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Key changes tune, orders GCSB review

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, October 2nd, 2012 - 71 comments
Categories: john key, Minister for Overseas Holidays, Spying - Tags: ,

Last week, Key tried to tell us that the illegal spying on Kim Dotcom – which he, the minister, we’re supposed to believe wasn’t told about for 8 months – was down to one agent’s ‘brain fade’. Uh huh. So, why has he now appointed a senior public servant to review and reform GCSB? You don’t do that when the problem was one person’s human error.

Meanwhile (and inconsistently as hell) Key says there’s no need for a Police investigation because, wait for it, ‘we know what happened’. Yeah, John, we know what happened. And what happened is that government agents spied on a New Zealander without legal authority meaning, prima facie, they broke the Crimes Act. Is Key’s new position that when you know a crime has been committed you don’t investigate it? (Does that explain the bizarre crime figures that show huge drops in certain classes of crimes in certain regions?). Key, having just told the Police not to investigate, says the choice is theirs, but it would be stupid if they did investigate. It seems Key has no problem with criminals working in his department.

[Update: Lol at Key. Police are launching a high powered inquiry after he said there was no need for one]

Key wants out. He wants to go and play the movie star on yet another overseas holiday (seriously, how much has that dude been overseas in the last couple of months – ie late summer in the Northern Hemisphere?). But he’s going to find himself stuck in this hurt locker for a while yet. The Police will investigate. They can’t not without looking horribly complicit. The internal review will reveal systematic problems that Key has denied exist while still leaving large questions about what happened in the Dotcom case unanswered because the brief isn’t to look into that case specifically. Oh, and the head of OFCANZ is going to find himself a) the subject of a Police Complaints investigation and b) perjury hearings.

And let’s not forget the donation side of this saga. Key is still governing on the vote of a man who Police said broke the Local Electoral Act and who clearly repeatedly lied to and mislead New Zealanders when he was asked about the donations he had received. Pretty soon, the OIAs that have doubtlessly been put in for Banks’ Police interview, which Banks said he gave permission to be released but Police said he hadn’t allowed them to release, will be due – and then we will either get to see the truth from Banks’ own mouth, or we will see that he really does have something to hide.

Until Key does the right thing – come clean on what really happened with the GCSB spying, even if it means his own resignation, and force Banks to release his Police interview, then fire him – Dotcom will be the albatross around his neck.

71 comments on “Key changes tune, orders GCSB review”

  1. I find it impossible to believe that National would not have approached Dotcom for a donation.  And given his largesse and his desire to rub shoulders with the rich and famous I also find it impossible that he would not have given one.

    I look forward to that information coming out at some stage in the near future.

    And this review is the “lets blame the public service” sort of review.  It should be reviewing a failure of leadership and oversight by the man who has this role, Key himself.

    And through his SIS and GCSB briefings I find it utterly impossible to accept that Key was not told repeatedly about the infamous raid.

    There is something seriously wrong here.  I look forward to the truth coming out at some stage. 

    • karol 1.1

      Agreed, Micky. At the moment it feels a bit like shadow boxing, because of the lack of transparency. But I think we need to keep asking questions.

      • Craig Glen Eden 1.1.1

        Yeah I have thought for some weeks now, how much did he give to the Waitamata trust? Key was quick to apologise “please forgive me Dot com” last week without admitting his (Keys) own role in the saga. Key distancing him self from Dot Com right at the beginning made me very suspicious.He apparently didnt know who Dot Com was until the night before the raid, really? I find that just to hard to believe! I will be very surprised if Dot com has not made a major donation to National, when and how much are the questions.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          Pretty sure if Key gave to Banks, he would have given to the MP of his own electorate who happens to be the PM.

          The most interesting question…why has Dotcom not come forwards with the evidence so far…and have Key’s people and Dotcom’s people been talking in the background trying to come to an accomodation?

    • Fortran 1.2

      Who says any information will be forthcoming, unless leaked ?

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    Looks like National’s internal polling on this issue turned impossible 24 hours ago, forcing their hand to act.

    • Jokerman 2.1

      And I thought of the albatross,
      And I wished he would come back, my snake.
      For he seemed to me again like a king,
      Like a king in exile, uncrowned in the underworld,
      Now due to be crowned again.
      And so I missed my chance with one of the lords
      Of life.
      And I have something to expatiate:
      A pettiness.

