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Jackel: NBR’s hack job on Hone lambasted

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, August 29th, 2011 - 60 comments
Categories: hone harawira, Media - Tags:

It’s Official – Hone Harawira was Setup

Written by The Jackal at 7:29 PM

You might recall the hullabaloo around comments reportedly made by Hone Harawira regarding the death of Osama Bin-Laden. Well it turns out that he was misquoted, and the National Business Review article contained inaccuracies.

At the time, Irishbill over at the Standard wrote a great blog post raising his concerns about the misreporting and political response, and he wasn’t alone in those sentiments.

The initial NBR article created a veritable shit storm of further abusive reporting, bigoted blogs and racist comments, with many simply unable to control themselves. Somehow I don’t think we’ll be seeing any apologies for their misplaced accusations anytime soon… but here’s a small sample of the idiotic right wing blogger’s comments:

David Farrar:

I’m going to risk Godwin’s Law and ask whether Hone would say the same thing about Hitler. I mean it would almost fit – “Hitler pursued independence for his Germanic people, his family, and his Aryan tribe”.

Roarprawn:

As to Hone? Ya toast mate – sorry but the only bastards who vote for you are the pricks who seldom piss before lunch so there is no way they are going to get out of their own way to saunter along to the polling booth. 

Alf Grumble:

That’s what Alf would have liked doing to Hitler, if he had been old enough at the time. Hone – we may suppose – would have paid tribute to him in his Maori way.

Cameron Slater:

So just three days after Hone said he was com­fort­able with a ter­ror­ist wor­ship­per like Annette Sykes stand­ing for his party of mal-content, haters and anar­chists, Hone him­self is pro­fess­ing admi­ra­tion for Osama bin Laden. Make no mis­take that Hone Harawira is a racist and his party is filled with like-minded racists.

The reaction the misreporting caused didn’t end when Hone made a formal apology… in fact it got worse, which just goes to show that people who can’t speak te Reo should refrain from making racist comments based on their ignorance.

So without further ado, here’s the Press Council’s ruling:

Case Number: 2204 JAMES MORRIS AGAINST NATIONAL BUSINESS REVIEW

Council Meeting AUGUST 2011

James Morris complained that the headline and thrust of an article published by the NBR online on May 5, 2011, following comments by Independent MP Hone Harawira on the killing of Osama bin Laden, is based on a misattributed quote. The article followed an interview on TVNZ’s Te Karere. The interview was conducted in Te Reo with translations into English provided in subtitles.

The complaint is upheld.

Background
On May 2, 2011 the Te Karere programme featured Hone Harawira commenting on the killing of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. Mr Harawira, speaking in Maori, said bin Laden was a fighter for “the rights, the land and the freedom of his people”.

His remarks prompted controversy, and a subsequent apology from him about how he had expressed himself. His comments had been seen as support for bin Laden’s actions which was a mistake, he said.

The Complaint
Mr Morris complained that the headline “Bin Laden a Freedom Fighter – Harawira” and the thrust of the story ‘rest on a quote which is attributed in the story to Harawira, but was in fact made by the presenter of the Te Karere programme’.

Mr Morris quoted the following from the article: “But Mr Harawira told TVNZ’s Te Karere on Monday he acknowledged the positive aspects of his (bin Laden’s) life”.

“We have heard nothing but negative things about him from the Americans, but he fought for the self-determination of his people and for his beliefs” Mr Harawira said.

Mr Morris pointed out that this latter quote was not in fact said by Mr Harawira, but by the interviewer.

What Mr Harawira actually said (in response to the presenter’s words) was as follows: “Indeed, despite what the media have said, his family, his tribe, his people are in mourning. They mourn for the man who fought for the rights, the land, the freedom of his people. We should not damn them in death, but acknowledge the positive aspects of life”.

Mr Morris acknowledged to the editor that he was aware that the story had appeared under the NZPA byline.

Mr Morris did not get a response to his complaint to the editor of NBR and the editor did not respond to the Press Council complaint either.

Discussion
The Press Council considers that the headline is acceptable. Mr Harawira did say “Despite what the media said his family, his tribe, his people are mourning, they mourn for a man who fought for the rights, the land and the freedom of his people”; it is not too far removed from that statement to call him a freedom fighter.

However, the report does attribute to Mr Harawira comments actually made by the interviewer, and that is where the NBR went wrong. Since the report was generated by NZPA it was their mistake, and the Press Council has notified NZPA who have corrected it.

