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Five Eyes, One Network

Written By: - Date published: 12:32 pm, March 12th, 2014 - 59 comments
Categories: accountability, democracy under attack, john key, slippery, Spying, us politics - Tags: ,

The continuing revelations coming from Edward Snowden have revealed that internationally linked state surveillance, dominated by the US NSA (National Security Agency) has become intensive, pervasive, and somewhat devious.  This is to be expected in the shadowy world of state run espionage.  Some of this is necessary for security reasons.  However,it has now reached the stage that officially sanctioned surveillance has become democratically unaccountable and far too powerful.

GCSB Key

The latest Snowden revelations specifically accuse the NSA (the US National Security Agency), or its proxy, of pressuring the New Zealand Government to make law changes for the benefit of the US agencies.  General Keith Alexander of the NSA, who has been a key figure working on offensive cyber surveillance operations to protect US “trade secrets”, has been a regular visitor to NZ.  John Key has confirmed some of these visits, and tried to deny others.  John Key would have had to approve Alexander’s visits.

Gen Keith Alexander NSA stop spying on US

General Keith Alexander, “Big brother” – see Stuff article by Daniel Rothkopf, CEO and editor at large of Foreign Policy

Alexander sees the 5 Eyes network as one network rather than being made up of separate spy networks for the individual countries – this network includes the spy agencies of the US (NSA), New Zealand (GCSB) the UK (GCHQ), Australia and Canada.

The latest Snowden revelations

Yesterday David Fisher reported in the NZ Herald,

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden says the United States’ spy agency has helped find or create loopholes in New Zealand law to enable widespread spying.

In testimony to the European Parliament, the exiled former NSA worker said the agency’s Foreign Affairs Division put pressure on other countries to change laws to create legal gaps through which mass surveillance could be carried out.

Fisher quotes a Tech Liberty spokesperson who identities such a law change most likely happened last year:

In listing New Zealand among countries targeted, he said: “Each of these countries received instruction from the NSA, sometimes under the guise of the US Department of Defense and other bodies, on how to degrade the legal protections of their countries’ communications.”

Cyber rights group Tech Liberty’s spokesman Thomas Beagle said the new laws introduced in New Zealand last year appeared surprisingly quickly.

“It was like someone had it sitting in a drawer ready to go. Who is really writing these laws.”

The 2013 speedy changes to NZ surveillance laws

InternetNZ and Tech Liberty had previously published their concerns about failings, loopholes and inconsistencies in the Bills.

It is hard, if not impossible to identify when and how such a US-led change to NZ law happened.  However, it is useful to provide a timeline.  The timeline below implicates Key’s government, while Key himself often takes the familar “I know Nuzzink” line.

Two relevant law changes passed pretty quickly through parliament last year, apparently in response to revelations about illegal spying on Kim Dotcom. On April 15 2013, Key announced proposed changes to the GCSB Bill, as reported by 3 News.

Proposed changes to the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) Act include the ability to spy on New Zealanders on behalf of other Government agencies.

On April 17 2013, Adam Bennett reported in the New Zealand Herald that the government had announced proposed changes to to the TICS Bill.  This was being done in conjunction with the amendments to the GCSB Law.  As well as allowing spying on NZ, it also draws the police, the SIS and the GCSB into interlinked sate surveillance operations. It includes the need for collaboration with these agencies by telecommunication network operators.

The new law effectively formalises what the GCSB had been doing anyway, officials told reporters this morning.[...]

The new legislation will expressly allow the bureau to eavesdrop on New Zealanders when assisting those agencies or when it is conducting information assurance or cyber security functions.

However, the ban on spying on New Zealanders remains when the bureau is conducting its foreign intelligence operations. Officials said any involvement by New Zealanders in matters it is investigating as part of its foreign intelligence operations will be referred to police or the SIS for further investigation. However, that investigation may include those agencies obtaining a warrant allowing them to use the GCSB’s advanced eavesdropping capability.

The GCSB Bill became law in August 2013.

GCSB protest-17

Timelines & NZ-US collaboration

So it is useful to look back at some timelines.  Andrea Vance provided a timeline in April 2013. TV 3 news provided a timeline in August 2013. I have used, often directly copied the wording of these.  I have then added to them, to construct a timeline that incorporates the activities of John Key, the NSA, and other US and NZ agencies.