      -D.H. Lawrence

      (dedicated to our ignoble ‘leader’)

  3. freedom 3

    Whenever he is asked if he should have been told of any particular activity regarding the GCSB, our PM launches into the bizarre defense of ” The PM should not be deciding who gets investigated …”

    Damn right he should not be deciding who gets investigated, i think we still have a couple of laws that are meant to define that particular question, but that has nothing to do with whether he is briefed and made aware of what is going on in his own Ministry (where he was certainly being properly advised)

    He did appoint himself to the position after all, what did he think he was becoming the Minister of?

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      He did appoint himself to the position after all,

      Ah, no, he didn’t. As I understand it the PM is the head of our intelligence services and no one else can have it.

      • BloodyOrphan 3.1.1

        Vacancy: Director, Government Communications Security Bureau
        Resource information
        Published: 10 May 2011
        Last updated: 10 May 2011

        On 26 August 2010, Prime Minister John Key announced the appointment of Mateparae as Director of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB). Mateparae was appointed for a five-year term commencing on 7 February 2011 but stepped down from the role on 1 July 2011.

        So who’s in charge in the Interim? and why did Mateparae step down?

        It looks like Keys announcement that he was in charge has been removed from the Herald as well.

        Great unbiased reporting going on there obviously, I wonder when he asked for it to be removed ?

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1

          Director != Minister.

          I suppose, technically, I was wrong to say “head” but the PM holds democratic responsibility for the intelligence services.

          And Mateparae stepped down as the director to become the GG.

          • BloodyOrphan 3.1.1.1.1

            See below bud, The Minister must act within those bondaries as well.

          • BloodyOrphan 3.1.1.1.2

            “stepped down from the role on 1 July 2011.”

          • BloodyOrphan 3.1.1.1.3

            “His appointment comes as a major surprise, as he has been in the GCSB role for little more than a month and his name was not among those most regularly floated as the successor to Sir Anand Satyanand, whose term ends in August.”

            “Prime Minister John Key said there was no conflict of interest with Mateparae remaining on at GCSB.”

        • BloodyOrphan 3.1.1.2

          Excerpts from the Position Description ….

          Courage The Director can be counted on to step up when times are tough. He/she anticipates potential conflicts and make conscious choices about the approach they will take. He/she is willing to take the lead on controversial issues. They read situations and people accurately.

          Organisational positioning skills
          The Director will understand the political and organisational context within which he/she works. He/she is sensitive to political processes and anticipates risks and how others may respond. He/she can manoeuvre through complex political situations effectively and quietly whilst maintaining appropriate standards of political neutrality. He/she knows how to get things done within the political and organisational context, understands the origin and reasoning behind key policies, practices and procedures and observes legality and propriety of GCSB functions.

          It’s a great document, and would outline a good man for the Job.
          Virtually every clause points to Keys failings.
          And being in a Statutary role is not an excuse , he’s our PM for goodness sake !

      • insider 3.1.2

        You understand wrong. The PM can appoint anyone to that ministry. It’s just tradition that it is usually the PM that takes it.

        • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1

          Would’ve been better run by Tolley or Parata I suspect.

          • insider 3.1.2.1.1

            Well Parata would have cleared out the advisory staff in the first six months, twice….

            • Colonial Viper 3.1.2.1.1.1

              well, under Key they’ve been clearing out the CEO quarterly, so would that be an improvement?

        • Draco T Bastard 3.1.2.2

          Yeah, wasn’t sure if it was an actual rule or tradition. Of course, tradition is often harder to change than actual rules.

        • Dr Terry 3.1.2.3

          Maybe this is right insider, and so what? He “can” but he “didn’t”.

    • Jackal 3.2

      What pisses me off the most is the way Key always says; “I’m not in a position to answer that”. If the Minister in charge of the GCSB who just so happens to be the Prime Minister isn’t in a position to answer some pretty straight forward questions, then who the fuck is?

      Well since John Key apparently doesn’t know what’s going on in his own ministry and is taking off to the United States to hide and Bill English is in Europe, it appears nobody is actually in charge of running the country… I therefore hereby elect Ewen Gilmour to be Prime Minister. God knows he will do a better job.

  4. BloodyOrphan 4

    “but it would be stupid if they did investigate”

    Sound like a veiled threat too me.

  5. ianmac 5

    ” Key, having just told the Police not to investigate, says the choice is theirs, but it would be stupid if they did investigate.

    Well how does that fit with the Rachel Smalley interview where he said how wrong it would be if he was to tell the GCSB who to prosecute or not. And how about his charges against Ambrose?

