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From the pen of Fran O’Sullivan

Written By: - Date published: 12:25 pm, April 3rd, 2011 - 21 comments
Categories: law and "order" - Tags:

It seems the stench of the decision to remove the right to a jury trial from those arrested in the ‘Terror Raids’ has even risen into the nostrils of usually conservative members of the intelligentsia.

Not only did (judge) Winkelmann suppress her reasoning for her December 9 decision last year but she also suppressed (for some weeks) the fact that she had made it.

“…..untenable for a senior court to rule in the prosecution’s favour and deny these people a right to have their case heard by a jury of their peers.”

and further:

Nor is it tenable for the Court of Appeal to refuse to say publicly why it has ensured the upcoming trial will be one decided by legal insiders.

Comfortable as she is, on the right of the political spectrum, O’Sullivan attacks the moral cowardice of the left for not speaking out as strongly as they could.

O’Sullivan particularly excoriates Labour and the Greens for their silence.

“….even Greens MP Keith Locke – who has been the subject of Security Service surveillance – has had little (if anything) to say on the court’s decision. But unless this carry-on is challenged this country runs the risk of being set on the path to Star Chamber hearings, where any activist facing serious charges will essentially be subject to a secret trial.

Fran O’Sullivan

By calling on the parliamentary left to stand up in condemning this decision, O’Sullivan may be mindful of the words of warning given by Pastor Niemoller before the US Congress, to the members of the establishment of the dangers that can befall, even them, for ignoring abuses of the state.

21 comments on “From the pen of Fran O’Sullivan”

  1. Thanks for highlighting this Jenny. Good to see Fran’s principles are still as sound as ever. I know you couldn’t reproduce the whole article in this post but I found two other passages particularly telling:

    Widely leaked police affidavits painted a colourful story that no doubt alarmed senior political figures…

    At its heart, the Urewera 18 case is not complex. It is being made complex by the prosecution’s apparent drive to retrofit the case so that the police can use what was initially deemed illegally gained evidence to bolster their submissions.

    I too am concerned by the court’s decision, and particularly its supression of its reasons because it may be the decision is somehow justified.

    But what is beyond dispute is the other aspects Fran has highlighted: the prosecution, and particularly the Police, have clearly behaved in an unethical and potentially illegal manner. That shouldn’t need to wait for the trial – and possibly form part of the defence.

    It should be investigated; thoroughly; now.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      What the court does and the reasons for that should never be suppressed. Doing so is part of the make up of a dictatorial and unaccountable government.

      • You start second-guessing the judiciary, or constraining what they can do, you wake up one morning and you’re in bed with David Garrett :-D

        I agree with you in terms of reasons – I can’t think of anyhting that could justify the why of a decision being supressed. And in 95% of cases, that would also apply to the what. But I think there are circumstances – risk of witness or juror intimidation, say – where suppression of certain things may be justified, especially prior to proceedings.

        • Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.1.1

          <i>Doing so is part of the make up of a dictatorial and unaccountable government.</i>

          Except that we do have very effective separation between government and judiciary in New Zealand.

          • lprent 1.1.1.1.1

            With regret, putting in a wysiwyg editor means that putting tags in directly is now something that isn’t allowed while in that editor.

            I’ll be putting the ability to switch editors in this evening. I was going to do it when/if I woke up early as per normal, but I had a really good sleep last night – and I got the solution to the bug whilst dreaming.

          • Jenny 1.1.1.1.2


            “Except that we do have very effective separation between government and judiciary in New Zealand.”

            Oleolebiscuitbarrell

            Ollie, Why is the independence of the state forces from our democracy seen as a virtue?

            Shouldn’t they instead be our accountable servants?

            Doesn’t the “effective separation between government and judiciary” as you put it, also mean less accountability and no democratic oversight of the state forces to the publicly elected officials of our democracy?
             
            What is it that is so great about the effective separation between the government and the judiciary?

            Or for that matter between the police and the government?

            Or between the army and the government?

            Or the secret service and the government?

