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How to pass treaties – could John Key please stop lying?

Written By: - Date published: 7:55 am, October 9th, 2013 - 44 comments
Categories: Economy, john key, Minister for International Embarrassment, slippery - Tags: , ,

One of the more enduring myths presented by the proponents of treaties like the TPPA is that they have to be approved by the NZ parliament. This isn’t the case. As usual with most right wing myths, they appear to be taking their civics lessons from Hollywood rather than reality.

For instance in a revelation of incompetence or a deliberate lie John Key said this about the TPPA

However, he said the agreement would still have to be ratified by Parliament, with the Government needing to build a majority.

No John – you complete dickhead. Perhaps you should spend some time reading about your own job. Parliament doesn’t have to “ratify” anything. In fact there is no such procedure in the NZ legal structure – I think that he is thinking of Hollywood perhaps?

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) describes the authority thus:-

In New Zealand the power to take binding treaty action (that is, ratification, accession, acceptance, approval, withdrawal or denunciation or, in the case of bilateral treaties, signature) rests with the Executive. Within this context, Cabinet has decided that certain international treaties (essentially multilateral treaties and major bilateral treaties of particular significance) will be presented to the House of Representatives for select committee consideration, before the Executive takes binding treaty action.

My italics..

In essence, this means that the “executive” aka cabinet graciously allows our governing body in parliament to look at a treaty in select committee. The select committee may or may not choose to allow public submissions usually depending on the inclination of the governing party MPs in that select committee. The select committee can then report back to the full house, which may not vote on the acceptance of treaty.

Except in very rare and urgent circumstances, the government refrains from taking any binding treaty action in relation to a treaty that has been presented to the House until the relevant committee has reported, or 15 sitting days have elapsed from the date of the presentation, whichever is sooner. The select committee may indicate to the government that it needs more time to consider the treaty, in which case the government may consider deferring taking binding treaty action. The select committee may seek public submissions. In addition, the House itself may sometimes wish to have a further opportunity for discussion of the proposed treaty action, for example by way of a debate in the House.

Implementing legislation: Legislation necessary to implement a treaty in New Zealand’s domestic law (if any) should not be introduced into the House until the treaty has been presented to the House and the time for reporting back has expired. The Government will not take binding treaty action until the treaty is implemented in New Zealand’s domestic law.

Now this is an interesting procedure. It is well suited for matters of defense which may be quite time critical. It means (for instance) that if the executive wanted to offer defense and support guarantees by way of a treaty to a country under threat, it can do so promptly and expeditiously in response to an emerging situation. However with a much less critical trade treaty, it means that the executive can if it chooses to do so can bypass all of the parliamentary checks before committing our country. Why?

Most of the effect of trade treaties is on matters like tariffs that are generally able to be modified by such non-legislative means such as the Executive Council telling the Governer General to sign and order in council. Typically much of the legislation passed by the NZ Parliament cedes authority to the governor general and their executive council as a matter for regulation.

Some important factors in treaties do not require even that. One major part of the unreleased TPPA provisions appears to relate to setting up international tribunals of “jurists” to settle disputes between participants, including between corporations and governments. At this point it appears that these tribunals will be setup using an unknown criteria for panel selection, have no particular deadlines, do not have to have public proceedings or published documents of their proceedings, are able to fine whatever penalties that they wish, have no transparent appeal process, and gain their power by their ability to bind other participants to restrict trade…

Importantly that also (as far as I can see) require no domestic legislation to be introduced, amended or changed. The reason why the word “appears” is so prevalent in the preceding paragraph is because no-one outside of a select group of diplomats and the their favoured corporations appears to have been briefed on much of the prospective TPPA provisions.

According to some of the leaked documents, much of this particular treaties provisions will not be released outside of the executive for years following signature because they will be required to go through countries with more legislator approval requirements, like the US, which will require years to approve the treaty.

In this case it is likely that some minor legislation will be required to be changed. For instance abolishing Pharmac’s ability to cut into overseas drug companies profits. However most of the TPPA does not and will not require any approval from parliament despite John Key’s assertions to the contary.

The debate between Wayne Mapp and Jane Kelsey this evening will hopefully be somewhat more realistic than assuming that John Key has an ability to do his own job.
Putting the TPPA to the test

44 comments on “How to pass treaties – could John Key please stop lying?”

  1. vto 1

    The Mfat website has it wrong.

    The executive may not alter the constitutional arrangements within NZ, such as the vote. This treaty dramatically diminishes our vote and so the executive may not enter into it.

    That is my view and I’m sticking to it. Any yankee that comes in here and tries telling us we cannot make our own laws can go fucking jump.

