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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 | 23-07
  • Tōku reo, tōku oho oho, tōku reo, tōku mapihi maurea – MANA launches ...
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, saidMANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes. “MANA’s policy is based on a love...
    Mana | 23-07
  • Connectivity Upgrade to close digital divide
    Labour will close the digital divide with its Connectivity Upgrade to ensure all New Zealanders can be part of a growing, more connected economy and have the right to access quality broadband, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says.  “The digital revolution...
    Labour | 23-07
  • New parents deserve support – Labour will deliver
    ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    National has refused a briefing from a group of Maui's dolphins experts, whose research shows 80 per cent of New Zealanders want greater protection for the critically endangered dolphin, the Green Party said today.Dolphin campaigner Gemma McGrath and marine scientist...
    Greens | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    “Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”, said MANA candidate for Mt Albert, Joe Carolan. “A good start would be for all Labour Auckland MPs and members to join the Justice for Palestine...
    Mana | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no need for further research, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Labour backs the public call...
    Labour | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Valley School in Pukekohe was advised in an email from the...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional economies, Labour’s MP for Hauraki-Waikato Nanaia Mahuta says. “The Canpac site has effectively responded...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and Expenditure Committee this morning, says Maryan Street, Labour’s State Services spokesperson.  ...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has already lost hundreds of jobs, Labour says. Labour’s Social Development spokesperson and Hamilton-based list MP Sue...
    Labour | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must not be used as an excuse to take resources away from the capital, Wellington Labour MPs...
    Labour | 22-07
  • National out of touch with the regions
    John Key is out of touch with regional New Zealand if he believes tinkering with council regulations will restore opportunities to small towns, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “While the regions are crying out for sustainable growth and job opportunities,...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Flyover rejection a victory for sustainable transport
    The rejection of the proposed Basin Reserve flyover by a Board of Inquiry is a victory for sustainable transport in Wellington and paves the way for other alternatives to be given a fair hearing, Wellington Labour MPs Grant Robertson and...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Reo Māori Policy Launch
    MANA will be launching its Reo Māori policy at 10am Thursday 24 July, at Matangireia (the old Māori Affairs Select Committee room at Parliament). We will also be addressing our concerns regarding the Minister of Māori Affairs Māori Language Strategy...
    Mana | 22-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    The Green Party welcomed the Environmental Protection Authority's draft decision announced today not to allow the $90 million Basin Reserve flyover in Wellington to proceed."Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have...
    Greens | 22-07
  • Loss Leading could destroy Kiwi lamb’s reputation
    Meat companies that supply supermarkets and sell New Zealand lamb as a loss leader in the United Kingdom should lose their access to this valuable quota market, said Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor. “Our reputation as a Lamb producer...
    Labour | 22-07
  • Ae Marika! 22 July 2014
    The big storm has gone, but the damage that it did and the saturation levels that it reached meant that smaller storms quickly overwhelmed roading, and water-flow systems again in the north. And although certain individuals are talking up the...
    Mana | 21-07
  • 2014 Roger Award nominations now open
    The Roger Award is for The Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand in 2014 Nominations are now open please visit the website to nominate the worst TNC in Aotearoa. You will need to include reasons why you think your...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Labour will revive the regions with new fund
    The next Labour Government will co-develop Regional Growth Plans for every region of New Zealand and will invest at least $200 million in a fund to create breakthrough opportunities for jobs and sustainable growth, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 21-07
  • Speech to Local Government New Zealand
    Speech to the Local Government New Zealand Conference 2014 Read our full regional development policy Download Introduction Early in my time as an MP I went for a long walk on a windswept Kare Kare beach with Waitakere mayor Bob Harvey. We talked...
    Labour | 21-07
  • Stop Israeli State Terror – Rally and March this Saturday 26th July, Aote...
     The humanitarian crisis in Gaza is getting much worse and the world is marching in unprecedented numbers. New Zealanders spoke out strongly last Saturday with a march of 5,000 people in Auckland (see picture below) – the biggest march ever...
