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The Standard

The end of the media honeymoon for John Key

Written By: - Date published: 8:43 am, July 31st, 2013 - 97 comments
Categories: greens, john key, national, russel norman - Tags: ,

Yesterday in parliament I watched question time being used to its best effect.  Russell Norman nailed John Key by asking him a series of questions trying to find out why his chief of staff had demanded metadata about Andrea Vance.  Not only metadata about her movements around Parliament was handed over to the executive but data about her Fairfax paid phone calls was apparently also requested, collated, handed over to the requester but apparently not read and returned.  That sucking noise that Key makes when he is under pressure became more and more prominent as time went by and his answers became less and less convincing.  The overwhelming impression I have is that Key was completely on the defensive.

The denials of wrongdoing by Key and others are descending into pathos.

It was said that David Henry asked for Vance’s phone records but he then denied this request occurred.  Even though it was apparently never requested it was provided and Henry says that it was returned without being viewed.  Peter Dunne has come out however and said that he was asked by Henry for access to his landline telephone records so that they could be compared with Andrea Vance’s records although to be fair Henry has denied refuted this.

To add to the utter confusion speaker David Carter initially denied that Vance’s phone records were handed to Henry but yesterday in an embarassing back down said that the information was actually handed over.  There is talk of a shadowy “contractor” who released the data but the question has to be who within Parliamentary Services authorised the release of the information.

If Henry did not see the information then I have this nagging thought that someone else did.  Because it seems that someone may have told Winston Peters about what the records contained.

On May 31, 2013 he demanded the release of phone records to pinpoint the source of the leak of the Kitteridge report.  He then accused United Future leader Peter Dunne being the leaker.

He said ominously in Parliament that day to Bill English “[a]ll the evidence is in those phone records, and your minister is gone”.

Mr English was then reported as saying that it was entirely up to Mr Henry whether to seek phone records.

“If he thinks phone records will tell him something I’m sure he will go and get them. I’m a bit surprised at the detailed knowledge Mr Peters had about the way Mr Henry is doing his job.”

So who was leaking to Winston Peters and why?  And when he was talking about phone records was he talking about Dunne’s records or Vance’s records?

Whatever the answer to these questions are there is no doubt that reporters are genuinely distressed by this development and I am sure this will be reflected in how they report on issues particularly on the GCSB bill.  Key will no longer have the luxury of being able to call then knuckleheads.

The matter is deeply disturbing.  As said by John Armstrong this morning:

That someone working for Parliamentary Service could consider it okay to release the private phone records of a Press Gallery journalist to an inquiry sanctioned by the Prime Minister truly beggars belief.

It certainly gives new meaning to the word “service” in the bureaucracy which runs the parliamentary complex and looks after MPs’ needs.

It also speaks of something very sick and rotten at the heart of the country’s democracy. Whether the release was motivated by malice or ignorance, it adds up to a fundamental breach of press rights.

This issue highlights what is at stake with the GCSB Bill.  I am sure that Andrea Vance has nothing to fear but every justification to hide information from this Government that it has no right to.

97 comments on “The end of the media honeymoon for John Key”

  1. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1

    You win a set of steak knives and tickets to the Brazilian Mime Theatre’s production of Oklahoma.

    This is the 100,000th time since 2007 that a critic from the left has predicted that “the Honeymoon is Over”.

    If you are actually correct, it would be a weird confluence of 100,000th prediction and first correct prediction.

    • Mary 1.1

      Hope is all we have in a dictatorship.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.1

        That’s right, Mary. Because we are living in a dictatorship.

        • vto 1.1.1.1

          That was Sir Geoffrey Palmers assertion Gormless. Do you imagine Palmer throws around such terms lightly? Why would he do that do you think?

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.1.1.1

            I can only think he has said that because Key has unilaterally called off elections and declared himself dictator for life.

            Remind me. Has he done that?

            • Arfamo 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Well, no, but he could’ve been thinking about Judith when she gets sick of all the stuff ups that John seems to be a magnet for & boots him back home to the US.

            • vto 1.1.1.1.1.2

              Yep, you’re onto it. Wonder why John Campbell didn’t come to you for constitutional advice rather than Geoffrey Palmer………..

              • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                Because he knew I would not make sensational and fanciful claims like we are living in a dictatorship. That would have impacted on ratings. Fucking corporate media.

                • vto

                  Yep, like I said, you’re onto it.