    [lprent: I suspect that your view is more out of hope than legality. But at least you are vaguely on-topic. ]

    • northshoredoc 1.1

      “This treaty dramatically diminishes our vote and so the executive may not enter into it.”

      No the point is we don’t know if it does or doesn’t do so.

      • vto 1.1.1

        This treaty will reduce what laws we can pass in our own land therefore it reduces the power and size of our vote.

        • northshoredoc 1.1.1.1

          No we don’t know that, it may well do so, which is why it like any other bill before parliament should be subjected to intense public scrutiny before being passed into law.

          • vto 1.1.1.1.1

            Oh, you mean we don’t know if it will reduce the power of our Parliament and our vote because we haven’t seen text yet? Sounds like pin dancing to me – it is well known that this will be one of the effects despite the public not seeing the actual wording. Not sure what your point is really.

          • David H 1.1.1.1.2

            @northshoredoc

            “should be ” But won’t. so we will be ruled by lies dammed lies and JokeyHen.

    • vto 1.2

      Well yes mr prent, it is likely the legality of such may be something other than my view. However the important point is the effect it does have on our power to make laws for us. This intrusion is gigantic and imo excessive. Business should understand that it takes a risk in investing into another country – it needs to weigh up that risk of laws being changed which may affect its business and adjust accordingly.

      The importance of our own power is the size of 100 elephants. The importance of business risk is the size of maybe 2 elephants.

      And that is all that this part is about – the risk to business. Nothing more and nothing less. Business has been raised above its long term average importance in the scheme of human beans, and it is not right.

      That is my view and I’m sticking to it.

      (oh, and I would have thought these points were entirely on-topic?)

      • Sable 1.2.1

        I think you will find the “mr is a miss”.

        • Tracey 1.2.1.1

          nope.

        • lprent 1.2.1.2

          Definitely not. If you want to find a Miss Lyn, then she is my partner. But I’m definitely Mr Lynn (with the correct number of ens at the end).

          Or as the popular joke amongst family and friends goes “New Lyn(n) and Grey Lynn”.

          Oh and we live in Grey Lynn…

          But this is all off topic…

      • lprent 1.2.2

        oh, and I would have thought these points were entirely on-topic?

        They were. Otherwise they’d have wound up in OpenMike like what used to be the number 2 comment which had a diversion into Pharmac.

    • David H 1.3

      Surely tho’ if this is passed by Parliament on a bunch of lies and half-truths , surely the next govt can repeal this as well.

  2. Tracey 2

    Not at this link that Wayne does not say parliament must ratify, he says it effectively ratifies because of law changes required after the treaty is signed.

    http://thestandard.org.nz/sign-the-tppa-petition/#comment-704042

    I for one have enjoyed the discussion here and just wish it transfer even by 10% to the public arena.

    • lprent 2.1

      Most “trade” treaties including this one require very little legislation to pass. The FTA with China only required minor legislative changes. Most of it was done by regulation. It still means that China is now rapidly heading to being our largest trading partner in both exports and imports.

      Moreover most treaties require many of the actual legislative changes to be made if possible. They aren’t mandatory.

      So basically that “effectively ratify” is also effectively crap.

      BTW: The TPPA may require more legislative changes than the FTA with China. That is because it isn’t a trade agreement. It is because it appears to mostly be an agreement about the legalities of intellectual property (with a bit of free trade in goods and services thrown in as a sweetener for Fonterra).

  3. Sable 3

    Keys is not stupid, just devious. People are surprisingly ignorant and the little creep knows this. He’s trying to create the impression that he is not the driving force behind the TPPA and its a “consensus” decision. So hey, don’t worry people there are “checks and balances,its not as bad as it sounds.”

    Like any good magician Keys does this kind of misdirection convincingly and with a complicit mainstream media no one is going to expose him. Just as well there are sites like this one to tell it like it really is.

    • Puckish Rogue 3.1

      I agreed with everything you said right up to this:

      “Just as well there are sites like this one to tell it like it really is.”

  4. Puckish Rogue 4

    You want a politician to stop lying? Godd luck with that…

    • lprent 4.1

      I’m used to them lying by omission . I just find that them stupidly lying is really really scary as a voter and citizen.

      • Puckish Rogue 4.1.1

        True that, its a sad but true reality of the political realities of NZ (and of course everywhere else) that we reward and continue to vote for politicians that lie (on both sides of the spectrum)

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          Stop making excuses for the behaviour then, creep, and hold National to account.