May, 2011Signal Online reports:

Gen. Keith Alexander, USA, director of the National Security Agency and commander of U.S. Cyber Command, is calling for greater international cooperation on cyber defense. “We don’t have a U.S. network, a Canadian network, a Mexican network. It’s all one network. We all operate that, and we have to have international partners to protect it,” Gen. Alexander emphasized.

Dec 16, 2011: GCSB begins spying on New Zealand residents Kim Dotcom and Bram van der Kolk.

Jan 19, 2012: Prime Minister John Key is briefed on Operation Debut, the police investigation into Dotcom, on the eve of the scheduled raid on his Auckland home.

January 20, 2012 – Raid of Dotcom Mansion.

January 25, 2012 – Kim Dotcom is denied bail.

January 29, 2012 –Ian Fletcher, an old friend of Prime Minister John Key, is appointed as director of spy agency the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB).

Feb 16 2012: Police inform GCSB the spying on Dotcom may have been illegal.

Feb 22 2012: The Organised and Financial Crime Agency New Zealand (Ofcanz) contacts GCSB regarding Dotcom’s residency status.

Feb 29: Key visits GCSB offices for a briefing. The presentation shown includes a reference to Dotcom’s arrest. Key initially did not remember the briefing, and said the first he learned of GCSB’s involvement was in September.

June 2012 – High Court judge rules police used wrong type of search warrants to enter Dotcom’s property, meaning the raid was carried out illegally.

Aug 17, 2012 - With Key out of the country on a family holiday, Bill English is called on to sign a ministerial certificate suppressing GCSB’s involvement in the Dotcom case.

Sept 17, 2012 - Fletcher advises Key that GCSB unlawfully spied on Dotcom and Van der Kolk.

September 24, 2012 – The Government admits the GCSB illegally spied on Dotcom, a New Zealand resident.

September 25, 2012 – It’s revealed that Deputy Prime Minister Bill English and Police CommissionerPeter Marshall both knew about the illegal surveillance. A Government document reveals the mistake was made after the Organised and Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand told the GCSB the surveillance was legal.

October 1, 2012 – A review into the GCSB is announced, despite Mr Key denying an inquiry was needed.

Oct 2, 2012 - Cabinet Secretary Rebecca Kitteridge is seconded as associate director of GCSB to review the agency.

5 October, 2102: NBR report on John Key’s visit to Hollywood.

November 5, 2012 – GCSB confirms acting director at the time of the Dotcom raid – Hugh Wolfensohn – knew about the illegal surveillance of the internet tycoon.

November 20, 2012Stuff report on John Key’s quick chat with President Obama, in a “pull aside” before TPP talks in Phnom Penh. Key reluctantly hints Dotcom was discussed.

November 2012 – Reports of a US diplomat visiting Wellington.  Key says he knows nothing about it.  In January 2013, it is confirmed that the visitor was National Security Agency director General Keith Alexander.  He visits NZ fairly regularly and these visits would be approved by John Key.

December 4, 2012 – One News reports, ‘PM confirms spies met in Wellington‘, the previous week.  However, denies he knows the identity of the top US official who visited.  He also denies the meeting was a “5 Eyes” meeting.  However, the article says that when Keith Alexander was in NZ in 2009, Key confirmed it.

February 20, 2013White House announces strategy to protect US trade secrets from theft, in a joint press conference that includes General Keith Alexander.

March 7, 2013 – Dotcom is granted the right to sue the GCSB.

March, 7, 2013 – John Key, on a visit to Latin America, strangely refuses to go to Hugo Chavez’s funeral.

March 14, 2103Report that “top US intelligence officials” had announced that week, “setting up military units to wage offensive cyber war”. Keith Alexander explained its purpose to a Senate Committee.

April 8, 2013 – Reports of the GCSB’s alleged illegal spying on New Zealanders emerge after the Kitteridge report is leaked to media.

April 9, 2013 – Report by Rebecca Kitteridge officially released. The report finds problems with the GCSB’s structure, organisation, and the way staff are dealt with. It lists 88 cases of potentially illegal spying.