    Mana | 21-07
  • NZ needs to assist UN with aid for Gaza
    The New Zealand Government should support the United Nation's efforts to raise money to assist humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza, the Green Party said today.The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has made a...
    Greens | 21-07
  • INTERNET MANA ROAD TRIP- LEG 2
      WAIKATO / TARANAKI / MANAWATU-WANGANUI  Tuesday July 29th, 6pm | RotoruaDistinction Hotel, Fenton Ballroom, 390 Fenton Street, Rotorua  Wednesday July 30th 6pm | HamiltonWaikato University, Price Waterhouse Coopers Lecture Theatre, Gate 7, Hillcrest Rd Hamilton  Thursday July 31st, 6pm |...
    Mana | 21-07
  • Road fix needed now, not later
    Northland’s roading system is in chaos and needs fixing fast, Labour List MP Kelvin Davis says.  “According to NZTA’s 10 year funding data every area of Northland has had a decrease in NZTA funding since 2008...
    Labour | 20-07
  • KiwiSaver innovations needed to build wealth
    The innovative changes to KiwiSaver suggested by the Financial Services Council today will be seriously considered by Labour as part of plans to make KiwiSaver universal, Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker says. “Universal KiwiSaver is an essential part of Labour’s...
    Labour | 20-07
  • Greens announce 20 hours free ECE for two year olds
    The Green Party today announced that its key social platform for this election will be to tackle child poverty and inequality by ensuring every child in New Zealand has enough to thrive.The Green Party will make a series of policy...
    Greens | 20-07
  • MANA Pasifika Says NO To Discrimination
    Vice Chairperson of MANA Pasifika James Papali’i  feels for Ms Tupou and her children after they were served with trespass orders from their  local swimming pool in new market. With no warning or explanation from the pool staff Police ordered...
    Mana | 20-07
  • MANA Movement policy release – Economic Justice – John Minto
    Address notes from Mana Economic Justice Spokesperson and co-vice President John Minto to Economic policy launch in Kelston – 2pm, Sunday 20 July 2014. Reducing inequality and giving everyone a fair go MANA Movement’s policy prescription for a rich man’s...
    Mana | 20-07
  • One-sided reporting on the Middle East Conflict
    The following was sent to New Zealand Herald, Fairfax Media, Radio New Zealand, Television New Zealand, TV3, Radio Live and ZB Network. We are writing to all of you because there are well established patterns of reporting which seem to have been adopted by New Zealand...
    Mana | 20-07
  • So we can’t feed the kids, the poor OR the sick now?
    Let me get this straight. We can borrow $10 billion in tax cuts over the last 6 years for the richest NZers, but we can not feed the kids, the poor or even the sick now? Revealed: Warning over hospital food...
    The Daily Blog | 26-07
  • Kim Dotcom has said it, Laila Harre has said it and now David fisher says i...
    Fascinating piece by David Fisher in the NZ Herald breaking down how many opportunities the Government had to listen to officials and stop KDC entering the country and concludes KDC should never have been allowed in… It prepared papers for the...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • You, Me and the GCSB Public Meetings
      The GCSB and TICS legislation rushed through Parliament by John Key represent the largest erosion of civil liberties this country has seen since the 1951 Waterfront Lockout. In the post Snowden world we now know a mass surveillance state operating...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist takedown of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday ‘Nothing to be sorry for‘ Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Ares Rolinson – New Zealand First – We’ll Be Back
    Earlier this week, Bomber penned a missive which set out in some detail why he thought my people, New Zealand First, wouldn’t be making it back into Parliament later this year. Being a pugnacious, vindictive sort who’d never let such an...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • The changes teachers DO want
    “Oh you teachers, you just want everything to stay the same – what’s wrong with choice?  Bloody teachers.  Typical that you don’t want testing – trying to hide that you’re all useless. What about our poor kids?  Gnash gnash rant rant...” That’s...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • A feminist take down of Whale Oil
    Whale Oil does it again. How many more times is he going to attack and discredit Tania Billingsley publicly? In a short blog published on Wednesday Nothing to be sorry for Whale Oil also known as Cameron Slater, is defending John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • On so called Labour Party ‘distractions’
    The right wing of the Labour Party are constructing a narrative that Labour need to stop chasing distractions and focus on the real issues that matter and not these silly GCSB, inequality, domestic violence, media bias, TPPA issues. It is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Selfies: Labour’s Electorate MPs are at it again
    IT’S A LITTLE TRIANGLE of grass at the corner of Rewa Street and Mt Eden Road, ideal for election hoardings. Wandering along Mt Eden Road last Saturday morning to our weekly appointment with the brunch menu at Orvieto, my family and...