If the NBR had responded to the complaint, the issue could have been sorted it out for them too.

The NBR has issued a correction to the story, but unfortunately, the item still attributes the words of the presenter to Mr Harawira, showing them as a direct quote.

This complaint illustrates how immediate action on a complaint can make a difference. In his complaint to the editor Mr Morris, a long time reader of the NBR, acknowledged the authoritative voice of the NBR and stated that loose and sensationalist reporting such as in this article “distracts from hard-earned credibility of your brand”.

The Press Council agrees. This story contained an inaccuracy that could have been corrected very quickly. Furthermore, careful consideration of the complaint when making the correction should have meant that the correction was accurate.

The complaint is upheld on the grounds of inaccuracy.

60 comments on “Jackel: NBR’s hack job on Hone lambasted”

  1. queenstfarmer 1

    The NBR is known for sometimes going off the deep end. But which of the bloggers’ quotes are actually wrong? They all appear to be based on what Hone said – i.e. lauding bin Laden as a freedom fighter.

    • Blighty 1.1

      The Press Council found that Hone didn’t call Bin Laden a freedom fighter.

      That’s the entire point.

      And, if you bothered to watch the clip, you would see that for yourself.

      • queenstfarmer 1.1.1

        I have watched it. And if you’d bothered to read the Press Council ruling which you purport to know about, you would see this for yourself:

        The Press Council considers that the headline is acceptable. Mr Harawira did say “Despite what the media said his family, his tribe, his people are mourning, they mourn for a man who fought for the rights, the land and the freedom of his people”; it is not too far removed from that statement to call him a freedom fighter.

        So what I said was entirely valid, based on Hone’s actual words.

        • grumpy 1.1.1.1

          Exactly QSF, nothing in the Press Council report justifies this over the top post. At the most, a mere technicality.

          The real story is that the Press Council agrees that Hone described Bin Laden as, in effect, a “freedom fighter”.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1

            How the frak can Bin Laden be a “freedom fighter” when he and his core cadre was originally trained and equipped by the CIA????

          • Puddleglum 1.1.1.1.2

            grumpy, in what sense was Bin Laden not a freedom fighter?

            He fought to remove the Soviets from Afghanistan; he fought to remove American troops from Saudi Arabia because he saw them as an occupying force that desecrated the ‘holy land'; he fought to undermine western influence in the Middle East, etc..

            You may not like what he would have wanted to put in place once freedom from these outside influences was gained (and may think that what would have been put in place would not have been a ‘free society’, in the classical liberal tradition), but I find it very difficult to see how he could not be called a freedom fighter given his consistent attempts to remove these outside influences.

            He was also a terrorist, of course. They’re not mutually exclusive categories. 

            • Anna 1.1.1.1.2.1

              To be honest, I don’t think of OBL as a freedom fighter. He may have been fighting to remove American troops et al from Afghanistan, but it wasn’t his country nor was he fighting for “freedom”. If anything, he was fighting to oppress people through a religious regime and take away the freedoms of other people in Afghanistan.

              • I know what you mean, but my point was really that the word “freedom” has so many connotations and has an aura of ‘goodness’ around it that it doesn’t necessarily deserve. Of more interest, to me, is why we want to use (or not use) these labels.

                At a guess – and I might be wrong – you seem to equate ‘freedom’ with the freedom and rights of individuals. But, in the geopolitical sense, a country (and/or people) are ‘free’ to the extent that they are ‘sovereign’ (i.e., free of external control and/or oppression).

                In ‘the West’, the nation state is the typical category to which this geopolitical definition applies, but a people or religious grouping equally fall into this category. In that case, it’s irrelevant whether or not Osama Bin Laden was a national of Afghanistan.

                In the latter sense (geopolitical freedom), there are many ‘free’ countries (and people) within which individuals are not free, in the former sense (individual freedom). 

                I’m probably just splitting hairs but it does annoy me that – in political discussions – phrases are so often used in order to anoint people as beyond reproach or, conversely, to damn them as beneath contempt. I’m more interested in why people wish to apply – or not apply – a label, rather than try to determine whether or not the label is ‘justified’.

                So, I guess I was just being deliberately provocative to make that point. 

                • Ianupnorth

                  You could call him a crusader as it was a religious rather than political ideology he was fighting for.

              • crashcart

                Anna very few people would claim that OBL’s actions in the American invasion were strictly freedom fighting. As pointed out he was propping up an opressive regime. however when he fought against teh Russian invasion backed by american and britsh special forces he was touted as a true hero and freedom fighter.