April 15, 2013 – John Key announces overhaul of GCSB legislation, including making it legal for the agency to spy on New Zealanders

April 29, 2013 – A 3 News/Reid Research poll finds 48 percent of those surveyed believe Dotcom should not be extradited.

April 2, 2013 –  Key confirms he has received Kitteridge’s report and will release it once he is back from China and has shown it to Parliament’s security and intelligence committee.

May 29, 2013 – Winston Peters accuses Peter Dunne of leaking the Kitteridge report, a claim denied by Mr Dunne.

July 9, 2013 – Whistleblower Edward Snowden reveals details of links of intelligence gathering between the GCSB and the United States’ National Security Agency (NSA).

August 19, 2013 –John Key walks out of his weekly post-Cabinet press conference instead of answering questions on the bill.

 

 

59 comments on “Five Eyes, One Network”

  1. Sosoo 1

    All of this shit may have started to unravel.

    Dianne Feinstein just threw the CIA under a bus.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      Just another day, another critic for the CIA.

      For some strange reason the CIA only has issues that create a public storm when they dont know about some seminal event.

    • Colonial Viper 1.2

      Meh Feinstein has been one of the strongest advocates of the surveillance state. She’s only pissed off now because she’s realised that the work of her committee may also have been surveilled or interfered with by the very shadowy surveillance apparatus that she used to be keen on.

      • Sosoo 1.2.1

        Uh… yeah… that’s kind of the point. They’ve now pissed off one of their strongest defenders. She could have decided to deal with this through back channels, but she threw them under the bus.

        She’s gone much further than complaining about surveillance of herself, she’s publicly accused them of torture:

        Now, the leader of the Senate intelligence committee, Dianne Feinstein, has provided stark and convincing evidence that the C.I.A. may have committed crimes to prevent the exposure of interrogations that she said were “far different and far more harsh” than anything the agency had described to Congress.

        http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/12/opinion/the-cia-torture-cover-up.html?hp&rref=opinion

        I was astonished that she would say what she has done, given who she is. If not the first domino, it’s getting close to being the first domino.

        Karol hasn’t really done enough in this post. Adam Curtis has a better go of it here, although even he admits its just a start.

        http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/posts/WHAT-THE-FLUCK

        It’s getting pretty obvious that we as a society have a real problem with illegitimate uses of information technology not just from state agencies, but from private corporations. If our little old government is balls deep in this, it’s reasonable to think that large corporate actors are too. After all, they would be remiss to their shareholders if they did not, as corporate espionage is more or less necessary these days. The data and metadata we leave on the internet is simply too valuable to too many people to be left alone.

        • karol 1.2.1.1

          There’s a limit to what can be covered in one post.

          I agree my post is one part of a bigger picture – and I have posted many times on various angles of that bigger picture, including how the Key government has moved the role of the GCSB into protection against “economic” threats in support of big overseas corporates, as well as the role of multinational corporates in relation to the Kim Dotcom saga, and the Hobbit Law, etc.

          You do not explain how that very long Curtis piece, while worthy in its own right, adds very much to the topic of my post – it looks like a diversion.

          In this post I aimed to review the timeline for the NZ GSCB-TICS Bills as implicated in reports of the latest Snowden revelations: ie that the NSA had a strong hand in the over-hasty formation of those Bills.

          You seem to want to discuss anything but the implications re NZ and the NZ government.

          • Sosoo 1.2.1.1.1

            Curtis is not making a diversion, but making tentative suggestions about how things might be moved forward via a comparison with an historically similar situation. I think he may have a point.

            I have posted many times on various angles of that bigger picture, including how the Key government has moved the role of the GCSB into protection against “economic” threats in support of big overseas corporates.

            Have you ever thought that you might be guilty of a causal inversion here? I can’t recall any New Zealand government in my lifetime standing up for individual rights against transnational spy agencies.

            As for John Key, for the record I dislike him and hope his nob falls off.

            • karol 1.2.1.1.1.1

              I’m not saying Curtis is creating a diversion – how could he as he is not commenting on my post? I agree his article is worthwhile. You still haven’t specifically stated how the Curtis piece relates to the latest Snowden revelations and NZ’s related law changes.

