve my right to sue the NZ Herald.
                    2. To my best knowledge I didn’t took Mr.Liu to Labour New Lynn Office seeking support for his immigration case. It’s better to ask Mr.Henry Mao of MMW Consulting (group) who was his agent in NZ to clarify this matter. He may know who had helped Mr.Liu to donate funds to Labour Party.
                    3. After 2005 I was no longer a candidate for Labour, So It’s better to ask Mr.Raymond Huo or Ms.Susan Zhu to understand any details of Chinese community fundraising function.
                    4. In April,2007 I was invited to attend a fundraising party as a guest only. I was no longer an organizer for Labour to raise any funds after 2005 election.

                    • blue leopard

                      Accuracy is important for sound democracy, however it would seem fair to say that accuracy is not relevant when perception is considered the all important factor.

                      Ranking perceptions over everything else has got nothing to do with sound democratic process – in fact it is a massive attack on democracy.

                      Hey that reminds me of a headline the papers ran a few years back….wasn’t that the Herald? Was it an attack on democracy going on back then or was it simply another attack on Labour?

                    • Kiwiri

                      In this crucial three-month lead up to the General Election,
                      NZ Herald should re-brand itself with a slight modification of a logo it had used to now appropriately display:

                      “Attacking Democracy”

    • One Anonymous Bloke 28.2

      Ah, now I get it: it’s time to play the race card.

  28. Russell Belding 29

    Hello MickySavage … You do not call John Armstrong nasty names. Well done. You set a fair tone on your complaint to John A. You have a point. The Herald in its desire to be on the leading edge of breaking stories did not perform fact-checking and truth-checking in some instances. This is a flaw many have. The staff for David C. fell into this when they failed to find records of Liu’s interactions with the Labour team.

    [lprent: Possibly because there weren't any? After all Mr Liu can only remember donations/sales on a single date and that appears to the Hawkes Bay Charity Wine Auction on the 3rd of June 2007 and nothing to do with Labour, and a single event the Hawkes Bay Rowing Club which again has nothing to do with Labour. ]

    You ask “Is this what politics has sunk to? Winning by smearing using baseless innuendo where the result is more important than the truth?” Pose this question to Trevor Mallard about his lecturing Judith Collins and see if Trevor has usual smart-arse replies.

    [lprent: Relevance to this post? ]

    Then you ask “And don’t you think it is clear that the Herald has been used to peddle what essentially is a lie?” Do you really want an answer to this silly question?

    [lprent: Yes we do. ]

    The best clue to your feelings is your comment “But you then chose to use your column to suggest that John Key had it all over David Cunliffe in Parliament yesterday.” In so many settings JK has demonstrated he has qualities DC may never have unless DC becomes more questioning and demanding of the performance of his team members.

    [lprent: An assertion without bothering to explain why. ]

    [lprent: A polite troll, but a astroturfing troll none the less. Improve your comments to something intelligent and accurate because the next one I see with so many stupidities will cause you to be banned. Read the policy. This is your warning. ]

    • Russell Belding 29.1

      So Lprent, you do not like my post because it is does not conform to your political tastes. I am not a troll of any sort. I am discussing issues raised by “MickySavage”. I will read you policy. I read it, and at the top are comment indicating this site is tolerant of robust debate which includes assertion making, such as your comment about my “stupidities”.

      “We encourage robust debate and we’re tolerant of dissenting views. But this site run for reasonably rational debate between dissenting viewpoints and we intend to keep it operating that way.

      What we’re not prepared to accept are pointless personal attacks, or tone or language that has the effect of excluding others….”

      [lprent: You are selectively quoting the policy (did you get past the first paragraph?). Read the other sections especially about moderators whose job it is to moderate the debate an in particular to prevent silly flamewars.

      I really couldn't give a pigs arse about your opinion. I seldom agree with anyone here, so why should you be any different. But I'm interested in your behaviour. You made several assertions as if they were fact rather than your opinion. You didn't link to any kind of backing for them.

      I pointed a couple of them out to you with an alternate opinion in exactly the same style as you used, with no links and confident assertions. I note that you didn't deal with those objections. You went straight from confident assertions to pathetic whining about how you are some kind of a victim. Not a good start. About the only thing you have done right so far is to not personally attack the author.

      That style of assertion comment causes stupid flamewars that I wind up having to moderate and expend effort over. I prefer to catch lazy newcomers and to educate them first. Personally I don't think that you are capable or ready for debate here. I'd suggest that you read some of the comments in OpenMike to get a feeling for what is required.

