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Fletcher GCSB Change manager – and QLD

Written By: - Date published: 10:38 am, April 5th, 2013 - 84 comments
Categories: accountability, australian politics, corruption, john key, Spying - Tags: , , , ,

Yesterday, Iain Rennie as reported by Brent Edwards on RNZ responded to criticisms of Ian Fletcher’s appointment as head of the GCSB. 

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.  Later on Campbell Live Rennie did a very good job in damping down criticism of Key’s intervention in the appointment.  Rennie shifted the focus from Key to himself, in keeping with his brief to be non-political.

Campbell started by quoting from the SSC website about Rennie’s role.

The current office of State Services Commissioner descends directly from that of the Public Service Commission. The Public Service Commission was established in 1912 to employ all public servants, so protecting the Public Service from political interference and enabling the preservation of the political neutrality of the Public Service.

Campbell then said that Rennie thought Key’s role in the appointment process didn’t amount to political interference.

Rennie showed himself to be very adept at avoiding political statements.  For instance, Campbell asked about whether Fletcher’s background in intellectual property made him a good person to be dealing with intellectual property issues re-Dotcom and TPP. Rennie replied that was not in his (Rennie’s) mind when he was considering Fletcher for the GCSB job. Rennie claimed Fletcher was the ideal person to manage the required changes to GCSB. But, that doesn’t mean the intellectual property issue wasn’t forefront in Key’s mind.

I previously made similar connections in relation to Fletcher’s jobs in intellectual property in the UK, in my post: The CV of a Spy Boss.

Last night, on TV3 News, with Key now shown to have been economical with the truth about his intervention in Ian Fletcher’s appointment, resorting to his usual defense – attack Labour.  And further to this, an unnamed government minister extended the defensive attack to Ferguson, claiming an upcoming report will show the GCSB was in a poor state under his watch.

So, this provides the rationale for employing Fletcher to “professionalise” and improve the functioning of the GCSB.  Key and Rennie have referred to Fletcher’s stint as head of Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation.

Yet, Fletcher’s term in this job was not without criticism, which cause a certain amount of controversy in the Queensland MSM.  Fletcher’s management of his department was called into question over the health and safety of horses.  In an article in the Courier Mail of 4 November 2011, referred to a  report by Ombudsman Phil Clarke, which had been released the previous day.  This report was quite damning of Fletcher’s department:

The report savaged the Government for systemic failures, including dated laws, poor training and inadequate communication with vets and horse owners….

The report focused on the handling of six Hendra incidents between 2006 and 2009, in which 18 horses died or were destroyed. Two vets died and one vet nurse contracted the virus but lived. The report did not consider later outbreaks.

Fletcher, using the MO of the best defense is attack, was highly critical of the Ombudsman’s report:

THE bureaucrat charged with tackling Hendra virus complained Queensland’s Ombudsman botched a report into the Government’s response to a series of outbreaks.

Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation boss Ian Fletcher said the report by Ombudsman Phil Clarke, released yesterday, had inaccuracies and outdated information, quoted officers out of context and misconstrued evidence.

Mr Fletcher admitted there were “lessons to be learnt” but said his department could not be too rigid because it had to adapt to fast-moving and highly variable outbreaks.

Fletcher came under criticism on an another issue, which also was reported in the MSM.  It involved leases to trade headquarters in Los Angeles and Latin America, resulting in unnecessary costs to taxpayers. It shows that Fletcher was criticised for giving inaccurate information to a Queensland government estimates hearing.  According to the Courier Mail of 19 July 2011:

THE Bligh Government was already considering shifting Queensland’s trade headquarters to Latin America when it signed a 10-year lease on a plush Los Angeles office.

Internal emails obtained by The Courier-Mail contradict the Government’s claims that the LA lease was signed before the move was contemplated.

Senior bureaucrat Ian Fletcher told an estimates hearing last week that the move to Latin America was considered only after the lease was finalised in December 2009.

But the email trail shows then LA-based trade commissioner Peter Beattie warned in August 2009 against signing the lease as the move to Latin America was being contemplated.

But bureaucrats pushed for the lease to be signed, arguing the savings generated from the new deal could be used to help pay for Premier Anna Bligh’s “completely unfunded” Latin America trade trip.

