web analytics
The Standard

John Key’s disdain for democracy

Written By: - Date published: 9:02 am, July 3rd, 2013 - 42 comments
Categories: accountability, capitalism, copyright, greens, john key, national/act government, russel norman, slippery, Spying, telecommunications, us politics - Tags: , ,

Yesterday, hearings began on on the Bill amending the regulations related to the GCSB and surveillance.  John Key showed complete disdain for the process by failing to ask questions and only intervening to hurry people along.  There are good reasons to amend the regulations governing surveillance because their are murky areas.  However, it is a threat to democratic rights and processes to extend GCSB’s powers to spy on New Zelanders, especially in the light of revelations about the extent of invasive spying by NZ’s Echelon partner, the US spy agencies.

Yesterday at the Parliamentary hearing, John Key showed his disdain for democratic process, and exposed the fact that he intends for the Bill to be passed in spite of extensive and valid opposition:

Mr Key chairs parliament’s intelligence and security committee which is hearing from the public on a bill that will make it legal for the Government Communications Security Bureau to spy on New Zealanders on behalf of other agencies.

The committee’s other members are Labour leader David Shearer, Greens co-leader Russel Norman, cabinet minister Tony Ryall and ACT leader John Banks.

On Tuesday, they heard arguments from the Law Society, Human Rights Foundation, Council of Trade Unions, and the Environment and Conservation Organisation, who discussed the public’s privacy expectations, whether the law should extend to companies and whether metadata can be considered private communication.

Mr Key didn’t ask a single question, instead acting only as a timekeeper who told submitters when their speaking time was up, Dr Norman says.

“He was kind of sitting there, grinding his teeth but not engaging … He was just simply going through the motions and waiting for the time to be up,” he told Radio New Zealand.

Russell Norman explained the problem and related issues in a clear and reaosnable way.  Listen to the full  RNZ interview here:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Yesterday in the NZ Herald, Paul G. Buchanan (“director of 36th Parallel Assessments, a geopolitical and strategic analysis consultancy“), provided a clear and knowledgeable assessment of the proposed Bill.

There is clearly a need to “tidy up” the legal framework governing GCSB activities on home soil because under the current act the role of the GCSB in domestic espionage is murky. But civil libertarians and privacy rights activists have legitimate reason to oppose the GCSB bill in its present form.

He argues against extending the GCSB powers in the terms of this Bill, which contains a dangerously vague definition of “threat to national security”, while providing poor oversight.  Added to this is the fact that the NZ intelligence agencies are over-stretched and It would enable

… mission-creep into common law enforcement and encroachments on individual and group privacy. For example, under the proposed legislation the GCSB could assist the Ministry of Primary Industries to spy on environmental activists on behalf of fishing, logging or mining interests if their protests were deemed injurious to the economic well-being of the nation, which can be construed as a threat to national security under current definition of the term.

Buchanan is also critical of the related Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill , which he describes as being “more draconian than similar legislation under the US Patriot Act.”

Buchanan concludes that it is necessary to have a,

…a full inquiry into the New Zealand intelligence community is needed before any reforms are made to its legal architecture […]

There is some anticipation of Kim Dotcom providing a direct face-to-face and well-informed challenge to the PM at today’s hearing.    Gordon Campbell provides some background and 5 possible Dotcom questions to the hearing (as outlined at the link). Campbell explains,

Given the rogue nature of the agency in question, Dotcom might usefully explore some of the GCSB’s existing activities as well as its proposed new powers.

[…]

What I’m getting at is that there are a few matters of substance at stake tomorrow, beyond the sheer personal drama of Dotcom’s confrontation with Key. And yes, it is weird that it should fall to a wealthy German to uphold the kind of freedoms that a previous generation of Kiwis fought to defend between 1939 and 1945. I hope the elderly supporters of Winston Peters get that irony.

On TV3 News last night, it was stated that they will be streaming the hearing live today, and that Kim Dotcom is likely to front at around 5pm.

Will there be fireworks, procedural diversions and/or useful clarifications?