            Or the crown (in the form of the Governor General) and the government?

            Being independent of the government can also mean being outside the control of our democracy

            Oleole, do you think that the state should be apart from, and separate from the government?

            In a democracy like ours shouldn’t we support the supremacy of our democracy over the state?

            And not the supremacy of the state over our democracy?

            In my opinion, in a democracy an independent state is not such a good thing.

            After all the state forces of Egypt, the army and the police, were until very recently completely independent, separate and above society, with no democratic oversight at all.

            I don’t think you would support this state of affairs in this country. 

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.2.1

              What is it that is so great about the effective separation between the government and the judiciary?

              It stops the PM from having the police raise trumped up charges against Opposition leaders, and then having the Courts put those leaders in jail for years at a time.

              Like has happened in nearby places like Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, China,…
               
              So really there are some advantages.
               

              After all the state forces of Egypt, the army and the police, were until very recently completely independent, separate and above society, with no democratic oversight at all.
               

              Not quite: the army and the police were direct extensions of the Executive branch. Again imagine the example: the PM takes a disliking to an Opposition leader, and tells the Police Commissioner to get that Opposition leader arrested. Done. (And the outcome of the trial is predetermined as well).

               

              • Jenny

                C.V. I asked – “What is it that is so great about the effective separation between the government and the judiciary?”

                To which you replied – “It stops the PM from having the police raise trumped up charges against Opposition leaders, and then having the Courts put those leaders in jail for years at a time.
                Like has happened in nearby places like Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, China,…
                 
                The key difference is that these countries are not democracies but dictatorships.
                There is no public accountability of the state.

                Effectively the un-elected head of state is often the leader of the police or the army.

                In fact the ‘State’ is the army and the police.

                Colonial Viper your argument that the state forces should be independent of a democratically elected government is contradictory.

                I claimed that – “the state forces of Egypt, the army and the police, were until very recently completely independent, separate and above society, with no democratic oversight at all.”

                To which you replied – “Not quite: the army and the police were direct extensions of the Executive branch.”

                I thought that is what I said.

                In Egypt as in most dictatorships the police and the army are the naked state, without any democratic oversight.

                You should never forget that our state forces are also not democratic in their organisational makeup. The so called “chain of command”, ensures that all those promoted to leading positions are appointed by a self perpetuating leadership, and not elected by the ranks and certainly not by the public, in this both, the police and the army are similar to dictatorships. This is why, in a democracy both these forces must be subservient to the democratically elected leaders.

    • Pascal's bookie 1.2
      Aah, but Rex, I was listening to various assorted worthies,
      on one of the blathering programs on the teevee this morning,
      and discovered that the Minister of Police’s job is to defend the Police,
      and that the current minister is well up to the task,
      and that no one can expect her to be anything other than forthright in her defence of the police;

      which is her primary job I was told,
      and not a one of the assorted gathered worthies saw fit to contradict.
      So there you have it.

      • Ker-rist on a popsicle stick. Care to name these worthies. Pb?

        Strangely enough it’s a view of the Minister’s job not confined to the incumbent in NZ. I’ve heard several holders of that office make the same statement.

        Wonder what the same commentators would say if, for instance, a hospital was alleged to have bungled and killed someone and the Minister of Health said it was their job secription to “defend doctors and nurses”.

        One good thing comes from all this though… with Judith Collins taking on the role, there’s no need for the fatuous Police Union.

        • Pascal's bookie 1.2.1.1

          Jon Johansson, Moira Coatsworth and Paul East, plus Holmes. So at least 2 should-have-known-much-betters

          http://tumeke.blogspot.com/2011/04/qa-nation-review.html

          • Rex Widerstrom 1.2.1.1.1

            The new Labour Party President, welcomed with such touching hope in another post here on this very same day?!

            Didn’t take her long to illustrate where her loyalties lie… with the status quo, as with everyone else who manages to rise to senior political office in NZ. Funny that.

