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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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    Mana | 08-09
  • TE KAEA and NATIVE AFFAIRS live to fight another day
    “I understand that both the chair of the Board of Maori Television, Georgina Te Heuheu, and new CEO, Paora Maxwell, are now saying that my comments this morning about their plans to cut Te Kaea and Native Affairs, were wrong, and that...
    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
  • THE DEATH OF INDEPENDENCE FOR MAORI TV
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will make renting a better option
    Labour will provide greater security of tenure for renters, and build more state and social housing, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour believes every kid deserves a decent start in life. That means a warm, dry and secure home....
    Labour | 03-09
  • At least 15 new taxes under National
    John Key is the last person to talk about creating taxes, presiding over a Government that has imposed at least 15 new taxes, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “John Key tried a novel line in the debate last night claiming...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will strengthen New Zealand’s democracy
    A Labour Government will act quickly to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as one of the most open and least corrupt countries in the world, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The health of any democracy is improved by greater...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement says tax cut on GST must be first priority – Minto
    “If Prime Minister John Key has money available for tax cuts then cutting GST must be the first priority”,  said MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson John Minto. GST is a nasty tax on low-income families”, said Minto. “People in the...
    Mana | 02-09
  • The Maori Party’s Mana-Enhancing Relationship with National – Minto
    “First we had Cameron Slater and David Farrar backing Labour’s Kelvin Davis bid to unseat MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.  Now we have Slater writing a pro-Te Ururoa Flavell article on his website, Whale...
    Mana | 02-09
  • There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Local communities critical to Civil Defence
    Labour will focus on empowering New Zealand communities to be resilient in Civil Defence disasters, says Labour’s Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran. Announcing Labour’s Civil Defence policy, she says that Labour will work with schools, voluntary agencies and community groups...
    Labour | 02-09
  • Labour looks to long-life passports, gambling harm review
    A return to 10 year passports and a review of gambling laws are highlights of Labour’s Internal Affairs policy released today. “More than 15,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling on the Government to revert to the 10 year system...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority...
    Mana | 01-09
  • Rebuilding the New Zealand Defence Force
    A Labour Government will make it a priority to rebuild the capacity of the Defence Force to carry out the tasks expected of it, says Labour’s Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff. Releasing Labour’s Defence Policy today he said the NZDF has...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Speech to Canterbury Chamber of Commerce
    Today I'm going to talk about our policy package to upgrade and grow our economy and how we turn that growth into a foundation for a decent and fair society. But first I want to address the issue of our...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Commission of Inquiry must have bipartisan support
    The Labour Party is drafting terms of reference for a Commission of Inquiry, Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker says. “It is abundantly clear there is a need for an independent Commission of Inquiry, chaired by a High Court Judge, into...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Rapid Transit to unclog Christchurch
    Labour will build a 21st century Rapid Transit system for Christchurch, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The long delayed recovery of Christchurch hinges on a modern commuter system for the city. “We will invest $100 million in a modern rail plan...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s commitment to public broadcasting
    A Labour Government will set up a working group to re-establish a public service television station as part of our commitment to ensuring New Zealand has high quality free-to-air local content. “We will set up a working group to report...
    Labour | 31-08
  • A new deal for the conservation estate
    The health of our economy depends on New Zealand preserving and restoring our land, air, water and indigenous wildlife, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. Announcing Labours Conservation policy, she said that there will be a comprehensive plan to restore...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s plan to end homelessness
    Labour has a comprehensive approach to end homelessness starting with the provision of emergency housing for 1000 people each year and putting an end to slum conditions in boarding houses, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes that homelessness is not...
    Labour | 30-08
  • Labour: A smarter approach to justice
    A Labour Government will improve the justice system to ensure it achieves real public safety, provides equal access to justice and protects human rights, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. “Our approach is about tackling the root causes of crime, recognising...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Labour to foster Kiwi love of sport and the great outdoors
    A Labour Government will promote physical activity, back our top athletes and help foster Kiwis’ love of the great outdoors by upgrading tramping and camping facilities. Trevor Mallard today released Labour’s sports and recreation policy which will bring back a...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Pacific languages recognised under Labour
    Labour will act to recognise the five main Pacific languages in New Zealand including through the education system, said Pacific Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio. Announcing Labour’s Pacific Island policy he said that there must be a strong commitment to...
    Labour | 29-08
  • No healthy economy without a healthy environment
    Labour recognises that we cannot have a healthy economy without a healthy environment, says Environment spokesperson Moana Mackey announcing Labour’s environment policy. “New Zealand’s economy has been built on the back of the enormous environmental wealth we collectively enjoy as...