      But you are welcome to try to reach and acceptable standard. Just be aware that I will be watching and judging if you are contributing to the debate or if your behaviours are just being a nuisance. ]

  29. Brian 30

    Armstrong has become little more than a joke. Whatever credibility he had as a political commentator he has squandered in the last few months with his monocled witch hunt of DC.

    He looks like Victor Meldrew – without the humour.

  30. ianmac 31

    My comment to today’s Editorial (paraphrased) outlines that if I sent a letter to the Herald outlining some illicit activities carried out by John Key in a secret place, would they print it ? They could say that they asked Mr Key for comment but he would totally deny that it ever happened. But the Herald would republish the story and include a photo of a frowning John Key and alongside a photo of a well known celebrity. Aha!
    Does Mr Editor think they would print this?

    Doubt that they would print my letter because some might think it might be true.

  31. jjtam 32

    And what if it turns out that Liu did meet Cunliffe at the New Lynn office?

    It is very interesting that afaik Cunliffe hasn’t come out and said that he has never met with Liu.

    And the Herald ripped Williamson to shreds over his links to Liu, so claiming bias is simply laughable.

    • lprent 32.1

      FFS: I have ‘met’ Liu. At least I can remember being in the same large room as him once. I remember his face (not from the Herald photo, but from one in DomPost). And I’m totally antisocial. Politicians spend a lot of time in large rooms with a lot of people that they don’t remember.

      What are you? Twelve. You appear to still have the mind of child.

      And the Herald ripped Williamson to shreds over his links to Liu, so claiming bias is simply laughable.

      The difference between this one and the Williamson one is that the Herald appears to have done no checking or seeking of proof of their allegations on this story apart from what the National party has provided. The Williamson story had a lot of proof of him contacting the police and exactly what was said. This story has a confirmed 11 year old standard form style letter from an electorate office asking immigration for a timeline.

      You really are mindless fool if you think the two are in anyway comparable…..

    • Kiwiri 32.2

      If the Herald would like some more Lius (in addition to Bill, Donghua, Paul …) to fuel the story, I can find a few. No charge for accompanying statements, but no affidavits please.

    • Tracey 32.3

      ?..pointed out that williamson tried to interfere in an active police investigation into two seperate domestic assaults allegedly committed by mr liu. Mr liu was not in mr williamsons electorate and later pleaded guilty.

      When you leave facts out and just leave in your baseless supposition, you look worse than stupid.

  32. Tautoko Viper 33

    Russell Belding has made the same mistake as others; false equivalents.
    Judith Collins was deliberately not upfront about her actions on a taxpayer funded trip on events which benefitted a company of which her husband is a director. This is not equivalent to forgetting about an 11 year old letter asking for a timeframe on an application.
    A deliberate false story “on the way to the airport’, etc with continuing changes) is not the same as a genuine lack of recall of an insignificant event.
    This lack of critical thinking seems to be a prerequisite for those who support the current government because they swallow the misinformation dished out to them via the compliant media without doing any research to analyse the actual evidence.

    Russell’s statement “In so many settings JK has demonstrated he has qualities DC may never have unless DC becomes more questioning and demanding of the performance of his team members. ” should have a satire warning.

