web analytics
The Standard
Advertising

Networks of influence: Key, Peter Thiel & the GCSB

Written By: - Date published: 9:21 am, June 13th, 2013 - 69 comments
Categories: accountability, capitalism, copyright, democracy under attack, greens, john key, russel norman, same old national, slippery, Spying, telecommunications - Tags: ,

So, there is now further exposure of the networks of influence that connect John Key and his government with crony capitalists and spy networks.

It’s not enough that Key intervened in the appointment of the GCSB that resulted in the recruitment of his long time Ian Fletcher, a man with a strong background in intellectual property.  It’s not enough that the Kim Dotcom saga keeps giving information on the links between Hollywood corporates and pressure on the government with respect to copyright legislation.  It’s not enough to learn about the US metadata spy programmes like Thin Thread and Prism.  It’s not enough that we learn that the developers and managers of Prism, Palantir are operating in NZ and working with Key’s government.  Many claim Palantir designed the Prism system used by the US NSA spying agency and the FBI. Palantir deny it, but others claim it is too much of a coincidence, given the systems Planatir have claimed to have developed.

Now it is becoming clear that Palantir’s co-founder, Peter Thiel has had extensive involvement in NZ since at least 2009, the first year of Key’s government.

Yesterday Russel Norman asked questions in the House about Palantir and Key’s relationship with Peter Thiel.

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I would describe my relationship as cordial. I have met Mr Thiel on a few occasions—I would have to go to check exactly, as I said, if the member wants to ask me. I have never had a discussion with Mr Thiel about Palantir or about intelligence matters. He is someone who happens to live a certain period of time in New Zealand. He was extremely generous after the Christchurch earthquake, as is a matter of record, and just because “Noddy” over there does not seem to—

Same old attack and divert line from Key at the end there.

In this morning’s NZ Herald, Adam Bennett shows some of Thiel’s involvement in NZ:

Mr Thiel, a billionaire Silicon Valley entrepreneur and former PayPal chief executive, was “extremely generous after the Christchurch earthquake”, Mr Key said. …

Mr Thiel’s Valar Ventures and Matrix Capital Management hold 7 per cent of Mr Drury’s Xero software company. Mr Drury did not respond to the Herald’s calls yesterday.

It’s not necessary to research very far or deep online in order to find out quite a bit about Peter Thiel:

Business Insider Australia has a 2011 article on Peter Thiel and his involvement in NZ, entitled, “Billionnaire Facebook Investor, Petere Thiel Pours Money Into His “Utopia” New Zealand“.

Peter Thiel, famous for making billions off Facebook, tells us he’s finally found “utopia” – New Zealand.Thiel has been investing heavily in the country.

He’s already made two noteworthy venture investments there in the space of a few months. In October 2010, he invested $3 million in online accounting firm Xero, which is based (and publicly traded) in New Zealand. Then he invested $4 million in Pacific fibre, an ambitious company that is building a fibre-optic cable from Australia to New Zealand to the US and is raising $300-400 million more to do so.

These investments aren’t just one-offs. Thiel has set up a local venture firm called Valar Ventures. Valar Ventures LP was registered in New Zealand in July 2009, more than a year before Thiel’s first known New Zealand investment, and is managed by Valar Capital Management LLC, based in San Francisco, according to official records. Valar Ventures LP’s offices are at prominent New Zealand law firm Bell Gully, which suggests it doesn’t have full time staff yet. Peter Thiel founded two other companies in New Zealand: Second Star Limited, where he is sole shareholder, and Silverarc Advisors.

The people associated with these New Zealand companies, all of them close associates of Thiel at his hedge fund Clarium Capital, show how serious Thiel is about New Zealand. Valar Capital Management is managed by Nathan Linn, VP of Finance at Clarium. On the boards of Thiel’s New Zealand companies are Matt Danzeisen, Principal at Clarium, James Fitzgerald, COO and General Counsel at Clarium, and Andrew McCormack, VP Corporate Development at Clarium and previously Thiel’s assistant at PayPal.

The article also reports on the libertarian philosophy that underpins his business operations. It seems that he can’t set up the libertarian state he wants in the US, so has looked to NZ with it’s open door, “free-market” legislation.

Thiel is very libertarian, and New Zealand already has some of the most free-market policies in the world. Thiel is also a donor to the Seasteading Institute, a foundation that wants to create libertarian self-sustaining colonies out at sea. A popular libertarian cause is the “Free State Project” to get tens of thousands of libertarians to emigrate to New Hampshire and take over the government democratically to reshape the state according to libertarian ideals.

Thiel also has given promising young people financial incentives to drop out of college, in the form of Thiel Foundation Fellowships, as reported in the Huffington Post‘.

Thiel and Palantir (whose software customers include “many branches of the US government, especially in the intelligence community, and recently JP Morgan“) were also in the spotlight for having contributed to a plan to oppose Wikileaks back in 2011.  Thiel rebutted the claims that he was involved in developing cyber attack systems:

[Palantir CEO] Karp also personally apologizes to Glenn Greenwald, a Salon.com journalist who is a noted supporter of Wikileaks and who is specifically named by the document as a potential target.

Palantir cyber-technologies have also been used by the US military in places like Afghanistan.

It didn’t take me long to find this stuff online.

What more is there to learn about the person, who John Key praises for his philanthropy, and who, as with pre-GCSB Ian Fletcher, John Key has met once or twice, but can’t remember exactly when and where?

How much more are we yet to learn about Key and his government’s interwoven US-focused, cyber-spying, intellectual property and wealthy “neoliberal” corporate networks of influence?

69 comments on “Networks of influence: Key, Peter Thiel & the GCSB”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    Has any government body ever been asked to produce a report or briefing on Thiel and if so, let’s see it.

  2. freedom 2

    do we get to know the manner of his generosity after the quakes?

  3. Pasupial 3

    Seriously: Valar Ventures? Named after the angel/gods of the Silmarillian. And that’s on top of Palantir…

    Yep. Also: Mithril Capital Management. I suspect a link between the two Peters (Jackson & Thiel). Especially given that a; Catherine Thiel (or; Carrie Thiel?), was involved in the CGI of LOTR, haven’t been able to find if she is a relation yet. Googling now.