    Labour | 28-08
  • She saw John Key on TV and decided to vote!
    . . NZ, Wellington, 15 September – ‘Tina’* is 50, a close friend,  and one of the “Missing Million” from the last election. In fact, ‘Tina’ has never voted in her life.  Not once. In ‘Tina’s’ own words, politics has...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Eminem sues National Party for unlawful use of ‘Lose yourself’ bhahahah...
    …ahahahahahahahaha. Oh Christ this is hilarious… National Party sued over Eminem copyright infringment US rapper Eminem is suing the National Party for allegedly breaching copyright by using his song Lose Yourself in its campaign advertisements. The Detroit-based publishers of Eminem’s...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Are the Greens about to be snookered by a Labour-NZ First Government?
    I wrote last week that it was smart politics that the Greens pointed out they could work with National, the soft blue vote that’s looking for a home in the wake of Dirty Politics isn’t going to Labour, so the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • BLOGWATCH: Fonterra join 2Degrees and boycott Whaleoil
    In the wake of Dirty Politics, advertisers are pulling their advertising out of Whaleoil. PaknSave, Evo Cycles Pukekohe, Localist, 2 Degrees, Fertility Associates, iSentia, NZ Breast Cancer Foundation, Maori TV, Bookme.co.nz, Dobetter.co.nz and the Sound are now joined by Fonterra...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • PM Key accused of allowing secret ‘spook’ cable sensors to spy on citiz...
    Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald (left) and Kim Dotcom at the “moment of truth” political surveillance meeting in Auckland last night. Image: PMW By ANNA MAJAVU of Pacific Media Watch NEW ZEALAND Prime Minister John Key has been accused of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Fiji pre-election ‘politics’ blackout stirs media protests, frustration
    BLACKOUT DAY – Monday, day one of the “silence window” in Fiji leading up to the close of polling in the general election at 6pm on Wednesday. And this is under the draconian threat of a $10,000 fine or five...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • “Now the work of movements begins”: government corruption, media bias, ...
    I am so tired of the dirty politics of the National government, aren’t you? I am tired of John Key and his pathetic attacks on award-winning journalists who have spent their careers fighting and digging for truth and good. The...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Moment of Truth review, smoking guns and the awful coverage by the NZ msm
      There were queues unlike any the Town Hall has seen, 1000 were turned away once it became full…     …full to the rafters. The energy and atmosphere within the room was extraordinary, and it begun…   …Glenn Greenwald...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Why Maori TV’s Te Tai Tokeraou Poll will be proved wrong
    If Hone Harawira had a dollar every time the media wrote off his chance of winning Te Tai Tokeraou, he would have more money than Kim Dotcom. Remember the by-election? Hone was 1 point ahead of Kelvin in an exact...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • September 15 RNZ interviews – and then the Moment of Truth
    . Acknowledgement: Emmerson . 15 September – Leading up to the Moment of Truth public meeting this evening, these Radio NZ interviews are worth listening to; . Alt link . Alt link . Alt link . Alt link . Alt...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Live Stream: Moment of Truth Tonight 7pm
    Live Video Stream by eCast: The Daily Blog will Live Stream the Moment of Trust public meeting from 7pm. The meeting will feature Glenn Greenwald, Kim Dotcom, Robert Amsterdam, and a very special guest…...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • The proof Key lied about GCSB mass surveillance
    And we start getting to the evidence that proves Key has lied about mass surveillance. The article by Glenn Greenwald is out and it is beyond damning… Documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the government worked in...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • A brief word on the Ede-Slater emails
    Every day I have rushed to read the paper to see if a breaking story on the Ede-Slater emails had broken yet. They haven’t. Day after day, where are these emails? We know Rawshark sent the emails to David Fisher...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • The email that proves Key is a liar
    This is the Email proving Key knew about Kim Dotcom before he claims he did… “We had a really good meeting with the Prime Minister. He’s a fan and we’re getting what we came for. Your groundwork in New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Henchmen
    Henchmen...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why it simply isn’t credible that Key stepped in and shut down the mass s...