    The Daily Blog | 25-07
  • Well, well, well – Jonathan Coleman did know about FBI interest into Kim ...
    Last years GCSB Town Hall meeting in Auckland Oh dear, the cover up and lies are starting to fall over now aren’t they… Coleman knew of FBI interest in Dotcom pre-residency decisionGovernment minister Jonathan Coleman knew the FBI was interested...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Why You Must March Against Factory Farming This Saturday, 12pm
    The rally this Saturday is critical because this is the FIRST TIME IN NEW ZEALAND HISTORY that a major party has agreed to ban all intensive factory farming practices. The Labour party, the Greens, Internet-Mana, the SPCA, SAFE and other...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Astronaut tweets photo of explosions over Israel and Gaza from space
      This is what a war zone looks like from space: From aboard the International Space Station, German astronaut Alexander Gerst tweeted this image as the station passed over Israel and Gaza in what he called ‘his saddest photo yet’....
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When Firstline are focusing on flag burning rather than dead Palestinian ch...
    The IDF are butchering children in UN schools this morning and what’s the big issue on TV3s Firstline? Flag burning. How pathetic, and what a slap in the face to Mike McRoberts who is currently risking his life in Gaza...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’
    ‘Victim’ vs ‘Terrorist’...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Petition asking TVNZ to stand Hosking down as election moderator jumps to o...
    In just a day the petition calling on TVNZ to replace Hosking as the election moderator has jumped to over 2500, you can sign it here. The defence that the Right are trying to run here is that John Campbell...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: the descent into sheer farce, according...
    . . It had to happen, I guess… The media pack-campaign against Labour Leader David Cunliffe has managed to  plumb new depths of absurdity. On TV3, on 24 July,  TV3/Tova O’Brien ran this report on their 6PM News bulletin, about...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting: MIKE HOSKING FOR PM?
    Yes indeed. Mike Hosking is for the PM. And now he’s able to do even more as moderator (or should that be immoderator) of TVNZ’s election debates. Here at the Coalition for Better Broadcasting we feel it’s pretty safe to say that...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • The lie that “There is no alternative” to neo-liberal economic policies
    Supporters of President Maduro in Venezuela rally   Since the 1980s we have had drubbed into our heads that there was no alternative to the economic and social policies unleashed at that time. It even had it’s own acronym – TINA. The...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • A Kanaky tale of mining skulduggery and environmental courage
    Florent Eurisouké … still campaigning against mining. Photo: Del Abcede/PMC David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific AN EXTRAORDINARY story of mining skulduggery and a courageous struggle by indigenous Kanak environmental campaigners has been captured in a poignant new documentary,...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • UNBREAKING: The list of questions Mike Hosking will use in first TVNZ leade...
    “Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the first TVNZ leaders debate being held live in the gloriously beautiful Sky City ball room. It’s such a beautiful building boys and girls, we are so blessed to have Sky City...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Internet Party Party review
      I have been to A LOT of political party functions in my time, and they tend to be dull affairs at the best of times but what is happening with Internet MANA is something quite exciting. I went to...
    The Daily Blog | 24-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – after learning Hosking will be the leaders debate ...