    • Pasupial 3.1

      Here’s something linking Thiel & Weta: “…[The Booktrack] startup has raised $2 million in Series B funding from Peter Thiel’s Valar Ventures, Park Road Post Production, Weta Digital GM Tom Greally, Sparkbox Ventures, New Zealand Venture Investment Fund, EFU Investments Ltd., Stephen Tindall’s K One W One, and others”. Link: http://techcrunch.com/2012/12/17/booktrack-2m-series-b/

      Also interesting is this speech to the 2011 ICI Ideas conference: URL: http://www.celebritynetworth.com/watch/cpyBYsGQWUE/peter-thiel-paypal-talks-new/
      Much of it is typical conference speak (can anyone identify the host speaker, he looks familiar; but I can’t say from where). But once we get past the gushing over NZ adventure tourism, there’s some intriguing comments – the focal refrain is: “Globalisation is about copying things that work, technology is about doing new things” (e.g. 6:43, but he says it a few times).

      More fascinating is near the end (starting 11:49): “…If I had to give one broad theme that we are most focused on; is this idea of computer technology being applied to everything else. And so we’ve had this computer revolution that’s gone on for forty years – it’s been incredibly powerful and robust. But there’s a question’s whether the time’s starting to come to apply information processing to other domains. So; bio-informatics, robotics, [then a couple of less creepy sounding examples]… That’s probably the one overarching theme we’ve been focused on in the last three to four years…”

  4. “Ian Fletcher, a man with a strong background in intellectual property”

    Ian Fletcher, a man with a strong background in intellectual property while working for the British government and oh oops being investigated for contempt for the government of Queensland!

    Thiel just had a nice tète a tète with his Bilderberger buddies in Watford including one of John Key’s soul mates George Osborne.

    But no conspiracies here!

  5. erentz 5

    “It’s not enough that we learn that the developers and managers of Prism,Palantir are operating in NZ and working with Key’s government.”

    When were Palantir identified as the developers and managers of PRISM? Or are you accidentally (or perhaps purposefully) conflating the different Prism application they produce with the PRISM spying system that was made public by Snowden?

    (I suspect Palantir are dodgy as heck. But please stick with facts on this subject lest it be used to paint the left as conspiracy nuts who make things up and so on.)

    • karol 5.1

      Thanks, erentz.

      I was going on my memory that the NSA Prism system had been associated with Palantir on the TV3 news a couple of nights ago.

      I did some checking, and it seems Palantir designed a similar system, and Russel Norman is asking if Palantir are designing such a system for NZ spy agncies. . Palantir deny they designed Prism, others say that previously Palantir had claimed to have designed a system used by intelligence agencies that sounds very much like Prism.

      But hold on a second. This is the same Palantir that the Wall Street Journal wrote in 2009 had “designed what many intelligence analysts say is the most effective tool to date to investigate terrorist networks.” The article describes how Palantir made a tool that can easily scan multiple sources and has been used by the CIA, the Pentagon and the FBI. In fact, the CIA’s nonprofit venture-capital firm, In-Q-Tel, invested about $2 million in Palantir, which is now worth about $5 billion. So in other words, the CIA-backed Palantir is saying its Prism is not in any way related to the NSA’s PRISM, even though Palantir’s Prism software would be perfect for collecting massive amounts of data from outside servers, which is what the NSA’s PRISM is being accused of.

      I’ve amended my post accordingly.

    • BLiP 5.2

      Hard to say, at this stage, exactly what Palantir is up to. At the moment, the firm is saying its just a coincidence that one of its products is called “Prism” and its PR marchants are spinning like tops to distance the company from the recent revelations. Still, as the Wall Street Journal reported a while ago . . .

      . . . Palantir’s software has helped root out terrorist financing networks, revealed new trends in roadside bomb attacks, and uncovered details of Syrian suicide bombing networks in Iraq, according to current and former U.S. officials familiar with the events. It has also foiled a Pakistani suicide bombing plot on Western targets and discovered a spy infiltration of an allied government. It is now being used by the Central Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon and the Federal Bureau of Investigation . . . One of the venture firms that rejected Palantir’s overtures steered the company to In-Q-Tel, a nonprofit venture-capital firm established by the CIA a decade ago to tap innovation that could be used for intelligence work . . .

      . . . given the level of deceipt and obfuscation we’re witnessing internationally, along with the fact that Palantir is looking to embed an operative in the New Zealand government, excuse me if I find it a little disconcerting that concern trolls who are “Green voters, but. . . ” and who are concerned about valid questions being painted as those of “conspiracy nuts”.

  6. Populuxe1 6

    Does it not strike you as improbable that an out and proud extreme Libertarian like Thiel would be actively enabling a government to have more control over the private lives of its citizens?

    • karol 6.1

      Contradictory, but not improbable. Neoliberal calling themselves “liberterian” often have such contradictions. Thiel’s “liberterian” values ultimately seem to serve his own wealth accumulation, and freedom from regulations. Thiel certainly has a curious mix of interests, as reported by The New Yorker. He doesn’t want government or state restrictions, but aims to be the one with most control. Some snippets from a long article that needs to be read in its entirety:

      As a teen-ager, his favorite book was “The Lord of the Rings,” which he read again and again. Later came Solzhenitsyn and Rand. He acquired the libertarian faith in high school and took it close to the limit. …

      Thiel liked to quote Margaret Thatcher: “There is no such thing as society. There are individual men and women.”

      That year, he was interviewed by Reason, the libertarian magazine. “My optimistic take is that even though politics is moving very anti-libertarian, that itself is a symptom of the fact that the world’s becoming more libertarian,” he said. “Maybe it’s just a symptom of how good things are.”

      In 2009, Thiel posted an essay, “The Education of a Libertarian,” on the Cato Institute’s Web site. Sounding even more like an Ayn Rand hero than usual, he wrote, “In our time, the great task for libertarians is to find an escape from politics in all its forms—from the totalitarian and fundamentalist catastrophes to the unthinking demos that guides so-called ‘social democracy.’ . . . We are in a deadly race between politics and technology. . . . The fate of our world may depend on the effort of a single person who builds or propagates the machinery of freedom that makes the world safe for capitalism.” There was little doubt who the single person might be.