 Taxpayers now remain lumbered with the lease costs on the vacated LA office – 9000km from the new trade headquarters in Santiago, Chile.
However, the Government yesterday maintained Mr Fletcher’s comments to the hearing were accurate.
There’s a more detailed record of the case in this pdf file.
Professor Ross Fitzgerald, on his blog, is critical of Fletcher’s role in the case:
Now the Campbell Newman government is accusing the [corruption fighting] watchdog of wrongly injecting itself into the political arena and has announced an independent review of the [Crime and Misconduct Commission] CMC. A nasty case involving the former Bligh government may just prove that Newman is right and justify changes to the law. In 2010 and 2011 The Courier-Mail’s political reporter, Steven Wardill, published a series of stories from leaks within the Queensland government’s export arm, Trade and Investment Queensland. The leaked stories were an embarrassment to Anna Bligh and her state Labor government and in particular to Ian Fletcher, then director-general of the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, and his deputy, Mark Birmingham. Both men were responsible for the supervision of Trade and Investment Queensland.
So this is the person who Key and Rennie decided is the best person to professionalise and “change manage” the GCSB?  Maybe they were impressed by his management of potentially damaging accusations?

[update

Apologies to Instauration who yesterday evening posted some links related to this issue, including one I used to the same article above, under my post on The CV of a Spy Boss. Sorry I didn’t see it earlier.

Instauration wrote (on the issue of the Queensland government buying cheap imported t-shirts to promote a “buy local” campaign, resulting in Fletcher being hauled over the coals by state Development Minister Andrew Fraser):

Oh dear

Mr Fletchers judgment has been questioned in April 2011;

“I considered this to be misleading, and would serve only to compound the gross error of judgment.”

84 comments on “Fletcher GCSB Change manager – and QLD”

  1. r0b 1

    Great research Karol. With so much attention on the case right now, you’re the first to report this angle.

  2. ianmac 2

    Yes Karol. Great stuff.

  3. chris73 3

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Former-GCSB-head-Sir-Bruce-Ferguson-speaks-out/tabid/367/articleID/292879/Default.aspx

    Sounds like sour grapes, maybe he reapplied for the job and was told he wasn’t up to it

    • karol 3.1

      chris, do you have anything to say about Fletcher’s suitability for the job? Diversions aren’t an argument.

      • chris73 3.1.1

        Not really a diversion because he agreed to b e interviewed and its common knowledge hes Labours man

        Maybe National want to clean out the spy service, get shot of “the old boys” network, theres been a few cock ups of late so maybe this is a way to clean out the house

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1

          If you’d read what Karol wrote you’d see that Fletcher’s appointment was most likely due to “the old boys” network. It certainly wasn’t for his competency.

          • chris73 3.1.1.1.1

            Maybe Key bought him in to clean up the old boys military network…or more likely clean out Labours appointments

          • Tigger 3.1.1.1.2

            Maybe a unicorn fell from the sky into a sea of chocolate and mind controlled Key into appointing his man. Stop the diversion, c73.

            Great stuff Karol. Cronyism tends to put inappropriate people in sensitive positions. This tends to end badly. Reports at the GCSB are that it’s in disarray. Expects leaks soon, whistleblower and staff exiting en masse to follow.

            • chris73 3.1.1.1.2.1

              Oh please, this is what happens when governments are in power they appoint the people they think will do the job they way they want it done or are you going to suggest Labour never appointed their own people to positions…

              • Draco T Bastard

                No, I’m going to suggest we need a better system. One that doesn’t allow ministers to, even indirectly, appoint the people doing the job so as to prevent the cronyism.

              • framu

                while youve got a point – dont you think that they should be a bit more capable of making it look like the correct process was followed?

                this is amateur hour stuff from the nats. “hey guys – watch me blatantly mess with things then make up conflicting stories when challenged on verifiable facts”

                • chris73

                  I’d agree and go along with draco, we need a better systems but what system could be put in place that isn’t open to coercion or cronyism?

                  Does the chief of defence force automatically become the head of the GCSB but then the promotion to chief of defence force becomes open to messing about…

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Just need the PM to stop shoulder tapping rookies for top jobs.

                    • Bob

                      I don’t think he was a rookie
                      He was Key’s fall guy when they went to school and this is pay back

              • Huginn

                Apart from all the lying and the lack of transparency and the breach of trust . . . I’m not that worried about the PM shoulder tapping someone he thinks might be good for a particular job.

                But if he’s going to do that, he has to show that he will fire his buddy when that buddy screws up.

                Fletcher found out that the GCSB was outside the law with Dotcom soon after he started in February.

                However . . .

                ‘Mr Key ordered the inquiry after being told on September 17 by the GCSB that it had been unlawfully monitoring Mr Dotcom’s communications.’

                So lets look forward from this – and ask Key when he is going to ask Fletcher to resign for running a cover-up

                Source:
                http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10836884

        • Pascal's bookie 3.1.1.2

          “common knowledge hes Labours man”

          is it?

          Links referencing same plz or kindly to be withdrawing the slur.

          • Anne 3.1.1.2.1

            … its common knowledge hes Labours man.

