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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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    2 hours ago
  • No spy, no fly
    A really disturbing report out of the US: The United States Justice Department has moved to dismiss a lawsuit in which American Muslims allege that that twenty-five law enforcement officials, particularly FBI agents, had them placed on the No Fly… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    3 hours ago
  • Will the Govt’s new HomeStarter scheme make it easier to buy a house?
    The Government is defending a new subsidy scheme for low and middle income couple who build a new home, but the Labour Party says it will add to the housing crisis. New Zealanders on the hunt for their first home… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Invercargill to become New Zealand’s Capital City
    At a specially called press conference this morning, Prime Minister John Key announced that Invercargill was to become New Zealand's new capital. The news was unexpected as there had been no awareness that moving the capital was even being considered.Key… ...
    3 hours ago
  • The Age of Sustainable Development
    Hot Topic – By Gareth Renowden – Analysis published with permission of Hot-Topic.co.nz The Age of Sustainable Development It is profoundly depressing to hear pundits and politicians talking about the prospects for economic growth with no reference to either equity… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    3 hours ago
  • Not in my backyard!
    As we have written before on Transportblog, we think that choice in housing and transport markets is really important. In particular, Aucklanders need to be able to choose not to live in apartments. Therefore we must act now to ban… ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    3 hours ago
  • The Nashing Of Labour’s Teeth: Why Being Green Ain’t Getting An...
    Red In Tooth And Claw: Stuart Nash, winner of the provincial seat of Napier, clearly intends to build Labour's vote by savaging the Greens. IF THE GREENS want a glimpse of their future with Labour, then they should listen to… ...
    3 hours ago
  • Easter Traffic: NZ Transport advises drivers to plan now for a spot in holi...
    MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Transport Agency – Start planning now to book your spot in Easter traffic Mark Owen, NZ Transport Agency Regional Performance Manager, is reminding motorists that heavy traffic is expected during peak travel times over the… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    3 hours ago
  • Australia’s Foreign Minister Set To Visit Tonga – Prime Minister Akilis...
    MIL OSI –  Source: Tonga Government – Tonga’s Prime Minister looks forward to first visit of Australian Foreign Minister this week. Tongan Prime Minister, Akilisi-Pohiva. Image by Selwyn Manning. In a statement this morning, the Prime Minister and Minister… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    4 hours ago
  • Hard News: The other kind of phone tapping
    When I was a lad, we didn't have your fancy smartphones. We didn't have mobile phones at all, which meant there was much greater need for public payphones and they were consequently more numerous. The funny thing was, there was… ...
    4 hours ago
  • The Age of Sustainable Development
    It is profoundly depressing to hear pundits and politicians talking about the prospects for economic growth with no reference to either equity or environmental constraints. In the case of New Zealand a “rock star” economy can apparently develop accompanied by… ...
    Hot TopicBy Bryan Walker
    4 hours ago
  • Asbestos needs a ban and a plan – petition presented
    Workers have today presented a petition signed by over a thousand New Zealanders calling on the Government to ban the importation of asbestos and develop a comprehensive plan for the removal of all existing asbestos in New Zealand.  Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    4 hours ago
  • US Dept of Defense Details Ongoing Coalition Airstrikes in Syria and Iraq
    MIL OSI – Source: United States Department of Defense – US Dept of Defense Details Ongoing Coalition Airstrikes in Syria and Iraq From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve SOUTHWEST ASIA, March 31, 2015 – U.S. and coalition military forces… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    4 hours ago
  • US Dept of Defense Details Ongoing Coalition Airstrikes in Syria and Iraq
    MIL OSI – Source: United States Department of Defense – US Dept of Defense Details Ongoing Coalition Airstrikes in Syria and Iraq From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve SOUTHWEST ASIA, March 31, 2015 – U.S. and coalition military forces… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    4 hours ago
  • April Fools Release: TAXPAYERS’ UNION TO PURSUE PUBLIC FUNDING
    MIL OSI – Source: Taxpayers Union – Press Release/Statement Headline: MR: TAXPAYERS’ UNION TO PURSUE PUBLIC FUNDING – April Fools Day Release 1 APRIL 2015 The Taxpayers’ Union has announced its intention to pursue taxpayer-funding to support its advocacy… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    5 hours ago
  • WWF says on US Climate Pledge a ‘Big Deal’
    MIL OSI – Source: World Wildlife Fund – WWF says on US Climate Pledge a ‘Big Deal’ World Wildlife Fund issued the following statement from Lou Leonard, Vice President, Climate Change in reaction to today’s formal submission of the US’ contribution to… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    5 hours ago
  • Ombudsman Releases Guide to changes to the Ombudsmen Act and official infor...
    MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Ombudsmans Office – Guide to changes to the Ombudsmen Act and official information legislation April 1, 2015 Some changes have been made to the Ombudsmen Act (OA) and official information legislation as part of an… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    5 hours ago
  • Paid Parental leave increases – but more work needed – CTU
    MIL OSI – Source: Council Of Trade Unions – Paid Parental leave increases – but more work needed Workers are pleased that, from today, paid parental leave increases from 14 to 16 weeks, but unfortunately New Zealand is still well behind… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    5 hours ago
  • Commerce Commission to review regulated broadband non-price terms
    MIL OSI – Source: Commerce Commission – Commerce Commission to review regulated broadband non-price terms The Commerce Commission has today announced it will formally review the non-price terms of the Unbundled Bitstream Access (UBA) Standard Terms Determination (STD) under the Telecommunications Act.… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    5 hours ago
  • Genius from google
    PacMan on google maps. I'm guessing for today only. Complete genius. Sweet! Just click on the PacMan logo on the bottom left and you're off. The Courtenay Place end of Wellington is easier to play than the Parliament end.… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    5 hours ago
  • Hard News: The GCSB and the consequences of mass surveillance
    Fewer whistleblowers, more corruption, less stability.That's the assessment of longtime Pacific journalist Jason Brown of the impact of the revelation that the GCSB has been conducting "full take" collection of communications in Samoa, Fiji, Solomon Islands and other Pacific nations… ...
    5 hours ago
  • Paid Parental leave increases – but more work needed
    Workers are pleased that, from today, paid parental leave increases from 14 to 16 weeks, but unfortunately New Zealand is still well behind the support that other countries offer to new parents, the Council of Trade Unions said. Photo:  … ...
    CTUBy Huia.Welton
    5 hours ago
  • QOTD: snark vs smarm
    From the epic On Smarm by Tom Scocca at Gawker: Snark is often conflated with cynicism, which is a troublesome misreading. Snark may speak in cynical terms about a cynical world, but it is not cynicism itself. It is a theory of… ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    5 hours ago
  • Birkenhead Transport orders triple-articulated double decker bus
    Birkenhead Transport announced today that it is planning replace its entire fleet with a single triple-articulated double decker bus. The bus is 57m long and over 4m tall. The Walfisch 57 double decker triple-bendy bus. Owner, managing director and part… ...
    5 hours ago
  • The X Factor NZ: That summer feeling
    Improvements have been made, true contenders are emerging and Dominic Bowden only grows in power.   X Factor NZ judges Shelton Woolwright, Natalie Bassingthwaighte, Stan Walker and Melanie Blatt. Photo: The X Factor NZ A good X… ...
    5 hours ago
  • MPs back animal testing ban
    From left, owner of Crumpet the Rabbit Greta-Mae McDowell, Green Party MP Mojo Mathers and #BeCrueltyFree campaigner Tara Jackson. MPs have unanimously supported a ban on animal testing in New Zealand for finished cosmetic products and their… ...
    6 hours ago
  • The other missing mode
    Here at TransportBlog, we often write about “missing modes“. Auckland is shamefully underprovided with alternatives to driving, and that’s the situation that led to us developing the Congestion Free Network. The CFN calls for investment in rail, bus and potentially… ...