    I have to be honest, I had made the decision last night  to accept Seven Sharp’s hastily offered opportunity to appear on their show after I savagely criticised the bullshit whitewash story they did on John Key’s favourite far right hate speech...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: National refuses meeting with Maui’s advocates Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 | Press Release This is another reminder that the National Government does not care about the survival of the Maui’s dolphin National...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Message from CTU President Helen Kelly
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Message from CTU President Helen Kelly Dear MikeThere’s only 43 days until September 3, when voting in the General Election starts. The last day to vote is September 20.Thanks heaps for signing...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour
    MIL OSI – Source: Mana Movement – Headline: MANA Tamaki send a challenge to Labour Posted on July 23, 2014 by admin in Joe Carolan, Press Releases“Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week”,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • We must act to save our dolphins
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: We must act to save our dolphins A new report makes it clear for the urgent need to protect Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins while arguing  it is clear that there is no...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • School told to manipulate national standards data
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: School told to manipulate national standards data Parents can have little confidence in the Government’s National Standards after an Auckland school was told to manipulate its data so it added up, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Regional economies must have tailored plans
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Regional economies must have tailored plans News that up to 114 jobs could be lost from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton reinforces the need for a government plan to build resilient regional...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Auditor General slams Shared Services project
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Auditor General slams Shared Services project The Auditor-General’s Office could not have been more damning about the 18 months spent on the Central Agency Shared Services (CASS) project at the Finance and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Fonterra job losses a massive blow to Waikato The potential loss of up to 114 jobs from Fonterra’s Canpac plant in Hamilton is a massive blow to the Waikato region which has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital
    MIL OSI – Source: Labour Party – Headline: Basin flyover decision an opportunity for capital The decision to reject the proposed flyover at the Basin Reserve must be taken as an opportunity to properly fund Wellington’s transport future and must...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Indonesia: New President Widodo must make good on human rights pledges Indonesia’s new President Joko Widodo must deliver on campaign promises to improve Indonesia’s dire human rights situation, Amnesty International said....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: Communities in Sierra Leone turn their backs on female genital mutilation While activists gather in London to discuss strategies to tackle female genital mutilation, communities across Sierra Leone have been taking...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression
    MIL OSI – Source: Amnesty International NZ – Headline: The Gambia: Activists mark 20 years of iron-fisted repression The Gambian government must abolish the laws and iron fisted practices that have resulted in two decades of widespread human rights violations,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • A blog from the front lines of Palestine: It’s time for a new narrative
    I don’t know if I follow trouble or if trouble follows me, but somehow I seem to have found myself near one of the world’s hotspots again. The difference this time is that instead of sitting in some obscure location,...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – The Path Ahead
    It’s well established that Labour has had a difficult couple of weeks. Getting back on to a successful path requires our focus to shift from looking inwards to outwards, heightened discipline, and inner conviction. While my assessment of New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Employers liquidating companies to avoid paying minimum entitlements
    Across the union movement we have seen a number of documented cases now where companies are liquidating their business in order to avoid their legal obligations, in terms of paying the minimum entitlements to their workers. The most recent example...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Carolan : Positively Controversial
    The protest in Auckland last weekend that the NZ Herald claimed was attend by only a hundred people. Labour should set the agenda and purposely do something positively controversial once a week. A good start would be for all their...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Come on TV3 News – you are better than regurgitating Israeli propaganda
    Say it isn’t true TV3 News, you are seriously bitching about this???? The leader of the Mana Party, Hone Harawira, has supported flag burning at a pro-Palestinian march in Auckland at the weekend. Mana Party flags can be seen in...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • The brutal siege of Palestine
    70 years ago the Jews of Europe suffered as much as any people can suffer. The Nazis set about ethnic cleansing and sent 6 million to their death. Today we watch in horror as Israel, the Jewish homeland created after...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • When the mainstream media go feral: A tale of two holidays
    . . The recent non-story on David Cunliffe’s three day holiday should be proof-positive that the mainstream media (msm) is fixated on pumping out as many “bad news” reporting as can be generated by a headline-seeking; advertising-driven; lazy corporate-media system....
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Canterbury housing crisis a moral, economic, health, education, and social ...
    Can they build it? No they can’t.  Occasionally I come across people who don’t believe me when I say there is a housing crisis in Christchurch.  Despite all the evidence to the contrary.  Even when I tell them that every...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel
    Respected world visionaries of the past speak out on Israel...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • From Here To There: How did Labour become so hopelessly lost?