      The fortune that Thiel has since accumulated has given him an influential role in Republican Party politics. During the primary phase of the 2008 Presidential campaign, he gave money to Ron Paul, the libertarian representative from Texas; during the general election, he gave money to John McCain. He has raised funds for Senator Jim DeMint, of South Carolina, and Representative Eric Cantor, of Virginia—both champions of the anti-government Tea Party.

      Thiel himself, perhaps out of sheer contrarianism, is uncertain about Darwinian evolution. “I think it’s true,” he said, “but it’s also possible that it’s missing a lot of things, and it’s possible it’s not the most important thing.” Global warming is also “probably true,” but the matter is too clouded by political correctness to be properly assessed. The closer science gets to politics, the more vague and less convincing Thiel’s thinking becomes….

      No technological change would have more effect on the living standards of struggling Americans than improvements in energy and food, which dominate the economy and drive up prices. “That’s not one I focus on as much,” Thiel admitted. “It is very heavily politically linked, and my instinct is to stay away from that stuff.” Such oversights are telling. In Thiel’s techno-utopia, a few thousand Americans might own robot-driven cars and live to a hundred and fifty, while millions of others lose their jobs to computers that are far smarter than they are, then perish at sixty….

      So we see the true limits of Thiel’s commitment to freedom for all and ends to income inequalities.

      This reported by Slate;

      His belief system is based on unapologetic selfishness and economic Darwinism. His most famous quote—borrowed from Vince Lombardi—is, “Show me a good loser and I’ll show you a loser.” In a personal statement produced last year for the Cato Institute *, Thiel announced: “I no longer believe that freedom and democracy are compatible.” The public, he says, doesn’t support unregulated, winner-take-all capitalism and so he doesn’t support the public making decisions. This anti-democratic proclamation comes with some curious historical analysis. Thiel says that the Roaring 20s were the last period when it was possible for supporters of freedom like him to be optimistic about politics. “Since 1920, the vast increase in welfare beneficiaries and the extension of the franchise to women—two constituencies that are notoriously tough for libertarians—have rendered the notion of ‘capitalist democracy’ into an oxymoron,” he writes.

      The technologies that Thiel’s company has been involved in developing for, or with help from, the CIA, etc, are very much capable of being used to intrude on the privacy of individuals, albeit in the name of protection from “terrorism”.

      .

      • Rogue Trooper 6.1.1

        Excellent overview karol, can see where Thiel would like society to head (down); it is becoming increasingly apparent that democracy as practiced in the modern world is incompatible with freedom, while intellectual dwarfs like Thiel & Key et al; want to “make the world safe for (unbridled) capitalism”.

        In Q.4, QT,11.6 Shearer came close to successfully pinning Key on PRISM / Palentir. I believe Key implied that international data exchanges have ocurred, if signed off on, warrants, etc.
        (Shearer really hooked into Key when beginning the Urgent Debate into the Henry Report into Dunne and the leaks.)
        I also believe that in QT 12.6 Key implied that Palentir are assisting moving the government of NZ towards greater surveillance of it’s citizens; Palentir to data-mine like PRISM at a national level.
        Great speech from Norman in miscellaneous business about “putting the security services back into the box”.

        On RNZ, Sir Bruce Ferguson stated (domestic security services) “not knowingly” exchanged intell obtained by NSA / PRISM, that such would occur “on a need to know basis” and that he could not “recall and confirm in the affirmative or negative”, echoing Clapper in the senate committee hearing using the terms “not wittingly” spied on domestic US citizens.

      • emergency mike 6.1.2

        “The fate of our world may depend on the effort of a single person who builds or propagates the machinery of freedom that makes the world safe for capitalism.”

        FFS. So he’s a rabid black or white thinking ideologue with messiah complex. I’m sure this will end well.

      • Populuxe1 6.1.3

        Karol, I think you may be reading the Libertarian fan-boy jargon rather too literally. Their understanding of certain very ordinary words is very different to that of normal, non-sociopathic people.

    • Galeandra 6.2

      No, not if it’s a low tax, in-the-bathtub sort of government which gets out of the way of wealthy/powerful/ ‘self actualising’ elites while keeping the masses quelled so that things can stay as they are. Libertarians like that sort of government

      • Draco T Bastard 6.2.1

        +1

        Haven’t net a libertarian yet that like democracy and the general populace having a say in their own lives. Their all for the rich having a say in everyone else’s though.

  7. Rich 7

    …get tens of thousands of libertarians to emigrate to New Hampshire

    That’s actually an awesome scheme. NH is very cold in winter with lots of snow. Once their new propertarian government gets in and stops clearing the roads, food deliveries won’t get through and the propertarians will all starve to death).

  8. Chooky 8

    Thanks Karol! great investigation.

    Re the 2 Peters connection:- It would be ironic if filming of the Lord of the Rings in NZ ( which incidentally I thought should have been filmed in Grt Britain….Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, by a much more subtle director) should have attracted and unleashed a real live Sauron force into our fair countries midst!

    SPOOKY! ( It sent shivers all down the perches…Where is Winnie?)

    RISE UP THE HOBBITS!

  9. muzza 9

    Excellent article on this subject, again, Karol. Your analysis is outstanding, and like other authors here, what potential might exist, if such insight was available in the MSM!

    Key, Thiel et al, and the ideology these people revere, is not one which folk are keen to acknowledge, or accept, but slowly, the layers are peeling back, and the alter, at which they kneel, will become undeniable!

    NZ is getting a front row seat to the *experiment*, past, present and future!

  10. URGENT!

    No apologies for the length of this post – it contains research which may help in the making of submissions. (If you think it’s too long – don’t bother reading it :)

    ‘Drop dead’ TIME for submissions on both the following Bills is MIDNIGHT (not 5pm) TODAY Thursday 13 June 2013!

    (I’ve checked with the appropriate Parliamentary staff for both Bills).

    Today, Thursday 13 June 2013 is the closing date for submissions on both the –

    GCSB – Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Legislation/Bills/f/b/f/00DBHOH_BILL12122_1-Government-Communications-Security-Bureau-and.htm
    Submissions would be accepted up until midnight.