            Paul East’s position I find extremely disappointing. Knowing him slightly as I do I have to wonder whether he actually believes that – I’d be astounded if someone with his knowledge of law and constituional matters did – or whether he’s letting party loyalty dictate his response. Either way… shame.

        • lprent 1.2.1.2

          Judith Collins appears to have bought into the defending the police myth more thoroughly than anyone since John Banks had the role.

          I keep having people of the right telling that she is bright and competent (and someone to take over from Key when he bails out) But so far I have seen no evidence of a backbone against anyone who can fight back, or signs of any understanding of the various roles of government.

          Not someone I would trust very far. Looks too stupid to trust.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 1.2.1.2.1

            Shes saying higher standards are ‘expected’ from the new commissioner ?

            Hello?
            shes had the job for 2 1/2 years. It would be interesting  to see if she has raised one finger about  general police competency  in that time

      • Jenny 1.2.2

        “…..the Minister of Police’s job is to defend the Police,
        and that the current minister is well up to the task,
        and that no one can expect her to be anything other than forthright in her defence of the police;
        which is her primary job I was told,
        and not a one of the assorted gathered worthies saw fit to contradict.
        So there you have it.”

        Pascal’s bookie

        Pascal I have been struck that through history it is a hallmark of a right wing politician to want kow tow before the myth of the infallibility and incorruptibility of the armed forces and the police, and to aspire to hand over leadership to them. (Sometimes with comically nauseatingly effusive speeches peppered with words like, “Saviours of the Nation” etc. etc.)

        Frankly apart from being dangerously wrong headed, I think this right wing instinct is rather infantile.

         

  2. Jenny 2

    oops neglected to include the link to the full article

    Fran O’Sullivan: Protect our basic right to trial by jury

  3. Andrew Roger 3

    And she was fairly harsh about Brownlee not too long ago either.

    Fran’s right- she shouldn’t have to worry about being the opposition on this- there should be a strong movement opposing the continuing anti-democratic behaviour of this government. Glad to know that if there was a movement though, she’d consider joining.

  4. Kris Gledhill 4

    The problem with expecting the Labour party to object to this is that the legislation in question – which allows prosecutors to apply to have trials expected to last 20 days or more before a judge and allows a judge to direct that the jury of ones peers should be replaced by a judge – was introduced in 2008 by the then Labour government. What it actually represents is another part of a process of removing fundamental features of the criminal justice system because it is thought that they are too expensive and inefficient. The Criminal Procedure Simplification Bill currently before Parliament is another example of this: the process leading to this was started under Labour and so they have little basis for challenging National for introducing it, since it could just as easily have been a Labour Minister speaking in favour of it. Congratulations to Fran O’Sullivan for pointing out that there is a principle here – namely trial by ones peers and decisions being made by the public not a judge – which is worth the costs involved.

  5. GINA 5

    Kris

    The problem with expecting the Labour party to object to this is that the legislation in question – which allows prosecutors to apply to have trials expected to last 20 days or more before a judge and allows a judge to direct that the jury of ones peers should be replaced by a judge – was introduced in 2008 by the then Labour government.

    Thanks for that. Unless someone can mount a good defense for Labour on this one my vote is going elsewhere. How far did this legislation progress etc etc.This makes it very clear that we need at least 2 new parties i.e. a left and right wing. Would be better with all left wing parties but It’s a free country for now .
    I’m beginning to wonder if we will actually have an election this November and wonder what type of terrorist false flag just might occur during the world cup.
    Then theres is another possibility The World Bank who promote PPP’s and the sale of countries assetts  are obviously writing National party policy.  Nobel prize winner Joseph Stiglitz claims the IMF and the Clinton administration helped rigg the Russian election to get Yeltsin ( their man ) into power. Stiglitz was in the top echelons of the Clinton administration at the time so was an insider. National cannot get electoral compliance with their real agenda so I think they might be going to rigg November.
     

  6. Jenny 6

    Jury trials are a recognised hallmark of a democracy. This is why Fran O’Sullivan specifically mentions that unless this precedent – “is challenged this country runs the risk of being set on the path to Star Chamber hearings”. Fran O’Sullivan

    The sort of court hearings they have in communist China.

