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It’s the little things …

Written By: - Date published: 8:40 am, April 22nd, 2014 - 36 comments
Categories: john key, Judith Collins, national, same old national - Tags:

Grumpy Judith Collins

This morning on Morning Report Judith Collins is reported as acknowledging that something that she said to Parliament last Thursday was not true. Last week she said she did not remember discussing matters with the New Zealand Ambassador to China, this morning she said that she had discussed matters with the Ambassador and said there was nothing to report. It makes you wonder why she felt that she had to report to the Ambassador the fact that she had supposedly had a private dinner.

One other aspect of this jars with me.  On Tuesday April 15, 2014 shortly after 6 pm TV3 reported on the letter of August 6, 2013 written by Oravida to Tim Groser and Nathan Guy requesting that the Government work with Oravida on border issues.  Two months later Collins had a private dinner with senior Oravida personnel and a Chinese border official.  Collins would have us believe that importation issues were not discussed although her lack of knowledge of the Chinese language would raise doubts about this particular assertion.  And her refusal to name the Chinese Official or even state who he works for has allowed considerable speculation on his role to occur.  It is at least possible that he could help Oravida with its border problems.

The next morning, April 15,  Collins was interviewed on Checkpoint by Mary Wilson.  She said clearly that she had not seen the letter until that day.  TV3 broke the story the night before.  You would have thought that she would have been asked about the letter as soon as the OIA request was received and it seems very strange that she had not seen the letter until the day after it was put into the public arena.  At the very least I would have thought that her staff would have been ordered to track down a copy of the letter as soon as the TV3 story was broadcast.

Collins was interviewed by Suzy Ferguson this morning about her memory lapse.  She claimed there was nothing to see and that the whole thing was a witch hunt.  She said that she misinterpreted the question and thought that Robertson’s question was asking her if she had immediately after the dinner had discussions with the Ambassador.

The transcript of the original question and answer is here.  The text is as follows:

Grant Robertson: What discussions, if any, did she have after her dinner in Beijing with the New Zealand Ambassador to China about the dinner or the attendees who were at it?

Hon JUDITH COLLINS: It was a private dinner. I went to bed.

Grant Robertson: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER: I am going to invite the member to ask that question again.

Grant Robertson: What discussions, if any, did she have after her dinner with the New Zealand Ambassador to China about the dinner or the attendees who were there?

Hon JUDITH COLLINS: I cannot remember any discussions.

The question was pretty clear and straight.  If Collins had said that she did have discussions with the Ambassador then the next question would undoubtedly have been if it was a private dinner why did she feel the need to discuss it with the Ambassador?

John Key was interviewed and asked about his previous statement that he would not like to be in Ms Collins shoes if she made another mistake.  As Karol pointed out he waffled around the subject.  He then attacked Labour saying that it was playing politics about an “apparent” conflict of interest.  A more clear example of an actual conflict of interest I cannot imagine.  He claimed that the Ambassador did not attend the dinner because it was a “private dinner” and that the discussion with the Minister was only a “cursory conversation”.  He then claimed that all the information was disclosed to the Cabinet Office.

Espiner asked Key to rate Collins handling of the issue.  Key tried to talk about the Labour Party.  He eventually said that he had absolute confidence in Collins and that he was quite satisfied with her handling of the issue.  He also said that his role was not to be a political commentator and that was Espiner’s role.  I hope that every reporter reminds Key of this statement the next time he talks about the inner workings of the Labour Party.

Guyon Espiner’s and Suzy Ferguson’s questioning of Key and Collins were direct and forthright.  Well done.  Keep it up.

When Parliament sits in two weeks time I am certain there will be a further series of questions of Collins.  Presuming she is still a Minister …

36 comments on “It’s the little things …”

  1. Sacha 1

    Great strong interviewing. Collins seems alternately annoyed and self-pitying at being held accountable for her slipperiness. The PM is naturally playing along with the whole ‘nothing to see here’ schtick.

    Interesting how Collins has named everyone else at her “private” dinner except the Chinese govt official..

  2. yeshe 2

    Hi Micky .. great summation, thx ….. you might like to correct the date leading your third paragraph to April 16 from April 15; also seems some text is missing immediately after the audio link lower down ??