                  Geoffrey Palmer is prone to sensation and fanciful claims.

                  • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                    So, when we have an election, if National does not gain a majority of votes, will it still be the government?

                    • Mary

                      Quite possibly, if it can cobble a coalition together. And if it does become the government after the next election, with or without a majority, it will continue to ignore every constitutional and democratic safeguard and principle it can get away with ignoring, as it is currently doing right now.

                    • North

                      You’re on a hiding to nothing gormless one. How cheap are you anyway ? Unilaterally setting the bar for valid discussion at ShonKey Python cancelling elections. You’ll note that no one’s raised that but you.

                      RWNJs are shitting, frantically building straw men, and whistling in the dark. Because they know in their hearts…….

        • Frank Macskasy 1.1.1.2

          “That’s right, Mary. Because we are living in a dictatorship.”

          Gormless – dictatorships will not be as obvious as you think.

          Aftere all, if you think you’re totally free to voice your thoughts – why are you using a pseudonym?

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.1.2.1

            I am not using a pseudonym.

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 1.1.1.2.1.1

              And what do you mean “Gormless – dictatorships will not be as obvious as you think.”

              Apparently, we are already living in one.

  2. insider 2

    Tech support people don’t just release information on a whim. I expect today’s PQs will be trying to nail down who actually asked the question.

    • Tim 2.1

      I call bullshit on that insider. They talk about things with their mates, and sometimes even brag about what they can get. On occasion, they even get it!
      I happen to have a concern with a lot of ‘outsourced’ IT. Often the provider’s employees do not have any sort of cultural understanding of The Public Service and what is required of a public servant – they don’t consider themselves to be public servants even though they’re acting in that capacity!

      • insider 2.1.1

        There’s a big difference between being able to see and do stuff and then bragging about it down at the pub, and packaging a specific set of data and handing that over to an authority figure. How would they have known what to select and who to give it to? Someone had to have given the instruction. Was it a helpful PS but over zealous staffer trying to support the inquiry or a political staffer, or a bit of both?

        • Tim 2.1.1.1

          I’ll give you just ONE example then shall I?
          I was once involved in a court case (that turned out to my benefit).
          A former employee of mine who went on to system administer a certain government agency through his now ‘private contractor employer’, came to me to and asked if I wanted him to get certain info beneficial to my cause. I did not accept and I reminded him of his responsibilities.
          Didn’t stop the bragging around places like Shed 5 on a Friday night however!
          Please – stop the naivety!
          I’d give you others, but I don’t intend identifying either the employee, or the (prominent) company. The matters have been dealt with expediently and far more successfully. There’s no point in re-litigating, But there’s even less point in pretending it doesn’t happen.

    • infused 2.2

      Yeah they do. Tech support do what they are asked.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        yes, that’s what tech support at the NSA do, at Verizon, Google and Yahoo! as well. How reassuring.

      • Lanthanide 2.2.2

        You seem to not know the idiom of “on a whim”.

        I’ll give you a hint: doing something “on a whim” is not the same as doing something “because you were asked to”.

        Or, more simply:
        “Tech support people just releasing information on a whim.” != “Tech support people just releasing information because they were asked to”.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.3

      But of course it will be ‘inadvertent’ or a ‘systemic problem’ and nobody is to blame

      Covers everything from Pike River to to phone tapping

      • King Kong 2.3.1

        Not this time.

        Aussie Russ looks pretty determined to see some poor, downtrodden and overworked public servant lose his job.

        Maybe the stress of the sacking will make him take his own life destroying the lives of the mans young family and condeming them to a life of abject poverty.

        There is blood on your hands Norman!!!

        • Arfamo 2.3.1.1

          I expect JK’s Chief of Staff would ensure his own family was reasonably comfortably provided for in the event of his unfortunate demise.

          • King Kong 2.3.1.1.1

            So if I went to the police and asked them to provide confidential files to a third party and they did, its my fault?

            • Arfamo 2.3.1.1.1.1

              Ask them to provide it to me, and after it’s happened we can discuss the issues from first hand experience.

            • Frank Macskasy 2.3.1.1.1.2

              “So if I went to the police and asked them to provide confidential files to a third party and they did, its my fault?”

              Depends what you do with it, KK.

              Let’s hope the Guvmint never spies on you, eh?

        • amirite 2.3.1.2

          Yeah because that servant acted on their own volition, no pressure from the PM’s office at all, eh? Yeah, pass that Tui bottle.