              I am saying you are diverting from the main focus of my post.

              Yes, earlier governments have supported the US-dominated 5 Eyes network.

              However, what is at issue here is how much John Key and his government have acted as enablers to extend the powers of mass surveillance in and through New Zealand.

              • Sosoo

                Curtis’ point, as I read it, is that just as the railroad and other associated technologies allowed a small group of people to corrupt existing institutions and make war on the common good, information technologies have done more or less the same thing to us, and our institutions have been similarly impotent to do anything about it.

                What he doesn’t say – and what for me is an obvious difference – is that 100 years ago the problems created weren’t as globalised as the current ones, and weren’t quite as pervasive of society. The similarities are certainly there: in particular a bought and paid for media parroting oligarchical bullshit at every opportunity.

                Now we could try to do something about this in New Zealand, but without real change in the more powerful countries, we would just find ourselves being Whitlamed (or in the worst case scenario, Allended).

                Neither Labour nor the Greens have adequately responded to the Snowden revelations. Why should I trust them?

                • karol

                  I think the broader left are more concerned about the role of corporations in the surveillance state – and certainly more than Nats and right wing libertarians..

                  I’m also concerned that Labour would roll over for the NSA and US surveillance state if they gain power later this year. I think they and the Greens did argue against the GCSB and TICS Bills.

                  For instance, Russel Norman’s speech against the GCSB Bill at Auckland Town Hall.

                  • Sosoo

                    I guess I won’t be happy until Waihopai is a pile of rubble.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      If there’s a counter-argument it looks something like this:

                      Why destroy Waihopai?

                      It’s a valuable piece of hardware, especially considering that people over whom we, nor our government, nor the US government have no control, are spying on everything in exactly the same way as the 5-Eyes do?

                      Our military capabilities are a large part of the reason we have democracy.

                      If our military capabilities are insufficient to protect us against “cyber-threats” – and they are, why should we deny our military the same capabilities “the enemy” has?

                    • @ One Anonymous Bloke

                      One day you’re going to look back at this remark and say: What was I thinking?!!!

                    • Sosoo

                      I’d rather take my chances against the “enemies”* thank you very much, but I never seem to be offered the option.

                      *NZ doesn’t really have any enemies worth that amount of effort.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Then why do we have an army?

                      Do you think that when we send our troops into harms way we should deny them intelligence capabilities?

                      Do we just forget about chapter 13?

                      Hostile armies may face each other for years, striving for the victory which is decided in a single day. This being so, to remain in ignorance of the enemy’s condition simply because one grudges the outlay of a hundred ounces of silver in honors and emoluments, is the height of inhumanity.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      @travellerev, I know exactly what I’m thinking, thank you very much, and I doubt I’ll ever change my opinion about the use of spies, but if I do, you’ll be the first to know.

                    • Sosoo

                      We have an army because we need to send UN peacekeepers out occasionally and because someone has to help clean up the mess when Tonga/Samoa/etc. have a bad cyclone.

                      We have a Navy because we need to shoot Koreans who poach here.

                      We have an air force… well, we don’t really have an air “force” anymore, we just have an “air”.

                      Nobody is going to invade NZ. It’s too far away from anywhere and has no strategic value. It would be cheaper for a would be invader to simply buy what they want than fund a war.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Sosoo, you’re ducking the question. Why shouldn’t our troops have state of the art intelligence capabilities?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3

      They must be rogue elements of the CIA ;)

  2. Oh Gen, Alexander who thinks that journalists should stay schtum on all things five eyes and NSA? That General?!

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    Simply outstanding work karol. We no longer live in a democratic state when politicians take their marching orders from shadowy unelected and unaccountable figures.

  4. Tracey 4

    Wow karol. Great stuff. This is what national fights hard against… joining the dots. They rely on each thing being seen in isolation.

    • Sosoo 4.1

      It’s not National and it’s not a domestic issue. This is everywhere. We are on the periphery of the storm.

      • karol 4.1.1

        So you have no inertest in the implications for NZ, or in how much our government has been a willing enabler of selling out Kiwis and our democracy in relation to the bigger picture?