    WRITING ABOUT the Labour Party these days puts me in mind of the joke about the American tourist and the Irish farmer. Seems there was this American tourist driving down a narrow lane in the heart of Ireland. He needed...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Oh NOW everyone thinks the ABCs are up to no good?
    Goodness last months June seems like years away doesn’t it? In June I pointed out a move by the ABCs to destabilise Cunliffe was under way. For pointing this out, Labour Party bloggers Rob Salmond and Lynn Prentice rushed to put...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Dear Seven Sharp – I have little interest in appearing on your show so th...
    After savagely critiquing Seven Sharp for trying to whitewash the repulsive history of a far right hate speech merchant like Cameron Slater yesterday, Seven Sharp have contacted me and offered to do a profile on me. Here is their email…...
    The Daily Blog | 23-07
  • Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense
    MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Headline: Basin Flyover decision victory for common sense Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 | Press Release “Both popular and expert opinion opposed the flyover. The proposal was expensive, unnecessary and would have undermined the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • CPAG Newsletter July 2014
    MIL OSI – Source: Child Poverty Action Group – Headline: CPAG Newsletter July 2014 22 July 2014 New child poverty data nothing to celebrate New data released by the Ministry of Social Development  indicates people living below the poverty line are worse...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages
    MIL OSI – Source: Unite Union – Headline: Hotel ordered to pay $80,000 in outstanding wages An Auckland hotel has been ordered by the Employment Relations Authority to pay nearly $80,000 in outstanding wages to two employees. Filipino couple Abraham...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Globa...
    MIL OSI – Source: CTU – Headline: Rising interest rate and dollar driving manufacturing exports back to Global Financial Crisis levels The Council of Trade Unions is calling on the Reserve Bank not to raise interest rates on Thursday. “Another...
    The Daily Blog | 22-07
  • The Nation 26,27 July: Flavell & Harawira, Joe Hockey
    On The Nation this weekend…. With the Maori seats primed to play a pivotal role this election, Torben Akel reports from the key battlegrounds and meets the top contenders. Then the Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell and Mana Party...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Announcement of New Zealand First Candidate for Rangitīkei
    New Zealand First has endorsed Dr Romuald (‘Rom’) Rudzki as the candidate for the Rangitīkei Electorate in the 2014 General Election....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Labour Offer Len Brown a Hotel Tax
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the Labour Party's plan to allow councils to levy new 'pillow taxes' and regional petrol taxes. Reacting to this afternoon’s NZ Herald report Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union ,...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Cell phone evidence a first
    Cell phone evidence a first Evidence gathered solely from a cell phone has been used for the first time to convict a Hastings man for possessing child sexual abuse pictures. Michael Lawrence Worsnop, a 29-year-old orchard worker pleaded guilty to...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealand Aid Worker Helping in Gaza
    A New Zealand Red Cross nurse working in Gaza says she has never experienced anything like the current conflict in her long aid work career....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Parking officers deserve safety at work
    The union representing the Auckland Transport parking officer severely beaten on July 17 says everyone has a right to go about their job without fear for their safety....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Caritas Aotearoa NZ to provide Gaza humanitarian aid
    Caritas Jerusalem is providing medical assistance, food and other necessities to the thousands of vulnerable people affected by the escalating conflict in Gaza, and Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is contributing an initial $20,000 to support the humanitarian...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • ALCP challenges parties to support Charlotte’s Web
    The leader of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party Julian Crawford is calling on all other political parties to state their position on using cannabis oil to treat pediatric epilepsy....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Oxfam accepts cheque from Pacific Corporation Foundation
    Oxfam New Zealand has accepted a cheque for almost $1000 today from the Pacific Corporation Foundation toward recovery efforts in the Solomon Islands, following April’s flash flooding that left thousands homeless....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Draft report and decision – Pūhoi to Warkworth proposal
    The Ara Tūhono – Pūhoi to Wellsford Road of National Significance: Pūhoi to Warkworth section Board of Inquiry has released its draft report and decision....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • New Zealanders willing to pay tax to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Stop Smart Meters
    “The Democrats for Social Credit Party (DSC) wholeheartedly endorses the Stop Smart Meters campaign for a moratorium on installations of smart meters until the technology is proven not be a risk to health, and until home owners are given a...