  6. Snakeoil 6

    “Last week, Key tried to tell us that the illegal spying on Kim Dotcom – which he, the minister, we’re supposed to believe wasn’t told about for 8 months – was down to one agent’s ‘brain fade’.”

    I have yet to come across a neuropsychological description of this phenomenon.

    The closest I can find is trace decay theory ..

    ” … memories that are stored in both short term and long term memory system. According to this theory, short term memory (STM) can only retain information for a limited amount of time, around 15 to 30 seconds unless it is rehearsed. If it is not rehearsed, the information will start to gradually fade away and decay. Donald Hebb proposed that incoming information causes a series of neurons to create a neurological memory trace in the brain which would result in change in the morphological and/or chemical changes in the brain and would fade with time. ”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forgetting

    Memory problems are often found in cases of brain injury

    http://www.npr.org/2010/06/08/127402993/military-still-failing-to-diagnose-treat-brain-injuries?ps=rs

    or alzheimers, but I doubt you would find that in GCSB.

    It is, however, often used in popular culture

    http://www.studyskillsblog.com/tips-to-prevent-brain-fade/

    and to denote cognitive deficit after use of mind altering substances such as cocaine.

    “Cocaine causes a buildup of dopamine, a brain chemical that decreases the individual nerve cells’ ability to hold moment-to-moment information.”

    http://edition.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/01/28/memory.research/

    In short, it raises serious questions about Key’s credibility.

  7. One has to wonder if key and his associates in the dot-com fiasco are on
    ‘statins’ a medication that causes confusion,loss of memory and sometimes
    non recognition of people known to the affected pill taker.
    This review is another ‘inside’ job.

  8. captain hook 8

    what the hell is brain fade?
    it sounds like the sort of excuse some illiterate arsewipe boy racer would give for losing traction and killing someone.
    kweewee is sounding more and more like a Monkey every day.

    • Roy 8.1

      I think it is a hastily-sanitised version of the expression ‘brain fart’ which is common parlance in the US. Key probably started to say ‘brain fart’ and then thought better of it because the expression is not commonly used in NZ and would have shocked people.

  9. http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/secretary-cabinet-mop-embattled-gcsb-bc-129930#comment-586713

    MY COMMENT – YET TO BE PUBLISHED…….

    Is GCSB Director Ian Fletcher THE BOSS of GCSB Associate Director Rebecca Kitteridge – who has been seconded from her position as Cabinet Secretary for three months ‘to carry out a thorough review of the GCSB, its processes and procedures’ ?

    How ON EARTH can Rebecca Kitteridge carry out an ‘INDEPENDENT’ review of the GCSB, in her capacity as an ‘Associate Director’ of the GCSB – who presumably reports to the GCSB Director, Ian Fletcher?

    How ‘thorough’ can any review be of the GCSB, its processes and procedures’ – unless it’s carried out by somebody who is genuinely independent?

    Which GCSB Associate Director Rebecca Kitteridge, clearly is NOT?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

    • BloodyOrphan 9.1

      I’d be expecting resignations from them shortly.
      Why? “That’s Off the Record”

      And of course they have to be politcally aware and quiet (according to the contract).
      No rocking the boat allowed, we have a country too run, hard place too lead from if the ultimate focus of the investigation is the Prime Minister.

  10. deuto 10

    Just up on Stuff – the Police are launching an investigation – http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/7757248/Police-launch-probe-into-spying-on-Dotcom

    Police are to investigate illegal spying on Kim Dotcom and his co-accused Bram van der Kolk.

    It emerged Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) agents illegally snooped on Dotcom and van der Kolk in the run-up to the raid on his home.

    They are both New Zealand residents which protects them from spying.

    Independent QC Kristy McDonald will review the inquiry and advise whether charges should be laid.

    It’s likely the investigation will see Finance Minister Bill English interviewed, because of his role in signing an order to keep the involvement of the GCSB secret.

    Green Party co-leader Russel Norman laid a complaint with police last week.

    Police Commissioner Peter Marshall has asked Deputy Commissioner Mike Bush to appoint a senior police investigator to assess and investigate the complaint.

    McDonald was a senior counsel with more than 30 years experience in criminal law, Marshall said.

    “She is a highly regarded Queens Counsel who has been engaged in major prosecutions, so she will provide excellent oversight of the police work,” Marshall said.

    “We can’t put a timeframe on how long this assessment and investigation will take but it will be done as a matter of some urgency,” he said.

    They really don’t have much choice to not investigate, but why don’t I have much confidence … And that is in no way to imply that Kristy McDonald is not more than capable etc; but her role according to the above will be to “review” the inquiry rather than undertake it. In other words, to review what is put in front of her only.