Or will John Key continue to use his slippery, spin-laden, corporate-backed, MSM-enabled, Prime Ministerial power to continue to subvert democracy?

[Update] TV3 Livestream, starts 3.30pm. [h/t CnrJoe]

[update] Kim Dotcom told today’s GCSB hearing that Key knew about him prior to the GCSB spying on him.  TVNZ article:

John Key, sitting as the Parliament’s Secretive Intelligence and Security Committee’s was chairing the meeting today when discussions became heated between the Prime Minister and the internet mogul.

Dotcom told the committee he believed Mr Key knew about him before the GCSB spying, when Mr Key replied, “no I didn’t”.

Dotcom then jibed, “why are you turning red, Prime Minister?”

“Why are you sweating?” Mr Key responded.

Dotcom said it was hot and that he was wearing a scarf.

 TV3 video

Dominion Post: Thursday 4 July 2013, p1:

key dotcom

42 comments on “John Key’s disdain for democracy”

  1. Rosetinted 1

    There was an unpleasant message on interview with Veitch on Radionz this a.m. He considers that spying on us is the plan du jour, and will continue to be done to requirements and legislated for later again. This dates back to the lack of readiness in the USA for 9/11. Yet we have heard that there was then and since, so much information that they were drowning in it.

    7.08 Morning Report – Govt urged not to rush spy law because of Dotcom embarrassment.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/morningreport/audio/2560755/govt-urged-not-to-rush-spy-law-because-of-dotcom-embarrassment.asx
    An academic specialising in security studies predicts there will be increasing intrusions on people’s privacy.
    Jim Veitch, a defence and security academic, told Morning Report, that if law and order breakdowns in the Middle East move to South East Asia, New Zealand will be have to be prepared to deal with it.

    Centre for Strategic Studies Senior Fellows – School of History …
    http://www.victoria.ac.nz › … › People of the Centre‎
    May 23, 2013 – He regularly lectures at the New Zealand Defence Force Command and Staff College …. to various academic journals and collections in this subject area. … James (Jim) Veitch is Senior Lecturer, Security Studies at Massey …

    Also Newstalk ZB
    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/player/ondemand/1592738367-jim-veitch–the-ambiguousness-of–gcsb-laws

    But our authorities may decide to target an individual , or act to repress discussion, meetings, free speech about the political system. Of course we have had SIS burgle Aziz Choudry’s home in 1996. They had perceived some danger or just unhelpful actions from him, so justified their home invastion.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Zealand_Security_Intelligence_Service
    So we already have the security system, that can effectively operate outside government control, power and the paranoia set for the touch paper.

    So lie back and think of the USA foks, notable Brit Queen Mary said when she died the word Calais would be written on her heart . That may happen here in a modern form. The ultimate in spying would be to have a chip implanted so your sovereign power could check on you at will. Once you give up the idea that you are an individual with a soul and a place and life on this earth, it may be the least problematic way for an individual to manage his or her curtailed life, when the power structures of the world own the right to monitor citizens.

    Incidentally google is featuring Franz Kafka today. Coincidences!

    • Rosetinted 1.1

      Note micky savage comment at 8.15am No.8 Open Mike on Jim Veitch for more opinion on this interview.

    • Rogue Trooper 1.2

      Kafka featured on Wikipedia today also; it’s labyrinthine.

  2. izzy 2

    Veitch is a poseur and charlatan simply following his employer’s orders. He has fashioned himself first as a terrorism “expert” and now somehow as an intelligence expert but in fact his background is in religious studies (which he taught at Victoria U for several years). He has no background in counter-terorrism, military affairs, much less intelligence. What he did was parlay his interest in Islam after 9/11 into a media presence about Islamic extremism, then terrorism in general and now intelligence and military affairs. Massey hired him a few years ago to direct its Strategic Studies Department, which is funded by the NZDF. He regularly churns out bullshit posing as informed commentary, and his remarks to the Committee and to RNZ are nothing more than that.