            Ferguson was the best man for the job. He was recommended for the position by the (then) States Services Commissioner. Helen Clark accepted the recommendation. She didn’t interfere in the process. She didn’t try to gerrymander the process. She had faith in the integrity of the commissioner and faith in the integrity of their recommended candidates. I actually recall her saying as much during a TV interview around the time of the appointments. It included the present Director of the SIS, Warren Tucker.

            You may not understand Chris 73, but this is how you go about such appointments to ensure fairness and impartiality. To suggest as Key and his sidekick Ian Rennie (who is busy trying to safeguard the likelihood of another term as S.S. Commissioner) are suggesting that the GCSB is in serious disarray is an excuse and a diversion. Sure there are problems… caused by political interference I think you will find. What’s more, their claims are a contradiction in terms. On the one hand they’re saying the GCSB is in disarray due to supposed poor, past management, but on the other hand Rennie claims the staff are right behind Fletcher and morale is high.

            Morale is hardly high if the bureau is in the disarray being claimed!

            • chris73 3.1.1.2.1.1

              I was referring to his promotion to chief of defence force when he was promoted above the heads of the Navy and the Army.

              He was never air vice marshall (top dog in the air force) yet he was promoted above the heads of the army and the navy so somethings a bit fishy there

              • Anne

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Ferguson

                It’s normal practice for the the three arms of the Defence Force to each take a turn in the role of Chief of the Defence Force. There may have been the odd exception to this rule, but that’s the way it normally goes.

                somethings a bit fishy there

                You’re the one whose fishy!

                • chris73

                  Its nothing to co with whos turn it is, its do with the fact three men held higher ranks than Ferguson and were passed over but if you’re going to go on whos turn it is you’ll note the previous chief was from the air force…

                  The head of the army, navy and air force were all passed over so the no. 2 of the air force could leap frog those and become chief of defence force and that makes it very fishy indeed

                  • McFlock

                    Well, it would if the prime minister had thrown out the shortlist with the names of the three superior officers and then the PM (not the SSC) personally phoned the chap who had been a personal friend for years with connections going back to school.

                    Basically your allegation is that the public service is biased and consistently shortlists Labour’s preferred applicants for senior posts without prompting, meaning Key has to look to personal networks for apolitical applicants. Which is stupid to the point of being self-contradictory.

                    • chris73

                      So you dont think that there was nothing fishy about Ferguson being promoted to the top rank in the nz military ahead of three other guys who were higher ranking (including his boss at the air force) and in higher positions of importance

                    • McFlock

                      I have no idea whether that was the correct decision or not.
                      But unless Clark personally suggested fletcher apply for the job after rejecting everyone on the shortlist supplied by the public service, it seems the correct process was followed.

                      So you seem to be arguing that Key was taking on the appearance of corruption in order to balance the concealed corruption inherent in the normal HR process. And your basis for this is that your wikipedia-based impression of the CVs of those you feel would be competing applicants leads you to conclude that the best applicant for the job was not chosen.

                      But here’s the thing: you can’t polish a particular turd, so you sling shit at everyone in the vicinity. You could just admit the truth: Key, once again, seems to have forgotten that he is a prime minister and not a feudal king.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      that doesn’t really justify saying “common knowledge hes Labours man” though Chris. That’s a whole ‘nother implication.

                  • GregJ

                    @Chris 73 – Complete bollocks. You clearly have no idea of what was going on at the time of the appointment of Ferguson in late 2001.

                    Of the three Service Chiefs at the time Major General Maurice Dodson (Chief of the General Staff) (who had also already had his appointment extended one year) and AVM Don Hamilton (Chief of Air Staff) were due to retire in February 2002. The Chief of Naval Staff, Rear-Admiral Peter McHaffie was due to retire at the beginning of 2003 (although subsequently his appointment was extended in late 2002 by one year).

                    There was a new procedure adopted for appointment of the Chief of the Defence Force that year – the new appointment was to be on the recommendation of the State Services Commissioner & was to be for four years (i.e. going on into 2006). Under the old system where the outgoing CDF recommended their successor it is possibley that McHaffie may have been appointed but certainly not Dodson who had already been extended as CGS and had been involved in a minor controversy earlier in 2001 over shredding of documents and not Hamilton either who was due to retire. There was approximately 16 officers at the time who were senior enough to be considered as CDF. The other possible front runner was Major-General Martyn Dunne who had commanded NZ forces in Timor and in June 2001 was appointed to the new role of Commander, Joint Forces New Zealand but clearly it was seen as important to leave him in it to establish that new role.

                    If anyone inside the military establishment was seen as being “Labour’s man” it was Dodson not Ferguson. Most speculation at the time was that Ferguson got the job partially to placate the RNZAF who had just had their strike role taken off them.

