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Key-Fletcher nexus: anti-democratic ‘Intelligence communities’

Written By: - Date published: 11:36 am, May 23rd, 2014 - 47 comments
Categories: accountability, democracy under attack, john key, slippery, Spying, telecommunications, us politics - Tags: ,

The Campbell Live programme this week on John Key’s relationship with the GCSB focused on some very interesting themes, issues and people.  It points to a massive change in direction of government, and the NZ intelligence agencies under John Key’s watch. It focused specifically on NZ-US relations, and Ian Fletcher’s appointment as head of the GCSB, at a time when the surveillance of Kim Dotcom was initiated in NZ. The programme focused on some developments in 2011 and beyond.

campbell-live-gcsb-10-july-2013a

From an earlier Campbell Live programme: bottom right, Eric Holder next to Chris Finlayson at a Sydney meeting.

Massive changes began soon after John Key took office in 2008-9.  At the centre of this change is a shift in focus towards international trade and business that has extended to NZ’s intelligence services. It has involved increasing collaboration with the US, and to a lesser extent the UK governments, and all of the 5 Eyes intelligence partners.

Campbell Live 20 May 2014: “Key’s meeting with GCSB boss revealed

The headline puts Key and Fletcher center stage.  The programme begins with reference to the Kim Dotcom-GCSB saga, with a focus on the appointment to the GCSB of Ian Fletcher. Campbell begins by saying that the GCSB’s illegal surveillance of Kim Dotcom began in December 16th 2011. Campbell then goes on

Neither the Prime Minister nor the incoming GCSB head Ian Fletcher were told about it at the time.  But tonight, for the first time anywhere, we can reveal that Ian Fletcher had taken leave from his job in Queensland to be in Wellington that week.

Following this framing, the programme  shifts towards setting the story within the past and current context of US-NZ government relations.  With this shift, Campbell identifies the significance of the timing of this programme, by saying:

But as we learn the Prime Minister has again been invited to Washington, and as we learn more and more about the GCSB and 5 Eyes, we begin with how the organisation, and our relationship with America, has changed.

On CL, this story begins with John Key’s sudden shift  of Lt General Jerry Mateparae, from head of GCSB to Governor General in May 2011.  This is followed by a chain of events which includes the following: James R Clapper, US Director of National Intelligence (DNI) visiting NZ, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Murray McCully fronting an announcement, by then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, of stronger ties between the NZ and US.

The CL programme also highlights the way the GCSB, with the appointment of Ian Fletcher, moved away from the primary focus on physical threats to national security, to inorporating a strong focus on “economic threats” and protection for commerce and trade.

Key leads change in NZ “intelligence community”

On checking on Clappers role, I found this description of his brief:

The Honorable James R. Clapper was sworn in as the fourth Director of National Intelligence (DNI) on August 9, 2010. As DNI, Mr. Clapper leads the United States Intelligence Community and serves as the principal intelligence advisor to the President.

full+spectrum dominanceThe term “Intelligence Community” reminded me of Chris Trotter’s post about the shift in the role of NZ intelligence services (April 11, 2013), as indicated by the Kitteridge Report:

The first clue Ms Kitteridge supplies is her reference to something called the New Zealand Intelligence “Community” (NZIC). This new kid on the national security block is the sum arrived at by adding the parts known as The NZ Security Intelligence Service, The GCSB and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC).

This, increasingly co-ordinated and integrated, community includes a massive range of people, ultimately answerable to the Prime Minister, who is currently John Key.  This stretches to include the operative national security component of the DPMC, the Officials Committee for Domestic and External Security Co-ordination (ODESC), which includes

the Chief of Defence Force (Lt-General Rhys Jones), the Commissioner of Police (Peter Marshall), and the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade (John Allen). The Directors of GCSB (Ian Fletcher) and NZSIS (Dr Warren Tucker) are not members, but attend most meetings.