        • North 2.3.1.3

          Drama Queen KK !

    • SpaceMonkey 2.4

      That they’re technical people is irrelevant. They are a privately contracted resource who have had a public service function outsourced to them. They will do whatever their “customer” asks them to. And this, in a nutshell, is one of the problems with outsourcing the public service to private sector. It’s a change of ownership. Whereas the public service is beholden to the people, the private sector is beholden to whomever is paying them… in this case, Parliamentary Services senior management.

  3. Sosoo 3

    although to be fair Henry has refuted this.

    I think you mean “rebutted”.

    [Right you are. Changed]

  4. Sosoo 4

    It also speaks of something very sick and rotten at the heart of the country’s democracy. Whether the release was motivated by malice or ignorance, it adds up to a fundamental breach of press rights.

    Not really. NZ is just transitioning from a liberal democracy to an authoritarian democracy in which the mob does what it likes. Most people seem fine with this or at best indifferent to it, so Armstrong will soon discover that, like the rest of us, he’s pissing into the wind.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Henry denies having viewed the records, after they were compiled. I wonder if Key’s Chief of Staff, who requested the information, did.

  6. King Kong 6

    Key still has one ace up his sleeve. If things get too hot in the kitchen he can call a Labour leadership contest and the spotlight shifts.

    • Craig Glen viper 6.1

      Sadly KK is right for once. It hurts to say it but it is the truth .

      • Hami Shearlie 6.1.1

        Shearer certainly looks weak as water compared to Russel Norman. If David Cunliffe finally gets fed up and leaves before he can become leader , Labour will be down and out for a very very long time!

    • paul andersen 6.2

      yes , but now that the media have been spied on ,and shafted, how compliant will they be?obviously, turds like osullivan will still do as they are directed, but most in the media will be feeling pretty vindictive towards your johnny.

      • King Kong 6.2.1

        No they won’t.

        The parliamentary reporters have all spent time with Key and know him pretty well. Whilst you chaps believe him to be the reincarnation of Satan, they realise that he is a straight shooter who doesn’t need to resort to these kind of tactics to remain in power.

        Unfortunately this is just another public service fuck up.

        • Arfamo 6.2.1.1

          People say when you meet him he’s a decent bloke. But the problem is it’s no good Key being a decent bloke only when you meet him. We need a PM who’s a decent bloke all the time. He’ll have to go I’m afraid.

          • King Kong 6.2.1.1.1

            Brilliant.

            Thank you for that, it really made me giggle.

            • North 6.2.1.1.1.1

              How come you constantly live on the dark side KK ? And feverishly, gloatingly, applaud your surroundings and the goings on therein ? As “genius” and “masterstroke” and other such superlatives.

              Are you a sociopath ? Donald Rumsfeld on steriods ?

        • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.2

          Unfortunately this is just another public service fuck up.

          Originating in the Prime Minister’s office, with John Key’s Chief of Staff.

        • tricledrown 6.2.1.3

          Primitive primate Key has dug a very big hole for himself the more lies about spies the deeper it gets!

          • Arfamo 6.2.1.3.1

            I think the public servant stuff up line’s probably not really going to fly with the public or the journos on this one. We’ll see.

        • You_Fool 6.2.1.4

          The parliamentary reporters have all spent time with Key and know him pretty well. Whilst you chaps believe him to be the reincarnation of Satan, they realise that he is exactly that, but their bosses like the way he does business, and the reporters need to resort to the kind of kiss-ass shown previously to remain in a job.

          Fortunately this is a big National fuck up and may make the jonolists re-consider their positions.

          Fixed it for you…

        • Molly 6.2.1.5

          Jeesh, KK my twelve year old after watching JK online today: “John Key is not meant to be wonderful, he is the Prime Minister and he is meant to be doing the right thing. It doesn’t matter if he smiles all the time. ”

          He gets it. Why can’t you?

          • King Kong 6.2.1.5.1

            I hope you gave him an extra serving of mung beans for displaying just how well the indoctrination is working.

            I imagine he also has some pretty developed ideas on the females right to choose and the impending fall of neo liberalism.

            • Colonial Viper 6.2.1.5.1.1

              It seems like the gullible and brainwashed don’t even realise it.