    Key’s staggering admission that yes there was a year long business model by the GCSB to mass spy on all of NZ but  that he stepped in and shut it down after Cabinet had signed it off just sounds like make...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man
    Politicians like putting up straw men for the purpose of self-righteously knocking them over. Prime Minister John Key has a particular straw man he loves to punch over. He raises it whenever he’s asked about mass surveillance of New Zealanders...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Armstrong turns on Glenn Greenwald
    Where does a mediocre journalist like John Armstrong get off attacking a journalist with the credibility of Glenn Greenwald as he has in his ridiculous column today? Armstrong has the audacity to try and play the terrorism card to justify why...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – Which of John Key’s many statements on the GC...
    We already have Glenn Greenwald’s assertion on The Nation that John Key has misled New Zealanders as to whether the GCSB has engaged in mass surveillance of Kiwis. But Key has made many other statements about the GCSB’s powers and...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Election 2014: Numbers and Faces
    Democratic politics is a game of numbers and faces. How can we translate the numbers into the 120 or more faces that will be in the next Parliament? Below is my prediction of a likely result: 120 people, divided by...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Scotland the brave
    The possibility that Scotland will vote for independence this Thursday has panicked the British establishment. An unholy alliance of Tory, Labour, Liberal and corporate leaders has resorted to fear-mongering and bullying on grand scale in a last ditch effort to...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why Key’s denials sound so off and why Dotcom’s fight is all our fight
    The shrillness of Key is the issue. His denials just too forced and rehearsed. Key has gone from Hollow Man to Shallow Man with his lashing out at Pulitzer Price winning Journalist Glenn Greenwald by calling him a ‘henchman’. This...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a S...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a Su...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • As TDB predicted, Labour to use universal super fund to buy back assets and...
    Greens about to be snookered again?   As The Daily Blog has pointed out several times now, Labour will use a universal super fund to buy back NZs assets in a bid to offer Winston a legacy project… Labour plans...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • A lesson in caring for our most vulnerable
    Some of the comments on this article make me sick. Because I am so very much over people who think they are better than others because things have gone their way in life and think those who aren’t as functional...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Please vote positive
    One of the features of campaigning is the meet-the-candidates event.  As an opportunity to present policies to the voter, they aren’t the best vehicle but still serve a useful purpose.  The problem is that there are too many candidates and...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • For this who don’t vote this election
    For this who don’t vote this election...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Where does Key get off abusing a Pulitzer prize winning Journalist like Gle...
    We are seeing the Dirty Politics PM today when Key decided the best way to counter the Glenn Greenwald claims of GCSB mass surveillance was to denigrate Greenwald… Prime Minister John Key says he will prove Glenn Greenwald’s claims by the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Teflon Man No More
    . .   On 26 August, as Nicky Hager’s expose on New Zealand’s right wing politics hit public consciousness and confirmed our worst fears, I wrote, “Dirty Politics” has achieved more than simply revealing  unwholesome machinations between National party apparatchiks,...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Dear mainstream media – regarding Key’s promise to resign if GCSB expos...
    Dear Mainstream media. How’s it all going? I would like to acknowledge the deep depression many members of the Press Gallery are going through as their boy Key looks less and less likely to win. I appreciate how a loss...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • It’s official: ACT’s Jamie Whyte is several-sandwiches-and-a-salad sho...
    .   . There aren’t very many times I agree wholeheartedly with our Dear Leader – but on this occassion I believe he spoke for those 99% of New Zealanders for whom common sense is as natural as breathing air....
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • ‘I’ll not be intimidated … by cowards’, says Fiji death threat jour...
    Fiji Sun’s Jyoti Pratibha … death threats via fake Facebook profiles. Image: Pacific Scoop THE PARIS-based media freedom advocacy organisation Reporters Sans Frontières and the Pacific Media Centre have condemned threats and intimidation against political reporters this week covering Fiji’s...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Glenn Greenwald on TV3s ‘The Nation’ – Everyone remember when Key pro...
    Glenn Greenwald has just given his first NZ interview on TV3s ‘The Nation’ and what he had to say was incredibly damaging. Glenn is here for Kim Dotcom’s Moment of Truth on Monday and what he has just had to...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • What will soft National vote do, why Colin Craig will be a focus in final w...
    In what has been the most unpredictable elections of our time, the final week promises more shocks and bombshells than World War One trench warfare. We have the media who still have the Rawshark emails that detail the Ede-Slater exchanges....
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Would a National-Conservative Party reduce rights to an abortion? Legalise ...
    With the possibility of a Conservative-National Party coalition looming, let’s consider the impact of this new hard right religious Government on social policy. We know Conservative Party candidate Edward Saafi, believes the inability to legally bash your kids is responsible for teenage prostitution, teenage pregnancy and...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • ACTs solution to crime – more guns?