        Or are you just trying to divert from the Key government’s actions in this regard?

        • Sosoo 4.1.1.1

          If there’s anything that demonstrates the impotence of national politics, it’s this issue.

          • Tracey 4.1.1.1.1

            We should just ignore it then.

            • Sosoo 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Or you could approach it from a more internationalist angle. Is the greater good to be achieved by attacking this for the transnational problem that it is, or by focusing on using it for local political purposes by getting one over on Donkey and his gang of Merry Thieves?

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 4.1.1.1.2

            I agree SoSo, with what you are acknowledging.

            I believe we in NZ have more of an opportunity to turn things around – because we are on the periphery, and because of our lower population – when compared to US or Great Britain.

            We are a small country and it requires less people to get the word out in order to get good pressure occurring for a real change. When a small country makes a change – it can positively affect the perceptions and awareness on issues of people in larger countries.

            I realise the powers creating these types of anti-democratic dictatorship effects in each country are huge – we cannot afford to give in – perseverance and numbers will win and always have won the day.

            It has been predicted that this election would be very dirty – and that is one of the biggest reasons why. The international vested interests that don’t want change wouldn’t want NZ to be giving a good example to other countries.

            This is also the reason the media have got particularly dreadful – they are owned by such interests.

            • Sosoo 4.1.1.1.2.1

              I agree. I just don’t want this to become a partisan political issue. Like the Iraq war, there’s common cause to be made here with the anti-authoritarian sectors of the libertarian right (of which I am not one).

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                The Libertarians have lost the Right to the Authoritarians. ACT’s comprehensive humiliation is testament to that.

              • Murray Olsen

                I think there are only about three people left on the libertarian right, and they’re more interested in incest and Second Amendment issues than anything else. Given that they don’t even seem to know what country they’re in, it might be difficult to make common cause with them on anything.

                Anyway, I agree with you that this is an international issue, but we on the periphery are uniquely placed to fight it here. We did it with apartheid and nuclear ships and that spirit must still be alive in some of us.

                • karol

                  Also, let’s not forget that Nicky Hagar publicly outed the whole 5 Eyes-“Eschelon” network through his investigations of the Waihopai base and people working there. The smallness and peripheral position of NZ gave him a unique way into investigating the system.

                  It is well worth looking at how the interaction between the likes of the top people at the NSA and NZ people. It is also important for Kiwis to know exactly what is being done in this regard by our government.

            • Anne 4.1.1.1.2.2

              Spot on blue leopard. Never have truer words been spoken.

              That is the value of a small country like NZ. We’ve done it time and again in the past 100 years and ALWAYS under Labour governments.

              The best more recent example was our anti-nuclear stance in the 1970s/80s.It rocked America and Britain (under M Thatcher) and the French didn’t take kindly to it either. We ended up making a huge impact around the world – far greater than our size would normally anticipate. The Yanks hated us for it because it didn’t fit in with their strategic plans but in the end we were proven right and they were wrong.

              We can do it again!

              • Populuxe1

                It was the New Zealand Liberal Party which passed universal suffrage, and it was National that passed marriage equalisation. Labour IV was also a wee bit tardy with the homosexual law reform act

                • karol

                  Hahaha…. whose Bill was the marriage equalisation one?

                  National pushed through the NSA’s GCSB and TICS amendments.
                  And Cunliffe has promised to repeal the GCSB law changes – Greens also for that.

                • Anne

                  Universal suffrage? I’m talking about within the past 100 years not 150 years. Last I heard, universal suffrage was granted in NZ sometime in the 1890s. Twat!

      • Tracey 4.1.2

        What?

  5. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 5

    John Key and this rotten government are sell-outs.

    They sell out our interests, our assets and our rights to the lowest bidder.

    Vote them out

    • vto 5.1

      Yes, vote them out

      vto

      .. but I actually mean all of them………. the entire spectrum

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 5.1.1

        You may not be joking there vto – yet your comment is rather amusing and gave me a laugh just the same!

  6. politikiwi 6

    Is there any information about when a planned law change was announced and when the new law was first available?

