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GCSB changes – outrageous anti-democratic

Written By: - Date published: 6:13 pm, April 15th, 2013 - 42 comments
Categories: accountability, class war, democracy under attack, International, john key, slippery, Spying - Tags: , ,

Key has announced  major changes to the GCSB roles that will include assisting business, the SIS and the police in spying against Kiwis.

This is outrageous.  There are good reasons why there has previously been a separation of the roles of the GCSB (spying on non-Kiwis), the SIS (surveillance of NZ residents and citizens), and the investigations into crime by the police.  It is a check against consolidation of power, and against the NZ intelligence services assisting foreign governments in surveillance of NZ citizens, in their own interests.

Using the GCSB to assist the corporates will give further strength to the war on the poor.

42 comments on “GCSB changes – outrageous anti-democratic”

  1. felix 1

    Centralisation of power. Let’s see who’s really a fan of bigger, stronger government.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    and help to both public and private sector organisations

    So, we get our own intelligence spying on us for the benefit of foreign corporations – great.

    Well, if you had any doubt about who this government was governing for they should now be well and truly buried. This government is governing for the corporations and against NZers.

  3. Red Rosa 3

    No need to re-invent the wheel.

    A quick trip to the old East Germany should do it. Their Stasi worked just fine, kept the population in line. Employed a lot of people, too. Intercepted all letters and listened to all phone calls… well, as many as they could. Plenty of ex-Stasi people around, they could pop over and help set it up.

    This is truly outrageous.

    More than ever, we need an effective leader of the opposition. But Russel Norman is doing OK.

    • ghostrider888 3.1

      Russell Norman certainly is an effective thinker and articulate communicator with some Excellent people on his team.

      • Rhinocrates 3.1.1

        Agreement squared. This is outrageous indeed, and the crisis now could just provoke Key’s mob into truly repressive action.

        we need an effective leader of the opposition. But Russel Norman is doing OK.

        Right on with the explicit and implicit points. Russel Norman is doing a good job alright, and the “official” “opposition”, Labour In Name Only, is already telling us to bend over and saying that with enough lube it’ll be OK.

        The Greens know what they stand for.

        … and I guess LINO does too – their meal tickets at Bellamy’s.

        If Mumblefuck had an iota of principle, a mere mote of foresight and a splinter of a backbone, he’d be screaming his outrage, but he’s too terrified of offending the Talkback Taleban, because somehow, they’re the key to electoral victory, and principles be damned, he’s all for it with a few weasel remarks about enquiries and controls.

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.1

          he’s all for it with a few weasel remarks about enquiries and controls.

          I’ve tried to refrain from banging on about Shearer; but yes. Another grey moment from the grey man.

        • ghostrider888 3.1.1.2

          crossing over to you Rodeo Live

          • ghostrider888 3.1.1.2.1

            wow, how do you like them shiney green apples in the summertime. heehee

        • Mary 3.1.1.3

          Russel Norman was great today the way he said that any minister who’s performed as badly as Key has over the GCSB kerfuffle would be sacked for being so useless. It came across really well and so effectively. Opposition MPs need to say these sorts of things more often instead of pussyfooting around saying things like “If the PM was really serious about X he’d be doing Y”. The opposition need to start saying things how they are and be far more dismissive of what Nact’s doing, especially now when the attacks on the poor and on democracy are in overdrive.

          • felix 3.1.1.3.1

            Matthew Hooten said much the same thing on radio nz this morning.

            He reckons whoever came up with the wording for John Key’s answer to Robertson’s supplementary about the GCSB appointment ought to be sacked.

        • Jenny 3.1.1.4

          But Russel Norman is doing OK.

          Red Rosa

          Russel Norman is doing a good job alright,….

          Rhinocrates

          If Russel Norman was doing a good job, he would be calling for all New Zealanders who are concerned about civil liberties and the right to protest, to rally on the steps of parliament. And he would be challenging the Labour leaders to call out all their members and supporters too.

          No doubt we will hear that protest doesn’t work, from all the usual right wing sources.

          But it is the only thing proven to work when every other democratic outlet has failed.

          It worked over Schedule 4 land. The government quickly did a U turn.

          It worked over Nuclear Ships and apartheid.