      • travellerev 4.1.2

        He doesn’t lie stupidly. He just doesn’t give a fuck about being found out. That should tell you something about how confident he feels with regards to the agenda he is implementing for his corporate mates.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.1.2.1

          +1

        • emergency mike 4.1.2.3

          +1

          “The agreement would still have to be ratified by Parliament, with the Government needing to build a majority,” just sounds like a nice reassuring thing to say, so he said it. If it turns out to be untrue and he gets called out on it, no biggie, he can just spin his way out of it later like always.

    • Colonial Viper 4.2

      Don’t be disingenuous. Its the selling out of our sovereignty and independence as a nation which is the issue.

  5. You might watch this video about it. you might ump off the fence and yell: NOOOOOOO!

    But then again you might be fine with giving big international Corps more financial deregulation and more military power and more rights to sue your own government is it doesn’t allow them free access to our assets.

    That has after all done wonders of good for this country in the past!

  6. Wayne 6

    Lynn,

    I will deal with this issue tonite.

    In a sense both you and the PM are correct. It is true that the ratification of treaties is an executive act, not a parliamentary matter. However all treaties are tabled in Parliament and are examined by the Foreign Affairs Select Committee. However the Committee can’t actually change anything.

    Major trade treaties invariably require legislative change, in this case probably on IP, and dispute resolution. But not for tariffs, which can be done by regulation under the relevant acts. Not that NZ has many tariffs anyway. The tariff reductions are going to be done by other states (and we will be the beneficiaries).

    In this instance the TPP, because of its high profile, will have a substantial parliamentary hearing. But in truth Parliament cannot really undo the commitments, or if they did, NZ would have to then file reservations. I have never seen that happen with a FTA entered into by NZ.

    It is a bit like Treaty of Waitangi settlements. They all go through parliament, but parliament does not change the agreement between Crown and Iwi.

    • Tracey 6.1

      Yes, but Mr Key is clearly using the ratification to assuage some fears of it being foistered on us, when he knows, or ought to know, that the ratification will do no such thing.

      Do Treaty settlements get examined by interested parties prior to signing?

      Will you also address the presence and participation of 400-600 corporates who in turn must be reporting to Boards?

    • lprent 6.2

      My issue is the “ratification” nonsense which is being used like a babies comforter on the public. All sucker and no nipple. It is also an outright lie.

      By what looks like a deliberate repetition it tries to create the impression that parliament will have have any significiant say on the approving the TPPA. The reality is that it is entirely cut out of the process apart from waffling and maybe a few token and unrequired minor legislative changes. This is an executive decision and has essentially nothing to do with parliament.

      Most required legislation will go through long AFTER the treaty is already signed and we are ALREADY committed to its provisions. My guess is that most of the required legislation isn’t going to be required until years or even up to a decade after signature is given.

      I’d prefer that *all* of the legislation gets at least drafted, made public, and goes to select committee before signature. At least then parliament and the public will be involved. As it is, we’re absolutely reliant on the silly buggers in and running MFAT not doing something stupid in the pursuit of their future international careers and running this under too much secrecy.

      Neither CER nor the FTA with China got done under this lack of transparency. There is no need for it in trade treaties. Nor for that matter do Treaty of Waitangi agreements.

    • vto 6.3

      Wayne, what do you say to the fact that by limiting the laws which our Parliament can make (or alternatively, still make them but compensate business for the change effect (which is a crock and a half)) our vote is diminished. This is something (changing the power of our vote) which the people of NZ must decide, NOT, effectively, the National Party.

    • Tracey 6.4

      dispute resolution of what. Can you be specific?

    • Colonial Viper 6.5

      So Wayne, why are we handcuffing our precious nation to a “diminishing superpower” (in the words of the front page of the Jakarta Globe), a nation which cannot govern itself and which risks full scale financial default every 18 months?

      • Martin 6.5.1

        Because, Colonial Viper, enough stupid people in this country were sucked in by the sales pitch of a merchant banker for said merchant banker to become sub prime minister.
        A merchant banker who has always grovelled and sucked up to said diminishing super power.

        I’m sorry I’m not Wayne, but I hope my answer is more interesting.

  7. ghostwhowalksnz 7

    Ahh the FTA agreement with China.

    Its good to know “Antilope horns and powder are now duty free when exported to China- was 3%

    http://www.chinafta.govt.nz/2-For-businesses/2-Tools-and-resources/3-Tariff-finder/0-step2.php

    Try looking at Cheese. No duty free trade yet

  8. Tracey 8

    Puckish

    you might continue to vote for liars but some of us vote for those who havent yet been proven liars.