    Please email to GCSB.Bill@parliament.govt.nz

    _________________________________________________________

    AND the –

    Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill
    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/SC/MakeSub/0/e/d/50SCLO_SCF_00DBHOH_BILL12123_1-Telecommunications-Interception-Capability.htm
    Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill

    Public submissions are now being invited on the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill. Submissions can be made through the link at the bottom of this page.

    The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 13 June 2013
    The bill seeks to repeal and replace the Telecommunications (Interception Capability) Act 2004

    The bill is available for download from the `Related documents´ panel. Print copies can be ordered online from Bennetts Government Bookshops.

    The committee requires 2 copies of each submission if made in writing. Those wishing to include any information of a private or personal nature in a submission should first discuss this with the clerk of the committee, as submissions are usually released to the public by the committee. Those wishing to appear before the committee to speak to their submissions should state this clearly and provide a daytime telephone contact number. To assist with administration please supply your postcode and an email address if you have one.

    Further guidance on making a submission can be found from the Making a Submission to a Parliamentary Select Committee link in the `Related documents´ panel.

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    For background info which may help you make a submission – here you go!

    Reported comments at the ‘post-cabinet press conference’ held on 10 June 2013, regarding the expectation of the Prime Minister for the GCSB to act within the law:

    “The PM was asked if he there was any chance that the National Security Agency of the United States had collected in information on New Zealanders.

    It has been revealed that The United States intelligence agency have been engaged in widespread secret interception of internet communications.

    Mr Key said he could not go into the operational techniques of either the GCSB or New Zealand’s security partners but he expected the GCSB to act within the law. The GCSB did work with other intelligence agencies from time to time but New Zealand did not have a “wholesale reciprocal”of information exchange.”

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL1306/S00064/pm-post-cabinet-press-conference-10-june-2013.htm

    In New Zealand, citizens have LAWFUL rights to privacy under the NZ Privacy Act 1993:

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0028/latest/DLM297038.html

    ‘Principle 1′, of the above-mentioned Privacy Act 1993:

    “Personal information shall not be collected by any agency unless—
    (a) the information is collected for a lawful purpose connected with a function or activity of the agency; and

    Principle 4:

    “Personal information shall not be collected by an agency—
    (a) by unlawful means; or
    (b) by means that, in the circumstances of the case,—
    (i) are unfair; or
    (ii) intrude to an unreasonable extent upon the personal affairs of the individual concerned.”

    s.5 of the Privacy Act 1993
    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0028/latest/DLM297036.html

    5Act to bind the Crown
    This Act binds the Crown.

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Legislation/Bills/f/b/f/00DBHOH_BILL12122_1-Government-Communications-Security-Bureau-and.htm

    Compare the growing attacks on the lawful rights of citizens to privacywith the lack of accountability at the highest levels of Government- Cabinet!

    How can you have ‘transparency’ and ‘accountability’ without proper WRITTEN RECORDS?

    Why isn’t the Public Records Act 2005 being applied in a proper way to Cabinet, regarding the CREATING of records?

    http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2005/0040/latest/DLM345729.html

    17. Requirement to create and maintain
    records

    (1)Every public office and local authority must create and maintain full and accurate records of its affairs, in accordance with normal, prudent business practice, including the records of any matter that is contracted out to an independent contractor.

    (2)Every public office must maintain in an accessible form, so as to be able to be used for subsequent reference, all public records that arein its control, until their disposal is authorised by or under this Act or required by or under another Act.

    http://www.cabinetmanual.cabinetoffice.govt.nz/8.86

    Ministerial records
    General

    8.86During their time in office, and on leaving office, Ministers will need to consider how to store or dispose of the papers created or received in their capacity as Ministers of the Crown (“ministerial records”).

    These papers fall broadly into the following three categories:

    Cabinet and Cabinet committee records (agendas, papers, and minutes);ministerial papers and files;departmental papers and files.

    8.87 The following paragraphs provide guidance on the storage and disposal of ministerial records. The Cabinet Office and Archives New Zealand are able to provide additional advice.

    8.88Ministers also receive and hold papers in their non-ministerial capacity; for example, correspondence with constituents and private or personal papers.

    (These papers are referred to as “non-ministerial records”.) Archives New Zealand is also able to provide guidance on the storage and disposal of these papers.

    (See paragraphs 8.98 and 8.99.)

    Cabinet and Cabinet committee records
    Disposal or storage

    8.89 By convention, Ministers are permitted to retain personal copies of Cabinet records on leaving office. The documents,
    however, are not their personal property. The licence to retain Cabinet records continues only for a Minister’s lifetime, after which the records should be returned to Archives New Zealand

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    MORE BACKGROUND INFORMATION!

    http://techliberty.org.nz/gcsbs-new-powers-for-wide-spread-spying-on-new-zealanders/
    GCSB’s new powers for wide-spread spying on New Zealanders
    Posted on June 9, 2013

    There have recently been a number of revelations about the US government spying on its citizenry and other people around the world (a good summary). Many people have been shocked to find out the extent of the US’s spying and access into theoretically private systems.

    What many New Zealanders don’t realise is that the NZ government is currently changing both the GCSB Act of 2003 and the Telecommunications Interception Capability Act of 2004 to allow similar levels of access to New Zealand communications for the GCSB (Government Communications Security Bureau).

    Current law

    The current TICA law already gives the GCSB, Police or SIS the technical capability to intercept all NZ communications if they have a valid warrant.

    The GCSB can get warrants to spy on the communications of foreign people and organisations, although they can spy without a warrant if it doesn’t require the installation of any device (e.g. wireless/satellite/radio/mobile).

    TICS – Telecommunications Interception Capability and Security Bill

    The new TICS Bill clarifies and expands on these interception capabilities. It also allows them to be extended to service providers (people who offer “goods, services, equipment, and facilities that enable or facilitate telecommunication”) such as email providers, Trademe forums, Mega, etc.

    TICS continues the existing regime where these interception powers can only be accessed with a valid warrant, but keep reading for the new exceptions to this in the GCSB Bill.