    How insane are the ACT Party? Honestly? Their solution to crime is to arm every shop keeper with a sawn off shotgun??? “Criminals are well aware that shopkeepers are defenceless and are taking advantage of this in brutal robberies. What...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • John Key’s gift to teenage girls…
    Yesterday I was at the MANA Movement policy release on “Predators on Poverty” in the Otahuhu Shopping Centre. Successive Labour and National governments have left vulnerable communities on their own to face these merciless thieves who prey on the poor...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Poverty denial – Where does National get its advice from?
    National is displaying a quite inadequate understanding of their own policies and worrying inability to respond to criticism. When John Key trots out his old, tired example of how ‘work pays’ on Morning Report this week to justify leaving 260,000...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Education reformers mean well, so what’s the problem?
    The thing about education reformers is that, mostly, they mean well. Whether it’s charter schools, National Standards, Teach First, or another reform, many people involved have good intentions.  They want to improve things, try something new and innovate, they say. The thing...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • My brain hurts
    My brain hurts.  This election year has been a really long nine months.  The lies, the headlines, the spin, the policy, the chat, I am literally overloaded with information.  At times it’s been exhausting trying to keep up.  However I...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Slater loses Blomfield defamation case – has to pays costs & must dis...
    Great victory for Journalism today. The Defamation case Matt Blomfield took against Slater has jumped its first hurdle, Slater has been told he might be a ‘Journalist’, but he has no right to journalistic protection of his sources because there was no...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Seeing an Economic Vision
    It has been some time since my last post to TDB. I was fortunate to recently come back to NZ briefly for a bit of a break from my work in Pakistan. While my visit was super short, I took...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • 5 reasons why anyone identifying as Left with a capital L should party vote...
    There are 5 reasons why anyone identifying as Left with a capital L should consider casting their party vote for Internet MANA this election. 1 – Feed the Kids: There is no excuses now that National have flirted with the idea...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • What I want from a change of government
    The prospects for a change of government look a little brighter so I though I’d look at what we can expect. The only option being provided by Labour, the main opposition party, is for a Labour, Green, NZ First coalition....
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Why is the “Progressive” Coalition so Regressive?
    Have you ever, when parallel parking, got yourself wedged into the curb? The car in front is centimetres away and your rear wheel is touching the curb at an angle. This is a metaphor for the state of economic policy-making...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Of course the Greens could work with National
    A warm soy latte with John Key?   Sharp in take of breath moment as TVNZ last night reported Greens could work with National post the election if National win. It’s a smart move. The Greens are so viciously anti-tribal...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Quality of Journalism
    “Skilled journos getting unwarranted shit from hack bloggers & online warriors could earn big $ in PR/marketing, so thank you for what you do”. As this tweet rolled across my screen this morning the irony had me rolling my eyes. Why on...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – #BlueGreen2014 – Or: The Media Jetskiis O...
    During Thursday’s iteration of One News, I was virtually shocked off my seat to hear a reasonably well-known political pundit slash nominal “journalist” prognosticating about the likelihood of the Green Party “switching gear” on its electoral strategy … and deciding...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – Winning on the Economy
    One of the great tricks of the right over the past twenty years has been to desiccate debate about our economy. ‘The economy’ is spoken about as if it is an independent entity, divorced from the realm of democratic politics...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • Unscrupulous worker highlights why 90-days works
    Federated Farmers believes the experience of a husband and wife farming team in Taranaki underscores why the 90-days provision is so important to small businesses. “Yesterday a member called 0800 FARMING to alert us to a guy doing the rounds...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Eye to Eye Uploaded
    Leading Maori broadcaster and political commentator Willie Jackson previews Eye to Eye Uploaded, a multi-platform series of interviews that he’s aiming to put in front of media radars next year....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Party Rankings against Inequality
    Revealed: which party will do the most to reduce New Zealand’s growing inequality crisis...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Maritime Union backs change of Government
    The Maritime Union says a change of Government is required to deliver secure jobs and decent wages for New Zealand workers....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Green Party package for newborns welcomed
    16 September 2014 Media Release The New Zealand College of Midwives has welcomed a policy announced today by the Green Party which would provide a package of essential items for every newborn baby. The College is a non partisan organisation...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • ALCP Release Election Manifesto
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party has released its manifesto in the lead up to the election on Saturday....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Election Daily Update #9
    John Key’s National Party appears to have received a major boost from last night’s “Moment of Truth” event, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Despite no major changes...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Eminem Publishers Sue New Zealand National Party
    Detroit-based music publishing companies sue National Party for damages for unauthorised use of song in election campaign advertising...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Parties Back Rethink of WINZ Shared Care Parenting Laws
    Overwhelming Majority of Parties Back Rethink of WINZ Shared Care Parenting Laws. Press release- Fifty Fifty Campaign, 16 September 2014 National is the only political party willing to defend the way WINZ treats separated parents who share their kids...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Parents Smacking Down Prime Minister
    "John Keys failure to deliver on his promise to change the anti-smacking law is costing National votes, and helping the Conservative Party," says Colin Craig....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Political Debate on Family Violence – Video & Audio
    The Dunedin Collaboration Against Family Violence was happy to host a political debate on Family Violence chaired by Professor Nicola Atwool of the University of Otago. Family Violence is a huge problem in our community and we invited representatives...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Greens Take Nanny State To A New Level
    Family First NZ is labelling the Green’s ‘welcome package’ for newborns policy as wasteful and misdirected. “This policy is taking ‘nanny state’ to a new level but indicates just how much the Greens want to intervene in family life,”...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • 2,100 people send message about dirty politics
    2,100 people have signed their name to a full-page open letter featuring in the New Zealand Herald this Wednesday. The letter is designed to send a message to politicians that dirty politics is an important election issue....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Are DoC manipulating Rat Numbers?