    • Rosetinted 2.1

      izzy
      I was most confused when I looked at Veitch’s present persona as I remember him discussing religious studies matters and sounding sensible and principled combined, now he just sounds pragmatic and embedded. You explain his primrose path well though.

    • Macro_adder 2.2

      Well summed up izzy. He is now simply a mouth piece for the Hawks… Sad.

  3. Bearded Git 3

    Audrey Young is very good here on Key’s pathetic timekeeping.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=10894454

    • Veutoviper 3.1

      Was just about to put that link up as I was a little surprised at Young’s take on yesterday’s hearing. She is usually so pro-Key.

      This is also the only article I have seen that mentions that Penny Bright also appeared at the hearing.

      Bright started with a lecture about how Key does deals like the Sky City convention centre – “your deals over dinner, deals over the phone – that might be customary practice in how you do things as a foreign exchange dealer or the head of derivatives for Merrill Lynch but that is no way to run a country”.

      On the spy bill, she wanted him to open up all his trust accounts, bank accounts, Swiss bank accounts, tax havens. “Nothing to hide, nothing to fear, come on Prime Minister; you show me yours and I’ll show you mine.”

      Key looked like he really wanted to engage: “Okay Penny, thanks very much. Your time has expired.”

      I laughed at her direct approach – bold above is mine. Good on you, Penny.

    • Huginn 3.2

      So-o-o-o-o passive aggressive

  4. Rogue Trooper 4

    Thanks karol and Rosetinted; hope that you do not find yourselves “threats to national security”.
    As the paper by the School of Media Studies asserted, JohnKey is a ‘hollow cypher’.

  5. Rogue Trooper 5

    within every cloud.

  6. Macro_adder 7

    Key is acting like a dictator Napoleonesque in his attitude. When does he intent his coronation? And will he crown himself like his obvious idol?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronation_of_Napoleon_I
    Unfortunately for Key – we are not yet a Republic.

    • Winston Smith 7.1

      Thats funny, I thought it was the left that wanted NZ to become a republic?

  7. Rosetinted 8

    There’s a hole in the bucket dear John dear John
    There’s a hole in the bucket and democracy’s leaking out.

    With what shall I fix it dear Liza dear Liza.
    With a straw dear John dear John, with a straw.

    With what shall I cut it dear Liza dear Liza.
    With an axe dear John dear John.
    What a waste of time dear Liza dear Liza
    It’s an old bucket – I’ll smash it with the axe.

    Then what will we do with our democracy dear John, dear John
    How can we look after our democracy dear John.

    Put the bits on a fire dear Liza dear Liza
    There’s lots of paper in the law library dear Liza dear Liza
    We’ll go digital dear Liza dear Liza
    And we won’t remember democracy at all.

    • Tim 8.1

      What’s the chorus line?
      My bet is that it’ll be to do with masses uprising, Mussolini-like icons being strung up from lamp post cross members, and a heap of egotists screaming “it wasn’t me, it wasn’t me”.

      Let it rip – the sooner the better

  8. McFlock 9

    John Key might be a totalitarian little sociopath, but the courts seem to be re-enacting (excuse the pun) the friction between the Barons and King John. The issue? Smoking in prisons.

    In order to legitimise the DoCorrections ban on smoking in prisons after it had been declared illegal (sound familiar?), the government passed legislation in February to legalise the illegal practices of a department (sound familiar?), including a declaration that the regulations can’t be challenged in court (sound familiar?).

    But Justice Brewer said there was a public interest in the unlawfulness of the Government’s amendments.

    “The effect, or utility, of this declaration is subject to the Corrections Amendment Act 2013,” he said.

    “I do not in this judgment decide the competing submissions of the parties on how the ouster provisions of the Amendment Act should be interpreted.”

    In other words, Brewer chose to rule only on the actual case rather than just washing his hands of the affair, and if the crown want to go back to court and argue it was a judgement without utility, no worries mate.

    Or in other other words, not being allowed to call john key a dick is a separate issue from whether john key is, in fact, a dick.