                    So nothing “fishy” about his appointment – he was one of the 3 most likely at that time (and if you discount McHaffie one of the 2 most likely). The only thing unusual was the change in selection process and the fact that he hadn’t been a service chief already but then it is just as likely that that would have been the case for anyone else appointed.

                • GregJ

                  Hi Anne,

                  I know most people believe it is rotated (including many in the Services) but that is simply not the case. Since the post of Chief of Defence Forces was established in 1963 (as Chief of Defence Staff) it has been:

                  1963–1966 Rear-Admiral Sir Peter Phipps
                  1966–1974 Lieutenant-General Sir Leonard Thornton
                  1974–1976 Lieutenant-General Sir Richard Webb
                  1976–1980 Air Marshal Sir Richard Bolt
                  1980–1983 Vice-Admiral Sir Neil Anderson
                  1983–1986 Air Marshal Sir Ewan Jamieson
                  1986–1987 Air Marshal David Crooks
                  1987–1991 Lieutenant-General Sir John Mace

                  Chief of Defence Force

                  1991–1995 Vice-Admiral Sir Somerford Teagle (first, from 29 March 1991)
                  1995–1999 Lieutenant-General Anthony Birks
                  1999–2001 Air Marshal Carey Adamson
                  2001–2006 Air Marshal Sir Bruce Ferguson
                  2006–2011 Lieutenant-General Sir Jerry Mateparae
                  2011–present Lieutenant-General Rhys Jones

                  It was certainly the original intention that the NZ Chief of Defence Staff was meant to follow the UK model (established in 1959) which did follow a strict service rotation policy (although that policy has been less adhered to since the 1980’s). However it hasn’t really ever been the case in NZ that rotation has happened.

              • dumrse

                Perhaps the fishy bit is… The three service chiefs, by coincidence, weren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer at that time. Aside from that, what did he do wrong during his time as CDF. Remember, the military lost the privilege of promoting their own, the SSC took that task.

            • Bob 3.1.1.2.1.2

              Will Rennie want his job if Grant Robertson is looking down his face as DPM?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.2

      Reapplied ?
      What planet are you on. Hes had the job why would we want it back . His full time career is over

      How do explain once Fletcher is in the job- the awesome bureaucrat he is- they bring in an outside person to sort out their administrative issues
      .
      Sounds like someone who isnt up to it

      • chris73 3.2.1

        “How do explain once Fletcher is in the job- the awesome bureaucrat he is- they bring in an outside person to sort out their administrative issues”

        Never a bad idea to bring in outside help to clean a major mess of an organisation

        • ghostwhowalksnz 3.2.1.1

          So you are saying that Fletcher needed outside help, despite being an outsider because he was out of his depth ?
          After all the Cabinet secretary is not experienced in spycraft but knows the bureaucracy inside out- hang on wasnt that Fletchers skill set?

          Oh dear, only in the job six months and not up to it, but we cant say that as he was specially selected by the Recruiter in Chief

          • chris73 3.2.1.1.1

            So you are saying that Fletcher needed outside help, despite being an outsider because he was out of his depth ?

            – No

            After all the Cabinet secretary is not experienced in spycraft but knows the bureaucracy inside out- hang on wasnt that Fletchers skill set?

            – Nobody knows everything, Graham Henry brought in specialists to help the all blacks, Warren Buffet goes out of his way to talk to experts in their fields, only a coward or a fool pretends they don’t need help from time to time

            Oh dear, only in the job six months and not up to it, but we cant say that as he was specially selected by the Recruiter in Chief

            – The Recruiter in Chief appears to be happy with his performance so on that basis he must be up to it

            • Huginn 3.2.1.1.1.1

              That’s right, chris73, six months into the job and not up to it.

              Starts in February and almost immediately finds out that the GSCB has acted outside of the law in a place that is drawing global attention. Instead of sorting it out and drawing a line under it, i.e. Bureaucratic Management:101, Fletcher ran a ham fisted cover-up and worst of all, kept Key in the dark until September 17th.

              Key can hire his friends, but he’s got to fire them when they screw up.

    • North 3.3

      Chris73, your comment re Ferguson – “Sounds like sour grapes to me, maybe he reapplied for the job and was told he wasn’t up to it”.

      Clearly you’ll stoop to any risible speculation to distract from concern that jokey stuff about Key’s “forgetfulness” is trending towards seriously voiced questions in the MSM about Key’s credibility. If you’re not satisfied as to that have a look at Bryce Edwards’ compilation in the Herald this morning of various writers’ efforts on the very point.

      I might just as risibly speculate that Rennie is personally concerned to protect Key because he is near the end of his contract and is in discussion about where he Rennie fits in the scheme of things in the future. Safe pair of hands etc etc.