    Edit – the Herald’s article. http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10837886

    Wording is a little different re McDonald’s role – to assess and review any recommendations arising from the investigation.

    Police Commissioner Peter Marshall today said a senior police investigator would be appointed to assess the complaint.

    Kristy McDonald QC had been appointed to assess and review any recommendations arising from the investigation.;

    She would then make her own recommendations to the Commissioner's office, Mr Marshall said.

    Bold is mine.

    • deuto 10.1

      Ooops – messed up the bolding and italics and it will not now let me edit. Help! And sorry.

      Herald article now updated with Key’s comments and he is not a happy chappy. Still thinks it is a political stunt.

      [lprent: Fixed, and shifted to blockquotes rather than italics. ]

      • Lanthanide 10.1.1

        Right, so it’s a political stunt when the Greens ask for an investigation into something that was clearly and admittedly illegal, but not a political stunt when Key asks for an investigation into something that couldn’t reasonably have been judged illegal (teapot tapes).

        • mike 10.1.1.1

          Key’s been using the ‘this is a political stunt by the opposition’ line for any criticism with substance for a while now. Complaining about Banks breaking the law and lying to us about it was repeatedly called a ‘politically motivated attack’.

          It’s a good way to suggest that the issue is more complex than it really is. Note that it’s pure rhetoric – no substance, no evidence, no argument, just the equivalent of saying ‘my opponent is full of shit.’

          When you’ve got two people calling each other liars the observer (in this case the public) often can only shrug their shoulders and assume that the truth is somewhere in the middle. This is often a win for the person who really is lying.

          This is a known tactic of psychopaths, (though obviously not exclusively psychopaths, they are just really good at it).

          Key’s arrogance is really showing over this. The ‘we already know what happened here (so cease this investigation talk)’ line is an example of trying to make others conform to the reality that he wants them to accept. Which is what psychopaths are doing every time they open their mouth. Just sayin’.

          • blue leopard 10.1.1.1.1

            Thanks Lanthanide and Mike for the insight.

            Your comments resounds with accuracy. This is exactly why I like to read The Standard; it is good to be continually reminded and alerted to the dirty, opinion manipulating tactics that our politicians are conducting on us.

      • deuto 10.1.2

        Thanks lprent. Must go to FAQ and work out block quotes as much easier to read.

        [lprent: <blockquote>...</blockquote> ]

    • Mary 10.2

      “McDonald was a senior counsel with more than 30 years experience in criminal law, Marshall said.

      “She is a highly regarded Queens Counsel who has been engaged in major prosecutions, so she will provide excellent oversight of the police work,” Marshall said. ”

      Yeah, that’s right, get someone with 30 years of experience working for the cops to help decide whether someone in government should be prosecuted. That’s real independence for you.

    • Dr Terry 10.3

      What’s coming then? Another police report for the PM not to bother reading?

  11. captain hook 11

    hey you catch on fast poor boy.
    do as we say not as we do.
    and dont forget that kweewee is desperately trying to protect the GG who wouldn’t give up his job on the gscb until the day before he was appointed.

  12. Logie97 12

    Question is when it’s published, will Key read the report, get Banks to read the report, or … ?

  13. I sincerely hope that the people conducting this investigation at all levels think long and hard about compromising facts in order to “save face” for anyone involved in this fiasco. Following such a course of action might be considered out of a mistaken belief that it is better that people still retain a remanent of trust in our politicians and systems, (therefore lets ‘soften’ what really went on) however I hope that on further consideration the conclusion is drawn that a sound investigation with no compromise of the truth is what is required here in order to achieve a healing of the breach of trust that has occurred; that this approach is the only option available to restore confidence.

    Truth hurts, yet lies hurt more.

    • Dr Terry 13.1

      bl – truth and lies can hurt given the right context.

      • blue leopard 13.1.1

        Dr Terry
        Lies hurt more due to the consequences involved.
        Truth supplies people with a sound basis on which to base their lives, convictions, choices etc on.
        Lies provides a made up picture of what is being lied about-a delusion; an unsound basis on which to base anything on.

  14. Treetop 14

    Key can keep telling himself that it is not necessary for him to be informed of major operational matters at the GCSB when the accountability stops with him. Appointing Mc Donald and Kitteridge will not get to the bottom of GCSB or police incompetence and/or corruption because both GCSB and the police will cover for Key.