    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    7 hours ago
  • Why are young people in Europe joining jihadist groups?
    by Kenan Malik First it was Shamima Begum, Amira Abase and Kadiza Sultana, three schoolgirls from Tower Hamlets who smuggled themselves to Syria during their half term holiday. Then it was ‘Jihadi John’, the IS executioner who was unmasked by… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    14 hours ago
  • Sea Level Rise is Spiking Sharply
    Global sea level is rising because of warming from the industrial greenhouse gas emissions we humans keep pumping into the atmosphere. The expansion of seawater as it warms, and the addition of meltwater from disintegrating land-based ice, enforce a relentless rise… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Remuera: Two Arrested After High-Speed Eagle Pursuit
    Source: New Zealand Police – Remuera: Two Arrested After High-Speed Police Pursuit Robbery suspects arrested following high speed drive Tuesday, 31 March 2015 – 7:58pm Auckland City Two men have been arrested in Remuera after driving at high speed and in… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    16 hours ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the inadequate response to sexual violence prevention
    On combatting sexual violence, the government has finally begun to undo some of the problems that were of its own making. Early in March, ACC launched the Integrated Services for Sensitive Claims scheme – a package aimed at improving the… ...
    16 hours ago
  • Judgment day for Planet Key (the song, that is)
    From Darren Watson's website:News@ 30 March, 2015read more ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    17 hours ago
  • Keith Rankin on Subsistence and the Benefit
    Analysis by Keith Rankin – First Published on Scoop.co.nz. Rural Northland poverty in the spotlight. Image courtesy of Localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz. YESTERDAY ON RADIO NEW ZEALAND’S MORNING REPORT “Te Manu Korihi for 30 March 2015“, Mana’s Hone Harawira discussed the matter… ...
    Evening ReportBy Selwyn Manning
    19 hours ago
  • A rape joke walks into a comedy festival
    Here’s a story about stand-up comedy that shouldn’t be shocking: Adrienne Truscott’s first full-length show involves an hour of jokes about rape culture, during which time you can see her genitals. Supplied In reality though, how rape is… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Introducing: Wurld Series
    Emerging local musicians are given two minutes to introduce one of their songs and say whatever they like about themselves and their music. Wurld Series. Name: Wurld Series (Luke, Jared and James). Age: 24, 25, 30. Hometown: Christchurch.… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Tonight on Evening Report – March 31 2015
    Tonight on Evening Report we lead with a video cross to Hanoi to gauge how delegates from South East Asia, meeting on nuclear disarmament in Vietnam, have responded to news New Zealand has been spying on its trading partners. This and… ...
    Evening ReportBy Selwyn Manning
    20 hours ago
  • On The Dial – Episode 17
    This week in On The Dial, the Northland by-election, we go behind the scenes of Parliament’s Hansard office, talk to comedian Adrienne Truscott, and, of course, look back at the Cricket world cup. The National Party is promising to take… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Research on the price of protest in West Papua released – PMC
    MIL OSI – Source: Pacific Media Centre – Analysis published with permission of PMC Headline: The price of protest in West Papua – Research Image: Demotix Tuesday, March 31, 2015 West Papua is a region… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    21 hours ago
  • Photo of the Day: 50 shades….
    The new suburbia; detached buildings so close you wonder why they bother and every mood from drab to dreary. At least you can no longer hear children play… now they’ve been banned. ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    21 hours ago
  • the win in winston
    Unintended consequences has been a concept on my mind recently - some thoughts on the recent by-election in Northland.The election of Winston Peters in Northland will have unintended negative consequences for the left I think. The left as a whole… ...
    22 hours ago
  • NZ Government launches tax modernisation programme
    MIL OSI – Source: New Zealand Government – Tax modernisation programme launched Revenue Minister Todd McClay today released the first two in a series of public consultations designed to modernise and simplify the tax system. “Taxes are an important part… ...