                Therefore to say in his past theere were good things to focus on and that his family and people would mourne him is completely accurate. Doesn’t mean you haev to like the guy or every thing he did.

                • Anna

                  @ Crashcart – I understand the hypocrisy of framing someone in a good/bad dichotomy and agree with you, but I was writing about how I felt about OBL. As far as I’m concerned, he wanted to oppress 50% of the Afghanistan population under a religious regime that saw women and young girls kept as second class citizens. I’m not sure if you’ve seen a fim called Osama. It is a pretty grim account of women and young girls under the Taliban regime.

                  @ Puddlegum – good call and I see where you’re coming from. I think, however, that OBL not being an Afghanistan national is an interesting factor in the notion of him being a freedom fighter for his country. It wasn’t his country and although you could extend it to include religious groups (as you rightly point out), he was a foreign national himself.

                • ropata

                  The Taleban were a cruel and repressive gang, I have personally talked to a refugee from Kabul whose whole family was killed by them

                  • crashcart

                    I am by no means defending the Teleban or the way they ran Afghanistan. I am merely pointing out that when OBL was fighting against the Russians he was considered a hero and a freedom fighter by the people of Afghanistahn. This is what Hone said. I am not a fan of either of the men, but what Hone said about OBL was the truth .

          • bbfloyd 1.1.1.1.3

            yet another vile creature happy to wallow in race hate, and blind bigotry simply for political self interest… you and your ilk will be crowing about your success in derailing any reasonable, and”grownup” discourse as we reach third world status….. well done numby nums..

        • bbfloyd 1.1.1.2

          queeny… so you’re a racist as well as a numb nuts tory…. eewww! people like you are the real reason new zealand is heading towards third world status….

          and to make it worse, the present govt supports the sort of vile mouthings that we have been getting subject to from you, and your ilk whenever there has been a need to distract us from yet another outrage being perpetrated on the fabric of community…

          hang your head in shame… you are defending blatant racism…

          • queenstfarmer 1.1.1.2.1

            so you’re a racist

            How on earth do you find racism in this? Please explain.

      • Joe Bloggs 1.1.2

        But with regards to Hone’s comments that they mourn for a man who fought for the rights, the land and the freedom of his people the Press Council DID state that it is not too far removed from that statement to call him a freedom fighter

        In that respect the NBR is damned only faintly. And one is also reminded of the comments of Shane Jones. Jones said he did not have the same level of affection for bin Laden as Mr Harawira. He also scotched Mr Harawira’s claim that it was Maori custom to always pay tribute to the dead.

        “In the old days, a great enemy – if he wasn’t eaten – his bones were used to make musical instruments. So this romantic notion that in the old time, Maori spent hours of their time saluting the enemy was not the case. Enemies were turned to dust and people rejoiced, because of the suffering they had caused.

        The finding of misattribution is more damning. However the reaction to the NBR’s misattribution isn’t exclusively the domain of the right. Trevor Mallard has alluded to Hone’s behaviour more than once on Red Alert.

        To be fair Hone does have a habit of making unbalanced and off-the-cuff trash-talk.

        Perhaps if he were to attack the ideals and the policies without the personal harrassment and the gaffes, then he might be better accepted as the type of leader who can bring NZ Maori true freedom, respect and well-being

    • Lanthanide 1.2

      Yeah, the issue seems pretty muddy and not clear-cut.

      It seems they agree with what the NBR said (except for the misattribution of a quote), just not the way they said it.

  2. Bill 2

    And will the NBR be compelled to give the same prominance to a corrective piece on their character assassination of Harawira?

    No.

    And even if they were, would it result in the same widespread coverage as their initial piece?

    No.

    The smear has had its intended effect. The NBR and others will simply be looking to their next opportunity to smear and denigrate with impunity.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      “And will the NBR be compelled to give the same prominance to a corrective piece on their character assassination of Harawira?”

      Quite possibly. Was listening to Media Watch on NR on Sunday morning and it spoke about a similar sort of story where the Herald published a story on page 1 about a well-known media broadcaster who was escorted by police off a plane.

      The Herald has now had to published the press councils decision on full, which takes up half of page 9, and has a story on page 1 of the paper that outlines the situation and points to the text on page 9.

      I’d imagine NBR will have to print the decision somewhere as well.