    Furthermore, the TICS Bill also creates a new role for the GCSB, ensuring the security of New Zealand’s telecommunications infrastructure. This includes wide powers of oversight and control of how communications networks are managed and implemented in order to “protect New Zealand’s national security or economic wellbeing”.
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    GCSB – Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment William BrownThe new GCSB Bill gives the GCSB three purposes (we’ll come back to these):

    8A – Information assurance and cybersecurity. (Expanded from protecting government communications to a much wider responsibility for New Zealand’s communications.)
    8B – Intelligence gathering, analysis and sharing. (Similar to the existing law except that it adds “gathering information about information infrastructures” to the existing spying on foreign people/organisations.)
    8C – Helping the Police, SIS and Defence Force by providing advice and assistance in helping them execute their own legally obtained warrants. (This is entirely new.)
    The bill doesn’t significantly change how the GCSB can apply for an interception or search warrant, but it does add a whole new class of “access authorisation”. To quote section 15A(1)( b)

    The Director may apply in writing to the Minister for the issue of an access authorisation authorising the accessing of 1 or more specified information infrastructures or classes of information infrastructures that the Bureau cannot otherwise lawfully access.

    These authorisations are granted at the whim of the Minister (although see below) and are incredibly wide-ranging and open-ended. There are no recommendations of limits (other than what the Minister sees fit to impose) and there is no automatic expiry. And just in case you thought that the TICA/TICS law might provide some protection, the GCSB Bill goes on to add section 15A(5):

    …………………….

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/BU1306/S00357/industry-groups-concerned-at-prism-implications.htm
    Industry groups concerned at PRISM implications.

    Wednesday, 12 June 2013, 9:10 am
    Press Release: Internet NZ

    Industry groups concerned at PRISM implications. Call for TICSA/GCSB Bills submission extension.

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation’ campaigner
    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

  11. tracey 11

    Sorry karol but I don’t quite see how this is proof that key has a relationship with Thiel which could then be construed as meaning that Key has invited or knows of a contract within the realms of Prism. I may have misunderstood, happy to be corrected and unconfused.

    • karol 11.1

      Tracey, and Wayne below, it’s just an indication of the networks Key is involved in. We all interact with a range of networks, but it’s telling the kinds of networks that Key inserts himself into most regularly. It’s not about some organised and planned conspiracy, Wayne. It’s more subtle than that.

      It may not seem like much to the likes of Wayne, but for us less powerful folk, it highlights the networks of like-minded influential people who have a major influence on the NZ government, and in Thiel’s case, the US government and its spy agencies.

      In response to Russel Norman’s question this week, Key adopted the same vagueness over his contacts with Thiel as with his contacts with Ian Fletcher prior to shoulder-tapping Fletcher for the GCSB job.

      Thiel’s involvement with Key and the NZ government goes back a way.

      Hamish Fletcher reported this in an article on Thiel in the NZ Herald back at the beginning of 2011:

      Thiel has another connection to New Zealand – the Herald understands he has purchased an exclusive Parnell property through Auckland real-estate agent Graham Wall.

      It is also believed Thiel has privately met Prime Minister John Key.

      In March 2012, ironically in defending the decision to allow Kim DOtcom residency in NZ, John Key said:

      Key said it was “not for me to opine” on whether Dotcom had broken American law by establishing Megaupload, but that the Investor Plus category of migrant had been, on the whole, valuable to New Zealand.

      He cited New York billionaire Julian Robertson, who has developed tourist resorts in New Zealand and made the largest single art collection donation in Australasia, film-maker James Cameron and Paypal founder Peter Thiel, an investor in kiwi accounting software company Xero, as examples.

      Key elaborated on this in his post cabinet press conference, as reported by NBR:

      “Having high net worth individuals come here is a positive, in my view,” he said at his weekly post-Cabinet press conference. “There will never be massive numbers. There aren’t that many of them.

      “The vast bulk of people don’t come in the super-rich category, if you’re talking about how people get citizenship,” Key said.

      A little later in the same month Stephen Joyce announced:

      Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce today announced that United States investor Peter Thiel has established a New Zealand venture capital fund alongside the New Zealand Venture Investment Fund and private investors.

      This promotion of, and networking with, such individuals investing in NZ seems Key pre-occupation. I don’t see him mixing so much with those on low incomes or groups who promote their well-being, except when there’s a photo op in it.

      On Prism, there have been reports that Thiel’s company Palantir, with PRISM-like systems, is now operating in Wellington, is recruiting for work involving the government.

      • Anne 11.1.1

        This promotion of, and networking with, such individuals investing in NZ seems to be a Key pre-occupation. I don’t see him mixing so much with those on low incomes or groups who promote their well-being, except when there’s a photo op in it.

        Precisely the point. Everybody aspires to reach a higher level on the class human scale than they actually are…

        This is Key’s desired level – a wannabe filthy rich corporate internationalist. He’s actually using NZ and New Zealanders to achieve his aim. It’s not about Key wanting to do his best for the country as he claims, but rather wanting the country to do its best for him. As soon as he thinks he’s made it, he will shoot through and we won’t see him again.

  12. Huginn 12

    Key was talking about contracting out government business to Google a few years ago. I found this while I was looking for it:

    15/07/2011
    ‘Prime Minister John Key will meet with the top brass of internet giants Google and Facebook, as well as Hollywood bosses on a visit to the United States next week.

    But before the political talks, Key will make stops on the American west coast for meetings with representatives of The Hobbit co-producer New Line Cinema and senior executives at Facebook and Google.

    Key confirmed the Tuesday meetings were on the agenda in his weekly newsletter to voters, sent this afternoon.

    “The meetings were arranged to talk about technology and innovation issues, areas of co-operation between these two important companies and New Zealand, and whether opportunities exist for investor interest in New Zealand,” a spokesman for Key said.

    “As a Government we are very focused on trying to lift New Zealand’s technological capability. Google and Facebook represent real opportunities to keep and grow our on-line connections to the rest of the world.”

    “I think without doubt both Google and Facebook are very influential in shaping how we work and play.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/5292868/John-Key-to-meet-with-Google-Facebook-and-movie-bosses

  13. Wayne 13

    Karol, As you say it is easy to find all these links of the various people and their activities on the Internet. They don’t exactly try to hide it. In fact they go out of their way to promote it. For instance Derek Handley has just written a very interesting book.

    So why is it a problem that all these people know each other. Of course they do.

    As a former Minister of Science and Innovation I met them all. And some of the initiatives now coming about have their origins from those discussions, especially the ICT Innovation Hub associated with Callaghan Innovation, plus The Base in San Francisco.