    As for Mc Donald being appointed to assess the complaint of illegal spying on Dotcom and Bram van der Kolk I expect to see heavily blacked out pages regarding police evidence or parts of the report with held or even embargoed until after Dotcoms hearing.

  15. Tiger Mountain 15

    Kitteridge at GCSB HQ, settled into a comfy leather chair.

    “do have another snifter Becs…. Now do we really have to go there? Oh good, knew you’d you see it. Jolly good then, job and finish.

  16. john 16

    What McDonald does, she will do for anyone that pay hers, anyone that hires her wants her “special service” and of course old labour governments required cover ups. The innocence amazes me.

  17. Dr Terry 17

    Will anything come of all this? Or will it all blow over as usual?

    • Treetop 17.1

      “Not only must Justice be done; it must be seen to be done.”
      Rex v. Sussex Justices ex Parte Mc carthy (1924).

      Justice won’t be done as Key gives me the impression that human error is a good and nobel defence.

      As for being seen to be done, yeah the GCSB and the police are going to hold a press conference to explain who? what? how? and when?

      • Treetop 17.1.1

        noble is a correction. I cannot get edit to work and I make a lot of spelling errors.

  18. gobsmacked 18

    Good win for the Greens.

    Opposition parties can’t force inquiries/investigations, they can only keep the issue alive, and embarrass the government as much as possible. The police may not do much, but even today’s announcement means the story hasn’t died, while Parliament is in recess this week.

    It’s all drip-drip-drip on Key’s popularity. And that’s all National have got.

  19. Brybry 19

    Apparently the police will be able to use their new search and surveillance powers to request the Pork Board go in and sieze GCSB computers.

  20. AmaKiwi 20

    The press refuse to openly ask, “Is John Key lying?”

    The most they will do is quote Geoffry Palmer and Winston Peters about how GCSB always keeps the PM informed in detail on all the cases it is involved with.

    According to opinion polls, the majority of us don’t trust politicians. So why is it so bizarre for the press to demand the police ask the head of GCSB, “When you met with Key over that eight month period did you ever discuss Dotcom?”

    It’s a straightforward question. It answers the “key” question, “Is John Key lying?”

    • BloodyOrphan 20.1

      Check out the Job Description for the Director of GCSB.
      http://www.ssc.govt.nz/sites/all/files/Director-GCSB-Position-Description-May11_0.docx

      Acting with honour and integrity:
      The Director will maintain the highest standards of personal integrity and will promote such
      standards throughout the Bureau.

      Not honourable too bag the boss.

      • AmaKiwi 20.1.1

        Honor is about telling the truth, not about covering for your boss’s lies.

        • BloodyOrphan 20.1.1.1

          Here another definition …
          http://www.ssc.govt.nz/sites/all/files/Leadership-Capability-Profile-Nov09.pdf

          Indicators
           Models a high level of honesty, commitment, loyalty and integrity
           Reinforces the importance of ethical and equitable conduct in dealings with others
           Is consistent in what they say and do
           Displays personal values that are aligned with the Public Sector — spirit of service’
          to the government and the citizens of New Zealand
           Keeps public and private interests separate
           Serves the government of the day implementing their policies and programmes
          irrespective of personal preferences

          Problem being that Honesty and Loyalty are on the same line
          John Key does not fill any of them except the last , which is dubious considering he’s the leader.

          And another from the same doc …
          “They keep confidences and admit mistakes”.

          Confused yet? , you and everyone else is.
          Including High Court Judges and others at their level.

          Gotta love that Google.

        • BloodyOrphan 20.1.1.2

          What we need from John Key is …

          An explanation as to why he Ordered our operatives too spy on a NZ Resident,
          Namely Kim Dotcom.

          You will never get that out of the GCSB or the Police they operate under the above guidelines.
          He has been asked this question many many times, all he does is pass the buck.
          It’s not up to the Police or the GCSB to do anything about that.

          That’s our Job to put it bluntly, if the whole of NZ demanded he step down and hold a snap election, that’d be us fixing the problem.

          There is no other way.
          If we want this country to regulate our economy so the poor don’t starve, there is only one way…

          The whole of NZ demanded he step down and hold a snap election, that’d be us fixing the problem.
          There is no other way.

          There isn’t even a Job Description for the Prime Minister of this country.

          If there was we could have a read and discuss his options, at this point our employee is running mad with our money our country and it’s children.

          And we can’t sack him our employment contract wont allow us to.