    Is the advice sought during construction of the law OIA-able? Or does that fall into the “free and frank advice” category?

    And is there any way to request the GCSB legal team’s interpretation of what powers the new law grants them? There could be all sorts of smoke-and-mirrors, a la the NSA’s definition of “collection.”

    • Tracey 6.1

      Oia and see what the response is.

      Hansaard and legislation.govt.nz should help you on first para.

    • karol 6.2

      Good questions. In researching this I was not totally clear when there first was public information about these Bills. In my post I went with the reports on when the Bills were introduced – around April 15, 2013.

      But I also found this dated 6 March 2013 – it is the analysis of the Bills by Crown Law.

      So, presumably the Bill had been developed some time before the conclusion of the Kitteridge report (April 8/9, 2013)- or maybe started at the same time as the beginning of the Kitteridge investigation(?), October 1, 2012…. or any time thereafter.

    • Tracey 6.3

      There might be a regulatory impact statement too?

      • politikiwi 6.3.1

        Good thoughts. I’ll chat to some lawyer friends and see what can be dug up.

        No harm in asking.

  7. Michael Timmins 7

    Fantastic article. Important to keep this on the radar.

  8. MrSmith 8

    Lets hope there is a river of this all year, go Edward Snowden you good thing, nobody likes working with someone looking over their shoulder (except John Key) and now we have Uncle Sam, Key and his mate Ian Fletcher, along with the Poms and the relatives of criminals across the Tasman watching us day and night.

    Where is the revolution! Once upon a time the kids would have been in the streets protesting about this but Generation 0 appear to be living up to their name the bunch of subordinate ass kisses.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      A revolution to deliver what? Democracy is a revolution and you want to replace it?

      • MrSmith 8.1.1

        “Democracy is a revolution and you want to replace it?”

        Now your putting words in my mouth.

        Does this democracy you seem to think I want to replace apply to these spy agencies at present.

        “A revolution (from the Latin revolutio, “a turn around”) is a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time. Aristotle described two types of political revolution:”

        So “a fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time” to these organizations would do.

  9. xtasy 9

    Given the brainwashing by the majority MSM and also political establishment in NZ, I am not at all surprised about the new Snowden revelations.

    There is much more that should be revealed, but it will never happen.

    Too many vested interest parties have too much to lose, so they will rather kill certain individuals, than allow the full truth to come forth.

    That is the society we live in, and you have to be totally ignorant also, to not realise that we have major players in the internet and online business, who do something very similar to what NSA and other agencies do, just for commercial gain and control.

    While you click here and read this, you can expect that your browser data will go to Google, Facebook, Twitter and many other enterprises, to be “encoded” and then on-sold for nice profits, to expose you for targeted advertising.

    George Orwell was even too far behind of what is going on now. We are all controlled, some ways or another, and we have little autonomy and say on anything. That is wanted!

    So enjoy the last few days of “comparatively free” internet here, it will never be the same in future.

    Freedom and democracy are a total farce now, and the “virtual technology” and “online” “social media” revolutions proved to be FARTS into the air, nothing else. You are all sold out to corrupt and dominant businesses, and are told that you are “free” to choose, which is a joke.

    Depending on technology is not the freedom it promises, it is an illusion, for the ones thinking it makes them more free.

  10. Huginn 10

    Thanks for the work you’re doing on this, Karol.
    Now we’re beginning to see clearly why how Key ended up promoting legislation that he didn’t understand.

    Key is a sock puppet for US intelligence, as crudely conflates security with US economic interests – and carelessly wrecking the Internet on the way.

    • karol 10.1

      Now we’re beginning to see clearly why how Key ended up promoting legislation that he didn’t understand.

      Thanks. You reminded me that when I posted on the GCSB when it was before the House (“Bad law making – GCSB Bill”, 21 Aug 2013), I found it to be strangely convoluted – one section referring to another section, which in turn referred to another section.

      And I wrote this about how Key had to explain the cofusing bits in the law:

      John Key, in claiming the Bill will not enable wholesale spying on New Zealanders, issued a statement pledging he would not allow that to happen in practice. He did this in an email to Audrey Young and subsequently reported on in her article in the NZ Herald. This is bad law making. Instead of Key sending the Bill amendments back to the drawing board, he now says he will issue a statement before the 3rd reading in the House today, which will clarify his intent. Opposition parties say, this is not good enough – it needs to be made explicitly clear in the Bill.