  9. Rich 9

    A treaty can’t override domestic law unless that law is changed to permit it, so any changes needed to implement a treaty need to be voted on by parliament.

    Some treaties don’t involve this – a military alliance would involve prerogative powers and wouldn’t involve a law change.

  10. captain hook 10

    well the president of the United States wasn’t there so its just a hill of beans anyway.

  11. George D 11

    One former Minister of Foreign Affairs is willing to engage with his critics, answer their arguments, and acknowledge areas of difference. The other simply waves it all away and declares every critic is simply a blind minion of Jane Kelsey.

    It’s a strange world where Wayne Mapp is more willing to listen to Labour Party members than Phil Goff.

  12. newsense 12

    Perhaps a question in the house or an amendment assuring that the text of this treaty will go to parliament for ratification, the same way it will go to Congress in the States?

    If Key is happy for it to be ratified, surely he will make sure this happens?

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    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Key ducks but can’t avoid High Court slap
    The High Court’s slap in the face to John Key and his Government over Chorus has left it with no option but to accept the Commerce Commission’s lawful process in deciding the price of copper, says Labour’s associate ICT spokesperson...
    Labour | 09-04
  • First home buyers shut out as LVRs bite
    The bad news continues for young Kiwis as the latest Core Logic report shows the proportion of first home buyers has declined since LVR lending restrictions came into force, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Twenty two centres across the...
    Labour | 09-04
  • MANA – and, or, or not – DOTCOM
    Both MANA and the Internet Party share goals in common with other parties, like getting rid of National and reining in the GCSB. There are also differences, as there are with other parties as well. MANA accepted a request to...
    Mana | 09-04
  • Wise heads want wise response
    Labour accepts the challenge laid down by the Wise Response group to protect and future-proof New Zealand’s environment and economy. A petition calling for urgent action was presented to Labour’s Environment and Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey at Parliament this...
    Labour | 09-04
  • Greens support high profile Kiwis’ call for climate action
    The Green Party fully supports a group of high profile Kiwi business people, lawyers, academics and commentators delivering a petition to parliament today calling for the Government to take the threat of climate change more seriously.Wiseresponse, a group of over...
    Greens | 09-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • TV News Geography
    TV News Geography...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The best bit about gay sex
    The best bit about gay sex...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 1
    On not voting 1...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 2
    On not voting 2...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour on trucks
    Labour on trucks...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Claire Trevett shows how biased msm works
    Read this nonsense by Claire Trevett… David Cunliffe denies claims he is ‘running scared’ Labour leader David Cunliffe has dismissed claims he is running scared from Prime Minister John Key and playing hard to get over a Campbell Live series...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Why won’t Judith Collins identify who the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is?
    Rumour as to the real reason Judith Collins won’t reveal who the mysterious Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is who dined with her at a private dinner is because the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ wasn’t some lowly border official and they are actually a junior ranking member...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fighting PNG corruption and social media gags with … outspoken blogs
    Graphic: shutterstock.com Dr David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific THE BLOGGING war is hotting up in Papua New Guinea – just when things are getting riskier with draconian proposals over cybercrime law on the horizon. The state target for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • UNbelieved – the true racism of NZ
    Racist Cartoon by Al Nisbet sums up the casual racism NZers enjoy The New Zealand government must consider United Nations rebukes on their indigenous rights record as ordinary and unremarkable by their casual reaction to the latest indictment - delivered through the clear and clinical...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: What has ACC Minister been doing? Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Judith Collins has made such little progress on ACC’s unacceptable privacy practices and needs to be held to account for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Labour turns wheels for cycling safety With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: SPEECH: Institute of Directors LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour LeaderSpeech to the Institute of Directors15 April 2014, Auckland It’s a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: More Oravida endorsements from John Key The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
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  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
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  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
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  • Research announcement welcomed
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
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  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
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  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
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  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
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  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
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  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
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  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
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  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
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  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
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  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
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  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke
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  • Infographic : World Giving Index 2013
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tranter questions CEO’s assurances
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Whitebait partners look for solutions
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • NZ’s biggest killer fails to receive the Roger
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tukituki decision a win for water quality and farming
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    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • ACC reflects on passing of great Kiwi
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    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Lincoln cleaners outsourced
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    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • New pipe ban will increase harm to cannabis consumers
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    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Council can’t ban legal highs
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    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Online job vacancies pick up in March
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    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • White Poppies for Peace Annual Appeal
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    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • Lawyers saddened at passing of Sir Owen Woodhouse
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    Scoop politics | 15-04
  • “Rock star economy’ throws hospital staff out the window
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