    Anyone working in this sector, whether in governement or the private sector, will know all about these links. And a lot has been done to cultivate them to get better connections for the NZ ICT sector with the West Coast of the US.

    And yes they are often quite libertarian, since they all have total self belief in their ability to succeed by their efforts. But so what. Their political beliefs do not come into what govts do. You would be hard pressed to see any NZ science or innovation initiative that has some sort of libertarian tone to it.

    So really your conspiracy theory simply does not add up.

    • Rogue Trooper 13.1

      really, Libertarians and Conservatives.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarians
      reads like anarcho-capitalism. let the anarchists from both ends of the political spectrum face-off = the rise, and rise,of terrorism. The RAF flies underground.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baader-Meinhof_Gang

    • karol 13.2

      Wayne, see my reply to Tracey above. Also, if it were merely about these people being involved in Science and Innovation, then I wouldn’t be so concerned.

      But all these connections are happening in a context were the GCSB & Echeolon network, plus the kind of surveillance systems Palantir is involved with, are raising serious questions and concerns internationally. Added to this is the Key government anti-democratic processes, and the legalising of GCSB surveillance of NZ citizens, plus the way the GCSB under Key’s watch has shifted more towards protecting economic interests and intellectual copyright in ways that favour corporates over the less powerful.

      Thus, in view of all these happenings, I think it is important to to question the connections and roles of the likes of Thiel in NZ. Key is not doing anything to damp down such questioning with his obfuscations, vaguenesses and diversions.

      • Wayne 13.2.1

        Karol, two interesting posts.

        Yes the PM does interact with this group of people. In many respects they are his generation or close to it. He is much more networked into this global group than any other prior NZ PM. His prior job and the level he rose to ensures that. He was involved in the most globally networked part of the economy; global finance and IT. The latter by degrees of connection and their need for huge infusions of capital in order to grow at often exponentional rates

        And a significant number of them are really interested in NZ, often for quite eccentric reasons – the billionaires who visit NZ in their private jet and then bike around NZ as an expression of their oneness with nature – work that one out if you can!

        So he is certainly going to know those who come to NZ especially if they are from the US, where he PM did a lot of his work. In Peter Theil’s case he has actually become a citizen.

        There are quite a few who have exclusive hideaways in Queenstown area and Bay of Islands.

        Yes, it is a bit of an unusual part of the zeitgist, but there you are.

        • karol 13.2.1.1

          Well, Wayne, your acceptance of Key’s key’s nurturing of those kinds of networks is a little unsettling, and doing nothing to lessen my concerns.

          Thiel is an NZ citizen? great.

          • Colonial Viper 13.2.1.1.1

            We’re just so lucky that such a mighty job creator has chosen our little hobbit shire.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 13.2.1.2

          “Eccentric” – that’s a new word for “government policy for sale”.

    • Tom Pained 13.3

      Wayne, it worries me that this infatuation with information technology tends to overshadow small concerns such as checks and balances of power.

      A small country without an upper house [abolished by the Holland government the day before the waterfront lockout after a personal visit from the US Secretary of State not long after General MacArthur considered using nuclear weapons against Chinese/Nth Korean interiors with the intention that radioactive fallout zones would interrupt their supply chains] is easy to influence by people wielding the charisma of a new technology and .. apparently .. a fountain of wealth.

      There has long been a meme on the net about finding a ‘lifeboat economy’ in case of a north american economic implosion, and for many that has been NZ. If I were in their shoes I would be doing the same.

      Are you familiar with Melanesian cargo cults following the Guadacanal and Papuan campaigns? My hypothesis is that something similar is happening here, and, in the spirit of open inquiry, I offer that as a research topic to anyone who may be interested.

      Advanced algorithms are now involved in film-making, innovation, and surveillance. Our relaxed and friendly south pacific democracy suddenly has pretensions of playing with the heavy hitters in the northern hemisphere. Those pretensions may be rudely exposed if there are any sudden geopolitical shifts.

      Karol and others have raised legitimate questions about networks of influence which need answering.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_War#Stalemate_.28July_1951_.E2.80.93_July_1953.29
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1951_New_Zealand_waterfront_dispute
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Thiel

      • Anne 13.3.1

        And here’s another little conspiracy theory that may exercise Wayne’s brain.

        Remember the three (not one but three) soldiers who died in Afghanistan around the 20th August of last year? John Key was due to leave a few days later for a private trip to America to watch his son play baseball. He chose not to delay his flight to the USA by one day so he could attend the official memorial service. This, despite the fact his son was not due to play his game for another 4 days. We later learned he had dinner with some Warner bros. executives in Hollywood en-route to his son’s game.

        I remember wondering at the time if that dinner was being used as a smokescreen for something else – something he deemed more important than attending the military service. Key’s demeanour during that period was odd. His reluctance to alter his travel plans so he could attend the service was odd. The fact that the MSM didn’t have that much to say about it was odd. Quite a few things seemed a bit odd. But of course if you’re planning to have a top secret meeting with say… a group of intelligence operatives affiliated to the NSA, then you are going to behave in a slightly odd way.

      • Wayne 13.3.2

        Very interesting comment Tom.

        Yes, I have seen a bit about the idea of the “lifeboat economy”. I suspect that is part of the answer, judging by the way some of them talk. An english speaking country a long way from anywhere has appeal. And being libertarians, some of them do have a bit of an apocalyptic (spelling!) view of the world.

        Had not thought about the commonality of film, innovation and surveillance, only of the first two. You may recall that Weta Digital got quite a bit of govt support around advanced digital imagery, which I very much encouraged. Mostly about the technology around CGI and the film”Avatar”, and of course the “Hobbit”, but it is a universal film technology. And NZ is now a centre of global expertise in this area, so not really cargo cult, but real value being added. And around 1500 high value jobs in Wellington, which presumably support another 3000 jobs in the general Wellington economy.

        One of the studies I initiated was about the characteristics of high tech firms that stay, and those that leave. It is very much about the inclinations of the founder. As yet I don’t think we have got to the point where these firms will stay, irrespective of the decisions of the founder. The clusters of firms (except for diary technology and maybe high tech yachts) are not yet deep enough.

        And the truth is there are only a very small number of tech clusters in NZ.