      What are the likes of you gonna do if the credibility question – in other words “Oh, he ‘s just a bullshitter” – get’s locked in ? Tell me that won’t happen and why (with no resort to idolatry or “popularity” please).

      Interesting to note on RNZ yesterday afternoon that while John Armstrong analysed the whole business as essentially beltway stuff he did volunteer that Key’s carry on is “corrosive” and that it will cause concern in the National Party heirarchy.

      • chris73 3.3.1

        “Clearly you’ll stoop to any risible speculation”

        Clearly you haven’t read most of the posts on the standard, its mostly speculation or haven’t you been paying attention

        Thats what makes this such a fun and interesting blog, you want hard facts go to redalert (just kidding) this site is mostly speculation and opinion and its all the better for it

        • North 3.3.1.1

          There’s a clear distinction between one’s opinion which might quite reasonbly have a mildly speculative edge, and patently wild speculation which is then invoked as a foundation reality in the debate.

          You engage the latter in your attempt to minimise and discredit Ferguson’s interesting and very significant input.

  4. Treetop 4

    How closely was Key watching Fletcher’s career?

    Key probably rang Fletcher up about the GCSB job when he knew that Fletcher was being publicly criticised as this would sway Fletcher.

    Courier Mail of 19 July 2011. Fletcher criticised

    21 July list was scrapped.
    26 July Fletcher interviewed.

  5. CnrJoe 5

    Anyone know what Ian Fletchers brother – John Keys mate – does for a crust?

    • Treetop 5.1

      I somehow think that Fletcher’s brother is no longer a mate of Key’s. Fletcher is probably weighing up whether or not he should resign from the GCSB because Key may ruin Fletcher’s career for good. At this point Fletcher has a bit of leeway as the public know that either Fletcher told Key in February 2012 about the illegal spying or he with held this. Either way this shows loyality to your boss by protecting him. If Key keeps Fletcher there it looks as though he owes Fletcher a favour or he is worried that Fletcher will SQUEAL.

      • freedom 5.1.1

        In my world the word friend still means a lot, probably everything.

        Fletcher and Key are still people and I do assume still have human emotions. So when Key said in plain english that Fletcher “is not a friend” it would have a reaction one way or another.

        If however he is and has been a friend to Key over the years, then the public denial must sting a bit. If Fletcher swallows treatment like that from his friends it exposes some pretty heinous character defects which certainly makes me question his suitability for a job where trust and integrity and leadership are crucial

    • karol 5.2

      I found it hard to find anything on Alistair. I was actually looking to see who he is, and what his job is, when failing to find anything, I switched to Ian. I was hoping to find something on Alistair through Ian, but came across this Queensland stuff – all sitting there well above the surface.

      So I think Alistair isn’t that high profile.

    • Pete 5.3

      I couldn’t find him on LinkedIn (there were 15 results, none seemed likely) nor on a director search on the New Zealand Companies Office. The dates seem to be about right for him to be on the winning team in University Challenge for Canterbury in 1981. Here he is in the 1981 semifinal. He studied history and geography.

      • karol 5.3.1

        Yes, that Uni Challenge one on Wikip was about the only thing I came up with as well. I didn’t follow it up to get the video: Peter Sinclair…. and, oh, the hair cuts.

        • Pete 5.3.2.1

          I don’t think it is. There’s a picture of him in this report from Curtin University (he’s an adjunct professor). That Alistair Fletcher has a cleft chin, which the one in the University Challenge footage doesn’t have. Also his first degree is listed as a BSc(Hons). I searched the Canterbury University library for any dissertations done by Fletcher, there were no results.

    • toad 5.4

      The only Alistair Fletcher on the electoral roll is unemployed and Maori so I suspect the one who is Key’s mate lives overseas.

      • DavidW 5.4.1

        Classmate please Toad, pay attention. It has never been suggested (except by Grant Robertson who is rapidly making a joke of himself) that either Fletcher was John key’s “mate” or even a friend. But keep on spreading BS, the more you repeat it, the more people will believe it to be true.

        • Treetop 5.4.1.1

          It is a fact that Fletcher has had breakfast with Key while Key has been PM and that Key had Fletcher’s number.

          I wonder what phone records/emails would reveal?

        • Blue 5.4.1.2

          Actually, Key himself said Alistair Fletcher was his friend, during one of the media standups. He denied that Ian Fletcher was his friend, then said ‘I was friends with his brother’. Back to the dunce’s chair for you.

          • Treetop 5.4.1.2.1

            I am aware that Key has stated he is friends with Alistar Fletcher and not Ian Fletcher.

            The one person Ian would confide in would be his brother Alistar as family usually look out for one another and are loyal to one another.

        • freedom 5.4.1.3

          David W
          John Key: ” I am friends with his brother” from one of the press huddles, sorry i cannot be bothered searching a bunch of videos for a two second admission that you choose to forget.