    Ban 1080 Political Party co-leader Bill Wallace says there are serious rumours DoC has changed their rat counting technique to cover up the lack of the mythical “Rat Plague” claimed by the Department in Kahurangi National Park, and also that...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Average Full time Student Is in Financial Distress
    A new survey has found that nearly half of all full time students are in significant financial distress....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Key and Cunliffe, research revealed by Ancestry.com.au
    Contrasting family histories of John Key and David Cunliffe, revealed by research from Ancestry.com.au....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Revelations a Damning Indictment of Key’s Honesty
    The Prime Minister’s honesty is now central to the election, says Internet Party Leader Laila Harré, following the revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden that there is mass surveillance of New Zealand citizens by the GCSB....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Organisations Have ‘Duty of Care’ for Players says Law Firm
    Concussion injuries in amateur and professional sporting arenas are currently highly topical. Concussion potentially appears to have been implicit in the recent death of a young player in Northland....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Media Release from Closing the Gap on Health and Housing
    “Inequality is the biggest problem facing New Zealand at the present time” says Peter Malcolm National Secretary of Closing the Gap. It underlies many of our social ills, poverty, lack of trust, an economy that could do much better, and...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Expanding Whānau Ora – a bottom line for Māori Party
    Leaving the best to last, the Māori Party has launched its Whānau Ora policy today following a fun family event at Te Ore Ore Marae in Masterton last night. “When we change what happens in our homes, we change what...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Colin Craig’s Incredible Claims Continue
    Hot on the heels of a Conservative Party candidate proposing to double the price of a bottle of wine, Colin Craig has come up with an even more fantastic idea to buttress his uncosted tax policy....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • The Letter: Jamie Whyte is going to Parliament
    Friday night’s TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll puts Jamie Whyte in Parliament. TVNZ rounded down the poll result (ACT was on 1.2%). With the high wasted Conservative vote, just 1.2% makes Jamie an MP. It is ACT, not NZ First that...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Why are we letting Dotcom steal our election?