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    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Bartlett case means Govt must act on equal pay
    The Court of Appeal victory for Lower Hutt caregiver, Kristine Bartlett demonstrates that both the Government and employers have been ignoring and not fully implementing equal pay law, the Green Party said today.The Court of Appeal today upheld earlier rulings...
    Greens | 27-10
  • Rotorua shift for Maori TV a bizarre move
    The bizarre idea to move Maori TV to Rotorua is either poor planning or possible political interference that adds to the perception of a service in crisis, says Labour MP for Tamaki Makaurau Peeni Henare. “Moving Maori TV to Rotorua...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Second rate deal a no go – Goff
    A second rate deal on dairy in the TPP would totally contradict the agreed purpose of the Pacific trade agreement, Labour’s Trade spokesperson, Phil Goff says. “Both the origin of the trade negotiations and leaders’ statements on its objectives emphasise...
    Labour | 27-10
  • Legal victory a boost for all working women
    Today’s legal victory for equal pay is a much-needed boost for working women at a time when the Government is pushing through reforms which will make it harder for them to get pay rises, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney...
    Labour | 27-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Invercargill
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Invercargill on Friday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Public now needs to have its say over new tolls
    “I welcome the likes of new tolls and fuel taxes going out for public consultation after these matters have been talked about for 20 years. However the timing is not ideal as it comes on top of the likes of...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis to fight back against TPPA ‘corporate trap’
    New Zealanders in at least sixteen different locations around the country are organising for an International Day of Action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) on 8 November, co-ordinated by It's Our Future NZ. This is part of an international...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes NZ First MP’s Resignation
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming NZ First MP, Clayton Mitchell’s resignation from the Tauranga City Council, despite Party Leader Winston Peters' public comments in July that Mr Mitchell would do both jobs if elected to Parliament. The Union's...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Stopping unnecessary roading projects solution to transport
    Today Auckland Council released the Funding Auckland’s Transport Future report which claims Aucklanders need to choose higher rates, petrol taxes or tolls to pay for future transport projects, when the real issue is the prioritisation of unnecessary...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Fixing Auckland’s transport
    Today marks a critical step in the most important funding debate Auckland has ever had: whether or not Aucklanders are willing to pay for the transport system this city desperately needs to keep it moving, says Mayor Len Brown....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • The New Zealand Gazette Moves into the Digital Age
    On Monday 20 October, the New Zealand Gazette was published completely online bringing to a close 173 years as a purely printed publication. First published in 1841 as the official government newspaper, the Gazette website gazette.govt.nz , replaces...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • International report shows NZ struggling with child poverty
    A report by UNICEF International shows that child poverty rates in New Zealand have scarcely changed since 2008 – this stands in contrast to a number of other countries that managed to significantly reduce child poverty in this time, including...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Dunedin
    The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Dunedin on Thursday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting Meetings being held nationwide as...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF Report a Waste of Paper
    In response to the hysteria coming from the far left, Josh Forman of slightlyleftofcentre.co.nz writes the following:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Press Council opens doors to digital media
    The New Zealand Press Council, the body which handles complaints against newspapers and magazines and their websites, is offering associate membership status to news and commentary-oriented digital media including bloggers....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Tolls Should Be for New Roads, Not Old Ones
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming Auckland Council for wanting to introduce a motorist tax under the guise of ‘tolls’. Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Media freedom in West Papua: Protest at Indonesian embassy
    Today, Wednesday 29 October, there will be a peaceful protest at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to call on new Indonesian President Joko Widodo to honour his election promise to ensure greater media freedom in West Papua....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Lack of leadership blamed for decline in Gender Equity
    BPW NZ challenges NZ’s lack of leadership with the decline in Gender Equity Ranking...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Richard Falk visit to NZ
    Professor Richard Falk, who recently completed a six-year term as United Nations Special Rapporteur on Palestinian human rights, will deliver a public lecture in Dunedin on Monday 10 November....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Apprehension for meat workers as employment law bill passes
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill today will send a wave of apprehension through the workers in the NZ meat industry says the Meat Workers Union....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • “Yes to Children, No to Poverty” Says Commissioner
    Children’s Commissioner, Dr Russell Wills will describe impacts of poverty on children, with a focus on local solutions at the Tū Kaha biennial conference for Māori health for the central region DHBs at the Hawke’s Bay Racing Centre in Hastings...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF report card highlights need for action
    Unicef’s child poverty report released today shows that New Zealand needs to be more proactive in pursuing policies to protect our most vulnerable members of society....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Children of the Recession: NZ’s shame
    Children of the Recession : NZ’s shame Media release Wednesday 29 October 2014 “It is to New Zealand’s deepest shame that the latest Unicef report on children living in poverty ranks us 16th out of 41 developed countries. “Every day...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • UNICEF cautions NZ child poverty rates are “stagnating”
    An international report by UNICEF has found that child poverty rates in New Zealand have barely changed since 2008, despite similar sized countries significantly reducing child poverty during the recent recession....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • TPP Too Important for Compromised Finish
    The New Zealand dairy industry is urging Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) partners not to compromise on the quality of the deal to get it done quickly....
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • Labour leadership candidates in Nelson
    Labour leadership candidates in Nelson The four candidates for Labour Leader – Andrew Little, Nanaia Mahuta, David Parker and Grant Robertson - will be in Nelson on Tuesday evening for a Husting meeting with members, as part of fourteen Husting...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
  • History is made. Equal pay not just legal but possible!
    The New Zealand Nurses Organisation (NZNO) congratulates Kristine Bartlett and the Service and Food Workers Union: Ngā Ringa Tota on their historic win. Today the Court of Appeal dismissed an appeal from Kristine’s employer; opening the way for...
    Scoop politics | 28-10
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