          It has also been widely reported and admitted that the older Fletcher and Key were mates, at least at school.

          maybe you should try repeating the facts awhile yourself, it might help you to remember them.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Sounds like he reached his level of incompetence a long, long time ago. Was wondering why he wasn’t still working for a rather higher paying job in London. Reading that I’d say that he’s been managed out of his previous positions.

    Maybe they were impressed by his management of potentially damaging accusations?

    Yeah, which probably means that there’s further cover-up going on.

  7. yeshe 7

    Wonderful research, thanks Karol. What salary does head of GCSB receive — do we know ?

  8. Tim 8

    I probably shouldn’t even make a comment on here, if ONLY because NONE of the above SHOULD surprise anyone. ALLLLLLLL of it is symptomatic of the corporatization of a Public Service – and there’s even a foreskin of the State Service Commission (a rennie) who’ll attempt to legitimize the happenings in anything that goes down. (Under his ‘watch’ [HE - i.e the ALMIGHTY Rennie] is quite obviously now wedded to the notion that Public Service really means an ‘economically viable State service’ where the State is representative of is Public, and all is only viable under the validity of a dollar, as opposed to the ‘will’ of a PEOPLE. IT’s a bit reminiscent of a Ralston who once (in all his egotistically inspired cleverness) used to refer to TVNZ as “state TV” right up until it would provide him with an earn.

    Perhaps that’s the problem in a nutshell though. Our State has never been a representation of its Public since the corporatists gained momentum in the 1980’s. There’s this idea that NZ (or elsewhere) is a company – or a corporation – as in “NZ Inc.”

    Our ‘Public Service’ is a State-owned entaproise (or a set of Entaproises) where the definition of State and its relationship to a ‘Public’ that it purportedly represents has been, entirely corrupted.

    It’s become a system where middle and upper MENidgeMUNT seek ways to justify their position – often based on the spin of commercial realty [NOT reality], such that those ‘under’ – deluding theirselves that public good is at stake, toil away IN SPITE of their hoighly paid “CEO’s” rather than BECAUSE of them. (@ Karol – you could do an in-depth of those that have risen to power in MOST ceo-type PS positions, and I’ll put my house on it that the common denominator in their success would be their ability to bullshit – whether or not their aided and abbetted by a cast of
    Those of us as old as I could remember all that shit about Ministry of Works labourers leaning on shovels and being on the pig’s back.
    Fushinsy in Fectivness, rrrrrreeeee-strukcha,……. ALLLLLL the kaka that pillocks like Douglas, Fay, Ritchwite – the fucking load of them successfully conned us (well them anyway) that market forces applied to gubbamint admunstration was going to see us all through to a Utopia.

    It really just makes me heave.
    I Heave because there is a Proim Munsta – whose lying comes to him as naturally as it does as his need to have a shit. Btw…. as those running a record of his lois exibited elsewhere on this site have noted – he shits in copious quantities.
    I Heave because sweat FA ever seems to get learned from a 1/4 century of BS:
    – Trickle down never did
    – Dawn Raids are now back in favour (now there’s a story in itself, but rest assured there’s a band of Immigration officials backed up by Tazer weilding Polis cancelling visas and deporting people because the promises made to them in the privatised education environment that didn’t get delivered, have become an embarassment. Far easier to deport potential complainants and get them out of the picture than it is to hold those that promised the world to account.
    – The effect of ‘influence’ exerted over an NZBC is now just handled in a different way. IF the regime is allowed to continue – don’t hold your breathe as to the long term prospects for RNZ.

    – ……
    – ……

    It really is a shame we don’t have an opposition. We have a couple of entities trying to do their best – but the supposedly dominant entity (a Labour Party) is now UTTERLY munted.

    The silly thing is though that we’ll all be expected to feel outrage and sympathy when any and all of these fuckwits (whether the current ruling regime, OR their supposed opponents) receive their just deserts from a ‘PUBLIC’ that eventually wakes from it’s slumber and mesmorisation of 730 Sharps, Garners, Moras, Oifones, Wade-Browns that didn’t, ……… gets really really pissed off.

    • @ Tim,
      I agree with your sentiments

      “…and I’ll put my house on it that the common denominator in their success would be their ability to bullshit.” ~Tim

      This is what the real issue, for me is, in all the variety of incompetent events that have been occurring on a regular basis since this GovernMunt has come to power.

      The impression I’m getting with the vast array of privacy breaches, bankruptcies, job losses and now down right corruption, is that it is not going down as “wrong’ or “incompetent” because of Key (&co)’s ability to slither out of these issues through lying. I agree Tim, bullshitting is apparently the ability most revered in big business/high powered jobs. This is a real eye opener for me.