    Why are we letting a convicted German fraudster and his American polemicists steal our election?...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ACT’s five point plan
    ACT has a five point plan to grow the economy by a third. To lift economic growth from the Treasury's long term forecast of just two percent to three....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Christchurch rebuild cost sharing plan must be improved
    “The agreement between the government and the Christchurch City Council about sharing costs of the rebuild is due to be revised in December, as some costs are more accurately known now than they were originally,“ says Warren Voight, Local...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ‘Key vs. Cunliffe’ Final Live NZ Election Reactor
    ohn Key and David Cunliffe go head to head for the final time on TV One on Wednesday as Election Day looms. Roy Morgan wants to know what you think about their performance as the leaders try one last time...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Chamber welcomes Business Growth Agenda priorities
    Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce welcomes the National Government’s 10 highest priorities for its Business Growth Agenda as essential to continuing strong business performance and economic growth....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • #SafeSource NZ – A secure way to share the truth
    Dirty politics and a dirty environment go hand in hand. Our country’s future as a fairer, cleaner, more prosperous place is being threatened by backroom deals, corporate cronyism and a lack of transparency....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Last vid to encourage youth vote
    Here's the third and final in our series to boost the youth vote. It's called CINDER and it's a play on the popular dating app....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Fee hikes restrict student choices
    A survey of 5000 students from across the tertiary sector shows that tuition fees have increased at the maximum level permitted. Fees are constraining students’ choices more than ever before. Although tuition fees are only permitted to increase...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ACT’s five point plan to grow the economy
    ACT has a five point plan to double the rate of economic growth. The Treasury long term forecast for growth is 2% a year. We can lift it to 4%....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • iPredict Daily Election Update
    National’s forecast party vote has risen to 45.3% over the last day, at the expense of Labour and the Greens, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. A National/Act/UnitedFuture/Maori...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • National’s economic strategy attack workers’ rights
    The National Party’s ‘Workplaces’ policy confirms that their economic growth strategy relies on attacks on workers rights, according to FIRST Union....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Questions Raised Over Cow Deaths
    The death of 200 cows after eating a new variety of PGG Wrightsons HT swedes [1] is a disaster for New Zealand farmers....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Final decision on Ruakura Development Plan Change
    The independent Board of Inquiry considering the Ruakura Development Plan Change has released its final report and decision. The Board has approved the plan change request but with amendments....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Confirmed – Smacking Law Needs Correction
    Family First NZ says that the ONE News Vote Compass survey showing only 23% support the anti-smacking law is no surprise, and confirms that it’s time the politicians listened to New Zealand families....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Kiwi voters urged to heed warnings
    Kiwi voters would do well to note the advice given this week to Queensland people by retired judge and renowned corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald, according to Democrats for Social Credit health spokesman David Tranter....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Fisheries policy analysis produces surprising results
    Nine political party policies were analysed to determine which party had the most public friendly fisheries policy and the results surprised LegaSea, an apolitical fisheries lobby group. “For the first time, recreational fishers have been offered...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • $3m to help keep Hutt families healthy
    National Party candidate for Hutt South, Chris Bishop, welcomes news Hutt City Council has been selected to lead a $3 million anti-obesity initiative in Lower Hutt which will help families improve their health. “Healthy Families NZ is National’s new...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Community organisations struggling
    The survey, conducted by community sector network ComVoices, highlights the high level of frustration and urgency being felt by those who deliver services, says group Chairperson, Peter Glensor. 311 organisations completed the survey....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 6-11 September
    Below is iSentia’s weekly Election Index for the period 6 to 11 September, showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. We will publish...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Workers despair at Nationals lack of fairness
    “Nationals Workplaces policy, released today, fails to articulate any vison about how life for working New Zealanders can be improved.” CTU President Helen Kelly said. “Again if this policy focusses on removing work rights, its own documents...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • National tries to dodge the discussion on workers’ rights
    New Zealanders deserve a proper conversation about National’s plans to keep undermining the real value of their wages and conditions at work. “Today National has released a ‘workplace policy’ which will further widen the imbalance of power between...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Didn’t Get Your Easyvote Pack? You Need to Enrol Now.
    If you didn’t get an EasyVote pack in the mail last week, you need to check your enrolment now as you may not be enrolled....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Survey shows television without adverts could be vote winner
    Survey shows television without adverts could be a vote winner Television news focuses too much on politicians' personalities and not enough on the real issues, according to a UMR survey commissioned by the Coalition for Better Broadcasting....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Which of Key’s many statements will Greenwald challenge?
    John Key's credibility and honesty will be tested on many more GCSB issues than whether there was / is mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB. I have put together this by no means comprehensive list of Key's statements...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • 4th tranche of Auckland Housing Accord licenses sprawl
    Youth organisation, Generation Zero, is appalled at the next stage of the Auckland Housing Accord, released today, as it is once again focussed on urban sprawl. The fourth tranche of 41 Special Housing Areas (SHAs), allows for 8000 dwellings, nearly...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • New funding to support high value food exports
    Auckland, New Zealand. 15 September 2014...Plant & Food Research has received funding for two new projects in the latest government science investment round....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • National, Greens Big Movers on Bribe-O-Meter
    The Taxpayers’ Union has updated its election policy 'Bribe-O-Meter’ to reflect the cost of recent campaign promises. The update takes into account Labour’s new fiscal tables and all announcements up to Friday and is based on numbers provided...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Policy Costing Expert Questions ‘NZ Power’ Numbers
    Dr Michael Dunn, engaged by the Taxpayers’ Union to provide the figures for the 'Bribe-O-Meter' election costing website , is questioning the Labour Party’s costing of it’s flagship "NZ Power” policy....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
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