    Evening ReportBy MIL_Syndication
    22 hours ago
  • Discovering the roots of Lttle Phnx
    Wellington-based synthpop artist Lttle Phnx talks about finding a sound that's as unique as her story of growing up. Lucy Beeler aka Lttle Phnx. Photo: Alexander Robertson/The Wireless Lucy Beeler aka Lttle Phnx makes sweet, electro, synthpop from a… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Oh dairy me
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    Rebuilding ChristchurchBy rebuildingchristchurch
    23 hours ago
  • Freedom of information and tikanga
    Yesterday the Māori Affairs Committee reported back on the Hawke's Bay Regional Planning Committee Bill. The bill looks relatively uncontentious, establishing a joint Regional Planning Committee with Hawke's Bay iwi to decide on regional plans and policy statements under the… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • National’s Bulldozer Lurches Onwards
    The National Government barely paused after their humiliating by-election loss in Northland. In his normal cavalier and dismissive manner Key shrugged off the defeat, "so I got it wrong on that one, but that's the way it goes." He he… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Feeding the watchdog?
    The Officers of Parliament Committee reported back today on the annual appropriations for the Ombudsman, and have recommended a significant increase in funding. There's additional funding to help it cope with its duties under OPCAT and the United Nations Convention… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    24 hours ago

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  • Latest Air NZ plan carries on regional snub
    Christchurch Labour Members of Parliament have secured a meeting with Air New Zealand boss Christopher Luxon following the airline’s decision to cut its Christchurch to Tokyo summer flights.  They are also calling on the Minister of Transport Simon Bridges to… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Carmel Sepuloni back in Social Development role
    Andrew Little has reinstated Carmel Sepuloni as Labour’s Social Development spokesperson following the sentencing of her mother in the New Plymouth District Court today. “It has been a tough time for Carmel, but we both agreed it was appropriate she… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Government taking Kiwis for April Fools
    Many Kiwis will be wondering if the joke is on them when a raft of Government changes come into effect tomorrow, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “First is ACC and National’s unwillingness to end its rort of Kiwi businesses which… ...
    1 day ago
  • Time to show RMA housing affordability plans
    Labour is challenging the Government to reveal its plans to make housing more affordable through amending the Resource Management Act, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour remains willing to consider the proposals on housing affordability on their merits and… ...
    1 day ago
  • John Key now admits no broad support for RMA changes
    John Key has now been forced to admit that he never had the broad political support to gut the Resource Management Act, says Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods. “Cornerstone legislation such as the RMA should never be changed without genuine… ...
    2 days ago
  • National’s changes leave student bodies in chaos
    The chaos created by National’s scrapping of compulsory student association membership may force the 86-year old Union of Students Association to fold, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson David Cunliffe says. “National’s 2011 Voluntary Student Membership Act has left student associations with… ...
    2 days ago
  • Tragedy must be impetus for better training
    The Police Minister needs to explain why unsworn and inadequately trained custody officers were put in a situation of caring for a medically unwell prisoner on a busy Saturday night, Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Commenting on an IPCA… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government must be more transparent on investor state clauses
    The Government must be more transparent around the draft investor state dispute settlements in the TPPA, says David Parker, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson. “Labour is pro trade, and is proud of the FTA we negotiated with China, which… ...
    5 days ago
  • Protect university staff and student voices
    The Green Party believes ensuring student and staff representation on university councils is important. National recently passed a law reducing the size of university governance councils while increasing the proportion of the members nominated by, guess who… Steven Joyce. The… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    6 days ago
  • C’mon Nick what’s the truth on the RMA
     “Nick Smith has got to fess up and tell us what is happening to his much vaunted RMA reform, Labour’s Environment spokesperson Megan Woods says.  “With just a day and a half to go before the polls open in Northland,… ...
    6 days ago
  • SSC salaries sink National’s spending spin
    Massive pay rises at the State Services Commission prove National’s claims of clamping down on spending in the public sector are simply fantasy, Labour’s State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. “Salaries in this one department are almost $70,000 more than… ...
    6 days ago
  • We can fix Christchurch and keep our assets
    The Christchurch City Council is seeking public feedback on its proposed 10 year plan for Council revenue and spending. This is probably one of the most significant 10 year plans ever to be written by a local council because of… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • Epidemic of serious assaults in our prisons
    Labour wants stab proof vests and pepper spray for all corrections officers to keep them safe from the epidemic of serious prison assaults that are occurring around the country’s jails, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “There have been five… ...
    6 days ago
  • Listen to the locals Hekia!