  9. I have never felt more embarrassed for a politician yesterday than I did
    for Russell Norman, he reminded me of that little snot face kid in class,
    who thinks he hard done by, and thinks hes making a point by being a
    smart ass, while the rest of the class just roles their eyes.

    Unfortunately there is always one of two people, who love that sort of thing.

    • Yoza 10.1

      Yeah, right on Brett. I’m sure practically nobody cares about Key introducing a Stasi style secret-police surveillance apparatus apart from the usual band of left-wing extremists like the New Zealand Law Society.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 10.2

      Brett, learn to spell roll.

      Oh and, “Lovely, name calling, your (sic) the coolest kid in the 6th grade.” 😆

    • the pigman 10.3

      If “one of two people” love it, why does the whole class “role” their eyes?

    • Suitably Clueless 10.4

      Is this is general? Or has the hated Dr Watermelon said something else intelligent and reasoned, if so, which particular incident are you referring too?

  10. MrSmith 11

    And so the revolution and freedom we thought the internet and technology would bring us has enslaved us and is and will sensor our freedoms, our freedom to speak freely and express our opinions, our freedom to start a revolution.

    We thought we were so smart didn’t we, but again we never gave much thought.

    In the past we were uncomfortable knowing that some will have to die so we can live, but now it seems know-one can die and we can’t live without being watched.

  11. fear all 12

    Why the hell is Jo blow Banks on the intelligence committee his party representation in parliament is 1 member ?
    Where is democratic representation -uno -votes
    What a crock of uno what Where’s the military reps in all this and the police or is that undisclosed for security reasons?
    A few questions when we are being asked to lay wide all our personal communication because of the demands of t TPP U THINK

  12. Molly 13

    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Who watches the watchmen?

    Finally reading Nicky Hager’s “Other people’s wars” alongside this debacle, and I thank Terry Pratchett for introducing me to the phrase above. Seems appropriate for both situations.

    Perhaps a one sentence submission for the GCSB select committee.

    • McFlock 13.1

      now you’re just being juvenal. :)

      • Molly 13.1.1

        Brought me back to earth with a Thud!

        • McFlock 13.1.1.1

          I must say that his general vibe of guarding/public safety is spot on with some of my own experiences back in the day – there was even one team where they tried getting a sunday graveyard shift poker game running. Chips & everything.

          Probably from his days as a journo on the police beat.

      • lprent 13.1.2

        Groan… Please – no Latin satire.. Was bad enough reading those decades ago.

  13. Richard Christie 14

    Why did Key lay a complaint over the cup of tea recording?

    Nothing to hide nothing to fear, privacy doesn’t come into it.

  14. Sable 15

    Strikes me this is bigger than people think. These kind of totalitarian measures are being put in place in Australia, the UK and even Ireland.

    Makes me wonder if this is not a bloodless (thus far) invasion enacted by a small group of powerful people. I think really we are to become part of the US “Empire” with a Police state put in place to crush dissenters.

  15. Descendant Of Sssmith 16

    The new Xbox one has a camera so sensitive it can monitor your pulse and heartbeat.

    I feel a Max Headroom moment.

    The series is set in a futuristic dystopia ruled by an oligarchy of television networks. Even the government functions primarily as a puppet state of the network executives, serving mainly to pass laws — such as banning off switches on televisions — that protect and consolidate the networks’ power. Television technology has advanced to the point that viewers’ physical movements and thoughts can be monitored through their television sets; however, almost all non-television technology has been discontinued or destroyed. The only real check on the power of the networks is Edison Carter, a crusading investigative journalist who regularly exposes the unethical practices of his own employer, and the team of allies both inside and outside the system who assist him in getting his reports to air and protecting him from the forces that wish to silence or kill him.

    http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=EcwZxLMFDf0&feature=related

  16. Jenny 17

    A message aimed at President Obama.

    A message that John Key should heed.

    A message that other autocrats around the world who would set state agencies and spies and armed police and para-military against their own people would also do well to heed.

    A message that is for the people of the US and other Western democracies.