      “..and there’s even a foreskin of the State Service Commission (a rennie) who’ll attempt to legitimize the happenings in anything that goes down”

      I very much don’t appreciate Mr Rennie (Or Mr Robertson) coming out on TV and stating that the problem was that he should have made the phonecall, not the PM & then this would have avoided the appearance of political interference/cronyism.

      Actually Mr Rennie, you are telling the public what to believe here and this answer does not suffice.

      It is simply a clear attempt at fudging the issue and calming any “hysteria” out there. It doesn’t answer why it occurred that Mr Key’s mate was the only one to get an interview. And doesn’t answer any questions re competence or suitability of skills of the one who got the job. Whether Mr Rennie, Key or even Mr David Shearer made the call, there remains many questionable aspects to this event that need to be answered.

      “Rennie shifted the focus from Key to himself, in keeping with his brief to be non-political.”~ Karol

      What Mr Rennie has done is a very political move. Defending incompetent and corrupt behaviour of a current PM is a very political act.

      nb (Unsure if my request for deletion of the response at 9 is going to be deleted or not, if repetition occurs, I made an error.)

      [karol: blue leopard, I deleted your #9 comment, as requested - it did look like a repetition of your comment here]

  9. Kea 9

    From what I saw briefly on TV, Fletcher’s body language does not show a happy man.

  10. ianmac 10

    Dr Brian Edwards on the Panel totally agreed with Michelle Boag that the whole fuss about Mr Key was absolutely ridiculous. Should never have happened. He thinks that the behaviour of John Campbell in his interview with Mr Rennie was a disgrace. There was no story here and John Key should get tough and tell ‘em like it is. It is totally understandable for a very busy PM to forget things. After all both Michelle and Brian forget things so why shouldn’t the PM?

    I think that the issue was really about how Mr Key handled or mis-handled the situation.

    Brian Edwards has been captured by the Dark Side!

    • Rhinocrates 10.1

      Edwards? He’s a privileged old man; a suburban liberal who’s more concerned with manners than justice.

      Russell Brown’s headed the same way. Public Address is passing from critical through solipsistic on the way to reactionary.

    • Plan B 10.2

      Hi
      I heard the Brian Edwards comments on National Radio the afternoon. At first I was kind of taken in a bit. Not really,I thought he was totally wrong, but rather I was sort of taken in in the sense that that he was spinning a valid argument. A moments thought had me thinking otherwise. I would really like to hear other thoughts on the Edwards comments because of the spin he adopted.
      My thoughts on his spin, detailed by ianmac above is that he is wrong because the governance of New Zealand operates with some legislation, some regulation and a whole lot of conventions. Conventions in New Zealand really matter because we don’t have much other the other two and no real constitution.

      Convention says that while the PM appoints the three jobs indicated really he doesn’t, we all know he doesn’t and he knows he doesn’t. If he appointed, his wife or brother, mother or cousin, (which according to Brian Edwards he could go ahead and do and tell us all to get lost) he would get slaughtered because he would have broken with convention. Our convention on these sorts of matters is that there is a whole process that is followed to make sure that the PM does not appoint his cat, or a mate from school who might need a job or anything other than the best person for the job that can be found who will take the job. John Key knows all about this that is the most likely reason for him forgetting stuff.

      My problem is that Brian Edwards should have engaged his brain on this matter rather than repeat the nonsense spin that Michelle Boag was spouting, she had a good reason to say what she did, what was Brain Edwards excuse.

      • geoff 10.2.1

        These old sad fucks like Brian Edwards and Bill Ralston, they’ve all spent so many years on the good paddocks, getting pickled on expensive plonk and sniffing each others farts while they bore everyone to death by reliving their glory days in the back of the Listener or on RNZ. They’ve now lived for so long in very comfortable bubbles that they’ve completely lost perspective with with how the country has changed. They are the clueless, but they’ve got mouthpieces and they chime in with the reptiles that still run the show, those who are running around desperately trying to resuscitate the corpse that is the laissez faire NZ economy.

    • freedom 10.3

      Dr Brian Edwards has been lost a long time, he thinks all public libraries should be privatised ffs :(

  11. Rhinocrates 11

    I guess that the Indricotherium in the room is the fact that Robertson has been tasked with this and not Mumblefuck. Finally, it seems, the ABC Club can no longer deny the fact that he’s hopelessly compromised. Hopefully they’ll move from “compromised” to “liability” and ditch him.

    I’m no fan of Robertson, but at least he’s been competent in his handling of this.

    I rather liked seeing that Bryce Edwards thought initially that the accusations were “lame”, but this seems to be running as a classic scandal, with all the “it’s not the lie, but the denial that gets you”.

    Finally, finally Labour could be on form. Possibly.