      • Mike S 10.1.1

        “I found it to be strangely convoluted – one section referring to another section, which in turn referred to another section.”

        All statutes are written like this and are extremely difficult for most people to understand. That is the whole point of ‘legalese’, to make the ‘law’ so difficult to decode that people have to use lawyers and can be tricked into believing anything.

        For example, from a report on NZ statutes:
        ( I haven’t bothered to count how many words are in section 1 which is one sentence, but I’m sure that it’s way too long!)

        (1) Where any real or personal property has been or is hereafter acquired by or on
        behalf of any religious denomination, congregation, or society, or any body of
        persons associated for any charitable purpose, and the conveyance or other
        assurance of that property has been or is taken to or in favour of trustees to be
        from time to time appointed, or any parties named in the conveyance or other
        assurance, or subject to any trust for any such denomination or congregation or
        society or body of persons, or for the individuals comprising the same,
        the conveyance or other assurance shall not only vest the property thereby conveyed
        or otherwise assured in the parties named therein, but shall also effectually vest
        the same in their successors in office for the time being and the continuing trustees
        (if any) jointly, or if there are no such continuing trustees, then in their successors
        in office for the time being chosen and appointed in the manner provided or
        referred to in the conveyance or other assurance, or in any separate deed
        or instrument, declaring the trusts thereof; or if no mode of appointment is therein
        provided or referred to, or if the power of appointment has lapsed, then in such
        manner as may be agreed upon by such denomination or by a body constituted to
        represent them, or by such congregation, society, or body of persons.
        (2) The said property shall be so vested without any conveyance or other assurance
        whatsoever upon the same trusts and with and under and subject to the same
        powers and provisions as are contained or referred to in the conveyance or other
        assurance, or in any separate deed or instrument upon which the property is held
        so far as the same may at the time of vesting be subsisting and still capable of
        taking effect, anything in the conveyance or other assurance or in any separate
        deed or instrument to the contrary notwithstanding.
        (3) Nothing in this section shall restrict the effect of any appointment of new trustees
        or of any conveyance or other assurance or vesting of any property.

        Fucked if any of that is comprehensible, let alone understood in a legal sense, which is entirely different from understanding as most people would take it to mean.

        When people tell me they have to pay income tax I ask them why they have to pay it and if they have read the income tax act so that they can verify where it says that they are required to pay income tax. Well it’s around 4,000 pages long and almost impossible to understand so I guess you can’t blame them.

        The trouble is that the old Roman legal maxim still applies today. That is “Ignorance of the law is no excuse”. Which means that not understanding something which is impossible to understand is no excuse for not complying with that which is impossible to understand.

        Question. Under New Zealand legislation, in legal terms, in relation to driving motor vehicles, is an accident an intentional collision ???

  11. Clemgeopin 11

    There is some hope if Labour leads the next government. If not, the chance to amend the spy laws may be lost forever for NZ.

    Listen to this very good interview of Mr Cunliffe on TV3 this morning. Towards the end, he was asked about the Snowden’s revelations about NSA and the NZ spy law. Stangley TV3 left out Mr Cunliffe’s excellent response and important commitment in its transcript below the video!

    Here is the video:
    http://www.3news.co.nz/Sack-Collins-over-Oravida-Cunliffe-tells-Key/tabid/1607/articleID/335554/Default.aspx

    And here is Mr Cunliffe’s unequivocal response:

    “Labour is absolutely right to have made a commitment to a digital bill of rights which will protect New Zealanders rights and freedoms in cyber space. We have previously said and I will repeat again today that we will repeal the GCSB law and replace it with one that protects New Zealanders privacy and which requires a warrant before any intercept of New Zealander’s communications”

    I think that is a very clear statement and should be given very wide publicity often through out this election period. I think a vast majority of Kiwi’s will support this fair and enlightened policy.

  12. geoff 12

    Nice work, karol!

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  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • 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
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • 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
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