          The massive numbers who rallied to support those causes are still there. They must be very concerned at the attacks on civil liberties and the right to protest that allowed them to achieve their victories.

          ….they need to be hammered hard over this – by the Opposition, media and public.

          GregJ

          2, 4, 6, 8,

          We Are All, “The 88”

  4. ianmac 4

    Be interesting to know just how long this has been planned. If it goes back say 3+ weeks then it might mean that Mr Key engineered the fuss.
    But the proposition seems outrageous misfortune to most NZers.
    The ODT Editorial seems even more urgent:
    “….Certainly, there seems much to answer for, which is why changing the law before a proper investigation of process has been carried out would be a gross abuse of power – and could have a gross impact on the average New Zealander. “

    http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/editorial/252936/spectre-big-brother

  5. Arfamo 5

    This is a serious development, especially given the proposed extension to private sector of some involvement there as well. Really need some leadership from opposition parties in loudly questioning everything about this idea.

  6. GregJ 6

    This is indeed outrageous – it needs widespread critical analysis, comment & condemnation. I would expect all the Opposition parties to oppose this loudly and vociferously.

    All parties with the exception of the Greens* voted for the GCSB Act in 2003 which made it clear that GCSB was not permitted to intercept domestic communication (with an exception when conducting surveillance on a NZ national who may be spying for a foreign power). Serious questions need to be asked on why National has now changed its position & why this situation has changed. It seems National is prepared to throw out the consensus between the major parties that normally works around intelligence and security matters – they need to be hammered hard over this – by the Opposition, media and public.

    *NB. I want to make it clear I’m not saying that the Greens were opposed to the idea of not spying on domestic comms by GCSB by opposing the bill – their objections were about the whole role and raison d’etre of GCSB.

  7. RedLogix 7

    More than ever before I can’t help but imagine the insane jibbering, in four inch high black headlines, from the media if Helen Clark had proposed this.

    This extraordinary power is to be given to a secret government organisation whose ONLY democratic accountability is to the Prime Minister.

    It was not decided whether the changes would retrospectively effect the more than 80 New Zealanders believed to have been illegally spied on.

    Paging burt….

    • ianmac 7.1

      RL: Or the illegality of the Dotcom spying. Maybe that is why the crisis has been set up now to avoid accountibility and Dotcom’s defence..

    • karol 7.2

      On only being accountable to the PM: key has included this:

      There would also be enhanced oversight arrangements, including a wider pool of candidates able to perform the role of inspector general of security and intelligence, meaning they do not have to be a retired high court judge; the inspector general’s office would be more pro-active, rather than review focused, and able to launch its own inquiries more easily; extra staff and resources; legislation expanding the inspector general’s work programme, and more transparency.

      But I’d like to see the small print . Will it still be under the PM’s ultimate authority? Will it include a bunch of people who Key shoulder tapped?

      • ghostrider888 7.2.1

        been consuming a lot of caffeine karol? you have been Mighty productive.

      • RedLogix 7.2.2

        Yes I was thinking of that point when I said democratic accountability. Beefing up the role of the Inspector General is plainly long overdue; that’s nothing more than what probably should have been done 20 years ago. But from a civil rights perspective it means little if the Inspector General is still essentially a creature of the PM.

        That’s the reason why other democracies have been so careful to separate these powers; so that state organisations which can spy on it’s own citizens are subject to substantially greater Parliamentary/Senate oversight than those focussed on ‘external’ threats.

        Now while there is good argument to suggest that in the modern world even that model has broken down somewhat as the whole “Five Eyes” and Dotcom debacle have shown … but Key is proposing to dismantle even that flimsy protection.

    • ghostrider888 7.3

      he and ernie top and tail

  8. weka 8

    What is ‘information assurance’?

    • karol 8.1

      Information assurance? Ask WINZ, the EQC, teachers, ACC…. etc, etc.

    • Huginn 8.2

      From the GCSB’s website, at the top of the list of jobs that it does, comes . . .

      Information Assurance (IA)

      ‘As communications technologies advance, the need to protect information carried by those technologies also grows.