    In democracies we have jury trials. 

    In dictatorships judge only trials are the norm. 

    n undemocratically ruled force (the police) should not have the power to oppose jury trials. 

    One of the reasons for jury trials is that the judiciary are not chosen democratically either, like leaders of the police and the army the judiciary are appointed.

    Democratic politicians of all persuasions should be strenuously demanding in the house of representatives that parliament immediately repeal the law that the allows the police to oppose jury trials.
    If the politicians fail to take up this message then it behoves the people of this country as in any other democracy to support the protests of those charged for their right to a jury trial.

  7. Jenny 7

    CV. I asked – “What is it that is so great about the effective separation between the government and the judiciary?”

    You answered – “It stops the PM from having the police raise trumped up charges against Opposition leaders, and then having the Courts put those leaders in jail for years at a time.
    Like has happened in nearby places like Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, China,…
     
    So really there are some advantages.”

    Colonial Viper

    CV don’t you think that the public accountability, freedom of information, and right to protest that is a featured part of a democracy, makes your scenario of a democratically elected politician haveing his government opposition arrested, is so unlikely as to be farcical. 
    But hey, for a laugh let us explore this idea.
    cue dramatic breaking news music:
    Good evening everybody as everyone has heard by now the big news story of the day is the political furore in Wellington.
    Phil Goff, the leader of the opposition has been arrested on what some say are spurious trumped up drugs charges. 
    Prime Minister John Key says that he has been fully briefed by Howard Broad but says that it is a matter for the police and that the government will not be taking any action on the matter.
    It is early days yet, but already it looks as though Mr Goff is being elevated to National saint hood by mass rallies around the country which have been carried by this channel and in all the other mainstream media outlets, as well as being splashed all over the internet. There has also been world wide interest with this story making headlines around the globe. 
     
    Wait, wait, 
    Some late breaking news has just come through my headset.
    Just to hand, in a matter of hours current polls have turned completely around and show that and in the upcoming election the Labour Party looks set to win by a massive margin. 
    Yes folks it looks like a landslide victory for Labour.
    We cross live now to Labour Party headquarters, where despite the election still being months away, preparations are already being made for a victory parade to welcome Phil Goff on his release from Mt Eden prison where he is being held. The plans are that Phil Goff is to be carried out through the gates of the prison on the shoulders of Labour Party supporters. 
    There is to be a brief news conference and speeches and a temporary stage is to be erected in the road outside the prison gates. The crowds are expected to be massive. After the press conference it is planned for Phil Goff to be immediately taken by limosine to Mangere airport for a special chartered flight to Wellington to take up his position in parliament as Prime Minister. His first move will be to launch an inquiry into how the charges were brought against him. Already there have been some rumours of some early retirements in the police and judiciary.
    The incumbent Prime Minister John Key has been quoted as saying, “I never saw this coming, it has been a most unfortunate set of events, and if I knew this was going to be the result I would never have let things go this far. A full investigation is being launched and alongside ordering Howard Broad to stand down. Parliament has made an executive order that the all charges against the leader of the opposition have been dropped. I would like to take this opportunity to give my sincerest apologies to the New Zealand people for not acting sooner.”

    Later Campbell Live will investigate if this has been a bigger back down in government direction than that brought about by the massive protests against schedule 4 mining.

    In other news…… 

    Actually come to think of it Snake, on current polling, your unlikely fantasy looks the only way of Phil Goff becoming PM.