Early after he first took office as PM, Key has led a shift to bring the vast array of services included under the “intelligence community” umbrella together under his control.

In an article on 36th Parallel earlier this month, Paul Buchanan explained the importance for democratic governance, of the separations of the powers of the state intelligence apparatus: the opposite of what John Key has been actioning.

The Bigger Picture

Here the whole story gets scarily massive, with too many threads to explain in detail in one post. I have posted before on how Key and Fletcher began meeting after Fletcher moved from the UK to work in Queensland in 2009; of how US Attorney General Eric Holder met with his 5 Eyes counterparts met with Chris Finlayson in Sydney in 15 July 2011 – focused on international and cyber crime.

People at meetings that were reported in this week’s Campbell Live programme, include the John Allen, Head of MFAT (Ministry of Foreign affairs and Trade); Chief of Defense Forces, Lt General Richard Rhys Jones; AND the British High Commissioner Vicki Treadell.

John Allen’s highly paid appointment in 2009, was part of a shift in MFAT away from the democratic principles of governance, towards the PM as CEO of NZ Inc, as spelled out by Fran O’Sullivan at the time.

He will also be a key driver in a huge transformational programme designed to leverage “New Zealand Inc”, so New Zealand’s vital economic and business interests are better projected offshore.

He oversaw a huge restructuring of MFAT, that resulted in large numbers of people losing their jobs.

NZ British High Commissioner since 2010, Vicki Treadell, came from a diplomatic background with a focus on international commerce and trade. (Also part of Fletcher’s UK  roles when working in the UK and Australia).

Ian Fletcher Vicki Treadell

Ian Fletcher Vicki Treadell: Image from The Daily Blog

Lt General Richard Rhys Jones, originally in NZ forces, also is a graduate of

The United States Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC) educates and develops leaders for full spectrum joint, interagency and multinational operations; acts as lead agent for the Army’s leader development program; and advances the art and science of the profession of arms in support of Army operational requirements.

He suffered a career set back in 2000, was resurrected by John Key as Chief of NZ Defense Forces in 2010, then took the fall for safety failures in September 2013.

In summary

The Campbell Live programme pointed to shifts towards NZ Inc, closer ties with the US, and an invasive state surveillance apparatus. At the centre of the shifts  is the relationship between John Key and Ian Fletcher.   The programme features clips showing how Key tried to avoid admitting to the extent of this relationship; especially with regard to Key’s role in appointing Fletcher to the GCSB job. (See my summary of the programme here.)

Brighter future for key and pals

 

47 comments on “Key-Fletcher nexus: anti-democratic ‘Intelligence communities’”

  1. ianmac 1

    The CL program covered a lot of ground. The difficulty is coping with that breadth. I like what Grant Robertson is doing in Question Time. He is focussing in on one small part at a time and getting better answers from Key. In spite of the Speaker blocking where he can.
    So well done Karol. A monumental task to sort the chaff.

    • Anne 1.1

      Thank-you karol for your herculean efforts on the subject. I think your readership will be going far beyond the standardista community. There would seem to be few other people publicly subjecting this matter to the intense scrutiny it deserves.

      There is only one MSM outlet -apart from TV3- who has reported any of this story and that was Stuff yesterday. Within hours of the report appearing, Cunliffe’s references to “lies” and “Key being a liar” were expunged.

      I note the following claim now at the bottom of the article:

      This story has been edited to provide background and balance. An earlier version was published before these steps were taken.

      Bullshit and Jellybeans!! Those of us who saw the original will appreciate it is LESS balanced than before. 1/3rd of the story is now devoted to Cunliffe’s speech, and 2/3rds to Key’s responses to the CL programme. The previous was half in half.

      What I take from karol’s post is that Key has been quietly gathering more and more power to himself. And he is using it in the most despicable way. He bullies… he threatens… and almost certainly is using blackmail against those he knows have knowledge of his questionable dealings. His proud boast in the latter months of last year about his top drawer was a direct threat to them.

      He has the MSM exactly where he wants them, and most are too wimpish to stand up to them him. 1984 is here!!

      • Anne 1.1.1

        …. most are too wimpish to stand up to him. (karol maybe you could correct in last line?)

      • Chooky 1.1.2

        +100 Anne …and great post Karol

        I would like to know more about the American Intelligence Community and how it differs from the CIA

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Intelligence_Community

        Are intelligence services being privatised?…If so it very dangerous imo because they will no longer be under the jurisdiction of democratically elected governments…room for fifth columns and all that…and shadowy control from outside/foreign intelligence cabals

    • karol 1.2

      Thanks, ianmac. And yes, Cunliffe and Robertson have focused on the Key’s role in appointing Fletcher.

      That was clearly signalled in the CL programme. Many have seen the CL programme as a fizzer. But, CL needS to tread carefully with the allegations they make. They did put the Key-Fletcher relationship in centre focus, and used those clips of Key clearly evading or being misleading about his meetings with Fletcher.

      The new information in the program emphasized the extent of Fletcher’s involvement with the GCSB, and Key, prior to his appointment – being given leave from his Queensland job, and coming to NZ laregly funded by the NZ government.

      • Sacha 1.2.1

        “Key clearly evading or being misleading about his meetings with Fletcher” – lying, yes.

  2. Wayne 2

    Honestly Karol,

    All your speculation on this is starting to look ridiculous. Yes, New Zealand has a variety of intelligence agencies and co-ordinating committees, but so what. And the people in them regularly meet, including with their international counterparts. What is new here?

    As an example of your devotion to conspiracy theories, it seems to be significant to you that Lt Gen Jones went to CGSC for his senior staff course.

    This is something that New Zealanders have done for many decades (there was bit of a hiatus with the US following 1985). Our senior officers either go to the UK, Australia, Canada or the US for their senior course, since our defence force is too small to run a senior staff college. The course is a year long and is typically undertaken by Army Colonels, Navy Captains, and RNZAF Group Captains.

    Sure the Key government has put in the effort to improve New Zealands relations with the US – I was part of that. But that was intended to be all about normalisation of the relationship.

    As part of your spooky conspiracy theories, you could also add the fact that in 2012 I was a Senior Fellow at the Centre of Strategic and International Studies in Washington DC. They have now published my paper entitled “The New Zealand Paradox; Adjusting to the Change in the Balance of Power in the Asia Pacific over the Next 20 Years.”

    Happy to send you a copy by email.

    • Anne 2.1

      This is something that New Zealanders have done for many decades (there was bit of a hiatus with the US following 1985). Our senior officers either go to the UK, Australia, Canada or the US for their senior course, since our defence force is too small to run a senior staff college. The course is a year long and is typically undertaken by Army Colonels, Navy Captains, and RNZAF Group Captains.

      And what dear chap, has that got to do with the price of fish? OR to spell it out for you – karol’s post? NOTHING. The post is nothing to do with the normal, run-of-the-mill military courses and exchange of personnel. You won’t fool anyone here with that nonsense.

      Are you concerned as to the quality of karol’s investigative skills so you seek to undermine them?

      • the pigman 2.1.1

        It’s a curious mixture of scarcely relevant rambling and self-promotion, isn’t it? Breaking press release from Wayne Mapp: “The U.S. is undertaking a pivot to Asia in its foreign policy, I know this because I am kind of a big deal.”

        Designed to distract. Best treated as white noise.

        • Anne 2.1.1.1

          It’s a curious mixture of scarcely relevant rambling and self-promotion, isn’t it?

          It is indeed.

          Wayne thinks because he gained some fellowship from somewhere or another – and he was once Defence Minister – that he is very important and clever. Well I’ve got news for him. In the course of a past career, I worked with some highly qualified people in the academic sense. I was initially in awe of them until I discovered some of them actually had very poor reasoning skills. They got their quallies by rote learning and were actually a bit dumb. :)

          • karol 2.1.1.1.1

            To me, it’s not so much about the smarts, but about people’s underlying values – that’s where there’s a fundamental difference between many of us on the left, and many on the right of politics.

            I think for many that participate within Key and National’s networks in politics and the corporate and financial worlds, they share some underlying values that lead to views that just seem common sense to them. For many, within their world view, the things that are happening probably just seem sensible and accepted by a wide range of people.

            Many of the criticisms we make, just don’t match up with their world view – or the views of those struggling to survive, and whose voices just don’t get heard very clearly in the MSM.

            • Tracey 2.1.1.1.1.1

              do you mean like regarding people who dont agree with them as bags of skin just getting in the way of their business?

              • karol

                Probably more benignly neglectful than that – that they don’t think so much about the people at the bottom of the heap at all – everything must often look good when the focus is on GDP, and business endeavours – the conventions and meetings of people focused on the reports of the CEOs and top diplomats. A world of its own, far removed from the struggle streets of many Kiwis.

                • JAK

                  There is a border between your two worlds. John Key crossed it.

                  • karol

                    Yes, and pulled up the ladder. He also aimed to leave his childhood life behind and aim to hob nob with those with power and money: his aim to be to succeed in the business world and to be PM. He learned early to play golf because he recognised that being a successful business person, meant participating in the “right” kind of social networking.

                    And the struggles of many relatively powerless Kiwis have changed from Key’s childhood days, as the shifts he has been part of have changed the whole context. It’s fairly easy to get out of touch.

                    • JAK

                      “pulled up the ladder”

                      Do you mean that John Key has made it more difficult for children growing up in New Zealand to:

                      -desire to hob nob with those with power and money
                      -succeed in the business world
                      -be PM ?

                    • Will@Welly

                      Aorangi School – part of John Key’s past, gone. Part of the master plan, eradicating his past. Soon all that will remain will be the immediate past – money trader, wealthy, and the present – influential, statesman, Prime Minister.
                      Orwellian.

                    • karol

                      Key lived in a state house when his mother encountered hard times. He was able to go to uni, and get a job in finance trading.

                      His government has been doing way with state houses, and training/education allowances for beneficiaries. Young people have been hard hit by unemployment – few jobs, let alone ones that would lead to high incomes.

                      People can desire whatever they want – achieving it is another matter.

            • Anne 2.1.1.1.1.2

              I agree with you karol but my comments were in relation to their general reasoning not their political leanings. Having said that, I wasn’t suggesting they were inbeciles – just that they weren’t as clever as they thought they were.

          • Wayne 2.1.1.1.2

            Read the paper and make your own assessment of it. But you can hardly do so without reading it.

          • Chooky 2.1.1.1.3

            +100 Anne….lol

    • karol 2.2

      Wayne, you have picked on a minor element in the post – Rhys Jones background, while ignoring more major details. It wasn’t so much that Rhys Jones did a course in the US, but that is was one focused on full spectrum joint, interagency and multinational operations

      Where am I “speculating” on major shifts that have occured under John Key’s oversight?: the amalgamation of the “intelligence community” as a more integrated body under the oversight of the PM – and following the model used in the US for its “Intelligence Community”; the shift of the GCSB (and 5 eyes) from focusing on physical/material security, to a focus on economic and commercial security; and the strongly aligned structural change in MFAT.

      Such things were indicated in the Campbell Live programme, and have been commented on by many others.

      Paul Buchanan’s piece on the need to keep the separation of intelligence powers as a check against anti-democratic intitiatives, is also very significant, as was Trotter’s piece on the shifts under Key’s watch to a more integrated “intelligence community”.

      • Wayne 2.2.1

        Karol,

        So what if that was his area of study, it is pretty important for senior officers. For the last 20 years defence doctrine has been all about multinational joint operations. A recommendation of the Select Committee Report in “Defence Beyond 2000″, was for a Joint Headquarters, in fact a specific suggestion by myself. The Clark govt implemented it around 2001.

        And the same logic has driven a closer integration of intelligence agencies with other parts of govt, including defence.

        It is largely driven by synergies of IT technology – everything can be joined up in a way that was not possible in the past.

        As noted above it has been happening for a while. It is not a secret. Over the last twenty years there have been hundreds of specialist defence books and articles on it.

        Probably the concept had its first big operational deployment in the Gulf War of 1991.

        • Anne 2.2.1.1

          I believe you are deliberately missing the point Wayne. Here is karol’s summary at the end of the
          post:

          The Campbell Live programme pointed to shifts towards NZ Inc, closer ties with the US, and an invasive state surveillance apparatus. At the centre of the shifts is the relationship between John Key and Ian Fletcher. The programme features clips showing how Key tried to avoid admitting to the extent of this relationship; especially with regard to Key’s role in appointing Fletcher to the GCSB job.

          The concern is not so much the changing nature of intelligence gathering apparatus and technological advances associated with it, but rather the profoundly invasive way they are being used. It is unnecessary, immoral and unethical that millions of individuals around the world are having their privacy invaded for no justifiable reason. It is dangerous and will ultimately destroy the democratic governing practices to which all peoples are entitled.

          Yes, you’re right. The concept did have its first operational deployment in the first Gulf War of January/February 1991. No problems with that. The problem lies with the massive upgrading of the surveillance undertaken since then – a surveillance that smells strongly of excess power plays and paranoia.

          That can only lead in one direction – death and destruction.

          • Tracey 2.2.1.1.1

            Wayne cherrypicking? Say it isnt so.

          • Chooky 2.2.1.1.2

            +100 Anne..”The concern is not so much the changing nature of intelligence gathering apparatus and technological advances associated with it, but rather the profoundly invasive way they are being used. It is unnecessary, immoral and unethical …”

            ….and I suspect Dotcom and his so-called “misdemeanors” in New Zealand (there are far bigger cloud storage systems in the USA which Hollywood moguls are not going after) is being used as a scapegoat and a pretext for this intrusive spying and violation of New Zealanders civil liberties…

            ie John Key and mates are arguing that they need to spy on New Zealanders and persecute Dotcom to stop infringement of copyright ( pull the other one!)

            New Zealand is a peaceable country and New Zealanders are a peaceable people…we dont deserve this!…..There is something rotten going on in the State of New Zealand

            • Anne 2.2.1.1.2.1

              +1 Chooky.

              And Key is leading the charge from the NZ end. No prizes for guessing why… he thinks its in his best interest.

        • karol 2.2.1.2

          Yes, I realize there’s a background of shifts in a particular direction. Key has followed it much more enthusiastically than Clark. The likes of Goff are more supportive of it than many others on the left.

          The changes in digital technologies have been incorporated into the mix.

          As part of my research for this post, I looked at this pdf document, published by James Clapper in March 2011.: “Statement for the Record on the Worldwide Threat Assessment of the U.S. Intelligence Community for the Senate Committee on Armed Services ”

          There’s a lot about the threats posed from countrie outsoutsidee 5 Eyes, Western sphere: Iraq, Chine, etc.
          Then there’s this section:

          Intelligence Threats and Threats to US Technological & Economic Leadership Intelligence Threats and Threats to US Technological & Economic Leadership
          […]
          We are also undergoing a phenomenon known as “convergence,” which amplifies the opportunity for disruptive cyber attacks, including against physical infrastructures. This phenomenon means that the same networks and devices are processing a full range of data and support a full range of applications, from banking to social networking, from supply chain management to patient health records. This convergence adds much convenience, but it poses new security challenges across a swath of our government and economy.

          It covers “cyber threats” and later goes on to export controls and economic imbalances.

          And this was at the same time, as now revealed by the Snowden material, the NSA was developing a whole range of powerful and invasive digital capabilities.

          It is of extreme concern to many of us, that very powerul systems of control and devastation, are being incorproated in the intelligence services and related government structures usually more focused on physical threats, , in ways that undermine democracy. And in doing this, wealthy corporates are being empowered and US coproates are being protected and promoted internationally.

        • Robert M 2.2.1.3

          It would be difficult to see any merit in the term as MOD Wayne Mapp or his ridiculous deputy the actor Private Heather Roy. During Wayne Mapp’s term, Defence spending was cut significantly, as was the RNZN fuel allocation, leaving much of the fleet laid up, most of the time. Defence wages for ratings remained far below those of the police, even for far more able and qualified military personel and the inadequate officer pay and fuel allocation mean many mid rank officers deserted the services for Australian industry or its military.
          The excuse was made that the RNZAF Aermacchis could not be returned to service because their engines were no longer servicable. Hower 8/9 of MB339Cs are now being used for military training in the United States and it is unlikely that the cost of refitting 10/12 Aermacchis with new engines and provision for light armament for training with the Navy or Army would have been prohibitive. I would suggest a light armament of a 30mm gun, rocket laucher attachment and ability to carry 2/4- 500/1000lb bombs would have been all that was required of for coastal intervention against say a boatload of gureillas has been heading towards our coast, say if in 1998 Clinton had directed the US and Australia to pressure Indonesia with Economic sanctions and economic pressure through the banking system which seems to be part of the reason we were offered the FFGF-7s and F-16s second hand.
          The current Nationals defence programme remains very light with the proposal for extensive furthur refitting of already 14/16 yr old Anzacs unlikely to be completed until they have been 20 years in the water, an age usually considered unsuitable for modernisation given structual deterioration after significant year at sea. The extra third hand RAN/USN Seasprites seem only suitable for training and training maintenance crews and some spares. The Penquin helicopter anti ship missiles may be useful but the long range British Sea Ceptor anti aircraft missiles seem a bizarre acquisition in this part of world.

    • Tracey 2.3

      Honestly Wayne

      how often as a minister did you get briefed on, and involved in, the appointment of someone to head your ministry, suggest someone, then agree to contact them, contact them, appoint them, and within months forget all about your role in the hiring but wrongly “remember” it was the other guy at your meeting who did what you did?

      misleading the public of nz a or lying to them, may not matter to you, but dont belittle those who do care.

    • Tracey 2.4

      by key govt you mean winston peters under the last coalition labour govt… god, the way you guys twist things is incredible. its like you all have selective amnesia. let me help… condoleza rice and winston made the big thaw.

      • karol 2.4.1

        I think Wayne would agree with you – ie that Key’s government hasn’t been doing anything much that Labour hasn’t been doing, bar in the Rogernomics/Lange period.

        The Clark government did oversee some thawing of US-NZ relations. As Hagar has often pointed out, even under wher watch, when she was putting breaks on getting involved in the Iraq etc., the GCSB happily collaborated with US initiatives.

        The resort to dismissing an overview of the way things have shifted under under Key as “conspiracy theory” is frustrating.

        I’m not talking about a carefully planned and orchestrated conspiracy, but networks of people, with similar views, drawing on various resources within their networks when necessity and/or opportunities arise.

        I have little evidence of the details of how some things happened, or the motivations of various players. I am mapping the changes I can see from the publicly available evidence.

        under Clark, there was a bit of a holding pattern, not getting too far into the “neoliberal” way of doing things, as led by the US.

        Under Key, there have been clear structural shifts in the likes of MFAT and the intelligence services, towards systems and structures that favour international trade and commerce as dominated by big corporates.

        • Tracey 2.4.1.1

          well put.

          greens have caught the pm making stuff up in parliament again…

        • Robert M 2.4.1.2

          We will never know, as the tapes of the Clark conversations with Condi and W43 and his inner Cabinet are never likely to have been released, but it is certainly the case that Clark has been quite a strong acceptor of the GCSB and an expanded role for it , for a long time, ie as early as 30 years ago. I happen to know that shortly after Owen Wilkes on a butterfly collecting mission discovered Tangimoana , that Clark after considering the issue and Muldoons statement on the station, Clark decided it was OK ( I talked to her on the phone several times about this at the time). Also plenty of sources will tell you that Clark was a stong supporter of the establishment of Waihopai and a great enthusiast for the intelligence input and discussions with her Generals.

  3. Tigger 3

    Karol, I want you to know your work on these sorts of things is very appreciated. Great post.

  4. repateet 4

    The use of the Maxwell Smart on here is totally uncalled for! It brings to mind the image of Judith Collins as Agent 99. Calling from somewhere in China too. Hiding under a table ( of the private dinner sort), reporting to the chief.

    • karol 4.1

      I’m not sure how that image got there. I may have omitted to put an image in, and someone else added that one.
      Changed it.

  5. Charlieboy 5

    Karol, great post, and great additional from Anne. I get the feeling,that with this sort of digging down, sooner or later the dam will burst.The Right is certainly worried, as is seen by their ridicule attacks . Anne is right, there is a level of fear out in the media, and you do have to applaud Campbell for his efforts. Where is that really brave deep throat out there in the hinterland, we need you now.

  6. fisiani 6

    Karol Great post. Keep up the great work. This is truly resonating with voters everywhere. Everywhere I go I hear people telling me that they cannot trust John Key after the astonishing Campbell Live revelations of something about spying. The next polls will see National plummet to below 40% and John Keys rating to fall to single figures to match The Cunliffe. Keep up the digging for another 17 weeks.

  7. Charlieboy 7

    Bingo!

  8. Lou 8

    GREAT, thought-provoking post, Karol. My heart sank as I watched CL, as it laid out the worst of my fears. BUGGER, I came to this fair country to get away from this sort of CRAP!!

  9. Tanz 9

    Under Key’s watch, beneficiaries can no longer study full time. He has certianly pulled up the ladder up and he does all he can to eradicate his less than glossy childhood. He worked for the corrupt co of Merryl Lynch, that was the platform to his ill-gained fortune.

    He is a liar and a theif and worst of all, an arrogant show pony. Ego driven. He is startiing to lose a lot of credibility. The MSM are drones though.

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    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    4 days ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    4 days ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    5 days ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    5 days ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    5 days ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    6 days ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    6 days ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    6 days ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    6 days ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    6 days ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    1 week ago
  • Zero excuses, end zero hour contracts now
    It’s time Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse cut the weasel words and banned zero hour contracts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Michael Woodhouse today acknowledged zero hour contracts are unfair. ...
    1 week ago
  • We’ve reached Peak Key with ‘artificial target’
    John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “For seven years and two election campaigns, John Key has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Top 10 need to know facts on climate change
    All the numbers and stats around climate change can be confusing, so we’ve put together a handy list of the top 10 numbers about climate change that we should all know- and then do something about. You can sign up here to… ...
    GreensBy Frog
    2 weeks ago
  • Campbell Live a bastion of investigative journalism
    The announcement that current affairs programme Campbell Live is under review and may be axed has sparked outrage from the New Zealand public, for good reason, says Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. “Investigative journalism is a precious resource in today’s… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground Zero for ‘disastrous’ contracts
    Yesterday the Green Party called on the Government to follow the leadership of Restaurant Brands and ditch zero-hour contracts. Currently it looks like the Government is a large part of the zero-hours problem. It allows these types of “non-jobs” to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Trust in National will disappear with deficit
    Bill English is set to break his promise to get the books back in the black this year and lose the trust of Kiwis who have had to do it too hard for too long, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Dorothy Jelicich passes away
    It is with sincere sadness that the Labour Party conveys its sympathies and condolences to the bereaved family of Dorothy Jelicich who passed away last night at the age of 87 years, says the MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government leaves aquaculture industry at sea
    If the Government had acted in its first term, the Sanford mussel processing plant would not have to close, says Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “Sanford is considering closure after a decline in the natural supply of spat. This is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maggie –it’s time to roll your sleeves up
      It’s time for the Minister of Conservation Maggie Barry to listen to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment  and start untangling the mess around  New Zealand’s stewardship land, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “The Commissioner has called for… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Gutting of prison jobs a gift to private prison provider
    Today’s announcement that sections of three prisons are to be closed is the thin end of the wedge for the privatisation of the country’s prison service, says Labour’s  Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  It's estimated that 260 prison officers will lose… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joyce must rule out revising export target
    Steven Joyce must rule out a second revision of the Government’s export target in six months and stop trying to massage statistics when he fails to meet his goals, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “National set a target… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Caregiver law passed in haste now a fail
    The Government’s response to supporting family caregivers is mean spirited and designed to fail, says Labour’s Disability Issues Spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Figures released by the Ministry of Health show that only a tiny percentage of the eligible families have applied… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Clear message handed to nuclear states
    MPs Phil Goff, Shane Reti and Marama Fox are due to meet with diplomats from the United Kingdom, Russia, the United States, China and France tomorrow to hand deliver a letter calling for their countries to disarm their nuclear weapons.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parity is no party for export businesses
    The extent of the damage done by the high dollar to New Zealand businesses is larger than many think as shown by a dramatic decrease in exports to Australia as our dollar rises, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “When the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats’ limited thinking stifling innovation
    Businesses trying to innovate and create better products are being let down by this Government with an industry expert saying Steven Joyce’s mini-tax credits will have almost no impact, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Andrew Dickeson, director of taxation… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Vanishing Nature: A must-read for all New Zealanders
    The Environmental Defence Society’s new book Vanishing Nature – facing New Zealand’s biodiversity crisis, should be read by every New Zealander concerned about our native plants and wildlife and striking natural landscapes; and particularly by Government Ministers before Budget Day… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • The CYF review – an exercise in predetermination?
    Child Youth and Family (CYF) has a troublesome history of underperformance and botched care and protection cases, the most recent being its abject failure, along with the Police, to address the Roastbusters sexual abuse allegations with any semblance of professionalism.… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Time to act to protect Hector’s Dolphins
    The death of a Hector’s Dolphin in a set net must lead to action from the Minister of Conservation, Ruth Dyson, Labour’s Conservation Spokesperson said today. “Despite the fact that the Akaroa Harbour has been a Marine Mammal Sanctuary since… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Double-laning Darby and Joan disputed
    The Prime Minister’s by-election promise to double lane the road between Northland’s iconic Darby and Joan kauri trees has been contradicted by officials, Labour’s spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The NZ Transport Agency has told a media outlet that not all… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parity: Cheaper trips but lower incomes
    The Kiwi dollar’s near-parity with the Australian means some tourists will have cheaper Gold Coast holidays but New Zealand incomes will stay lower for longer, making it harder for many to afford the trip, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • English’s state house flog off plans exposed
    Labour is calling on Bill English to confirm or deny a claim the Government is exploring a mass sell-off of state housing to tenants. Property magnate Bob Jones writes in a newspaper column published today that the Minister responsible for… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extension of work scheme urged for disaster relief
    The Government is being urged to extend the Regional Seasonal Employment (RSE) scheme to help families in the most severely-damaged islands of Vanuatu, following Cyclone Pam. “Allowing a further 300 people to take up seasonal employment in New Zealand under… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nuclear deal with Iran should be just the start
    A deal struck by Iran and major powers to ensure the Iranian facilities producing nuclear material are not used for the purpose of constructing nuclear weapons has been a long time coming, Labour’s Disarmament spokesperson Phil Goff says. “Undoubtedly Iran’s… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Aoraki Newsletter March 2015
    Attachmentsmarch2015_web.pdf - 1.4 MB ...
    3 weeks ago

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