      There are two main reasons to protect information. Firstly the confidential information of the Government of New Zealand needs to be protected from unauthorised disclosure. This means that Government departments can communicate information securely. Secondly there is a requirement to protect information and infrastructure from corruption by malicious ‘attack’, the most common form of which is the humble computer virus.’

      http://www.gcsb.govt.nz/our-work/ia.html

  9. Jenny 9

    Not only did the GSCB illegally spy on New Zealand citizens. It looks very likely that they passed the information they gleaned onto foreign powers. A double crime. One of the prime reasons that the GSCB, an agency charged with Foreign Intelligence, was never given power to spy on New Zealanders was to prevent this very occurrence.

    They may claim, that they didn’t know that what they were doing, in spying on New Zealanders was illegal. But the GSBC would have known that supplying that information to foreign powers was illegal and way beyond their brief.

    For this there can be no excuse.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10877535

    The Government Communications Security Bureau yesterday refused to say whether personal data known as “selectors of interest” about the 88 New Zealanders was passed to foreign intelligence.

    John Key is contemplating giving the GSCB more powers, even when they publicly and defiantly refuse to divulge the full extent of their current illegal activities.

    With more powers, the law breaking by this spy agency will not only likely continue. But with further powers, the opportunities to commit further illegal acts against New Zealanders will also be extended.

    Before the GSCB are given one more single power…..

    So That we can judge for ourselves whether their law breaking was justified;

    The GSCB should be forced to reveal the names of the victims of their illegal acts, and the extent of the spying engaged against them.

    Based on this evidence, we can judge for ourselves whether, or not, the GSCB can be trusted with even more powers and opportunities to break the law.

    Make no mistake these are law breakers, and as such they need to come clean on their past and current illegal activities. Before they are given even more powers and responsibilities the GSCB need to demonstrate that they have responsibly used the powers that they already have.

    As well as revealing the names of those they illegally spied on the GSCB need to answer the question of whether or not they they illegally passed on the information illegally gained about New Zealanders, to foreign agencies or powers.

    Until these two minimum conditions are met. NO extra Powers can even be contemplated for a not only a secret but an unaccountable organisation.

    • Murray Olsen 9.1

      Law breaking by an intelligence agency cannot be justified. No way José. Never. When information gathered illegally is handed over to foreign interests, both private and public, I think treason is not too strong a word to use.
      The GCSB should be disbanded and anyone involved should be thrown in prison. If this doesn’t happen, how long before they assume that they have a licence to kill? Will Obama return the Dot Com favour by murdering a holidaying Kiwi left winger with one of his beloved drones?
      This world is a nightmare and we must stop this crap. I feel sick.

      • Jenny 9.1.1

        Law breaking by an intelligence agency cannot be justified.

        Murray Olsen

        Indeed Murray. But will anyone be held accountable?

        No. In fact the very same people will be given even more opportunities to break the law.

        • Murray Olsen 9.1.1.1

          That’s why any party which has any attachment to democratic freedoms needs to stand on dismantling the GCSB and starting again. Why should we pay cold war desk warriors whose first allegiance is to Team America: World Police? If we have security needs, let’s define them very strictly and find new people to look after them. This lot has failed hopelessly.

    • Jenny 9.2

      The new powers give an incredible amount of power to an unaccountable secret agency. That has shown an arrogant disregard for the law.

      People may rightfully ask; “What other laws could the GSCB break if they were given the power to spy on New Zealanders?”

      The most obvious one, is, the law that makes it illegal for our internal secret service, the SIS to covertly spy on our legislators.

      On becoming an MP the SIS are required by law, to close any active file that they may have on that MP.

      The reasons for this prohibition are obvious.

      Legislators who make the laws of the land may be vulnerable to unwarranted pressure and blackmail from the secret authorities, who if they were enabled to snoop on the private lives of MPs would have the power to threaten them with leaking of any of their private and human frailties.

      Things that are not illegal in law, but that MPs may not want revealed. Adultery for instance. Or out of the ordinary personal habits that though not illegal, might be embarrassing if revealed publicly.

      So should the GSCB be given the power to snoop on our MPs as well?

      And what would this mean for our democracy?

      Would the GSCB gaining powers to spy on our legislators, pass on any private and sensitive or salacious information they gleaned on our MPs, to foreign agencies to the possible detriment of this country?

      Even if the new laws being proposed actively proscribed this type of spying, and forcefully declared such activities illegal,would the GSCB respect these laws?

      Going on their past record, the obvious answer is: No, they would not.