  3. alex 3

    Guys, I wouldn’t worry. If you’re a Mana voter, you probably don’t read NBR or Whaleoil, furthermore, there would be a small percentage of the population who heard about the fuss and thought the misattributed quote actually painted Hone as a reasonable man of peace. No such thing as bad publicity when your party is scrapping for every last vote.

  4. Tangled up in blue 4

    The establishment elite know Hone Harawira is their greatest foe.

    Their greatest foe??? That’s hyperbole of the day. Or maybe delusions of grandeur?

    Either way most people on the political spectrum don’t take Harawira seriously as a politician.

  5. Anna 5

    @ Tangled up in blue – more fool them. He has more credibility than Act, Peter Dunne, Jim Anderton, Winston Peters and most of the Maori Party. I guess credibility is subjective, especially if you’re tangled up in blue. I agree with Alec above. Even if someone paid me, I wouldn’t read Whaleoil. I wouldn’t have people that think like that in my whare for a cup of tea, why would I go to their grubby clubhouse and read their one-eyed rantings? I don’t read the NBR either – for pretty much the same reasons. I do thank, however, Mr Morris for having the integrity to complain and have the tenacity to see this through. Mauri ora!

    • Tangled up in blue 5.1

      Actually a lot of people on the left don’t like Hone as a politician. He’s a great activist, passionate and outspoken; but as a politician he’s a liability hence why no one wants his party as part of their Govt.

      • Anna 5.1.1

        Well, says you, but I’m not sure what your credentials are or how accurate your information is about Te Mana and discussions between other left wing parties. I suspect my contacts are closer than yours, but keep telling yourself what you’ve just said above – if it gives you comfort :)

        • Tangled up in blue 5.1.1.1

          Gives me comfort? What a strange thing to say.

          I have no problem with people supporting Mana, good on the 1% of people who do.

          • Anna 5.1.1.1.1

            I agree. Good on them, but I was actually making reference to your credentials/contacts in making claim on what people on the Left think of Hone and by extension, your statement that they don’t want to work with Te Mana. I think that’s a line advanced by the msm and let’s face it, the by-election proved they have little insight, influence or contacts with anyone in Te Mana. How would they know what discussions have taken place behind closed doors?

            • Tangled up in blue 5.1.1.1.1.1

              My statement about many on the left not having confidence in Hone as a politician is based on the observation that despite being the party most ideologically aligned with “left wing” (arguably of course); most of their voter support appears to have came with Hone from the Maori Party.

              My statement that no one wants Mana in their Govt. comes from the fact that the the only other party with the possibility of forming a Govt., has ruled it out.

              • Anna

                If you were just talking about Labour, why didn’t you say so? I guess the “Left wing” sounds much more impressive. If, however, as Hone H once said himself, Goff needed Te Mana’s numbers to form a coalition, I’m pretty sure there’d be a phone call.

                In essence: I have serious doubts about the veracity of your original statement.

                • Tangled up in blue

                  If you were just talking about Labour, why didn’t you say so? I guess the “Left wing” sounds much more impressive.

                  I see where you went wrong, you’re incorporating two different points.

                  Labour don’t want Mana in their Govt.

                  Many on the left don’t support Hone as a politician.

                  • Anna

                    Okay – so now this is just circular, but it’s good you’ve qualified that you’re discussing Labour (rather than the “Left Wing” as a whole). As said earlier and I stand by it, I’m dubious about your contacts and information regarding talks about potential coalition partners from inside the camps. Labour didn’t want Winston Peters, but they went with him anyway. Personally, I hope Hone doesn’t go with Labour and sits in opposition, rather than rush into coalition.

                    • grumpy

                      “Personally, I hope Hone doesn’t go with Labour and sits in opposition, rather than rush into coalition.”

                      Don’t think he will have much of a choice to make………

  6. Pumpkin 6

    There is an irony here that Jackal criticises reporting by the NBR, and says that NBR’s reporting was “lambasted”. Yet there’s nothing I read in the NBR’s decision which is a lambasting. What is wrong with the blog posts?

    Truth in reporting is good, but I don’t think this blog post comes close to achieving it.

    • thejackal 6.1

      You’re welcome to point out where my blog post is inaccurate Pumpkin?

      It’s very unusual for the Press Council to rule in favour of a complainant in cases like this. The fact that they have toned down their wording as to give NBR an easy out is not something anybody should base their argument to try and vilify NBR’s inaccurate article with.