          This is why we need the a civilised job description for our government and PM , which we can evaluate his performance on real time, abd sack him if necesarry

  21. Anne 21

    Mr Shearer told Parliament on Tuesday that “the police are investigating GCSB for acting illegally at the request of the police, who gave them the information that was wrong in the first place. So this is becoming very farcical.”

    He’s got a point.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/117164/spy-agency-investigations-becoming-farcical-shearer

  22. Bob 22

    Well we have learned that John Key doesn’t read papers esp if it may compromise the truth
    But do we know if he can read?
    The sooner he finds his new job the better.
    I hope the interviews go well in California.

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  • Citibanker: the age of renewables is here
    Kathryn Ryan’s interview earlier this week with Michael Eckhart, Managing Director and Global Head of Environmental Finance and Sustainability at the giant investment bank Citigroup was arresting. He was in New Zealand as a keynote speaker at the Wind Energy...
    Hot Topic | 17-04
  • Media Links: Kiwi killed in drone strike.
    I did interviews on TV 3 and Radio NZ about the drone strike that killed a Kiwi dual citizen in Yemen last year. There are many questions raised by the incident, but time constraints precluded addressing all of them. The...
    Kiwipolitico | 17-04
  • Photo of the Day: Lorne St
    A quick shot of Lorne St in front of the library. It appears Brobdingnagian gardeners have dropped by with some seriously big pot plants. I love them! About the only criticism I every heard about the shared space in Lorne...
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • National: American lickspittles
    Yesterday we learned that America had murdered a New Zealand citizen in a drone strike in Yemen. Today, the government was closely quizzed about its views on this in Parliament. Steven Joyce (standing in for the PM) was very clear:...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • A $130 million gift to the rich
    When the government announced that it was selling off Genesis Energy, it deliberately underpriced it, with a discounted price, generous bonus scheme, and huge dividend. And today that has had the expected result, with Genesis shares leaping almost 20% on...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Defamation via Facebook and ‘a private website’
    This defamation case should be a shot across the bows of various internet wide-boys who think ‘defence of truth’ or ‘opinion honestly held’ is some kind of magic elixir or Get Out of Jail Free card. It’s worth noting the...
    The Paepae | 17-04
  • Water water everywhere, but not a drop to drink
    It is three years and one day since Danyl wrote this blog post about South Canterbury Finance. I was re-reading it today, and something stuck out like a sore thumb: December 2008: SCF undertakes a high risk loan strategy, losing...
    Rebuilding Christchurch | 17-04
  • Access: I Can’t See You, But You Should See Me
    Being lost for words when you’re a talkback host could hardly be considered ideal. But back in September of 1992, I was hosting an evening talkback show on a fledgling radio station in what was then a newly deregulated, highly...
    Public Address | 17-04
  • Judith Collins: guess who’s coming to dinner?
    Judith Collins, Justice Minister, is playing dumb in parliament at question time and avoiding media. Her patronising responses, or non-responses, to allegations of corrupt influence is not becoming of a Cabinet Minister.  Her abuse of the House by criticising questions...
    Tumeke | 17-04
  • Can fracking save the climate?
    Blogging is a great way MPs can communicate and engage with citizens about the issues facing us. I have joined The Daily Blog blogging team and have so far posted on Anadarko’s failure to find oil and a piece outlining...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • New Fisk
    A History of the First World War in 100 moments: A forgotten naval victory in which even Nature played a part...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Labour’s manufacturing plan
    David Cunliffe has launched Labour's policy to get more manufacturing jobs back in New Zealand: Labour leader David Cunliffe launched the policy to an Auckland business audience this morning, adding the depreciation and procurement policies to the known suite of...
    Polity | 17-04
  • Easter PT shutdown
    It’s Easter weekend and that invariably means the rail network is shut down for works. Auckland Transport advises the rail network will be closed for Easter and there are changes to timetables for buses and ferries during the holiday break....
    Transport Blog | 17-04
  • Another perspective on the postgraduate allowance cuts
    I have already shared two stories from psychology students about how the postgraduate allowance cuts have affected them. These stories demonstrate the widespread impact the changes are having. Here is yet another story I have received, this one giving the...
    frogblog | 17-04
  • Against secret "justice" in NZ
    Last year, in response to a series of court cases challenging its control orders or claiming compensation for human rights abuses by its intelligence services, the UK passed the Justice and Security Act 2013. The Act introduces a "Closed Material...
    No Right Turn | 17-04
  • Massey chancellor sets up company in opposition to university
    Massey Chancellor Chris Kelly will chair the board of a company that intends to be New Zealand’s largest private training provider (PTE)...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Gibbs, Hayek, Canterbury and the free market for degrees
    The New Zealand Herald notes that philanthropist Alan Gibbs is about to receive an honorary doctorate from the University of Canterbury today. One of the many institutions Alan Gibbs has donated his money to...