     

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    The Auckland Transport board meeting is on Thursday and below are sections from the various reports that caught my attention. The first thing I noticed was the huge number of items on the closed agenda with 18 specific items for decision/approval or...
    Transport Blog | 29-09
  • Labour not “part of the communities we live in”
    Labour leadership aspirant Grant Robertson told a blunt truism to Kathryn Ryan on Radio New Zealand the Monday after the election. “Politics has to be about more than elections,” he said. “It has to about being part of the communities...
    Colin James | 29-09
  • The mystifying rise of Jacinda Ardern
    As Labour’s leadership debacle lurches nowhere fast, the only winner thus far appears to be Jacinda Ardern. A One News poll (or what One News sometimes likes to call a poll, despite it being a self-selecting online survey. Please, just leave the...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • Hold fast to your Mana – Harawira
    Hone Harawira today called on the voters of Tai Tokerau to hold fast to their mana, and not be dictated to by those party leaders who have ganged together to tell them how to vote. “I call on our people...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Media Advisory – Interview availability
    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Party members and affiliates – the real losers in Labour’s leadership f...
    Hey, wanna do a back room deal that cuts the members and affiliates out? Cunliffe must be reeling. He has lost failed Ilam candidate James Dann. It must cut as deep as the loss of Steve Gibson. Apart from providing Claire...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election res...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election result...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • The rich get richer
    Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman highlights the growing inequality in this article in the New York Times. The left wing slogan that the “the rich get richer” is a fact of almost perverse power. The most recent period of expansion in the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • A brief word on reinvading Iraq
    So after telling the country before the election that NZ would not send forces to Iraq, lo and behold now he’s won the election with a full spectrum dominance political majority, Key is suddenly now looking to join the re-invasion of...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • A brief word on the importance of ACT, Maori Party and United Future to Nat...
    I’m a far right wing clown who attacks tax money going on anything collective, gimmie some cash and privilege.  One of the great successes of National has been to implement hard right policy but have it sold as moderate. For some NZers,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Labour’s Angst
    Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage? My analysis of the numbers suggests that, as uncertain voters made up their minds, there was a late...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Information wars: Gaza as “the last taboo”, the threat of mass surveill...
    “When the truth is replaced with silence” wrote the soviet dissident Yevgeni Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.” There has been a silence these past months full of noise, static and sound bites of those in power justifying their violence,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • When the media say they covered Dirty Politics – did they?
    I was watching The Nation in the weekend, and watched the defenders of NZ media up against Minto telling him he was wrong in his claims of media bias and that the media covered Dirty Politics. I laughed. When the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG – P Campbell – To the Left with love
    A week after the general election results I feel wrung out emotionally, having been through the disappointment, depression and anger of seeing  another right wing government elected overwhelmingly by winning support from the parts of NZ that will never benefit...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – I will be the new Labour Leader!
    One week after the election, while I was still waiting to be consulted about contributing to the review on what went wrong, what do you know? There is a leadership challenge. So instead of opting for a united, thoughtful and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – A Prescient Post
    A very prescient pre-election post by Martyn Bradbury tells us why the Labour Party are at war now. “The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work” Despite Martyn Bradbury warning them this Right Wing strategy “Better Work”...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – W(h)ither Labour (!/?)
    There’s an old saying that success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Not so in the Labour Party, wherein soul-crushing defeat on a scale unseen since 1925 definitely has many fathers (and more than a few mothers and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • At the end of the day…
    At the end of the day…...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty
    Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Internet MANA the election and the media
    I’ve been very critical of media reporting of Internet MANA during the election campaign and not surprised at the predictable response from representatives of the corporate media establishment. I wasn’t going to carry this further but was asked at the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Rachel Jones – A superficial discourse analysis of a superfic...
    On Sunday there was a story about Paddy Gower and his detached retina in the Herald on Sunday. Really? I hear you ask. Really? Yes, really. Pam Corkery will have sprayed toast crumbs over her dressing gown. The reporter has become...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Terrorising Australia’s Muslim population
    We should be suspicious when 800 police conduct “terror” raids across Australia, but only one person is charged with a relevant terrorism offence (of which we know few details). We should be suspicious of the lurid tales of terrorists planning...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its min...
    Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its mind. I know the Labour party has its problems and I’m not even going to try to prescribe what should be done about it. But what I...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Loyalty, Leadership and the Labour Party
    My first after the election and I can only say I’m feeling pretty sad.  It was a terrible result, and feels even more so knowing the number of volunteers hours, hard work & sacrifice made by so many people who...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • A Study in Party Stability
    . In terms of long-term stability, one party above stands above all others, with the exception of personality-driven groups such as NZ First and United Future. That party is the Greens. If the Labour Party wants to look elsewhere for...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Cunliffe vs Robertson – Round 2
    Much to the disappointment of the NZ Herald and other right wing pundits who have decided they would like to appoint the next Labour leader, Cunliffe has surprised by deciding to damn the Caucus and appeal directly to the members...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The tasks before the left and labour movement
    Anyone on the left would have been disappointed at the result of the election. There was an opportunity to win, but that got lost through a combination of factors. There were tactical decisions made by Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • From Fiji’s dictatorship to ‘democracy’ – the AUT student team on t...
    Mads Anneberg’s profile on Ricardo Morris and Repúblika. David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. THREE STUDENTS from AUT University covered Fiji’s historic “from dictatorship to democracy” general election this month. While the election arguably legitimised Voreqe Bainimarama’s so-called 2006...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • David Cunliffe Resigns As Labour Leader – Forces Robertson Out of the Bel...
    David Cunliffe has made a smart move, resigning as the leader of the Labour Party so as to force a leadership primary campaign. The move draws rival Grant Robertson out of the beltway to parts of the country where he...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The NZ National voters elected
    The NZ National voters elected...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The post election postmortem is giving me post p...
    I feel the need to contribute to the discourse. This is a new experience for me. Not having an opinion, but expressing it on a popular forum in a public sphere. That’s why I have waited till now and put...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A dictionary of education terms and definitions, brought to you by the let...
    Free to all TDB readers, please enjoy your very own cut-out-and-keep handy primer of terms that I predict you will need to know over the next three years… Achievement Gap (noun) Synonym for wealth gap. ACT (abstract noun) Intangible. Reported to exist in...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A Mines Rescue brigadesman’s perspective on the Pike River Mine
    My husband and I lived in Greymouth in 2010, we were a coal mining family.  The day Pike River Mine blew up and the days following changed us profoundly, as it did for so many.  This is a Mines Rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • The Left Triumphant! A Counterfactual History of the Last Twelve Months.
    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA
    New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • Reflecting on Elections Past
    There are a number of past elections that can give the left in New Zealand guidance and hope. Two major points though. Major parties require leaders who can bridge the political divide through strength of personality, vision of what it...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – The Reptile Room
    I stress, at the outset, that I’ve got nothing against reptiles. Some of my best friends are reptiles. Some say I am one, but I’m not really. I just emulate that ability to sit, stationary for hours in court, eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • The success of right-wing counter messaging in the election
    One of the reasons National won the election was due to its success in counter messaging – and the way so many media commentators ran with th the right-wing spin. Here are some examples. Dirty Politics The original message was...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New Flag competition
    New Flag competition...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Submissions sought on herbicide for weed control in maize
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on a herbicide to improve broadleaf weed control in maize. The substance CADET contains 100g fluthiacet-methyl in the form of an emulsifiable concentrate and would contain a new active ingredient...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line
    Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line TV personality Jesse Mulligan will live on the equivalent of the extreme poverty line this October in order to raise awareness of sex trafficking. Mulligan will survive on $2.25 for his food from October...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn?
    Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn? - Sue Bradford, Russell Brown & Kirk Serpes discuss....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change
    Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change at launch of Pacific environment report...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages
    The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management advises that while changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages come into effect from today (Wednesday 1 October), the Ministry has been, and remains, the authoritative voice for tsunami...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Police remove banner at Statoil Offices in Wellington