      It’s interesting to note that a similar complaint made by Bomber Bradbury against stuff.co.nz, was subsequently not upheld by the Press Council. Most likely because the initial article was not attained by Bomber and not provided by stuff. Basically stuff got off on a technicality.

      Significantly, the man directly concerned, Mr Harawira, has not complained. It is also significant that Mr Harawira had to apologise for his remarks, and clarify them.

      Hone apologized because he was misunderstood. He tried to correct that misunderstanding. This fact seems to have escaped even the Press Council. This and the fact that Hone did not complain himself, gives no reason for dismissing the complaint. What were they thinking?

      It would be a difficult question of law to rule that the NBR was responsible for the subsequent plethora of derogatory comments made against Hone Harawira because of their inaccurate article.

      PS I never used the word “lambasted.” You’ve misquoted me pumpkin. You’ll need to take up your complaint with the Standard :)

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    Right, now does Hone get to sue the bastards for defamation?

    • Anna 7.1

      I’d love to see him sue the people that made the comments on the blog. Not sure if he will or not, but he doesn’t lack for friends in the legal profession.

      • queenstfarmer 7.1.1

        What comment(s) were defamatory? The Press Council ruled that the headline and description of Hone calling OBL a freedom fighter were not unacceptable.

        • Anna 7.1.1.1

          What about the blog comments that came AFTER the NBR’s article? If I was HH, I’d drop them in court and let them rule on whether they were defamatory or not. I know Winston Peters would.

          • queenstfarmer 7.1.1.1.1

            If they are just comments that Hone praised OBL as a freedom fighter, then that would not be defamatory because it is accurate (or a reasonable understanding based on his words, like the Press Council said). Plus Hone apologised, which means he accepts his comments may have offended which would inhibit his ability to complain about “robust comments” against him.

            There is also a higher threshold for defamation of an MP – they are expected to have a “thicker skin” than others.

            I know Winston Peters would.

            Winston is about the thinnest-skinned, precious, vain, whiney person I can imagine. I think Hone is much more of a stand-up guy – he will tell you what he thinks, and I’m sure is happy to get as good as he gives.

            • Anna 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Actually, I hope Hone does take this further – in whatever direction he goes. It’s one thing to “give as good as you get”. It’s quite another to use the Fourth Estate to assassinate someone’s character and misattribute quotes to them (which the Press Council agrees happened). I would like to see a bullying/mobbing test case against the Press in New Zealand because this is what I think is more an accurate description of what has gone on in regards to HH and the msm.

              • queenstfarmer

                Bullying != defamation.

                But yes Hone does have the right to be aggreived at the NBR and I hope he sticks it to them big time for getting it wrong. A front-page apology would be a good start.

                Also, perhaps they could run a free full page Mana Party ad – I somehow doubt the NBR is Mana’s target demo but who knows what liberated souls might be reading.

  8. Joe Bloggs 8

    I can’t help thinking that there are parallels between the misreporting of Hone’s remarks and the newly emerging doubts over the phrase used by Phil Goff when he claimed the then leader of the National Party had promised the anti-nuclear policy would be “gone by lunchtime” if his party won the election.

    Wilful or careless misquoting to serve political purposes is never a good look.

    • crashcart 8.1

      If there is any truth to this claim I would be interested to know if Geoff deliberatly mis quoted or if teh staffers notes were incorrect. If he deliberatly mis quoted that is pretty severe being it was done to influence an election.

      • thejackal 8.1.1

        The summary of the meeting between US officials and Don Brash and Lockwood Smith says the Kiwi politicians did say the legislation had a negative impact on our defence forces.

        But the cable says they also offered little hope the New Zealand public would be willing to see the legislation scrapped.

        Americans backing up the party that’s most likely to get rid of New Zealand’s anti nuke legislation… you don’t say? National politicians going against the public’s wishes… astounding! Newstalk ZB talking shit… unbelievable!

        There are no parallels here.

  9. I just dont like Hone because of racist statements. Clear and simple really.

    • felix 9.1

      No excuse for lying about what he said though, is it?

      I don’t like a lot of people for a lot of reasons but it doesn’t mean I’m allowed to publish lies about them.

      • queenstfarmer 9.1.1

        I’m not defending NBR or any other media outlet, but I would hesitate to call a misattribution a “lie” without evidence of intent. The media makes mistakes on a daily basis. That does not mean they are all lies. The misuse of the term “lie”, when error / incompetence / laziness is more accurate, has resulted in the word lie being watered down to be almost meaningless now (as an accusation)..