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Maori Roll Electors Urged to Vote Strategically
    Voters enrolled in the seven Maori electorates must learn to maximize their influence by voting strategically, according to the Maori Party candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Rev Te Hira Paenga....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Politicians Ignore Families’ Concerns on Street Prostitution
    Family First NZ says that politicians are ignoring the concerns of families, lack the will to take appropriate action, and are happy to drag the ongoing problem of street prostitution into the next parliamentary term....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Plunket celebrates Te Wiki o te Reo Māori
    Plunket is proud to celebrate Te Wiki o te Reo Māori (21-27 July), with Plunket people across the country among several thousand New Zealanders taking part and increasing their kete of knowledge in te reo....
    Scoop politics | 25-07
  • Coleman must quit or be sacked over Dotcom case
    Immigration New Zealand has done the right thing in distancing itself from Jonathan Coleman’s claims that ministers were not aware of FBI involvement in Kim Dotcom’s residency application, says the Internet Party. Internet Party leader Laila Harré...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Auckland Councillors, Not Emperors
    25 JULY 2014 Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland Councillors have voted to keep their ratepayer-funded business class travel perks, and considered new rules that would have exempted councillors from Auckland City's parking charges, Taxpayers’...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Cunliffe Looks Dodgy Lunching with Sex Offender
    Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig says that David Cunliffe's social meeting with a known sex offender while on holiday "looks pretty dodgy."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Back LGNZ Calls For Greater Transparency
    The Taxpayers’ Union is backing Local Government New Zealand’s calls for the Official Information Act to be extended to cover the Local Government Commission. Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Lecture series to provide insight into 2014 election
    Could National’s refusal to reform MMP lead to the defeat of the government? Is the media providing voters with the information they require to make an informed electoral decision? What directions might John Key’s leadership take if he secures...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • National Rally Against Factory Farming
    Animal advocates and members of the public all over New Zealand will unite for a ‘National Day of Action Against Factory Farming’ Saturday, tomorrow 26 July in response to two recent exposés that showed horrific conditions on pig factory farms....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Women in Politics Finds Support at Conference
    Women in Politics, a brand-new organisation for New Zealand women in political office, was met with overwhelming support at the 2014 Local Government New Zealand Conference held this weekend in Nelson....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • The Government’s Fresh Water Policy – REVISITED
    Fresh water quality is the latest area to be in the sights of Gareth Morgan and his research organisation The Morgan Foundation. They enlisted a group of 16 scientists to help them review the government’s new fresh water policy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Restoration of Post-graduate Allowances to be Key Issue
    As students prepare for the early voting that will take place on all university and many polytechnic campuses next month, the restoration of post-graduate allowances, removed by the current government in 2013, is emerging as a key election issue....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Honesty for Taxpayers
    ACT has a new proposal to make our democracy more accountable. The proposal may seem small but it could be the most significant idea in this election....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Mike Hosking for PM?