        By the way I don’t really buy into Anne’s conspiracy theory!

        • karol 13.3.2.1

          I have long linked film, IT technologies and surveillance. They all link up with the Kim Dotcom saga.

          I think Weta and Weta digital are the big success stories. Jackson’s movies ride on those capabilities.

          PS: And those 3 areas are all part of my academic background, which is why I tend to write posts on them. Manuel Castells is one writer I have attended to quite a bit, on the “Information Age”, “Network Society”, “Internet Galaxy”, etc.

        • Anne 13.3.2.2

          By the way I don’t really buy into Anne’s conspiracy theory!

          Yeah… but the two words got you reading it Wayne and I had fun puttng it together. :)

          • Anne 13.3.2.2.1

            Addendum: you see you tried to fob off karol’s post as a “conspiracy theory” Wayne when it clearly is an excellent piece of analysis work that we have long since come to expect of her…

            I thought I would give you a real one to exercise your mind -one that was good enough to be plausible.

  14. Tigger 14

    Utopia? Not under this government…

  15. tracey 15

    Thanks karol

  16. Jenny 17

    What gets me is that the media, in a campaign that went on for weeks, whipped the public into a lather with hysteric claims of a “Nanny State” over Labour’s attempts to bring in a very mild law to mandate energy saver light bulbs.

    And now we have an administration that is hard spying on everyone and even condoning illegal actions by the GCSB to do it. Treating the whole population of New Zealand as criminals to be kept a close eye on. Intruding into our living rooms room through our computers and into our pockets through our cell phones, silently listening at every conversation. Remotely and illegally monitoring every thing we do. And storing and passing on this “meta-data” as they see fit.

    Not a murmur from the talking heads in the media. No condemnations from ringing editorials in the major newspapers. No stern faced TV reporters interviewing worried citizens in the streets for their views.

    No devastating satire, mocking the spies and the supine government lackeys who give the spies free reign to run amok.

    No instead we are all told it is nothing major, a “storm in a teacup” and other such soothing platitudes.

    And the news cycle moves on. “Nothing to see here folks.”

  17. Mr Interest 18

    http://www.muckety.com/Palantir-Technologies-Inc/5071273.muckety

    Palantir Technologies Inc.

    Areas of interest: politics & government

    People related to Palantir Technologies Inc.:
    Alexander C. Karp – co-founder & CEO
    Joe Lonsdale – co-founder
    Peter A. Thiel – co-founder

    Other current Palantir Technologies Inc. relationships:
    ATS Communications, Inc. – lobby firm
    Becker & Poliakoff, LLP – lobby firm
    Cassidy & Associates – lobby firm
    Central Intelligence Agency – contractor
    In-Q-Tel – investor
    major defense contractors – contractor
    U.S. Department of Homeland Security – contractor
    U.S. Department of Justice – contractor

    Palantir Technologies Inc. past relationships:
    Center for a New American Security – contributor
    Kadesh & Associates – lobby firm
    Patton Boggs LLP – lobby firm

    Additional Muckety map information sources:
    U.S. Department of Defense

  18. Descendant Of Sssmith 19

    Reading this, computers, rand, Silicon Valley……. Just constantly reminds me of this

    http://topdocumentaryfilms.com/all-watched-over-by-machines-of-loving-grace/

    • Rogue Trooper 19.1

      Excellent series DOS (could use that OS, let down by the fraudulent again; pirated OS in my ‘gift’ computer).

  19. David H 20

    And it seems that the NSA even ‘stole’ their Prism logo.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/06/12/nsa_logo_scandal/

    • BLiP 20.1

      Heh! That’s hillarious. I actually miscontrued your comment, thinking to my silly self that NSA had stolen Palntir’s logo for its Prism product. It appears not . . . but in double checking, I stumbled across this . . .

      . . . The Prism logo is slightly more opaque than the one used by the US government’s Information Awareness Office, which boasted an all-seeing eye atop a pyramid, casting a golden light across an adjacent planet Earth. They might just as well have used the motto “We Spy on Absolutely Everybody” . . .

      . . . seems the geeks might be well able to keep John Key posted on my activities by the hour, but lack a certain finesse when it comes to graphic design. As odd as it sounds, I don’t hope the same lack of design skill applies to the PRISM programme for fear that the innocent could end up facing real world consequences of false-positives turning up in some AOS briefing folder. If the fuckers are going to spy on us the least they can do is get accurate data.

  20. Jenny 21

    In 1948 George Orwell had to imagine the technology that would make this level of surveillance possible.

    “You had to live – did live, from habit that became instinct – in the assumption that evey sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every moment scrutinized.”

    George Orwell From the novel 1984

  21. Wairua 22

    Tarpley: “Rand Paul – No Unions, No Social Security, No Medicare, No Medicaid, No Employment Benefits, because that violates the Austrian School” ..