      The new powers being proposed for the GSCB give an incredible amount of power to an unaccountable secret agency. That has shown an arrogant disregard for the law.

      As such they should be opposed at every stage of their enactment.

    • RobertM 9.3

      Is the CGSB a Railway’s guard organisation. In 1977 the NZR under Robert Muldoon government ( Colin McLachlan was the rail minister, but signed the papers clearing his desk in half an hour before retreating to best bets and members bar) ordered 75 luxury guards van for one man to ride around the country in first class seating, doing nothing.Just like the CGSB staff, Guards were the lowest order in the rail, military, police, intellectual hierarcy and Rob thought he had to provide for them. Most of the international rail press thought it unbelievable a modern government could order guards vans, but Muldoon declared new rail carriages for Auckland commuters and long distance travellers were unaffordable and not a priority.
      I mean what do the 500 GCSB staffers do. It is obvious all the echelon targets are selected and studied in USA and Canada and that anything interesting is leaked to the Russians by Canadian spies.
      Ask JONKEY what information the latest Canadian traitor gave Moscow from NZ intelligence and miltary dat.a

    • Buunykinz 9.4

      Interesting to note (sorry if any already has) is that GCSB already has the ability to spy on “people in New Zealand”. They are just not allowed to spy on New Zealanders. We all now how tricky John Key can be with language in order to create plausible denial at a later stage. I believe that his refusal to use the word “New Zealander” points to the fact that there are no New Zealanders involved in any of his claims, and therefore current laws more than amply cover these scenarios.

      The GCSB can spy on foreign nationals with links to terrorist groups in New Zealand to their hearts content, either for their own purposes, or to assist external agencies.

      Looks like the media are being dozy as usual and not challenging John Key regarding his use of the phrase “people in New Zealand”, a phrase which in no way justifies these suggested changes.

  10. RedBaronCV 10

    The man must be brain dead. Apart from the fact it is a truly disgusting idea, does this mean we can vote his lot out and then tap Nact phones when Lord Ashcroft comes to visit him or run surveillance over John Bank’s property ( or has somebody done this already?) Tap a cellphone left on the table at a meeting or tap the NzHeralds phone’s instead of getting them turned over in election week.Check up and see what Banks really said about his election expenses?
    How do you think it would be before we put them out of business completely?

    • Murray Olsen 10.1

      The type of people that are in the agencies would probably refuse orders to spy on the right. I don’t think there’s anything for Key et al to worry about.

      • RobertM 10.1.1

        Well of course Air Marshall Ferguson can recall only one case of Terrorism in NZ. The mining of Rainbow Warrior by a weapon of mass destruction, a French naval mine. The terrorist- French military and intelligence officers were captured by Inspector Galbraith. Every western intelligence agency including the partners of GCSB refused to assist us.
        Clearly the GCSB bases are most likely attraction for a terrorist, spy or foreign military power.
        Like the nuclear power submarines Muldoon invited, they invite superpower interest.

  11. ruuptoit 11

    When did we last have Democracy in New Zealand…if ever?

    Key needs to able to spy on his colleagues…

    Shearer needs to be leading the charge against this…really when will we ever get a REAL Government of the people and FOR the people? Do we deserve less?

  12. emergency mike 12

    Yeah but… terrorists… WMDs…

    Think of the children. The children.

  13. Rodel 13

    I knew a supermarket owner in a northern south island town who years ago was paid by the SIS to report on students who agitated. He was asked to mix with students and protest groups and was paid (part time) to report on them.
    As a right winger and active in the local National Party, he had no qualms about his part time ‘spying’ in fact he spoke rather proudly of it, saw it as a noble patriotic activity and genuinely thought he was doing a service to the country and getting a bit of pocket money in the meantime. He was otherwise a nice guy but with the usual right winger’s blinkered and limited inability to see the social picture beyond his own profits.. I was interested when he went bankrupt. His right wing mates didn’t support him then.
    He is still active in the National party but his days of espionage are behind him.

    Heard someone of experience on radio the other day who said it’s not nice to live in countries where governments may always be spying on you. Thanks John for the expanded powers of the GCSB.

  14. Daveosaurus 14

    Does NZ even need two discrete bunches of spooks anyway? Get rid of the SIS (they’re nothing but a laughing stock), give the GCSB their job, tell them they aren’t going to get any more money and will have to make do. The rest of the country has had to deal with that sort of ‘management’ over the last few years.