    • mickysavage 2.1

      Cheers. The text was obliterated because of the type of link that I used. I have changed that now. And right you are about the date.

  3. Red Rosa 3

    Mmmm…we need a fact check on the early stages of this story.

    As I recall, when it first surfaced weeks ago, Collins with the usual patronizing sneer dismissed any idea of a serious Oravida meal and said she ‘may have had a cup of tea on the way to the airport’.

    Can anyone track this down?

    But as the days go on, the whole idea of an admitted liar (maybe that’s too strong, should be ‘caught out being economical with the truth and since fessed up) Minister of Justice (choke) is starting to resonate badly with the NZ public.

    Maybe the most entertaining aspect of the whole affair is her China lecture on ‘Corruption’. You can imagine now the polite smiles from those who listened to her, if asked about her subsequent behaviour….

    And is hubby actually using the ministerial car as a commuter vehicle? Should he be paying FBT on this? No wonder Collins is into the crocodile tears on the ‘Attacks on Family’.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1

        …and the dinner and the golf game and the fifty six thousand dollar payment for services rendered and the Prime Minister’s product promotion and MFAT’s office leasing arrangements and the National Party’s sale of ministers and legislation and Oravida’s use of a government minister like bloodstock being paraded in front of an investor.

        • RedBaronCV 3.1.1.1

          I missed the bit about the MFAT office leasing arrangements and have any of the players in this or other NACT donors got a passport under the passport selling scheme to the rich?

        • Murray Olsen 3.1.1.2

          Thanks OAB. I now have the picture of a Charolais cow with Gusher’s head being lead around a ring by Whalespew stuck in my head. I had been looking forward to a peaceful night’s sleep.

      • Red Rosa 3.1.2

        Thanks karol.

        I note the 80km detour ‘on the way to the airport’ for the cup of tea.

        Tricky little miss, isn’t she? And Key shows no signs of backing down in support. Is his pic really still running on the Oravida website?

    • Hami Shearlie 3.2

      Exactly – Old Jude hasn’t cared about the families of people she has attacked, David Benson Pope’s family, Meteiria Turei’s family, many people on ACC and their families etc etc!! And now she has the GALL to bleat about attacks on HER family who were involved with Orivida, and who are under the microscope thanks to the unethical behaviour of Old Jude herself – SHE caused the intrusion into her family – The cheek of this woman to blame other parties and the media is absolutely gob-smacking!!!

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    The Minister of Corruption is angry and upset that her corruption is in the public eye, especially since it calls attention to the Prime Minister’s corruption.

  5. Souvlaki 5

    Keep it up you guys !! The fact that you come across as misogynist, vindictive, spiteful and nasty to most people in this country seems beyond your comprehension. A complete blindspot of self awareness in the psychiatric sense. Just Like Prasads crusade against’the Domestic Goddess!’

    Seriously, keep going !!!

    [lprent: Needless to say this fool doesn’t provide any examples and gives a classic troll flame starter. Added to auto spam.

    If you can’t argue your case and have to simply make dumb assertions without any supporting statements, then don’t expect to be able to wank on this site. Try Whaleoil – it is the local stupid testosterone heaven. ]

    • Clemgeopin 5.1

      Souvlaki, if a Labour minister in a Labour government had behaved in this manner, would you hold the same view? Would Key, Collins and National party people not attack Labour?

    • Paul 5.2

      Please go back to your friends from the extremist right wing blogs you came from.

    • f dx 5.3

      ‘misogynist, vindictive, spiteful and nasty’

      Yep, that pretty much sums up Collins and most of the national cabinet.

  6. Patrick 6

    Given the difficulty Collins had understanding a simple straightforward question, it is quite reasonable that much could have been talked about at the dinner that she “misunderstood”.

  7. veutoviper 7

    As the title of this post suggests, “It’s the little things …” that give further insight/clues in the Join the Dots puzzle of this ongoing Oravida saga.

    Two other media articles over the last week that provide further clues/insight are well worth reading.