    TEU | 16-04
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Record Store Day
    As readers will know, I have long embraced the internet music revolution. The ability to discover and download new things pretty much as they're being made has reinvented and refreshed my lifelong relationship with popular music. But I still really...
    Public Address | 16-04
  • Great Sorkin Parody
    Aaron Sorkin (SportsNight, The West Wing, The Newsroom) makes a very particular style of TV. Some good parts to that, some really silly parts. Amy Schumer' Comedy Central parody of Sorkin is pitch-prefect and hilarious. Enjoy: Inside Amy SchumerGet More:...
    Polity | 16-04
  • Photographic proof
    Deborah asked for a picture of my bicycle, after I wrote about it, and there is now one in existence which even includes me riding it along Mt Albert Rd, thanks to a dear friend who drove past me and...
    The Hand Mirror | 16-04
  • Our future lies in science
    This is not a column on global warming, climate change or whether humans are or aren’t having an impact....
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Gordon Campbell on drone strikes and Judith Collins‘ last stand
    Reportedly, US drone operators refer to their kills as “bug splat” – mainly because when the carnage is viewed on their screens thousands of kilometres away at home, it looks like an insect strike on a windscreen. The name has...
    Gordon Campbell | 16-04
  • Revealed: Steven Joyce’s select committee submission
    Dear Education Select Committee, Well, there are less than two weeks for people to get their submissions in to you on my proposals to remove staff and students from university and wānanga councils. You...
    TEU | 16-04
  • World News Brief, Thursday April 17
    Top of the AgendaTensions Rise in Ukraine’s East Ahead of Talks...
    Pundit | 16-04
  • Northern Europe looks to end fixed-term agreements for academics
    Long strings of fixed term employment agreements are not just a problem here in New Zealand but Sweden too, according to Education International. But the Swedish Association of University Teachers (SULF) has a plan to solve this. It is turning...
    TEU | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Date of Release: Thursday, April 17, 2014Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today.The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company, Christchurch Yarns, go into...
    First Union Media | 16-04
  • Collins: More contemptible lying
    Yesterday, Judith Collins treated New Zealand's media and people as if we were all complete fools. Here is what she said (via this morning's Herald): Ms Collins said she was unaware Oravida was having any problems getting its products into...
    Polity | 16-04
  • The Downside of Park and Ride
    Flicking back through older Atlantic Cities posts led to one from last year about Park and Ride catching my eye. It’s a fairly well reasoned cautionary tale which highlights the pitfalls and potential perverse outcomes from something that would appear...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • Heartland logic: More people have heard of Fidel Castro than Michael Mann, ...
    This is a guest post from Narahani.   Or is happening and is good for you, or has stopped happening, or is caused by CO2 but only a little, or is about to reverse due to lots of yet-to-be-discovered negative...
    Skeptical Science | 16-04
  • Submission
    Below is my draft submission on the Environmental Reporting Bill. I'm primarily interested in the freedom of information issues; I expect other groups to be focused on the reporting itself. I support the aims of the Environmental Reporting Bill of...
    No Right Turn | 16-04
  • Government’s ‘rock star economy’ throws hospital staff ou...
    The Public Service Association says administrative staff at hospitals around the country are missing out on Bill English’s ‘rock star...
    PSA | 16-04
  • Lip service: it’s all climate action ever gets from Key & Co
    As expected, the New Zealand government’s response to the IPCC’s Working Group 3 report on mitigating climate change pays lip service to the science, while maintaining that NZ is doing all that can be expected. Climate change minister Tim Groser’s...
    Hot Topic | 16-04
  • Progress of FCV “slave ships” Bill is good news – but much work remai...
    The Maritime Union of New Zealand says the progress of the “slave ships” Bill in the New Zealand Parliament is good news – but much work remains to be done....
    MUNZ | 16-04
  • Judith Collins’ reputation dependent on Slater’s scandals
    Judith Collins' reputation as the possible next leader of the National party is in shreds. Her reputation as a minister of the crown in the Key owned National party caucus is in tatters. A resignation is the only honorable thing...
    the Irascible Curmudgeon | 16-04
  • Photo of the Day: Red III
    Learning Your Stripes, 2013, Regan Gentry, Papatoetoe. Commissioned by Auckland Council aer  ...
    Transport Blog | 16-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
    The Governor-General, Lt Gen The Rt Hon Sir Jerry Mateparae, is to visit Turkey next week to lead New Zealand’s representation at the annual Gallipoli commemorations....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
    Labour takes manufacturing seriously Manufacturing workers and employers will all benefit from economic policies announced today by the Labour Party leader, David Cunliffe. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union has welcomed the announcement...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
    “Today’s announcement of Labour’s manufacturing policy is very welcome,” says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg. “Just as many other developed countries are realising, having a strong manufacturing sector pays off in good jobs, retaining...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