    Minister Hekia Parata needs to understand what consultation is, Port Hills MP Ruth Dyson says. “It means you have to listen to what people say in their submissions and then be able to demonstrate you have considered their views when… ...
    7 days ago
  • Thanking our caregivers
    Let’s celebrate and thank our caregivers. This week is caregivers’ week. It’s a chance to acknowledge the thousands of women, and occasional other person, who are caring for the elderly and disabled in our country. They hold people’s lives in… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    7 days ago
  • Mana Post shop the best outcome for community
    Labour MP for Mana Kris Faafoi has welcomed the move to place the services from the Mana Post shop to a local small business. “This is the best outcome for the community we could ask for. All the vital services… ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour looks to put the tea back into entitlements
    Labour is moving to restore the rights of Kiwis to take tea and rest breaks, Leader Andrew Little says. “Within months of the Government’s Employment Relations Amendment Bill becoming law we are already seeing some of our largest companies, including… ...
    1 week ago
  • Desperate money grab to keep Ruataniwha afloat
    The Hawke’s Bay Regional Investment Company’s decision to borrow $4 million to keep the Ruataniwha project afloat is a case of throwing ratepayer’s good money after bad, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri and Napier MP Stuart Nash.   “This bridging… ...
    1 week ago
  • Roundup: UN finds it “probably” causes cancer
    At last the UN has spoken out against the widely-used weedkiller Roundup. The UN’s International Agency for Research on Cancer has identified glyphosate, the principle ingredient in Roundup, as a probable carcinogen. They also include as probable carcinogens the insecticides… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • World water day: eight rivers in one day
    Our photo journey started by the Waioweka (also known as Waioeka) River which flows from Te Urewera to Opotiki, and is surrounded by beautiful forest. The water looked great! Kopeopeo Canal It contrasted greatly with the Kopeopeo Canal near Whakatane,… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • We all benefit when education meets everyone’s needs
    As Dyslexia week comes to a close,  Dyslexia NZ have reminded us that around 10% of our citizens are dyslexic and are entitled to better support. One of their strongest arguments is that failure to provide identification and support for… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Big change starts small
    Today marks Race Relations Day in New Zealand. Race Relations Day coincides with the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.  The United Nations General Assembly chose this day as it marks the day in 1960 when 69 peaceful… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Israel, Palestine and the question of statehood
    The knife-edge election in Israel complicates the Middle East situation, even more than usual. The Prime Minister-elect, Binyamin Netanyahu, is moving to form a government. Netanyahu has indicated that, during his term, a Palestinian state would not be established. That… ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Christchurch transport goes backwards
    The Green Party has a vision of a liveable, accessible Christchurch with a sense of identity and strong connected communities. Instead, 2013 census figures released by Statistics New Zealand reveal a fractured community, and tell a story of frustrated Christchurch commuters… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Super Fund should divest $140 million in high risk coal
    The Green Party is calling on the New Zealand Super Fund to divest their $140 million investment in coal companies that are vulnerable to becoming financially stranded according to a damning new report from Oxford University. The Smith School of… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Learn to count with Mark Osborne: 0 + 1 = ?
    The adage about the first casualty of war being truth is one that might often be applied to the political battle for hearts and minds, and of course votes. A rather unfortunate example of this has been arriving in the… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Is it still a safety net when the holes are this big?
    Over the last few weeks I’ve been wondering how safe our income support system is for people, especially those with cognitive or learning disabilities. I’ve been trying to support a young man who was severely injured in a workplace accident… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Pasifika – protecting the Pacific needed now more than ever.
    Over the weekend thousands of Aucklanders flocked to celebrate our city’s diverse Pacific communities and cultures at the annual Pasifika festival and the Greens were there to join them. The Pasifika festival has been held every year for 23… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Sounds Stakeholders Seek a Sustainable Future
    It was heartening to see a large number of people who care about the Marlborough Sounds come together at the Marlborough Marine Futures’ forum in Picton on March 8. Fellow Green MP Steffan Browning, who lives in Marlborough, and I… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    3 weeks ago

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