            • North 6.2.1.5.1.2

              Oh God KK you really are an obstinate self-deluded lump of detritis. What the hell are you gonna say when Sir Kiwi Kim Dotcom produces the definitive proof that ShonKey Python misled the House, repeatedly ? Visual and audio proof KK. Upon which the said SP will resign and leave NZ virtually overnight. Back to his turangawaewae Wall Street/City of London.

              I daresay there’ll be a seamless transfer of affections to Judge Judy.

        • Frank Macskasy 6.2.1.6

          “…they realise that he is a straight shooter they realise that he is a straight shooter who doesn’t need to resort to these kind of tactics to remain in power. ”

          Bwahahahahahahahahaha…

    • tricledrown 6.3

      primitive peanut brained primate No doubt mugaabKeys spies have told you all about what going on inside other political parties!
      Lies and spies!
      Nixon and watergate i’m not a Crook spring to mind!
      Ever since key lied he has tried to cover it up with more deceit and lies
      now its coming back to haunt him big time boohooo its galvanised the left as well boo hoo
      stop crying in your beer monkey man have few peanuts or what about a cup tea with john banks

  7. Johnny 7

    Parliamentary Service gave Winston Peters Brendan Horan’s phone records and that MP was chucked out of the party for phone gambling. National got Aaron Gilmore’s phone records and after threatening to go to the Sunday papers with pics, after releasing txts, he resigned from Parliament altogether. Dunne had his records handed over. In western countries authorities usually need consent or warrants to get such personal data. In banana republics el presidente can do it by executive fiat. What we need is more than the Privileges inquiry, but a full and comprehensive review by the Privacy Commissioner and wrong doers brought before the Human Rights Review Tribunal and heavily fined. What we have here is systemic disregard for the constitution and rule of law from the Prime Minister down. The Parliamentary Service IS subject to the Privacy Act 1993, if not the OIA which is toothless anyway. The PA is not. The whole rotten bunch need kicking out. What else has been going on? Ye gods!!

    • “What else has been going on?”

      So true – this is just the tip of the dirty iceberg and for sure the rest of the murky dealings will probably never see the light of day. If this is what we can see and find out about then it should put the heebee geebees up anyone with half a mind.

  8. Craig Glen viper 8

    Its sad that so many in our media have turned a blind eye to all sorts of injustice’s, anti democratic and authotarian behaviour on the part of John Key / National Government towards New Zealanders. Who know’s maybe now that the Government is coming for them, they will finally start reporting facts instead of spin. I live in hope but Im not so sure the behaviour will change after all we have already had Tea gate.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      Yes, the media could start acting independently and start challenging the Government narrative, OR it could decide to cosy up to the Government even more and become a full on Pravda-style PR industry.

      It’s really even odds.

    • King Kong 8.2

      Have you ever considered that perhaps the festering evil that you see everywhere might just be your feverish leftwing brains hopeful exagerations.
      Maybe the media are telling it like it is, in other words, it’s not the end of the world as we know it!

      • tricledrown 8.2.1

        KK is still crying in his beer the shit storm has just begun!

      • Arfamo 8.2.2

        Well the media seem to be telling it like it is on this particular issue. And they don’t seem to like what it is.

      • Craig Glen viper 8.2.3

        What I know is that National have been very good at manipulating the media.

        • King Kong 8.2.3.1

          Its called delivering a strong, coherent and unified message.

          Labour should give it a try some time.

          • Arfamo 8.2.3.1.1

            Labour’s trying to go one better and make the messages actual truth.

            • Blue 8.2.3.1.1.1

              If the message is mumbled it hardly has any coherence though. Frankly when Shearer stays on message he never looks convinced about what he’s saying.

      • weka 8.2.4

        Have you ever considered that perhaps the festering evil that you see everywhere might just be your feverish leftwing brains hopeful exagerations.
        Maybe the media are telling it like it is, in other words, it’s not the end of the world as we know it!

        I thought we’d covered this.

        The MSM.

        Or, the Law Society, the Human Rights Commission, the Privacy Commissioner, Harrison QC, Tech Liberty, Geoffry Palmer, Anne Salmond…. I’m sure that list will continue to grow.

        • North 8.2.4.1

          Oh c’mon Weka……..we know that KK’s answer to all of that will simply be – “Leftie bullshit love the game absolute genius yay idol ShonKey Python. !!!”

          KK’s catatonic with it and looking more the fruit loop with every contribution !

  9. tc 9

    Sure it’s the end of the honeymoon but it’s the continuation of a very convenient yet awkward marriage where neither should be together but are as it’s what their parents want being an arranged marriage to preserve the power etc.