        • felix 9.1.1.1

          Call it what you like, q, there is no excuse for saying someone said something they didn’t say.

          You wouldn’t get away with it here ffs. Why should a well resourced MSM publication have lower standards than a commenter on a a free blog site run by volunteers?

          Riddle me that, my bent-over-backwards apologetic little friend.

          • queenstfarmer 9.1.1.1.1

            I didn’t say anyone should “get away with” anything. And they haven’t “got away” with it, having been hauled up by the Press Council. I was simply making the observation that not every mistake made by media outlets (which must run to many each day) is a lie. People who do make such accusations undermine the seriousness of those who do lie (true lies, if you will).

            • felix 9.1.1.1.1.1

              “I didn’t say anyone should “get away with” anything. And they haven’t “got away” with it”

              Then you’ve wasted quite a lot of time here today, haven’t you my little apologist pal?

              You’ve been very adamant that no-one should suggest lies or deceit in this case, q. So do tell, how are you so sure that this was a simple typing error?

              You say “not every” mistake is deliberate. I agree, corollary included. Not all are, so some must be. Why are you so keen that no-one dare speculate on which category this case falls into?

              Let’s hear it, q, who’s bullshitting who? Either you know something I don’t, or the value of your opinion is the same as everyone else’s and you can stop trying to shut down the uncomfortable avenues of discussion.

              • queenstfarmer

                Sheesh Felix – like the NBR you too go off the deep end.

                You’ve been very adamant that no-one should suggest lies or deceit in this case, q. So do tell, how are you so sure that this was a simple typing error?

                If you actually read my comment, you will see that I said “I would hesitate to call a misattribution a “lie” without evidence of intent”. So I wasn’t being “very adamant” about something, nor did I say I was “sure” that it was innocent or malicious. Just that I would hesitate to call it malicious without evidence – perhaps you do not feel the need for evidence before making serious allegations, but I do.

                Why are you so keen that no-one dare speculate

                I didn’t express any statement of “keen-ness” either way – I simply commented what I would do (i.e. hesitate to accuse without evidence). Although I’m glad that you concede your original indictment of lying was merely speculation.

                you can stop trying to shut down the uncomfortable avenues of discussion

                Yes that’s right, expressing my view of what I would do in a particular situation is a clear attempt to “shut down” a discussion. I have seen many discussions shut down by this dastardly trick.

                • felix

                  Jolly good, I’ll take that as “No, I have no idea whether it’s a lie”.

                  Glad we got that cleared up.

                  But you’re right, “adamant” was a poor choice of word. I should have said “determined”.

    • Tangled up in blue 9.2

      Right wing nutcase!!! :p

  10. The Voice of Reason 10

    What the NBR should be doing is this.
     
    I was defamed by the NBR a couple of years ago, as it happens. A bit of over enthusiasm from a junior reporter, no biggy. I rang the editor, he agreed that a mistake had been made and the offending article was removed from the website. For me, that was enough. I suspect Hone will settle for a correction next issue and he won’t be looking for damages.

  11. Blue 11

    Of course he will look for damages, he’s a pig at the trough like all the others, just possessed of a bigger snout. An obnoxious unimpressive egomaniac of a man. Electing him in the far north will put his long suffering people back twenty five years. He will achieve nothing but derisible sound bites and incite hatred because no-one will work with him.

    • Anna 11.1

      Bleat all you want, Blue, people in the Far North couldn’t care a less what people like you think. I thought the by-election would have proved that to you?

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    New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “In an apparent attempt to appease everyone,… ...
    3 days ago
  • It’s time for hard decisions in the Bay
     The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.  “Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the… ...
    3 days ago
  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    3 days ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    3 days ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    4 days ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    4 days ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    4 days ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    4 days ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    4 days ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    4 days ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    4 days ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    5 days ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    5 days ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    5 days ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    5 days ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    5 days ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    7 days ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    7 days ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    1 week ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    1 week ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    1 week ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    1 week ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • #raisethequota
    Last Saturday was World Refugee Day. I was privileged to spend most of my day with the amazing refugee communities in Auckland. Their stories have been inspiring and reflect the ‘can-do’ Kiwi spirit, even though they come from all different… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Employers want urgent action on health and safety
    Moves by National to water down health and safety reforms have been slammed by employers – the very group the Government claims is pushing for change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has… ...
    2 weeks ago

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