  15. harpooner 15

    Key mentioning WMD and boat people landings in NZ shows he is taking advice direct from the CIA’s how to guide.

  16. johnm 16

    “New Zealand government to extend spy agency’s powers”

    “New Zealand’s National Party-led government is preparing to use a report into illegal activities by the secretive Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) to hand the agency previously prohibited powers to spy on citizens and residents.”

    “According to defence policy analyst Paul Buchanan, the GCSB is an integral part of Echelon, a network of signals interception facilities run by UK and US agencies, which shares global electronic intelligence among security agencies of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The GCSB receives “considerable” funding from the US—the exact amount is classified—as well as most of its technical equipment.

    The bureau operates the Waihopai satellite communications monitoring base in the South Island and the Tangimoana radio interception facility near Palmerston North. Waihopai, which opened in 1989 and expanded in 1998, continued its operations despite a 20-year defence rift with the US over NZ’s anti-nuclear legislation. The GCSB’s listening posts are staffed by US personnel as well as New Zealanders. New Zealand has access to “5-Eyes” signals intelligence, unique among small countries.”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/04/30/nzin-a30.html

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  • A piece of gratis media advice for Hilary Clinton
      Here’s some free media advice for Hilary Clinton now just trailing Donald Trump in the polls: Stop smiling and waving to “people you recognise” in the crowd. It’s insulting to everyone else, looks (and may well be) dishonest… ...
    1 day ago
  • The Nuit Debout revolt in France: let the gems sparkle. . .
    by Denis Godard The movement of occupation of squares in France is [over] two weeks old. [1] Its evolution is difficult to predict, because it is open to many unforeseen events, even though its roots are deep. At this point… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Open Government: Unilateral
    Back in April, State Services Minister Paula Bennett announced in an answer to a Parlaimentary written question that we were consulting the Open Government Secretariat about an extension to the deadline for submitting our action plan:While New Zealand's second Open… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Open Government: Unilateral
    Back in April, State Services Minister Paula Bennett announced in an answer to a Parlaimentary written question that we were consulting the Open Government Secretariat about an extension to the deadline for submitting our action plan:While New Zealand's second Open… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    frogblogBy Marama Davidson
    1 day ago
  • Free the Wicklow 2
    Protests around the imprisonment of these two activists are taking place around Ireland and also in Britain.  Anyone fancy organising something at the Irish embassy in Wellington  There is also an Irish consulate in Auckland. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • DIY Touring The World: New Zealand
    New Zealand has a small population, few places to play and not much money for touring bands - but you can’t beat the beautiful landscapes, hidden gem venues and fantastic audiences. Music impresario Ian Jorgensen has been touring bands… ...
    1 day ago
  • We are all socialists now
    A mass government house-building programme is a favourite policy of the left for solving the Auckland housing crisis. Use cheap government capital, build affordable, energy-efficient homes, mass produce them to get efficiencies of scale, and get people back into owning… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • We are all socialists now
    A mass government house-building programme is a favourite policy of the left for solving the Auckland housing crisis. Use cheap government capital, build affordable, energy-efficient homes, mass produce them to get efficiencies of scale, and get people back into owning… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Protected: Tributes to Dame Margaret Sparrow
    This post is password protected. You must visit the website and enter the password to continue reading.Filed under: Uncategorized ...
    ALRANZBy ALRANZ
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and New Zealand
    There’s a 2009 sci-fi novel by China Miéville called The City and the City. The action takes place in two separate cities which overlap each other geographically, but the denizens of each city is compelled to ‘Unsee’ things they see happening in… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and New Zealand
    There’s a 2009 sci-fi novel by China Miéville called The City and the City. The action takes place in two separate cities which overlap each other geographically, but the denizens of each city is compelled to ‘Unsee’ things they see happening in… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • Breaking free from fossil fuels – the risk we take is not taking action
    Last week, #BreakFree2016 wrapped up across the globe. Greenpeace joined with many inspiring organisations in a global wave of peaceful actions that lasted for 12 days and took place across six continents to target the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects.In places… ...
    1 day ago
  • More odious debt
    The media over the last few days has been full of stories about WINZ and odious debt. But the worst one is this:A woman with eight children living in emergency housing is facing a debt to Work and Income of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • More odious debt
    The media over the last few days has been full of stories about WINZ and odious debt. But the worst one is this:A woman with eight children living in emergency housing is facing a debt to Work and Income of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Additional Harbour Crossing ill-considered and over-rushed.
    We are increasingly concerned that Auckland is in the middle of very poor process where by far the nation’s biggest ever infrastructure project is being forced along and at ill-considered speed without anything like the level of public participation nor detailed… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    1 day ago