    The MSM have rolled over or not even bothered time and again such as cuppa tea, tranzrail shares, blind trusts, throat slitting, wages dropping the list is sooo long from Blip it’s simply depressing.

    But hey this is all part of the plan, dumb em down make them feel it’s futile, keep them out of the booths and subject them to rat boy jonolism that garners the reality.

  10. Sable 10

    Hard to feel sorry for the bastards given they have helped to place National in office and keep them there. As to whether it will effect the relationship journalists have with Keys keep in mind its not really about them. The relationship is between Keys and their corporate “employers” who have a vested interest in Keys continuation in the PM’s role.

  11. Veutoviper 11

    Sir Geoffrey Palmer, in another excellent interview on Nine to Noon this morning, considered that the checking of phone records etc of Ministers by the Henry Inquiry was in itself a breach of Parliamentary Privilege.

    He covers this in the first two minutes or so of the interview, but the whole interview is well worth listening to as he gives an excellent overview of the history of the Parliamentary Services, their role, their culture and why they are not subject to the OIA (against his wishes at the time PS were set up).

    He also gives his views (not particularly complimentary) on how the Henry Inquiry was set up and its wide TORs, and Henry’s lack of legal qualifications; and on press freedom and the wider ramifications of the whole fiasco vis a vis democracy.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2563981/phone-records-handed-over-during-gcsb-investigation

    If Palmer’s points are picked up (as they should be IMO) this can of worms gets bigger and bigger.

    [I am currently also re-reading the Henry Inquiry report to see what exactly it says re telephone records etc, who was contacted, spoke to etc. Here is a link to the report for anyone interested]

    http://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/all/files/Henry%20Report.pdf

  12. Skinny 12

    This is politics folks- it’s what it’s all about. That landslide loss for National is looking better by the week as we roll on to the 2014 election. “It’s meta data on the hard drive…it’s money in the bank as a money trader would say.”

    The support eventually slips away with each fuck up revealed. But taking a stick to the press is beyond my wildest dreams. Go Johnny go!

    I told both Shearer & Cunliffe “the next election is theirs to loose regardless of who is the leader, that still stands.

  13. chris73 13

    “The end of the media honeymoon for John Key”

    – I guess if you say it enough times it’ll eventually become true

    • amirite 13.1

      Like this govt saying ” If you have nothing to hide, you’ve nothing to fear?”

      • chris73 13.1.1

        As long as its National saying it then I’m ok with it

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 13.1.1.1

          *headdesk*

          • weka 13.1.1.1.1

            When you see comments like 13.1.1 you have to start to wonder if the tin foil hat wearing chapter of the anti-fluoride debate aren’t right after all.

    • mickysavage 14.1

      Yep fascinating. The underlying theme is that Key’s Chief of Staff made Parliamentary Services an offer that it felt it could not refuse. Rule by Prime Ministerial fiat is just around the corner …

      • calltoaccount 14.1.1

        Although there’s a getout by JK, the CoS meant the Ministers’ data to be realeased, not Vance’s. Silly error. Watertight lie or not, what do you reckon?

        • mickysavage 14.1.1.1

          It could be that the release of Vance’s data was not intended but Henry’s statement jars with Dunne’s claim that Henry said that he wanted to compare Dunne’s call data with Vance’s call data.

          It may be that Parliamentary Services was that terrified that it handed over Vance’s data without thinking about whether it should or not.

          There is still a stench to it.

          I see that Tracy Watkins is asking questions about who leaked the information to Winston Peters.

          • Pascal's bookie 14.1.1.1.1

            Here’s the email Key tabled between the inquiry and PS.

            Note the list of Ministers does not include Dunne.

            http://t.co/6iUtMg5nXt

            • mickysavage 14.1.1.1.1.1

              There has to be another email. And you have to wonder why this email was tabled and not the other one …

              • yeshe

                Micky — Key was quoting from it but only tabled it on request via the speaker by David Parker, (I think, but not sure), but certainly only under questioning from the opposition, who also a little while later when they had it to read, questioned how much had been redacted. Key did not look comfortable.

      • Colonial Viper 14.1.2

        Rule by Prime Ministerial fiat is just around the corner …

        Is this what Key had in mind for a “Constitutional Review”?

        President John Key.

  14. georgecom 15

    Has anyone seen a headline in the NZH screaming ‘Democracy under attack’ yet?