    Oil Free Wellington hung a banner at 9:30 this morning at the Statoil office headquarters in Wellington as the Petroleum Summit opened in Auckland. The banner, which read 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil', has now been removed...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Mixed massages raise concerns
    Mixed massages raise concerns for Te Taumata Kaumatua Ngapuhi nui tonu, and Te Wakaminenga O nga Hapu Ngapuhi....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Union Slams Port Boss’s Pay Rise
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says Lyttelton Port CEO Peter Davie’s 18% wage rise, taking his pay packet to $1.24m, is unjustified and inflammatory. ‘Lyttelton port has an appalling health and safety record, with three deaths on...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Prisons expert Ron Nikkel to speak in Auckland October 15
    Prison Fellowship NZ and JustSpeak have the privilege of hosting the former president of Prison Fellowship International, Ron Nikkel....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Hundreds of educators protest IES in Rotorua
    Four hundred educators from around the country took their opposition to the Government's controversial Investing in Educational Success policy to the public today....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Crime drops by 3.2 % in the 2013 / 2014 financial year
    Criminal offences dropped by 3.2 % in the last financial year according to figures released today through Statistics New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: what do we learn?
    I would like to invite you to a Fabians Reflection on "Dirty Politics, Dotcom and Labour’s worst result" with Colin James, Keith Ng, Stephanie Rodgers and Richard Harman. They will provide a debrief of analysis and lessons from the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Oil Free Wellington drops banner from Statoil headquarters
    Today members of Oil Free Wellington have targeted the offices of Statoil, by attaching a banner reading 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil' to the entrance of Vodafone on the Quay Midland Park, where Statoil's New Zealand office...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Media Statement from Karen Price
    “After a period of intense media attention and scrutiny of our family, I set up and used an anonymous Twitter account over the weekend and made a number of comments that I deeply regret....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Greenpeace disrupts Simon Bridges’ speech to oil industry
    Greenpeace activists have disrupted the opening speech by Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges at the Petroleum Summit in Auckland this morning....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • An open letter to the Prime Minister
    in which Transparency International New Zealand asks the Prime Minister to ensure integrity underpins all work he leads "in the best interests of all New Zealanders"...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Paula Bennett ‘great work’ acknowledged – McVicar
    “Paula Bennett, as Minister of Social Development, has contributed significantly in lowering our crime rate and preventing further victims.” - McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Key’s Restraint in Propping up ACT Welcomed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the announcement that ACT MP David Seymour will not be appointed as a Minister....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Only Concession is from the Taxpayer
    Responding to the confidence and supply agreement reached between John Key and Peter Dunne’s United Future Party, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A Tent for Any Tenant
    AUT students and Salvation Army Manukau Community Ministries team up to raise awareness, as South Auckland’s housing situation moves from crisis to collapse...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report Seeks Comments
    The Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report and Recommendations was published on 25th September 2014 and the panel are inviting comments. Lucinda Rees from NZ School Speeds, the organisation campaigning for consistent speed limits outside schools, is encouraged...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour’s Review – Terms of Reference Agreed
    Labour's Review - Terms of Reference Agreed Following a meeting of its ruling New Zealand Council yesterday, Labour has released the terms of reference for the comprehensive review initiated following its 2014 election result. The review will comprise three...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • The final countdown for Kiwi smokers
    There are just two days left until many smokers stubb out their cigarettes for the last time and embark on Stoptober – New Zealand’s first national quit-smoking month....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose”
    “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose” – Chris Hipkins Labour Senior Whip I would say to all of the caucus and all of the members let's actually hear the arguments from the people who want to be leader,...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Campaign to make Murder of Unborn ”Safe and Legal”
    The IPPF have launched an international campaign through its 161 affiliates including the New Zealand Family Planning Association [NZFPA] to make the murder of the unborn safe and legal and accepted as a human right. This is an acceleration of...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Grant Robertson Labour leader hopeful on TVNZ Q+A
    “Look I think what we need to be is relevant, clear and consistent with New Zealanders about the Labour Party's values,” said Labour leader hopeful Grant Robertson on TVNZ’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour Needs to Get House in Order Before Deciding Leader
    Ex Labour party leader and possible repeat contender David Shearer says the Labour Party is going about the post-election period in the wrong way....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Hate merchants at it again with smear tactics
    “It’s disappointing to see the hate merchants at it again with yet another attempt to smear and silence a health professional who’s doing research they disagree with,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
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