    First, Vernon Small’s Stuff article on April 17 includes the following:

    Oravida’s continued use of pictures of politicians from Key down on its website and in its advertising, despite the ongoing political fallout, shows how much it values these overt displays of its political links.

    And what was the reaction of the two ministries to Oravida’s plea? Regardless of their response, that plea puts Collins’ “private” but pre-arranged dinner in a different light, though she insists no “business” was discussed and the topic of conversation that night was New Zealand as a tourist destination – not the fallout from Fonterra’s false botulism alarm. Moreover, Collins has denied even knowing Oravida had a problem getting its goods into China. But there are other queries floating in the diplomatic ether.

    Ad Feedback Perhaps the most crucial is ambassador Carl Worker’s reasons for not attending the dinner, as well as his attitude to Collins’ attendance.

    Presumably Key and Foreign Minister Murray McCully know and are comfortable.

    But insiders suggest Worker at least thought it unwise to accept the invitation. If that is true, then that would reflect on the wisdom of Collins attending. And if there was no business transacted, why did she brief Worker?

    And if, as has been suggested, revealing the name of the official would put him at risk, then the same question marks hover over the wisdom of her attending the dinner in the first place.

    Attempts to access Worker’s views and other data about the Oravida meetings, via the Official Information Act, drew an immediate stonewalling from officials who claimed a 20-day extension to the normal 20-day deadline.

    All that does, though, is string out the political torture. Key and McCully must be in a position to release the pertinent information now, rather than wait another month or so.

    Second, this article by Adam Bennett on Sat, April 19 in which Collins’ takes a slightly different approach to spinning her temporary memory loss than she did this morning on Morning Report – http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11240640

    I won’t provide links, but the comments now up to the numerous Herald ‘opinion’ pieces over the long weekend by Armstrong, O’Sullivan et al are ,enlightening, with the vast majority of the comments (and likes) unconvinced to say the least by Collins’ explanations etc.

  8. Anne 8

    Methinks another ‘contrived’ scandal re-an opposition party member (perhaps Cunliffe again) is about to hit the public bang, smack in the eye. It will be interesting to establish who the conduit will be this time because I suspect it might not be Slater. He’s tarnished goods at the moment.

    • RedBaronCV 8.1

      But maybe not from the TV who may be sensing a change of owner come the election. Time for a few leaked emails about foreign media ownership and deaggregation of outlets

      • Anne 8.1.1

        Yep. I get the feeling both TV1 and TV3 are not at all sure of the outcome, and are hedging their bets. There’s been a subtle change in attitude in recent weeks. (having said that Gower or someone will now do a hatchet job on the left – 🙂 ). They know full well their respective polls are crap.

    • Tracey 8.2

      you mean like if shane jones to money from peratas husband or an oil and gas board member.

      god labour, get rid of you national party mps.

      vote green party if you want genuine labour values

      • Paul 8.2.1

        No wonder the Herald and the rest of the corporate media keep promoting the Jones brand of Labour…notice all the puff pieces he gets.
        He’s their insurance policy if all their propaganda does not work in September.

  9. Rogue Trooper 9

    prevaricate, to deviate (on the way to the airport, for example 😉 ): to shift about from side to side: to evade the truth : to quibble. etc.

    John Steinbeck suggested not that power corrupts, but fear, perhaps fear of losing power. ” No matter how corrupt, greedy and heartless our government, our corporations, media, , and our religious and charitable institutions may become, the music will still be wonderful”- Kurt Vonnegutt

  10. yeshe 10

    OMG !!! Just how much money Oravida and associates including Crafar owners have paid to Key and National Party .. absolute MUST READ from Frank MacSkasy a year ago … so worth a read again in light of Collins current corruption perceptions …

    this story could have very, very long legs imho … may it be so !

    http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2013/04/25/doing-the-business-with-john-key-heres-how-part-rua/

  11. RedBaronCV 11

    Looks like aroiund $400k my my

  12. fisiani 12

    Please keep up this attack on Judith Collins for the next 150 days. The public are right behind her critics and realise that this issue will bring down not only Ms Collins but the whole government.

    • Paul 12.1

      Have a look at the comments sections below any MSM article.
      I can see you tolerate corruption by your mates in the Nats, but ordinary folk people don’t like corruption anywhere.