  15. Blue 16

    When democracy is under attack I’m sure you will.

    • Craig Glen viper 16.1

      The “Supercity” democracy already gone just in case you forgot Blue

  16. tc 17

    I spy with my little eye, some Public servants being prepared to be fried.

    You know this game, one of us has to go and it isn’t me as I’m the king, see ya been nice I’ll find a trough later you can shove your snout in.

  17. AmaKiwi 18

    Hey, John Key, here’s a glimpse at your “brighter future” – 2014 with Kim Dotcom’s extradition hearing.

    • tricledrown 18.1

      2014 key rides off into the sunset to Hawaii but just by coincidence kim Dotcom is on the same plane!

  18. Jenny 19

    Democracy under attack

    Illegally gathered private data,
    Used as leverage,
    To corrupt the political process,
    Gains Dunne’s vote,
    To allow the gathering of even more private data,
    To further corrupt the political process.

    Winston Peters was put on the spot tonight on TV3. Peters was asked to explain how he knew what was in the Dunne/Vance emails. A brief look of discomfiture crossed Peters’ face, before he grinned and came up with a smart-alec answer: “It is my job to know”.

    But how did Peters know? Peters was asked again. He refused to answer.

    It is becoming increasingly clear that Dunne’s vote to support the GCSB Bill was achieved with pressure verging on blackmail.

    The Dunce/Vance email exchange was shown to Winston Peters and the P.M.

    Peters intimates, that the content of the emails will be personally embarrassing if not publicly distressing for Dunne. The threat behind this limited release by those who did it, “Was watch it Dunne, or we will release the whole lot to everyone”.

    To allow the gathering of even more private data,
    More private data,
    To further corrupt the political process.

    As the probe into how the Vance/Dunne Data was misused, delves deeper to find an answer. Will the secret operators behind this scandal be finally flushed into the open?

    Stay tuned.

  19. yeshe 20

    Poor Mrs Dunne; what a trap she must be in.

    Peters said more recently on Q&A that was very revealing — said of Dunne, “There is no fool like an old fool” .. an unmistakeable insinuation.

    • Arfamo 20.1

      Nah. Just a classic Winnie dogwhistle. Vague insinuation. Doesn’t actually tell you anything. But if just about anything damning of any kind now does fall out of the woodwork, Winnie can say “told you so”.

  20. Jenny 21

    David Shearer gets it right.

    http://www.labour.org.nz/news/pm-clueless-about-gcsb%E2%80%99s-snooping-for-henry-inquiry

    “John Key told Parliament today that the Henry report was sent to the head of the GCSB (as it related to the Kitteridge report into the Bureau), and to the best of the Prime Minister’s knowledge that was the only role the GCSB played.

    “But on page 16 of the Henry report, in Appendix Three, it quite clearly states:

    “Substantial assistance, particularly in the gathering of records, was also provided by staff at GCSB…”

    David Shearer

    This raises a number of questions:

    John Key is the Minister responsible for the GCSB. Was he not aware that the DCSG is still continuing to spy on New Zealanders in violation of the law, even in parliament?

    Or, was he aware and decided to lie about it?

    And how about the illegal spying on the 88 New Zealanders identified in the Kitteridge report. Is that still going on too?

    Is this the reason for the rush to get the new legislation through?

    That the illegal spying on New Zealanders by the GCSB has not faltered or slowed down one bit, but is still continuing. And John Key needs to get the laws in quick before they are found out.

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    New figures out today showing Auckland house prices have spiked by a massive $74,000 in the past quarter is further evidence the city’s housing crisis has spiralled out of control, Labour’s “In spite of constant announcements and photo opportunities from… ...
    2 days ago
  • Democracy for Nauru now
    Murray McCully must send the strongest possible message to the Nauruan Government that New Zealand does not condone its actions given the disturbing developments there, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Right now we are seeing Nauru stripped of… ...
    2 days ago
  • Recovery needs more than a rebrand
    Today’s announcement of new governance arrangements for Canterbury seems to be nothing more than a fresh coat of paint on the same old approach, says Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “The Canterbury Recovery has been too slow, with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Copper decision a victory for status quo, not Kiwi households
    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,… ...
    2 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
    3 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… ...
    3 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
    3 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… ...
    3 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… ...
    3 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
    3 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,… ...
    3 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… ...
    4 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… ...
    4 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… ...
    4 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… ...
    6 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… ...
    6 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’… ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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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