    New Zealand Police are hoping to reduce the number of victims from alcohol related crime by asking the public to say ‘Yeah, Nah’ more often this holiday weekend....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
    Dunne Speaks 17 April 2014 There have been a number of harrowing cases presented this week about the impact of psychoactive substances on vulnerable young people. At one level, the tales are deeply disturbing. It is awful to see anyone...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
    A leading Māori researcher has welcomed the announcement of the 2014 Te Pūnaha Hihiko - Vision Mātauranga Capability Fund by Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce and Māori Affairs Minister Dr Pita Sharples....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    At Last: A Manufacturing Policy FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and textile manufacturing sectors. “In a week that has seen another manufacturing company,...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
    "Campaigners for a New Zealand Head of State are still feeling positive after ten days of royal events" says NZ Republic Chair, Savage. "Our polling before the visit showed increased support for a kiwi head of state. We have a...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
    Winston Peters has apparently convinced David Cunliffe that when foreigners buy New Zealand property they make New Zealanders worse off. Mr Cunliffe has announced his intention to adopt Winston Peters’ policy of banning foreigners from buying...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Prime Minister John Key’s rejection of fat and sugar taxes ahead of this year's election. Jordan Williams, Executive Director of the Union, says:...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
    The Law Commission has released A New Crown Civil Proceedings Act for New Zealand , its Issues Paper on reforming the Crown Proceedings Act 1950. The Issues Paper proposes a new statute to replace the Crown Proceedings Act 1950....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
    Maritime Union says focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for New Zealand workers...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
    With Easter and Anzac Day giving us two successive long weekends this year there will be a lot of happy families preparing for trips....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
    The New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA) has welcomed the improved performance from StudyLink in 2014. There is no doubt that getting their loans and allowances processed on time makes it easier for students to concentrate on being...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
    Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised Imagine if you could not access vital news and information. What would you do?...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
    The second term Auckland Council is proving to be an interesting one and very different to the inaugural 2010 – 2013 Governing Body. We are currently going through a budget round to lock in where council’s $3b expenditure is directed...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
    Paying seafarers at least a minimum wage under the Minimum Wage Act 1983 has applied to the New Zealand fishing industry for more than 30 years. It was, and is, a basic protection which had two universals – it was...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
    1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know Where to Go...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
    Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third - The criteria for judging are by assessing the transnational (a corporation with 25% or more foreign ownership) that has the most negative impact in each or all of the following categories: economic dominance...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. “Any steps that can be taken to lower smoking rates will result in New Zealand workers and their families having healthier and better...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke
    Christchurch Housing Accord a Joke Hugh Pavletich Performance Urban Planning Christchurch New Zealand 16 April 2014 The Housing Accord entered in to today between the Government and the Christchurch City Council, can only be described as a joke. Christchurch...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Infographic : World Giving Index 2013
    Infographic from Charities Aid Foundation World Giving Index 2013 A Global View Of Giving Trends (click to see full size version)...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Tranter questions CEO’s assurances
    “There is a bizarre notion among bureaucrats, politicians and others that if they say something then it must be so - despite all evidence to the contrary” said David Tranter, Health spokesman for Democrats for Social Credit....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • UNICEF NZ Urges Progress on Plain Packaging of Tobacco
    In its oral submission to the Health Select Committee today, UNICEF NZ expressed its strong support for the Smoke-free Environments (Tobacco Plain Packaging) Amendment Bill as a measure that will help reduce the uptake of smoking, and urged parliament...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Whitebait partners look for solutions
    Waikato-Tainui, local marae, councils and agencies are working together to better manage whitebait fisheries at Port Waikato following the compilation of a new report....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • NZ’s biggest killer fails to receive the Roger
    The Smokefree Coalition is disappointed Imperial Tobacco did not win the Roger Award for Worst Trans-national Company operating in New Zealand, despite manufacturing products that kill 5000 New Zealanders every year....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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