  13. Ross 14

    Don’t forget that Collins has said she knows what it must have felt like to be one of the accused in the Salem witch trials!

    Judith, the accused in the witch trials were all executed or died in prison…

    Her knowledge of history is about as good as her description of that dinner.

  14. Penny Bright 15

    FYI

    22 April 2014

    Minister for Justice
    Judith Collins

    ‘Open Letter’ /OIA request to NZ Minister for Justice Judith Collins – what was the involvement of the NZ Ambassador to China (Carl Worker) in your ‘private’ Oravida dinner?

    Dear Minister,

    Please provide the following information which confirms;

    1) Who invited Carl Worker, the NZ Ambassador to China, to this Oravida ‘private’ dinner?

    2) Why the NZ Ambassador to China, Carl Worker, declined to attend this Oravida ‘private’ dinner.

    3) Who paid for the ‘dinner’ that you ate?

    4) Why was your ‘senior advisor’ Margaret Malcolm present at this Oravida ‘private’ dinner, and in what capacity?

    5) In what capacity did you, Minister of Justice Judith Collins speak “.. to the ambassador about the dinner the following day and told him “nothing had occurred that was untoward and it was just a very private friendly dinner that was short”.

    ie: As a private citizen, or as the Minister for Justice?

    6) Did you, Judith Collins speak to Carl Worker in his capacity as NZ Ambassador to China, regarding this Oravida ‘private’ dinner?

    7) Is it your normal ‘custom and practice’ to take notes at ‘private’ dinner meetings with ‘friends’?

    8) How do you draw a ‘line in the sand’ between your rights to privacy as a citizen, and the public’s right to transparency in your public role as Minister for Justice?

    BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11240640

    “Justice Minister Judith Collins has recovered her memory after telling Parliament she could not recall whether she had briefed New Zealand’s ambassador to Beijing about her Oravida dinner.
    …..
    In Parliament’s last session before a two-week recess, she again refused to identify the official she dined with, said she did not know of Oravida’s difficulties in the Chinese market before the dinner, and said she could not remember whether she had briefed ambassador to Beijing Carl Worker about the dinner.

    She told the Weekend Herald she didn’t believe she had spoken about the dinner to Mr Worker beyond an initial discussion beforehand when he said he would not attend.

    But on Thursday evening, she said she had checked her notes and believed she had spoken to the ambassador about the dinner the following day and told him “nothing had occurred that was untoward and it was just a very private friendly dinner that was short”.

    She said Mr Worker had asked her on the day of the dinner to just let him know if there was anything that he needed to know about.
    …….”

    Yours sincerely,

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

    Attendee: 2009 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference
    Attendee: 2010 Transparency International Anti-Corruption Conference
    Attendee: 2013 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate, polling 4th with 11,723 votes campaigning against corrupt corporate control of the Auckland region

    http://www.pennybrightformayor.org.nz

  15. Tigger 16

    Key wants her gone – he told a high up party official that recently, or so the official claims (side note: people, if you gossip in a public place people can hear you then they tell people like me who they know are not fans of the govt). But he’s been told she has to stay because they can’t lose their best female MP at this time nor another senior MP. Key is being the smarter one here – if this or other scandals drag Collins further down she will need to go. Best now rather than in four months.

  16. Ian 17

    Judith Who ???

  17. Penny Bright 18

    22 April 2014

    NZ Minister for Foreign Affairs
    Murray McCully

    ‘Open Letter’ /OIA request to NZ Minister for Foreign Affairs Murray McCully – what was the involvement of the NZ Ambassador to China (Carl Worker) in Judith Collins’ ‘private’ Oravida dinner?

    Dear Minister,

    Please provide the following information which confirms;

    1) Who invited Carl Worker, the NZ Ambassador to China, to this Oravida ‘private’ dinner?

    2) Why the NZ Ambassador to China, Carl Worker, declined to attend this Oravida ‘private’ dinner.

    3) In what capacity did Minister of Justice Judith Collins speak “.. to the ambassador about the dinner the following day and told him “nothing had occurred that was untoward and it was just a very private friendly dinner that was short”.

    ie: As a private citizen, or as the Minister for Justice?