  • Additional Harbour Crossing ill-considered and over-rushed.
    We are increasingly concerned that Auckland is in the middle of very poor process where by far the nation’s biggest ever infrastructure project is being forced along and at ill-considered speed without anything like the level of public participation nor detailed… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    1 day ago
  • Tinder and 3nder are officially at war
    Your right to swipe for threesomes is under threat.    Some clean-cut millennials enjoying the 3nder afterglow. 1232RF Those for whom three is the magic sex-number should know that one's right to swipe one's way into a six-limb circus is… ...
    1 day ago
  • Weekly Listening: Die Antwoord, Joey Purp, King Kapisi and more
    A showcase of some of the best new music releases from the past week.   Joey Purp - GIRLS @ Feat. Chance The Rapper This track might be the catchiest three minutes and 32 seconds to hit your ears… ...
    1 day ago
  • Some big news, for me
    Two pieces of news that are kind of a big deal, for me. Firstly, I’m ditching my landline! I’m not a student and I’m not in a low income band, so make of that what you will. Secondly, after 10… ...
    GrumpollieBy Andrew
    1 day ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
    The GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
    The GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    1 day ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    1 day ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    1 day ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    frogblogBy Denise Roche
    1 day ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    1 day ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: This. Is. Crazy.
    It's eight days since the Prime Minister airily assured Guyon Espiner on Morning Report that "in my experience with Work and Income", homeless people could go along to their local office and get sorted with some emergency housing.We now know… ...
    2 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    frogblogBy Gareth Hughes
    2 days ago
  • What we are expected to believe
    In recent months I have become increasingly concerned at the state of bullshit in this country. Bullshit, as Harry Frankfurt famously wrote, is distinguished not by its intentionally negative truth value (those are lies) but its absence of intentional truth… ...
    2 days ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • The end of Auckland’s old growth model
    The New Zealand Council for Infrastructure Development’s public shark-jumping exercise the other week got me thinking. While their flagship policy of a new megabillion eastern tunnel project is a bit mad, their report does a reasonable job of diagnosing one… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • Why are whistleblowers being prosecuted as spies?
    Whistleblowers are a ‘check’ on government, corporate or organisational secrecy and malfeasance. I recently read Tim Shipman’s preview of the Chilcot report into the origins of the Tony Blair-led UK engagement in the US’s invasion of Iraq, which looked at… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 days ago
  • Spend and Tax
    As a general rule, New Zealanders want more public spending. Surveys (such as the 2014 Election Survey) show consistent support for increases in spending, particularly in the areas of health, education, housing, law enforcement, public transport and the environment (in… ...
    Briefing PapersBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • The birth place of the artist
    It may not be the best reason to fund the arts. It’s certainly not the only one. But travelling to the small city of Rovereto, at the feet of the Italian dolomites, reminded me of the lasting influence that a… ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of the far right, and battle bots
    In his victory speech at the Cannes film festival this week, the British film director Ken Loach warned that the rise of far right parties in Europe was being fuelled by the economic policies of austerity, and manifested in a… ...
    2 days ago

  • Minister won’t fess up on wrong figures
    The Minister of Health was caught out telling porkies in Parliament today when he was asked about the number of people getting access to mental health and addiction services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. ...
    4 hours ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 hours ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 hours ago
  • Scrambled announcement policy on the hoof
    Paula Bennett’s scrambled desperate announcement that she will pay homeless people to move to the regions is just the latest evidence of the disarray this Government’s housing policy is in, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This is policy… ...
    6 hours ago
  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    7 hours ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    7 hours ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    8 hours ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    1 day ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 day ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 day ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 days ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 days ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    2 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    3 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    4 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    5 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    5 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    5 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    5 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    5 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    6 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    6 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    6 days ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    1 week ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago

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