    The Coalition for Better Broadcasting is adding its voice to the many appalled at TVNZ’s choice of Mike Hosking as moderator for the upcoming political debates....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • ‘Party Party’ Hitting the Right Notes
    The “sold out” sign has gone up at the Internet Party’s concert in Christchurch tonight. A capacity crowd of 1000 will be at The Foundry for the Party Party concert, part of a major national musical tour aimed at getting...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend
    New Electoral Commission Campaign Launches This Weekend More non-voters than ever before say they don't feel like their vote is worth anything, or that their opinion matters. It's a trend that concerns the Electoral Commission, and the reason for...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Umere says ‘taihoa’ on Māori Language Strategy
    A Maori Language advocacy group, Umere, is calling for a rain check on the Māori Language Strategy Bill, which is being introduced to parliament this week. "The submissions on the MLS have been released by Te Puni Kōkiri and they...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity
    ..:: For immediate release ::.. 24/07/14 David Cunliffe happy to hide sex offender’s identity - (and in fact enjoy lunch with them)...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • More kids in Southland and Otago are achieving
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay says the Public Achievement Information for 2013 shows New Zealand children are doing better across the whole education system....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Flavell mistaken
    In response to Mr Flavell’s tirade this afternoon Conservative Party Leader Colin Craig advises "Mr Flavell is simply mistaken in his comments."...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • High cost of GP visits still a barrier for older children
    Free doctor's visits should be extended to all children under 18 as GP charges are a significant barrier for low income families, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Taxpayers’ Union Lay Complaint with Speaker
    The Taxpayers’ Unio n has written to Parliament's Speaker, the Rt. Hon. David Carter, asking him to step in and investigate the claims on the WhaleOil blog that taxpayers’ money is being improperly used for Mana Party election campaign hoardings....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • MANA launches te reo Māori policy
    “MANA is launching its te reo Māori policy this morning ahead of the first reading of the government’s Māori Language Strategy Bill this afternoon”, said MANA deputy leader and candidate for Waiariki, Annette Sykes....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Candidate welcomes award of platinum exploration permits
    Clutha-Southland National candidate Todd Barclay has welcomed the Government’s decision to award Lynx Platinum Limited two exploration permits in Southland. Mr Barclay said the minerals industry is an important part of New Zealand’s economy...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Pokie spending and numbers continue to drop
    Pub and club gaming machine expenditure in the year ended June 2014 fell 2.4 per cent from $826.3 million to $806.2 million. There were also fewer licence holders, gambling venues and gaming machines compared with 12 months earlier. Licence holders...
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • New Zealand Police to assist in MH17 victim identification
    New Zealand Police is sending three Disaster Victim Identification (DVI) specialists to the Netherlands to assist in the international effort to identify victims from the MH17 tragedy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Oil Spill Response Strategy available for consultation
    Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) is inviting comment on its draft updated New Zealand Marine Oil Spill Response Strategy....
    Scoop politics | 24-07
  • Police response to IPCA report on Rewa investigation
    Police accept the findings of today's IPCA's report regarding its investigations into offending by Malcolm Rewa in Auckland in the 1980s and 1990s....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Well-known kiwis sign on to stop ivory trade
    Today the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Select Committee will consider a complete ban on the ivory trade in response to a petition by Auckland teacher Virginia Woolf and policy analyst Fiona Gordon....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Commonwealth Games are not being captioned in New Zealand
    As members of the Captioning Working Group, The National Foundation for the Deaf and Deaf Aotearoa New Zealand call for broadcast captioning of the 2014 Commonwealth Games...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Majority of Commonwealth countries are already republics
    The Glasgow Commonwealth Games are here and it's a common misbelief that a Kiwi republic would mean that New Zealand would have to leave the Commonwealth. In fact, nothing could be further from the truth....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Although an Independent Police Conduct Authority inquiry has identified some faults with a series of investigations conducted by Police into offending by Malcolm Rewa, there is insufficient evidence that any of these impacted on the ability of Police...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • IPCA findings on Police handling of Rewa Investigation
    Good morning everyone. I’d like to begin today by explaining that this is an informational press conference and that I will not be taking questions at its conclusion. The reason for that is the report’s findings are the result of...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Pay It Back Ms Hauiti
    Responding to the Newstalk ZB report that disgraced MP Claudette Hauiti is refusing to confirm whether or not she has reimbursed taxpayers for misuse of her Parliamentary 'P-card', Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says: “Ms Hauiti...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • RSA thanks NZ for $1.7m collected during Poppy Appeal
    The RSA today announced that over $1.7 million was donated to the 2014 Poppy Appeal for the support of veterans, ex-service men and women and their families in need....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • Students encouraged to be brave and never give up
    Students encouraged to be brave and never give up if they want to 'make it happen'...
    Scoop politics | 23-07
  • New Zealanders want to pay more to protect dolphins
    A report released this week shows a large majority of New Zealanders want Maui’s and Hector’s dolphins protected and they are prepared to pay for it....
    Scoop politics | 23-07
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