    4) Did Judith Collins speak to Carl Worker in his capacity as NZ Ambassador to China, regarding this Oravida ‘private’ dinner?

    5) Please provide copies of ALL information, ‘briefing notes’ / emails / notes of telephone messages/ memos / minutes /reports (and the like)
    between Judith Collins (Minister for Justice) and Carl Worker (NZ Ambassador to China) relating to this matter.

    BACKGROUND INFORMATION:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11240640

    “Justice Minister Judith Collins has recovered her memory after telling Parliament she could not recall whether she had briefed New Zealand’s ambassador to Beijing about her Oravida dinner.
    …..
    In Parliament’s last session before a two-week recess, she again refused to identify the official she dined with, said she did not know of Oravida’s difficulties in the Chinese market before the dinner, and said she could not remember whether she had briefed ambassador to Beijing Carl Worker about the dinner.

    She told the Weekend Herald she didn’t believe she had spoken about the dinner to Mr Worker beyond an initial discussion beforehand when he said he would not attend.

    But on Thursday evening, she said she had checked her notes and believed she had spoken to the ambassador about the dinner the following day and told him “nothing had occurred that was untoward and it was just a very private friendly dinner that was short”.

    She said Mr Worker had asked her on the day of the dinner to just let him know if there was anything that he needed to know about.
    …….”

    Yours sincerely,

    Penny Bright

    …………………
    ………………….

    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

    Attendee: 2009 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference
    Attendee: 2010 Transparency International Anti-Corruption Conference
    Attendee: 2013 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate, polling 4th with 11,723 votes campaigning against corrupt corporate control of the Auckland region

    http://www.pennybrightformayor.org.nz

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    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… ...
    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… ...
    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… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day 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
    1 day 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… ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
  • Why Corrections prevented Tony Robertson from getting treatment in prison
    Tony Robertson was sentenced to eight years in prison for indecently assaulting a five year old girl in 2005. He was considered a high risk prisoner and the parole board declined to release him on four separate occasions.  He was… ...
    PunditBy Roger Brooking
    2 days ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Have We a Housing Policy?
    The Prime Minister’s announcement that there is nothing new about homelessness is both an example of his strengths in reassuring the public that there is never really a problem and the weaknesses of the government’s policy approach..read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Climate denial arguments fail a blind test
    As we saw in the recent legal ruling against Peabody coal, arguments and myths that are based in denial of the reality of human-caused global warming rarely withstand scientific scrutiny. In a new study published in Global Environmental Change, a team led by Stephen Lewandowsky… ...
    2 days ago
  • Palmerston North librarians gather to support UCOL colleagues
    At 5pm today at the UCOL Library, representatives of library staff from the City Library, Massey, Te Wānanga o Aotearoa, and local schools will meet in a show of support for UCOL Library staff whose jobs are threatened. “We all… ...
    2 days ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Accountability for Iraq?
    Six years after it was established, the Chilcot Inquiry into the UK's involvement in the Iraq war is finally about to report back. And from the sound of it, its going to pin the blame squarely where it belongs: on… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days 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… ...
    48 mins 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
    53 mins 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
    2 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… ...
    3 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… ...
    6 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… ...
    6 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… ...
    23 hours 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
    1 day 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… ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    7 days 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
  • Under-reporting shows need to review quota system
    The Government must launch an independent review into New Zealand’s 30-year-old Quota Management System following a new report suggesting gross under-reporting of catch in the New Zealand fishing industry, Labour’s Environment spokesperson David Parker says.  “The Auckland University report found… ...
    1 week ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Investigations into tertiary institutions overdue
    A Tertiary Education Commission investigation into the Tai Poutini Polytechnic is overdue and should have been launched last year, Labour’s Associate Education (Tertiary) spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “Labour has been calling for an inquiry into potential rorts at Tai Poutini… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where is the fair share for most New Zealanders?
    Most New Zealanders reading the news that chief executive pay has risen 12 per cent in the last year will be wondering when they are going to get their fair share, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “More and more… ...
    2 weeks ago

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