    A message that resonates with the people of Brazil, Egypt, Turkey and Greece beset as they are with elected dictatorships that on gaining office choose to ignore the popular will, in the interests of the powerful and privileged elites.

    “In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake.

    “We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.”

    Edward Snowden

    • Jenny 17.1

      The above quote, is destined to become one of “the quotes” of history. Because it encapsulates the general uneasy mood of the time. A time when the legitimacy of the elites and the direction in which the world is heading is being questioned by millions of people.

      The message is universal and repeatable.

      Only Slightly reworded, this message would not be out of place, even on, the lips of an unlikely folk hero like Kim Dotcom.

      “In the end the Key administration is not afraid of people like Kim Dotcom.

      “We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Key administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.”

      Kim Dotcom

      (With apologies to Edward Snowden)

  17. Huginn 18

    Hi Karol,
    Sorry about the re-post from Open mike, but I thought you might be interested.

    Peter George has raised a concern that the GCSB was used for gathering the communications and security data of Peter Dunne and Andrea Vance.

    ‘And also of extreme concern is what data [to the Henry Investigation] was provided by the GCSB. Appendix Three of the Henry report states that the GCSB provided “substantial assistance, particularly in the gathering of records”.

    That rings alarm bells. What “authority” did Key give the GCSB to gather data? Whatever it takes? And what data did the GCSB gather, and from where?’

    http://yournz.org/2013/07/03/key-gave-henry-inquiry-extraordinary-authority-including-gcsb/

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Forestry death guilty plea proves case for reform
    A logging company’s guilty plea over the death of one of their workers proves the need to strengthen health and safety laws, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. Charles Finlay was killed in July 2013 when he was… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Daughter for the Return Home
    Christchurch East MP Poto Williams who hails from the Cook Islands, will be returning this week as part of the Cook’s celebrations on becoming self-governing 50 years ago.  Her family background is connected to the northern Cooks, the islands of… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Tiwai Point welcomed but strategy needed
    The  news that Tiwai Point Aluminium smelter will remain open is good news for the 800 workers at the plant and the people of Southland, but points to a need for a comprehensive regional development strategy, Opposition leader Andrew Little… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Stalled TPP chance for wider discussion
    Failure to get the TPP agreement across the line gives New Zealanders an opportunity to put more pressure on the Government not to sign away our sovereignty, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“New Zealand land, dairy and medicines are up for… ...
    2 days ago
  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling out our homes?
    After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses it’s clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labour’s Trade and Export spokesperson David Parker says. “Labour has… ...
    4 days ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Bennett’s legacy a test for Tolley
    Former Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been thrown under the bus by her successor after its been suggested that Ms Bennett gave the green light to an ‘unethical’ observational study of high-risk children, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.… ...
    4 days ago
  • Submission to Greater Christchurch Earthquake Recovery: Transition to Rege...
    Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Draft Transition Recovery Plan on behalf of the New Zealand Labour Party.  It is important that the citizens of Canterbury have a voice in the governance of the next step of… ...
    4 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    5 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Prisoner voting disqualification and the Bill of Rights Act
    In 2010, National rammed the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill through Parliament. Paul Quinn’s Member’s Bill existed because Paul Quinn thought anyone who’d been imprisoned was a serious offender, and serious offenders had ‘forfeited’ their right to vote.… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    5 days ago
  • Mainfreight ‘appalled’ by Government’s rail madness
    The Government has been given a serve by New Zealand-based international trucking and logistics firm Mainfreight which says it lacks a national transport strategy, and has treated rail badly, Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The company has told shareholders it… ...
    5 days ago
  • National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    5 days ago
  • All options need to be put on meat sector table
    Farmers must be given every assurance that all potential risks have been considered before Silver Fern Farms opens its door to foreign equity, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The ongoing saga involving the meat sector and amalgamation has… ...
    6 days ago
  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    6 days ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    6 days ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    6 days ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    7 days ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    7 days ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    7 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    1 week ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    1 week ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    1 week ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere