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Nat techhead needs 3D brain transplant

Written By: - Date published: 8:16 am, February 28th, 2014 - 55 comments
Categories: crime, drugs - Tags: , , , ,

What can one say about Maurice Williamson. Is he really as much of a comedian as he appears. Well he pretty much had me in stitches of laughter yesterday morning heading to work.

I mean that it is good that he is looking at the downstream consequences before they arrive. But the examples he was using!

Mr Williamson says the printers are actually manufacturers of products and 3D computer files can be emailed or downloaded from the internet.

He says household printers will soon be able to produce drugs and weapons, and the country’s borders are extremely vulnerable.

“If people could print off … sheets of Ecstasy tablets at the party they’re at at that time, that just completely takes away our border protection role in its known sense.”

His contention is that with the development of 3d printers being so rapid, it isn’t going to be long before they become as ubiquitous as inkjets or laserjets in the hands of potential criminals (aka youth) who will be able to download sophisticated programs to attack him disrupt society. This shows a rather optimistic (ie fantastic) view of the capabilities of the devices, both current and into the foreseeable future. It also ignores that we already have equivalent technologies.

Weapons? The hardest part of any gun to make is  the barrel. This has to withstand the pressure of an explosion inside it for any chemically powered weapon. A gas powered weapon like a air gun is much the same albeit at lower pressures. If you get it wrong then you have a wee bomb in your hand. Sure in theory, a barrel could be made out of sintered metal powders. However the resulting barrel would scare the crap out of even a weapons freak like I have been over the years. Basically you’d want to fire it from remote control, even after it’d be tested many times.

And has Maurice Williamson looked at the costs of second hand CNC milling machines? They aren’t that expensive and they’re ideal for making gun barrels. They’ve been widespread in industrial and engineering plants since I was a kid and the name means “Computer Numerical Control“. In other words these days you typically download, modify, and install a program. Given some decent steel, you’d be able to roll out some pretty decent, cheap, and safe weapons just like a gunsmith I know.

Incidentally guns made out of plastic, wood, pipes, bamboo and many other materials has been around for a very long time. They have never been that popular because they are viewed by everyone who know weapons as being one-shots, and preferably fired from some distance away from our delicate bodies. Just like the glow of the Liberator 3D plastic gun, they are a interesting idea but bloody impractical for any purpose apart from posing.

liberator plastic gun

Or his example about drugs. Perhaps he should look at the do it yourself history of homebake in NZ.

Homebake can be manufactured from over-the-counter and prescription painkillers containing codeine, and was popular in the late 1970s to 1980s due to the crackdown on the heroin supply in this time period. It Is also commonly manufactured from morphine sulfate tablets as the morphine to diacetylmorphine reaction is much more simple than the codeine to morphine process. Clandestine drug laboratories established to homebake heroin have existed in New Zealand since the 1980s

This was eventually dealt with was with careful control of the active ingredients. Now if you look at the chemistry of MDMA, the active part of the drug Ecstasy:

Safrole, a colorless or slightly yellow oily liquid, extracted from the root-bark or the fruit of the sassafras tree is the primary precursor for all manufacture of MDMA.  There are numerous synthetic methods available in the literature to convert safrole into MDMA via different intermediates.

Relatively small quantities of essential oil are required to make large amounts of MDMA. The essential oil of Ocotea cymbarum typically contains between 80 and 94% safrole. This would allow 500 ml of the oil, which retails at between $20 and $100, to be used to produce between 150 and 340 grams of MDMA.

This does suggest to me that there is a much simpler route to control of ecstasy in NZ – the homebake style of control of the precursors. Typically most precursors require a pretty horrendous chemical transformation to be useful. MDMA for instance:-

800px-MDMA_Synthesis_1.svg

500px-MDMA_Synthese_2.svg

For those who didn’t have to suffer through university level organic chemistry (not my favourite subject), there are some pretty serious chemicals used in that synthesis. Each of which can be disrupted in the supply chain.

In theory of course a sufficiently advanced “printing” technology could assemble molecules from elemental atoms. But the probability of anything being capable of actually doing that at a reasonable cost within the next few generations is complete fantasy (probably drug induced).

Most drugs are the same. The active ingredients are usually derived from the natural world which is a lot further on than humans in how to assemble complex chemicals relatively cheaply and at low temperatures and pressures.  Having a drug in a refined form and merely printing it onto a substrate implies that the drug has already been manufactured or imported. Customs and other law enforcement should probably concentrate on those happening.

For that matter, in some ways it is harder to produce good ammunition than it is to produce guns. Perhaps customs and the police should look at how to improve border control on those.

The same thing applies for producing stem cell or cloned cell tissues, one of the more interesting technologies being explored with 3d printers. While it is tempting to consider creating some extra brain tissues to replace those already lost by decayed brain of Maurice Williamson. That too appears to be a long way away.

If you know where you are looking on the net and in the printed literature, you can find just about everything you need to do most things that are known technology already. You could even when I was a kid in the 60s using the Auckland War Memorial museum library to find out all of the interesting techniques used in guerilla warfare in World War 2.

But the really scary thing about this proposal is what Gareth Hughes said on frogblog:

The amazing thing is, Toby Manhire is probably right, it is terrifying he is one of the most qualified people in National to comment on tech issues.

Sure Labour politicians are, in my experience, an interesting mix of being either pretty damn technophobic or having an inept over-enthusiasm for it. But I get the impression that they’ve done some study and thinking on most tech areas I raise with them. However it’d be pretty clear to everyone who has followed 3D printing over the last decade that Maurice Williamson, National’s version of a techhead, appears to be clueless on it.

55 comments on “Nat techhead needs 3D brain transplant”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    You forgot the potato cannon.

    Williamson should probably take a look at people selling 3D CAD software too, in case it fell into the wrong hands.

  2. karol 2

    I see the Stuff article by Alex Fensome yesterday is taking the Maurice Williamson line: headline “Printers capable of making guns”.

    Three-dimensional printers can already make guns, and may soon allow people to create gold, gems, food or drugs in their living rooms, the Customs Service has warned.

    It suggests the law needs to be changed to control importing designs for restricted or prohibited goods in the same way as child pornography is restricted.

    A report obtained under the Official Information Act says 3D printers have already been used for criminal activity and to create weapons. In Australia, one was used to make a working “card skimmer” device, which could steal credit card details

    So, while I usually consider Lynn to know way more than me on such matters, I wondered if he had got it wrong with this post, so looked further.

    Today, Alex Fensome in the Dom Post seems to have had a change of heart, having attended to some experts on the matter: “No smoking gun with 3-D printers, experts say”

    The founder of 3-D printer supplier MindKits, Tim Carr, said criticism of the new technology was “infuriating” and 3-D-printed guns posed more of a threat to the person firing it than their target.

    There were much more simple ways to build a gun: “A lathe is more deadly . . . I wouldn’t want to fire a gun made from a 3-D printer. There are so many easier ways to make something more lethal.”

    And a Guardian article from November last year explains just how difficult it is to make a safe-to-use gun from 3 D printing:

    Solid Concepts says that the gun comprised of over 30 3D printed components in stainless steel and a nickel-chromium based superalloy is capable of hitting “a few bulleyes at over 30 yards.”

    However, Solid Concepts stressed that this kind of metal gun cannot be printed using desktop machines – only by using an industrial printer that costs “more than my college tuition”, according to Alyssa Parkinson of Solid Concepts.

    It would have saved me time if I’d just gone with Lynn’s explanation to start with. Clearly he knows way more than Williamson about it, even though Williamson claims to have read up on the matter.

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      The line about “creating” gold, gems, food or drugs is just mind-boggling.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1

        One quark at a time, presumably.

        • Murray Olsen 2.1.1.1

          Been a while since I’ve done any particle physics, but I thought quarks couldn’t be isolated because of a detail called asymptotic freedom. Since it has “freedom” in the name, I would have expected NAct to know that.

      • karol 2.1.2

        Kind of like the ancient art of alchemy.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2.1

          These days, transmuting elements (the alchemical grail) is routine in particle and nuclear physics.

          • lprent 2.1.2.1.1

            Just freaking expensive because of the energy and capital requirements.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2.1.1.1

              Nah, it’s actually cheap, but the scientists involved are part of the Al Gore conspiracy so they funnel the money straight to a secret standing army the UN is building. Luckily we have the Masters of Cyberspace to protect us.

          • McFlock 2.1.2.1.2

            Indeed, we can even make antimatter.

            And damned teens could use that to make 10megaton bombs to blow up their school.

            As long as they can afford the $5,200,000,000,000 a gram cost, of course. But it’s something we should be scared of right now.

        • freedom 2.1.2.2

          There really are people out there who believe 3D printers are some sort of Star Trek molecular synthesiser. (I imagine they are the same people who believe National are paying down debt) But let’s be honest here, if 3D printers had any of that potential they would more closely resemble something from the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation.

          When the ‘Drink’ button is pressed it makes an instant but highly detailed examination of the subject’s taste buds, a spectroscopic analysis of the subject’s metabolism, and then sends tiny experimental signals down the neural pathways to the taste centres of the subject’s brain to see what is likely to be well received.

          However, no-one knows quite why it does this because it then invariably delivers a cupful of liquid that is almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea.

      • lprent 2.1.3

        The line about “creating” gold, gems, food or drugs is just mind-boggling.

        Yep, with gold, the idea of doing some kind of nuclear fusion in a 3D printer is something that I don’t think even the extreme adherent of the technology would think was possible.

        I think they may have gotten it mixed up with the idea of the “Philosophers Stone

        • Murray Olsen 2.1.3.1

          The new ACT leader probably thinks the philosophers stone is the currency paid between close relatives for commercial sex.

    • KJT 2.2

      My high school tech class in the 70’s was making crossbows. Not something which would be allowed now.

      The bolt could go through a small tree at close range.

      The technology, and that to make gun barrels, is available in every engineering workshop in the country.

      Don’t tell Williamson. He will probably want to ban lathes.

      Don’t need fancy 3D printing technology.

      Williamson has always had a fairly loose grasp on reality. Apparent ever since he told farmers that, “opening up the coast” would cause the shipping cartels to lower freight rates.

      • weka 2.2.1

        “The technology, and that to make gun barrels, is available in every engineering workshop in the country.”

        While I agree that Williamson is being an idiot, I don’t think this comparison fits. The technology to make a gun exists within NZ, but the people capable of using that tech are relatively small compared to the idea that anyone could press a button and print off something dangerous without having to learn any kind of skill. That’s what is scaring the likes of Williamson.

        What annoys me most about Williamson’s ignorance and paranoia is it creates a backlash that carries an implied meme that 3D printing and all new technology is always good for us.

        • lprent 2.2.1.1

          …that carries an implied meme that 3D printing … is always good for us.

          In the case of 3D printing as in what is feasible for the next couple of decades, I suspect that it is.

          Consider that I cannot think of a case where a 3D printer could be used as a production line tool. They are simply too slow at making stuff compared to any kind of mass production technique. For instance in plastics materials (the most likely immediate usage), they’d be competing against injection moulding and plastic extrusion/blowing.

          They manufacture large and small objects in a time period that can be counted in seconds. At best for the next couple of decades it is likely that 3D printing equivalent will be measured in hours, and in the case of home equipment the sizes will be pretty small.It will also be correspondingly expensive.

          What 3D printing is damn good at (and how it is used where I work) is making bespoke one-offs. For instance if we need a new design for a electronics case we get one made for us from our CAD designs. While it costs a lot, it allows us to test a design in prototype practice (often several times) before we commit to paying the 10s of thousands of dollars to make a injection die. Before 3D printing we simply wouldn’t have done that degree of testing.

          What it does is reduce our risks, time to production, and time to market.

          The same economics applies in almost every other usage I know of for 3D printing (except possibly for the emerging field of growing biological tissues)

          • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.1.1

            Consider that I cannot think of a case where a 3D printer could be used as a production line tool.

            GE and Rolls Royce can. Of course, that sort of capability isn’t in the at home type of 3D printer – yet.

            At best for the next couple of decades it is likely that 3D printing equivalent will be measured in hours, and in the case of home equipment the sizes will be pretty small.

            Depending upon what’s being created hours may actually be a hell of a lot faster than present methods. As for size, well, this.

            It’s still an emergent technology but I don’t think it’s decades away.

        • KJT 2.2.1.2

          Umm. The skills exists in just about anyone who passed 5th form metalwork.

          Not so much now as the academics have this fantasy, that technology is simply to educate designers to design for the Chinese makers.
          The fact that we need about 1 designer for every hundred makers, and the Chinese have plenty of their own, seems to have escaped them.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.3

          but the people capable of using that tech are relatively small compared to the idea that anyone could press a button and print off something dangerous without having to learn any kind of skill. That’s what is scaring the likes of Williamson.

          Nope. What’s scaring the likes of Williamson is that mega-corporations are becoming obsolete. 3D printers will giver everyone the ability to experiment and produce products at home.

          Capitalists are absolutely terrified of competition and 3D printers represent almost unlimited competition.

          • weka 2.2.1.3.1

            True. But I also think this is a dog whistle to people* that don’t think like that and instead would be scared of the masses being able to make a gun or drugs at home.

            *I was going to say middle NZ but I’m really sick of that expression and its vagueness.

            • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1.3.1.1

              That’s certainly how it’s framed but as bad12 points out, there’s just not that many people who want a gun.

          • lprent 2.2.1.3.2

            They really are awesome for prototyping.

  3. felix 3

    “Having a drug in a refined form and merely printing it onto a substrate implies that the drug has already been manufactured or imported. Customs and other law enforcement should probably concentrate on those happening.”

    Actually I can think of far more important things they should be concentrating on. Why should ecstasy be any concern to them?

    • lprent 3.1

      There is always that issue. Personally I have always been of the mind that virtually all recreational drugs should be treated like tobacco and alcohol should be. Legal, regulated strongly (including limited or no advertising), and taxed like buggery to pay for mitigating downstream harm and a good proportion of the money gathered used for explaining the downsides of use.

      Probably wouldn’t stop me from drinking, the only vice that I currently do after I had to give up my tobacco addiction after a heart attack..

      • Lloyd 3.1.1

        Recreational drugs should be like driving. Driving is potentially dangerous. So is taking drugs.

        Alcohol is a recreational drug, so any rules for other drugs would need to be applied to alcohol too.

        Drivers are tested on their knowledge and have their licence taken off them when they are shown to be too dangerous to leave on the road. Drug takers would need to pass knowledge test(s) about their drug(s) of choice and should have their licence removed when they are shown to be incapable of taking the drug of choice without harming either them selves or others around them.

        Legal drugs would be much cheaper if sold at cost by the state. (Remember state control of alcohol as a choice in elections?) Supply of drugs would need to be absolutely connected to the drug taking licence. Lose your licence and no more drugs. State provided cheap recreational drugs would take any profit in drug dealing away from gangs.

        Random health tests would be a part of the drug licence regime, show signs of serious health effects and you lose your licence. Possession of a licence for certain drugs would mean that certain jobs and probably possession of a driving licence would need to be given up.

        Money spent today on drug squads would be far better spent on health check teams, and extra funding for this could come from the licencing system and drug sales.

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    It’s sad in a way. The man who gave us the big gay rainbow is clearly a buffoon of the highest order.

    • RedLogix 4.1

      Yes. It’s not hard to sound plausible when espousing a political ideology – matter how much of a zombie it is.

      Reality is however their undoing.

    • Lanthanide 4.2

      I would have thought his comments about big gay rainbows would already have made that clear.

      Sure, maybe it’s a nice soundbite and catchy, but it’s not actually clever or really all that witty.

  5. bad12 5

    Why anyone would want to indulge in even attempting to ‘print a gun’ off of some laser printer in this country is beyond me,

    If i had a mind to,and i don’t(honest,please believe me),i am pretty sure i could score a working pump action shotgun with the necessary pills to create mayhem in under 2 hours,

    An illegal AK47 would take a couple of days and assembling an arsenal too bulky to carry probably about a week,

    This place is awash with firearms so making dodgy plastic imitations would seem more an item of ‘news’ for its novelty than any actual ability to produce one off of a printer that would have any use other than as a decoration would seem a waste of time and money…

    • weka 5.1

      That misses the point bad. It’s not the few people like you, it’s the masses that will be able to buy printers.

      • bad12 5.1.1

        The day a ‘printer’ can produce gunpowder,a necessary component of a bullet, unless all these masses of printed firearms are to be gas operated, i won’t eat my hat coz i have better uses for it,but, i will be sufficiently contrite,

        The Masses, weka, in case you havn’t noticed need only apply for a firearms license and sit a simple test to enable them access to real fire-arms,

        Hell i know a few who can barely read the Queens English and they have passed the test, as the Post points out a firearm complete with all working parts might be able to be copied in plastic but try firing a bullet out of it and see what occurs…

        • McFlock 5.1.1.1

          “gunpowder” is a piece of piss, as it were.

          And teens were making “zip guns” in the 1950s

          • bad12 5.1.1.1.1

            A further explanation Mac is definitely needed to show how gunpowder can be produced using a ‘printer’, i would suggest it cannot and would have to be inserted in the ‘cartridge’ with which such a printer would actually print,

            i agree with the Posts author on the fact that plastic is not of sufficient strength be able to escape the explosive forces of discharge and remain intact,

            Yeah sure, i was making bolt-bombs out of match-heads and steel razors in my Borstal years, tossed out the cells air-vent in a two storey cell block they were quite an effective tool for intimidating the night patrol screws with the various bits of steel zinging off the confined space a number of times even with such small explosive force…

            • McFlock 5.1.1.1.1.1

              You might as well ask how cooked pancakes can be produced using a ‘printer’.

              why use a printer? I made it as a kid at home. Two of the ingredients are easily obtainable, another is moderately-easily obtainable. The trick is in the ratios and mixing process, easily available online and used 700 years ago.

              Easy to make it go boom.

              • KJT

                I think our collective point is there is much easier, simpler and better known ways of making effective weapons than using 3D printers.

                And, even if they were effective, despite the knowledge, equipment and skills being common out there, very few people do make weapons. Apart from hobbyists, like black powder clubbers, who have no intention of using them illegally.

              • Draco T Bastard

                why use a printer?

                Caseless ammunition

            • greywarbler 5.1.1.1.1.2

              bad12
              Sounds like fun, diversion and revenge in a package.

          • KJT 5.1.1.1.2

            And first year University engineering gives enough knowledge to make “composite” (plastic) guns.

            I will stop on this subject before the GCSB get interested.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.2

          Airgun

          In the 17th century, air guns, in calibers .30–.51, were used to hunt big game deer and wild boar. These air rifles were charged using a pump to fill an air reservoir and gave velocities from 650 to 1,000 feet per second (200–300 m/s). They were also used in warfare; the most recognized example being the Girandoni Military Repeating Air Rifle.

          I have NFI why some people think that airguns aren’t dangerous.

  6. captain hook 6

    this is all hypothetical mush designed to sell newspapers and distract voters from the real issues.
    Where are the jobs and why is the National Party intent on wrecking the education system.
    all the rest is piffle.

  7. Rich 7

    there is a much simpler route to control of ecstasy in NZ

    Legalise it and sell it in Cosmic?

    I can’t believe how Kathryn Ryan didn’t pick Williamson up on anything he said: like surely if someone says printing a gun is possible, then the obvious question is “but can you print any ammunition”. (Making and handling a primary explosive is a fairly difficult process on a non-industrial scale).

    Then there was the “I read this in a magazine” and the “making gold”.

    • freedom 7.1

      “I can’t believe how Kathryn Ryan didn’t pick Williamson up on anything he said”

      A week ago Kathryn Ryan had the PM sitting there talking about how dangerous the 10 billion dollar debt left by Labour was, and somehow forgot to ask the PM about the 60 billion dollar debt National have created ???

      *shakes head, walks away muttering *

  8. fender 8

    Williamson has been having too much fun printing his own supply of acid trips.

    I’m more concerned about the Nats printing off caucus members without proper quality control measures in place..

  9. Tracey 9

    makes you wonder what maurice really meant by the big gay rainbow.

  10. xtasy 10

    Nooooo brain transplant for Nat techheads, please, they may get some “ideas” after all, no, thanks!

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  • Sanctions and bombs: how the UN and western powers committed mass murder in...
    This article first appeared in revolution magazine’s Middle East bulletin MidEast Solidarity, issue #1, Spring 2001. It looks at the division of labour between the United Nations and western imperialist powers in committing mass murder in Iraq in the 1990s;...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Sanctions and bombs: how the UN and western powers committed mass murder in...
    This article first appeared in revolution magazine’s Middle East bulletin MidEast Solidarity, issue #1, Spring 2001. It looks at the division of labour between the United Nations and western imperialist powers in committing mass murder in Iraq in the 1990s;...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Luke Harding and the spy as editor
    Originally published at Overland I was writing a chapter on the NSA’s close, and largely hidden, relationship with Silicon Valley. I wrote that Snowden’s revelations had damaged US tech companies and their bottom line. Something odd happened. The paragraph I...
    Bat bean beam | 20-10
  • I quite like beer, the rugby no so much
    Phil Quin put a post up yesterday chiding Grant Robertson for what he sees as an overly cautious approach to political messaging and urging him to be more warlike in his phraseology because New Zealanders clearly have a deep, deep...
    Pundit | 20-10
  • Speech from the Throne: State Opening of Parliament, 21 Oct
    Speech – Governor General Following the General Election, a National-led Government has been formed with a majority in the House on confidence and supply. Confidence and supply agreements have been signed between the National Party and, respectively, the ACT Party...
    Its our future | 20-10
  • Gordon Campbell on the latest TPP leaks
    Column – Gordon Campbell The release by Julian Assange on Wikileaks of the draft Trands Pacific Partnership chapter on intellectual property including drug patents – contains some pretty disturbing evidence about whats still on the table.Gordon Campbell on the latest...
    Its our future | 20-10
  • United Nations: friend or foe?
    Many well-intentioned people still see the United Nations as some kind of alternative to imperialism. Below we’re reprinting an article that first appeared in issue #2 of MidEast Solidarity (Autumn 2002), the Middle East bulletin of revolution magazine. The anti-imperialist...
    Redline | 20-10
  • United Nations: friend or foe?
    Many well-intentioned people still see the United Nations as some kind of alternative to imperialism. Below we’re reprinting an article that first appeared in issue #2 of MidEast Solidarity (Autumn 2002), the Middle East bulletin of revolution magazine. The anti-imperialist...
    Redline | 20-10
  • Every day’s a rainy day
    Sarah’s cat, Carina *nb* This is a repost from Sarah’s site writehanded.org. This week, my best friend – otherwise known as a slightly rotund adopted moggy called Carina – decided that she would enjoy no less than three visits to...
    On the Left | 20-10
  • 10 Key Facts about Labour’s Leadership Election
    Plans are proceeding for the Leadership Election, and at this stage I thought it might be useful to have a heads-up on some of the key aspects from the perspective of members:...
    Labour campaign | 20-10
  • SellShed shedding money?
    This is not how you are meant to do it: Online seller SellShed starts up The seven-person firm has invested hundreds of thousands of dollars building a website and free iPhone app and was now on the hunt for “smart...
    Lance Wiggs | 20-10
  • John Key on Iraq: A timeline
    No New Zealand forces to Iraq, says Key. Stuff, 18 June 2014: Prime Minister John Key has ruled out sending special forces soldiers to Iraq as the United States mulls options in response to the unfolding crisis there. Speaking in...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • New Fisk
    With US-led strikes on Isis intensifying, it’s a good time to be a shareholder in the merchants of death...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Carbon News 20/10/14: Chile’s carbon tax, soil SOS and more pressure on d...
    Chile’s new tax could open carbon doors for NZ Chile’s new carbon tax potentially offers New Zealand an opportunity to offset some of its own agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, says economist Dr Suzi Kerr. The $US5-a-tonne carbon tax slipped into...
    Hot Topic | 20-10
  • National doesn’t care about crime by the rich
    National likes to make a lot of noise about benefit fraud. Meanwhile, they've buried a report into the social costs of economic crime:At the beginning of last year the then Minister for the SFO, Anne Tolley, was reported as saying...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • New kiwi blog
    On The Left - a collective of lefties....
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Habemus Parliament
    So, a month after the election, we finally have a Parliament. Good. meanwhile, people seem to be noticing that the associated ceremony - white wigs, fancy dress, oaths of allegiance to a foreign monarch - isn't very kiwi (and tomorrow,...
    No Right Turn | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    frogblog | 20-10
  • NZ elite win seat at UN Security Council – don’t celebrate, organise!
    Among its past services at the top table of the UN, New Zealand chaired the sanctions committee on Iraq; their sanctions killed at least a million Iraqis, half of them children by Philip Ferguson The New Zealand elite is slapping...
    Redline | 20-10
  • NZ elite win seat at UN Security Council – don’t celebrate, organise!
    Among its past services at the top table of the UN, New Zealand chaired the sanctions committee on Iraq; their sanctions killed at least a million Iraqis, half of them children by Philip Ferguson The New Zealand elite is slapping...
    Redline | 20-10
  • The case for free-market urbanism
    In the National Review, a conservative American magazine, Reihan Salam takes a look at the confused state of the American debate over intensification. His article, entitled “The Great Suburbia Debate” criticises the position taken by Joel Kotkin, a long-time campaigner...
    Transport Blog | 19-10
  • Why the SPCA’s position on 1080 threatens thousands of native animals
    By Gareth Morgan and Geoff Simmons Once again the SPCA has shown it has no empathy with conservation in NZ – they just don’t get it. We already know about the environmental vandalism caused by their trap neuter return policy....
    Gareth’s World | 19-10
  • The challenge for NZ’s political youth
    (For our opening week, we asked all our contributors to think about why they’re On The Left, and what the next three years holds for the left, the government, and New Zealand.) In my experience as a politically engaged young...
    On the Left | 19-10
  • The Privatisation of Solid Energy
    by Jeanette Fitzsimons When Solid Energy went belly up with huge debts and failed businesses like its briquetting plant in Southland, the Government was forced to drop it off the list for privatisation because it was no longer fit for...
    Coal Action | 19-10
  • Manufacturing Terrorism
    Domestic Terror: Police constables and detectives outside the Wellington Trades Hall, 27 March 1984. After 33 years of vilification directed at trade unionists, at least one of their enemies finally made the leap from words to deeds, and an innocent caretaker,...
    Bowalley Road | 19-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA to fight mass privatisation of state housing
    Announcements over the past 12 hours from the Minister responsible for Housing New Zealand, Bill English, and Minister for Social Housing, Paula Bennett, make clear the government’s intention for the mass privatisation of state housing. This comes during the middle...
    Mana | 07-10
  • Journalists have right to protect sources
    Legal authorities must respect the right of journalist Nicky Hager to protect the source of his material for his Dirty Politics book under Section 68 of the Evidence Act, Acting Labour Leader David Parker says. “It is crucial in an...
    Labour | 06-10
  • It shouldn’t take the Army to house the homeless
    National’s move to speed up its state house sell-off shows it is bankrupt of new ideas, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National has been in office for six years, yet the housing crisis has got worse every month and...
    Labour | 06-10
  • Government must lift social housing supply, not shuffle the deck chairs
    National's decision to shift the state provision of housing to third parties is a smokescreen for the Government decreasing the provision of affordable housing, the Green Party said today."What National should be doing is increasing the supply of both social...
    Greens | 06-10
  • Election 2014 – the final count
    While we have to wait for the final booth level counts we can now see how well we did in the specials and look at electorate level data. First off special votes (and disallowed/recounted votes etc). There was a change...
    Greens | 06-10
  • We need more houses, not Ministers
    The Government’s decision to have three housing Ministers will create a dog’s breakfast of the portfolio and doesn’t bode well for fixing the country’s housing crisis, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New Zealanders need more houses, not more Ministers....
    Labour | 05-10
  • MANA’S CHALLENGE TO THE 51st PARLIAMENT
    Ten years ago I led 50,000 Maori on the historic FORESHORE AND SEABED MARCH from Te Rerenga Wairua to the very steps of this parliament, in a march against the greatest land grab in the history of this country –...
    Mana | 03-10
  • Is this really necessary?
    No one denies chief executives should be well paid for their skills and experience, but it is the efforts of all employees which contribute to company profits, Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker says. “Salaries paid to chief executives come at...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Lyttelton Port workers also deserve pay rises
    Hard slog by Lyttelton Port workers contributed to strong financial growth for the company and they deserve to be rewarded for their work as much as its chief executive, says Labour’s Acting Leader David Parker. “Lyttelton Port chief executive Peter...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Māori Party must seek guarantees on Māori seats
    Labour is calling on the Māori Party to ensure protection of the Māori seats is part of its coalition deal with National which is being considering this weekend, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “For the third consecutive term,...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Donaghys job losses another blow to Dunedin
    The loss of 30 jobs from Donaghys rope and twine factory is yet another blow to the people and economy of Dunedin, says Dunedin South Labour MP Clare Curran. “Donaghys was founded in 1876; the company has survived two world...
    Labour | 02-10
  • Dairy price fall shows urgent need to diversify
    The overnight drop in milk prices shows New Zealand’s overreliance on the dairy industry puts our economy in a vulnerable position, says Acting Labour Leader David Parker. “Dairy prices fell 7.3 per cent overnight and have almost halved since February....
    Labour | 02-10
  • Tasks aplenty for new Health Minister
    One of the first jobs for the new Minister of Health must be to provide an honest and transparent report into surgery waiting times and exactly how many Kiwis are not having their health needs met, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette...
    Labour | 02-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • ​Media release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union – Auckland move for K...
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is questioning a KiwiRail proposal to progressively relocate its Zero Harm personnel from Wellington to Auckland. “The purpose of the Zero Harm team is to drive KiwiRail’s performance in health and safety.  Rail is a...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Amnesty International – Friend request from an IS militant
    There’s always that one person, that one Facebook friend, usually a musician or event promoter, who, when you so foolishly accept their friend request, will completely inundate your news feed with copious event invitations and promotions. The person who, despite...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • NZ should follow the UK and recognize the Palestinian state
    Over the past two weeks, the United Kingdom and Sweden have made headlines through their decisions to recognize the state of Palestine. They are hardly the first nations to do so. Indeed, 134 countries have, in various ways, given formal...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Discordant Chimes of Freedom: Why Labour has yet to be forgiven.
    WHY DOES THE ELECTORATE routinely punish Labour and the Greens for their alleged “political correctness” but not National? It just doesn’t seem fair. Consider, for example, the Crimes (Substituted Section 59) Amendment Act 2007 – the so-called “anti-smacking legislation” –...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Hosking or Henry – Which right wing crypto fascist clown do you want to w...
    So Mediaworks are finally going to make some actual money from their eye watering contract with Paul Henry by launching a new multi-platform Breakfast show over TV, Radio and internet. This is great news for Campbell Live who have dodged...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Families need more money to reduce child poverty
    Prime Minister John Key is mistaken to rule out extending the In Work Tax Credit to all poor children (The Nation 11th Oct) and Child Poverty Action Group challenges government advisors to come up with a more cost effective way...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – Don’t shit on my dream
    Once were dreamers. A large man, walks down the road and, even from 200 yards there’s light showing between his big arms and bigger body. It’s as if he’s put tennis balls under his arms. Two parking wardens walk out...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Labour and ‘special interests’
    The media narrative of Labour is that it is unpopular because it’s controlled by ‘special interests’. This ‘special interests’ garbage is code for gays, Maoris, wimin and unionists. We should show that argument the contempt it deserves. The next Labour...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Ru...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Tahi) . National’s housing development project: ‘Gateway’ to confusion . Perhaps nothing better illustrates National’s lack of a coherent housing programme than the ‘circus’ that is...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • Here’s what WINZ are patronisingly saying to people on welfare when they ...
    Yesterday, a case manager from WINZ called to tell me that I needed to “imagine what I would do if I did not have welfare”. I replied “Well, I guess if I couldn’t live at home, I would be homeless.”...
    The Daily Blog | 14-10
  • David Shearer’s ‘no feminist chicks’ mentality highlights all that is...
    Mr Nasty pays a visit Shearer’s extraordinary outburst last night on NZs favourite redneck TV, The Paul Henry Show, is a reminder of all that is wrong within the Labour Caucus right now… He said the current calls for a female or...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0
    Greenpeace 1 – Shell 0...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – A Tale Of Two Cities
    Sunday was surreal. I went for a drive and ended up in a different country. It wasn’t intentional but those days of too many literally intertextual references seldom are. There is no doubt that the Sunday drive this week had...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Key raises terror threat level to justify war in Iraq and now the SIS need ...
    Have we learned nothing from rushing into war? It’s embarrassing Key has raised our terror threat from ‘very low’ to ‘low’ so he can justify military action in Iraq. Watching him pimp for an American war is as sick as...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Socialism? in France; Austerity in Europe
    On Sunday I stumbled upon this recent New York Times column The Fall of France by Paul Krugman. Then I caught BBC’s Newsnight interview with France’s ‘Socialist’ Prime Minister Manuel Valls. Krugman notes that the Socialists came to power on an anti-austerity mandate, but completely squandered their opportunity...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • So Snowden and Greenwald were right – again – NZ Embassies spying for A...
    Well, well, well. What do we have here… NZ embassies involved in covert intelligence work for US – reportsNew Zealand’s embassies have been involved in covert intelligence gathering work on behalf of the United States, a fresh batch of classified...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Why David Parker *isn’t* a credible choic...
    The one electoral contest this year that a Labour leader is sure to win heated up over the weekend with the late entry of Finance Spokesman (and interim caretaker leader) David Parker into Labour’s leadership race. I’d blogged late last...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Fran O’Sullivan’s extraordinary column
    Note how the carefully constructed flow chart above ignores the mainstream media’s complicity with Slater and Dirty Politics    I am no fan of Fran O’Sullivan’s politics and would argue long into the day against her on many of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Final salute to Cunliffe
    Final salute to Cunliffe...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • David Cunliffe’s statement
    I am today announcing that I have decided not to nominate for the 2014 Labour Party leadership contest. It has been a hard decision to make but it is one that I believe is in the best interests of the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Cunliffe to quit leadership race – the losers are the Labour Party member...
    That’s all folks   And so ends the first ever Labour Party member/affiliates choice for leadership. David Cunliffe is standing down at 2pm and is supporting Andrew Little instead. What a perverse turn of events. Cunliffe was punished by an angry Labour leadership forced...
    The Daily Blog | 13-10
  • Want to see new Nu Zilind? Read the comments section of Andrea Vance’s co...
    Andrea Vance is no stooge. She is one of the few mainstream media voices who has challenged power and authority, her latest column on the outrageous attempts by Key to use fear mongering to  spook the sleepy hobbits into war...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Humanity calling Government – anyone with empathy home?
    On Friday night groups of Invercargill activists and plain ole people who care took part in the 14 Hours Homeless event – sleeping out in the balmy southern climate on cardboard and couches at our Salvation Army Citadel. It’s a...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Labour, leadership and White blokes
    David Shearer said on TV3’s The Nation this weekend that he appreciated the support Labour’s received from Maori and Pacific communities over the last few elections, but that it was important to again, secure the votes of ordinary white blokes...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Wrong priorities in media coverage of Ebola crisis
    The experts have told us that there is very little likelihood of a serious Ebola outbreak in any Western nation – unless the virus changes so that it can be spread through the air rather than just via bodily fluids....
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • John Key uses the same old warmongering recipe
    Less than three weeks after the election Prime Minister John Key wants New Zealand to join a war in the Middle East and extend the powers of our US-focused spy agencies the SIS (Security Intelligence Service) and the GCSB (Government...
    The Daily Blog | 12-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • RainbowYOUTH: 25 Years, 25 More
    In 1989, a group of young people in Auckland got together to form a support group for LGBTIQ youth. They called it Auckland Lesbian And Gay Youth (ALGY). After 25 years, several location changes, a name change, a brand reboot...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Outdated Oath shows need for Kiwi Head of State
    MPs are sworn in today and New Zealand Republic has written to MPs asking them to talk about why 121 New Zealanders elected by the people of New Zealand and standing in the New Zealand Parliament swear allegiance to another...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Council shouldn’t revenue grab from windfall valuations
    Auckland Council should state clearly they will not try and capture revenue as a result of the latest valuations and needs reminding that the City’s skyrocketing property values doesn’t change the level or cost of Council’s services, says...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • EPMU endorses Andrew Little for Labour leadership
    The National Executive of the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union unanimously endorsed Andrew Little for the role of Labour leader, at a meeting held yesterday. “I have been speaking to our workplace delegates at forums across the country over...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • World Food Day promotes Agroecology not GE technology
    The UN has stated that agroecology is a major solution to feeding the world and caring for the earth....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Labour Names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review. He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Contenders for Labour leadership debate for first time
    The contenders for the leadership of the Labour Party debated for the first time on TV One’s Q+A programme today....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • UN Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme
    New Zealand's United Nations Ambassador Jim McLay on TV One’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • The Nation: RSA President BJ Clark & Ian Taylor, New NZ Flag
    Lisa Owen interviews RSA President BJ Clark and tech innovator Ian Taylor about changing the NZ flag...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully
    Murray McCully says New Zealanders can expect a 5-10 year engagement against Islamic State if we join military action in Iraq and the government will take that “very carefully into account”...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • Lisa Owen interviews Julia Gillard
    Julia Gillard says there is “sufficient evidence” to fight Islamic State and does not think it will increase the risk of a domestic attack...
    Scoop politics | 18-10
  • NZ businesses to make child abuse a priority conversation
    Many leading New Zealand businesses have partnered with national child advocacy organisation Child Matters to participate in the fourth annual ‘Buddy Day’ - New Zealand’s only child abuse prevention awareness day....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Tribunal decision significant for SMEs
    The Human Rights Review Tribunal decided this week in favour of an employee’s right not to work on Saturdays for religious reasons. The decision may still be appealed but the Director of the Office of Human Rights Proceedings, Robert Kee,...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… New Zealand has been elected to the United Nations Security Council, but what happens next? Lisa Owen interviews Foreign Minister Murray McCully from New York about our goals for reform, what America wants from us...
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • 1000+ supported by Te Arawa Whanau Ora
    Over 1000 individual whānau members are leading happier, healthier, more successful lives as a result of eight passionate and committed Māori organisations working at the coalface to help whānau find success....
    Scoop politics | 17-10
  • Nomination for Board Members Now Open
    CRF’s objective is to create opportunities for people from refugee backgrounds to lead fulfilling lives and contribute to every area of New Zealand society. It is an organisation that undertakes advocacy work using the strengths-based approach,...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Anglican Family Care Otago staff to take industrial action
    Social workers, family workers and support staff working for Anglican Family Care in Dunedin and South Otago will take industrial action after their employer refused a pay increase that would keep up with the rising cost of living....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Use UN Security Council role to overcome inaction and injust
    Amnesty International welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the UN Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use the role to ensure the body lives up to its role of safeguarding global peace and security....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Grisham’s ‘child porn’ comments ignorant
    World-renowned author John Grisham has come under fire by advocacy group Stop Demand Foundation, for comments it says trivialises the global child sex abuse trade....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Latest leak of TPPA intellectual property text confirms risk
    On the eve of the latest (non)round of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) yet another version of the intellectual property has found its way to Wikileaks ....
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • New Zealand awarded UN Security Council seat
    International aid agency Oxfam New Zealand welcomes New Zealand’s election to the United Nations Security Council, saying it gives an extraordinary opportunity to make a lasting contribution to international peace and security and improve the lives...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • 40 more jobs lost to cheap imports
    40 more jobs lost to cheap imports Another New Zealand manufacturer is closing its doors, giving the lie to the idea that we have a “rock star” economy or any strategy for jobs growth. Wellpack is a paper bag manufacturer...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs
    Pink Batts manufacturer to cut Christchurch jobs 29 roles are to be cut at the Christchurch manufacturing facility of Tasman Insulation, the company which manufacturers the iconic Pink Batts brand of products. The company is proposing to consolidate its...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Kellogg cereal donations help the Sallies feed those in need
    Kellogg New Zealand commits 64,000 serves of breakfast cereal during World Food Day Coinciding with World Food Day this year, Kellogg New Zealand and The Salvation Army are reaching out to less fortunate Kiwis with the donation of 64,000 serves...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • National Slips, Labour Hits Lows
    National fail to get post-election bounce but leaderless Labour Party crash to lowest ever support...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZ parents hope for more than just happy and healthy babies
    Auckland, 16 October 2014 – What do expectant mums and dads hope for their children? According to new research from Growing Up in New Zealand , a baby’s health and happiness may be high up on the list, but today’s...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance
    NZPI backs Minister’s affordable housing stance NZPI is supportive of Hon. Dr Nick Smith’s, efforts to use the RMA as a mechanism for taking the heat out of the housing affordability challenge in New Zealand. “As Minister for Environment...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • Prime Minister’s OIA Admision Disturbing
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling for answers after it was revealed on Radio New Zealand’s Morning Report that the Prime Minister’s office routinely flouts its obligations under the Official Information Act. Taxpayers’ Union spokesman, Ben...
    Scoop politics | 16-10
  • NZDIA forum press release
    NZDIA forum press release Wellington - The New Zealand Defence Industry Association, with the support of the NZ Defence Force and the Ministry of Defence, will be holding a two-day international forum on October 21-22 at the Michael Fowler Centre...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • BPW NZ calls fashion industry to account
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) joins the call for action on the use of skinny models and mannequins as it is directly affecting the self-esteem and health of many of our young people....
    Scoop politics | 15-10
  • Electoral Commission introduces Extra Touch for Blind NZers
    The Electoral Commission was presented with the Extra Touch Award by the Association of Blind Citizens of New Zealand (Blind Citizens NZ), in recognition of its successful implementation of Telephone Dictation Voting ahead of its commitment to do so by...
    Scoop politics | 15-10
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