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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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  • Time for inquiry into petrol margins
    It’s time for an inquiry into petrol companies as margins are once again at the high levels that prompted concerns late last year, says Labour's Energy Spokesperson Stuart Nash. "Over the December January holiday period, petrol importer margins jumped to… ...
    4 days ago
  • More talk as Auckland congestion worsens
    The main impact of the Government’s agreement with Auckland Council today will be simply to delay still further decisions needed to relieve the city’s traffic congestion, says Labour’s Auckland Issues Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “Government has been aware for more than… ...
    5 days ago
  • Serco inquiry extended
    A two month delay to the Government investigation into prison fight clubs shows the extent of problems within the Serco circus, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “My office received a tsunami of complaints so I’m not surprised the terms… ...
    5 days ago
  • Truck Shops ignore consumer laws
    A damning Commerce Commission report out today highlights the failure of the Government to protect poor and vulnerable families from unscrupulous truck shops, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer. “The report found that 31 out of 32 firms it… ...
    5 days ago
  • Taihoa at Ihumatao says Labour
    Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has called on the Government to rethink its controversial Special Housing Area in Māngere. Auckland Council is today meeting to discuss the development which borders the Otuataua Stonefield Historic Reserve. This project is to get… ...
    5 days ago
  • Figures suggest National deliberately excluded farming
    Figures showing the dairy industry would be categorised as high risk if there were a further five severe injuries within a year, strongly suggests National designed its flawed system to deliberately exclude farming, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bleak report on the state of our children
    A damning conclusion by the Children’s Commissioner today that ‘we don’t know if children are better off as a result of state intervention, but the indications are not good’ should make fixing CYFs a top priority for this Government, says… ...
    5 days ago
  • Dodgy data used to justify axing KiwiSaver kickstart
    National’s agenda to run down KiwiSaver has become even clearer from a scathing critique of the Government’s justification for axing the $1000 kickstart, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Since National came to power they have not only continually undermined… ...
    5 days ago
  • Unsecure website risks Ashley MoBIEson hack
    Experts have raised security concerns that vulnerabilities in MoBIE’s half million-dollar website could lead to a possible Ashley Maddison-style hack, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “The real issue here is not what data is immediately available, but what… ...
    6 days ago
  • Democracy still the loser in Canterbury
    The Government has demonstrated once again how arrogant and out of touch it is in denying Cantabrians the same democratic rights as the rest of the country, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.  “The Environment Canterbury Bill which has been… ...
    6 days ago
  • Waiver cost still a mystery
    The Government still has no idea what it’s going to cost community and voluntary groups to get a waiver from the fees police will charge to carry out checks on their staff and volunteers, says Labour’s Community and Voluntary spokesperson… ...
    6 days ago
  • China exports fall 27 per cent in a year
    Exports to China have fallen by 27 per cent over the last 12 months - showing that the looming economic slowdown should have been expected by the Government, says Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark. “The Chinese economic slowdown should… ...
    6 days ago
  • National should support all families for 26 weeks
    Families with multiple babies, and those born prematurely or with disabilities, are the winners from moves to extend paid parental leave to 26 weeks but the Government must give all babies the same head start in life, Labour’s spokesperson for… ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s health and safety shambles puts school camps at risk
    Reports that schools are considering scrapping student camps and tearing out playgrounds highlights just how badly National has managed its health and safety reforms, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Schools have been left completely in the dark about the… ...
    6 days ago
  • National’s asset stripping agenda hits schools
    National’s fire-sale of school houses and land is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and will have huge unintended consequences that we will pay for in years to come, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. Documents obtained by Labour show the Ministry of Education… ...
    6 days ago
  • Takahe massacre supposed to get all New Zealanders involved in conservation
    The Minister’s claim that a  botched cull of one of New Zealand’s rarest birds was a way of getting all New Zealanders involved in conservation is offensive and ludicrous, Labour’s conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.  “An email from Minister Maggie… ...
    7 days ago
  • Serco circus rolls on with revelations of fight club practice
    Further revelations that a Serco prison guard was coaching inmates on fight club techniques confirms a fully independent inquiry needs to take place, says Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The Minister’s statement today that a guard was coaching sparring techniques… ...
    7 days ago
  • Government targets put ahead of students’ education
    The Government must urgently reassess the way it sets NCEA targets after a new report found they are forcing schools to “credit farm” and are undermining the qualification, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “A PPTA report released today says… ...
    7 days ago
  • ER patients in corridors as health cuts bite
    Patients are being forced to wait for hours on beds in corridors as cash strapped hospitals struggle to keep up with budget cuts, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “People coming to the emergency room and being forced to wait… ...
    7 days ago
  • Not too late to fix Health and Safety for New Zealand’s workers
    The Government and its minor party supporters are showing an arrogant disregard for workers’ lives by not agreeing to a cross-party solution to the botched Health and Safety bill, Opposition leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday I wrote to the Prime… ...
    7 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Council of Infrastructure Development
    Tēnā Kotou Katoa. Thank you so much for having me along to speak today. Can I begin by acknowledging John Rae, the President, and Stephen Selwood, the chief executive of the Council for Infrastructure Development. ...
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank points finger at Govt inaction
    In scathing criticism of the Government’s inaction, the Reserve Bank says Auckland housing supply is growing nowhere near fast enough to make a dent the housing shortage, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Reserve Bank deputy governor Grant Spencer today… ...
    1 week ago
  • Chickens come home to roost on climate change
    The Government’s gutting of the Emissions Trading Scheme has caused foresters to leave and emissions to rise, says Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods. “The release of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Facts and Figures Report for 2014 on the ETS… ...
    1 week ago
  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    1 week ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Crucial Auditor General investigation welcomed
    The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says. “The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver sign-ups continue to fall
    New KiwiSaver sign-ups in July were 45 per cent below the monthly average, despite John Key saying axing the kickstart “will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver”, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Contact bows to pressure
    Contact Energy’s decision to cut its pre-pay rates to be in line with its customers who pay monthly is good news and the company deserves credit for responding so quickly, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson David Shearer.  “Two months ago… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • I’m pushing for a ‘fair go’ for solar
    My Fair Go For Solar Bill was pulled from the Members’ Ballot last week and is set for a vote in Parliament. In this blog post I explain some of the background to the bill and how it aims to… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Key must explain why Health and Safety Bill pulled
    John Key must explain why his Government is delaying the Health and Safety Bill when Pike River families have travelled to Wellington specifically to register their opposition, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Yesterday afternoon John Key suggested the bill may… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Diving for sustainable scallops
    Last week, there were calls for scallop dredging to be banned in the Marlborough Sounds, following scientific report saying that 70% of the Sounds had been lost from dredging, trawling, and sedimentation from forestry. At the same time we see… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago

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