    Swallows, summer and all that…

    • Rhinocrates 11.1

      I rather liked

      EDIT – I mean, I rather liked seeing the slow growth from “lame” to “the story that won’t go away”.

      • Galeandra 11.1.1

        Yeah Robertson’s coup worked a treat, didnit? An he’s rilly really sure there’s a corkus there fut to lead in ’14, isne? Just goddo mallow the excent a but.

  12. Lloyd 12

    Has Fletcher had a Cup of Tea with John Key?

  13. xtasy 13

    “Rennie showed himself to be very adept at avoiding political statements. For instance, Campbell asked about whether Fletcher’s background in intellectual property made him a good person to be dealing with intellectual property issues re-Dotcom and TPP. Rennie replied that was not in his (Rennie’s) mind when he was considering Fletcher for the GCSB job. Rennie claimed Fletcher was the ideal person to manage the required changes to GCSB. But, that doesn’t mean the intellectual property issue wasn’t forefront in Key’s mind.”

    Karol, we know Rennie’s job is on the line anyway, especially if he dares criticising the government and Key. All this talk about independence in the public service is a bit of a have on. Honestly, also did Labour favour their heads and spokespeople, now do National and Key, very unashamedly, and you just need to go through the whole list of re-appointments and so forth, for commisisoners, CEOs and the likes. What NZ lacks is more controls, like a second house to keep Parliament as the Commons more under check.

    We have none of that, all we have is some Governor General, who always does what his ministers tell him, we have an overworked, over stressed and under resourced Ombudsman, we have various Commissioners to just off-load cases so they do not go to court and cost the taxpayer money, we have a tighter legal aid scheme now, where most, even when well justified, do NOT get a shit chance to have a lawyer to be represented and to get justice, we have a system more akin to a modern day, soft style DICTATORSHIP.

    I do NOT like it, I am angry, and I wish at times I never came back to little back stop post colonial “developing story”, but hey, you still have a chance to wake up enough minds and souls to stir something up and change things (back) to a more just and decent system. But then “find” the minds and heads, where brainwashing and commercialisation and envy and division are RAMPANT. I am NOT kidding, I see and hear it every day here in megalopolis Auckland, that Len Brown wants to “grow” into a close to 3 million city. Whoa, get off my back thanks!

    • dumrse 13.1

      Well there’s an invite that can’t be left unanswered….
      “and I wish at times I never came back…”
      So, if NZ politics are so bad as to make you “angry” why don’t you just head straight back to wherever it was!

      • xtasy 13.1.1

        dumrse:

        “So, if NZ politics are so bad as to make you “angry” why don’t you just head straight back to wherever it was!”

        Before I go, I feel I have a duty to make sure, that people with a mindset resembling twisted thinking – like some of what I have detected in certain comments from you, get the message about what the truth in their own country is.

        Do not shoot the messenger, start sorting out the crap that goes on in NZ.

        And if you cannot be bothered, then perhaps face the music from critics who raise what is rotten here.

        But sad thing is, some have the ostriches “head in the sand” attitude, see no evil, hear no evil, know no evil, show no responsibility.

    • Wairua 13.2

      Xtasy, t’was ever thus. Have you talked to Tangata Whenua recently ?

      It is just that the worm has turned and that many people in the Antipodes (yep that’s us)
      are living their lives as if nothing has changed in the last few years.

      Your cognitive model may be akin to that of a Rhodesian settler, but our reality is approaching
      that of the the Phillipines (or Hawai’i ?)

      It should be no surprise that the economic elite, accurately described as as an oligarchy (see Aristotle) has given us the choice between an accountant who ran a boom-time currency trading floor and emulates Muldoon, and a former international public servant named after an indispensible trade in the early days of our colony

      http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Why_is_Waltzing_Matilda_so_important

      who helped privatise Iraq and advocated mercenaries

      http://www.fafo.no/pub/rapp/531/531.pdf
      http://www.operationspaix.net/DATA/DOCUMENT/5217~v~The_Impact_of_Private_Security_Companies_on_Somalias_Governance_Networks.pdf
      http://thestandard.org.nz/the-cv-of-a-spy-boss/

      and is understandably finding it difficult to adjust as leader of the Labour party.

      In the meantime the amount of private sector debt linked to property speculation exposes us to
      the same fate as Cyprus. It seems we are in for interesting times, whoever is in power.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_you_live_in_interesting_times

      We need good government, irrespective of party or personality.

  14. Johnny 14

    here’s the contempt of parliament paperwork

    http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/Documents/TableOffice/TabledPapers/2011/5311T4802.pdf

    lucky he didn’t tell the NZ parliament Dotcom was the only case of illegal spying (just the media) now that it appears there might be 85 plus cases

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    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    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
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • 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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