    34:47 at

    http://tarpley.net/2013/06/18/tarpley-at-new-york-left-forum/

Links to post

Important links

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Save us from Ebola, Muslims but not guns!
    For some reason, Americans are terrified about the threat of Ebola, the dangers of Muslim terrorists, but not gunzzzzzzzzzzz.Meanwhile:At least three people have been hospitalised after a student reportedly carried out a shooting at a high school north of Seattle...
    Left hand palm | 24-10
  • Because they wanted a better life for me
    (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.) The first time I saw snow I came...
    On the Left | 24-10
  • Letter to the editor – Key paints a dirty, great, big bullseye on our cou...
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date: Thu, Oct 23, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The editor Dominion Post . On Radio NZ, on 23 October, I was gobsmacked to hear this from  our...
    Frankly Speaking | 24-10
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #43A
    Amazon deforestation picking up pace, satellite data reveals An in-depth look at the oceans, climate change and the hiatus Citing rising seas, Florida officials vote to cut state in half Climate records are breaking so often now, we’ve stopped paying...
    Skeptical Science | 24-10
  • The state of the working class in New Zealand today
    Redline’s readership has, since we began, grown consistently and substantially. At the same time, it can be quite daunting going to a website for the first time and reading a few things on the home-page and then wondering what to...
    Redline | 24-10
  • We can be heroes
    (Trigger warnings apply on this post for assault, misogyny, domestic violence, and bitter sarcasm/flippancy about male perpetrators of violence against women.) This is written for cis-gendered straight guys. I have nothing to say to women on the subject of male...
    On the Left | 24-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #47: Water in Public Spaces
    47: Water in Public Spaces What if we made more of water in our public spaces? Sometimes it is the simple things. People flock to water in public spaces. We need more of it in this city. And in more...
    Transport Blog | 24-10
  • Freedom of information: A good idea from India
    One of the better ideas for freedom of information implemented overseas is disclosure logs - agencies posting requests and responses publicly, allowing performance to be monitored and reducing repeat requests. This is widespread in Australia and the UK, but poorly...
    No Right Turn | 24-10
  • The Age of Cupidity
    I've been trying to publish a post for the past couple of weeks.  Although I have several in draft form, when I try to finish them I find myself overwhelmed by a deep lassitude - an uncharacteristic gloom which is only relieved...
    Te Whare Whero | 24-10
  • De-industrialisation and the prospects for socialism
    Is the world really de-industrialising? by Michael Roberts Last week I spoke on a panel that debated De-industrialisation and socialism.  The panel was organised by Spring, a Manchester-based group in England that has become a forum for the discussion of...
    Redline | 24-10
  • De-industrialisation and the prospects for socialism
    Is the world really de-industrialising? by Michael Roberts Last week I spoke on a panel that debated De-industrialisation and socialism.  The panel was organised by Spring, a Manchester-based group in England that has become a forum for the discussion of...
    Redline | 24-10
  • Looking back with pride – Maryan Street
    Maryan Street joined the Labour Party in 1984, was President from 1995-1997 and became an MP in 2005. She talked to Labour Voices about her Labour journey and the people, events and achievements she recalls with the greatest pride....
    Labour campaign | 24-10
  • Strong and comprehensive
    DEVELOPING “a very strong and comprehensive” Women’s Affairs policy going into the 2014 election is one of the achievements Carol Beaumont is most proud of. And being unable to implement it one of her regrets....
    Labour campaign | 24-10
  • Christchurch’s rebuild should be decided by Christchurch, not Welling...
    Radio New Zealand has an appalling story this morning about the government's interference in the Christchurch rebuild over the new District Plan. Normally district plans are decided by elected local councils accountable to the voters who will live under them....
    No Right Turn | 24-10
  • Turning a blind eye to corruption
    As we are constantly reminded, New Zealand consistently leads the Transparency International Corruption Perceptions Index as the "least corrupt country in the world". And as we are increasingly becoming aware, that reputation may be undeserved. Today there's another nail in...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • Police Association off target with call to arm Police
    Arming our Police will lead to more crime, more violence, and more killings – by criminals, and potentially even by police. The Police Commissioner is correct in pointing out that the Police Association’s recent call to arm all officers is...
    frogblog | 23-10
  • Political interference at Maori Television
    A government-owned television channel arranges an interview with a former opposition MP, but the government-appointed CEO spikes it. Something from Russia or Cuba maybe? No - according to Hone Harawira its happening right here in New Zealand:“[Maori TV CEO Paora]...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • September 14 Patronage
    Auckland’s Transport’s patronage results for September are now out and they show that the city is experiencing spectacular PT growth, growth which is also setting a number of records. The big news was earlier in the week was that when it was announced...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • Maiden speech – Jenny Salesa
    Jenny Salesa, Labour MP for Manukau East, has given her Maiden Speech in Parliament....
    Labour campaign | 23-10
  • Maiden speech – Adrian Rurawhe
    Adrian Rurawhe, Labour MP for Te Tai Hauāuru, has given his Maiden Speech in Parliament....
    Labour campaign | 23-10
  • Roastbusters, one year on (almost)
    March in Wellington against rape culture, from Stuff.co.nz Content warning: contains discussion of rape and sexual assault You can literally get away with rape in this country. You can be a serial rapist, with photographic and video evidence you willingly...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Labour Needs To Stop Saying What People DON”T want to hear.
    A Freight Train called Key: On election night 1975 Bill Rowling said Muldoon's landslide victory felt like being hit by a bus. Oh what David Cunliffe would have given for that bus on 20 September 2014!THE ANGUISH of Labour supporters...
    Bowalley Road | 23-10
  • And if you have to carry a gun to keep your fragile seat at number one R...
    What happened at Canada's war memorial and parliamentary buildings is a pretty bad thing. It should, however, be kept in some sort of perspective. ...
    Pundit | 23-10
  • Beware the sucker ploy.
    A few years back I wrote about the strategic utility of terrorism. One thing I did not mention in that post was the use of a tried and true guerrilla tactic as part of the terrorist arsenal: the sucker ploy....
    Kiwipolitico | 23-10
  • Hard News: Friday Music: An accompanied korero
    I'm chairing the LATE at the Museum event next month, under the title The Age of Slacktivism. We've picked a strong lineup -- Nicky Hager, Matthew Hooton, Marianne Elliot, Laura O'Connell Rapira -- and it should be a rousing hour's...
    Public Address | 23-10
  • 6 amazing renewable energy projects that we love
    Here's a few renewable energy projects from around the world -- ones that we totally love.1. Germany has invested big in solar and wind. And in the first six months of 2012, the amount of electricity produced using renewables jumped from...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • China’s coal use actually falling now (for the first time this centur...
    Coal use in China is falling this year - according to official data reported in the Chinese press.It is the first time this century that China has seen year on year quarterly falls in coal use. The Chinese economy continues to grow...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Can new roads pay for themselves?
    It’s common to hear people say that because roads are paid for by their users (fn 1), we should build more roads. After all, the new roads will fund themselves! At first glance, this seems convincing. But a closer look...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • As a nation drowned in the PM’s lies, sons & daughters were sent to d...
      As a nation drowned in the PM’s lies Sons & daughters were sent to die Meanwhile at home democracy cried But his government crowed Everything’s fine.   Other peoples’ children signed up for his war While at home in comfort...
    Politically Corrected | 23-10
  • Why I am on the left
    (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.) Post by Jem I am left first and...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Minister to attend TPP Ministers’ Meeting
    Press Release – New Zealand Government Trade Minister Tim Groser will depart today for Sydney to join Ministers from countries participating in the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) for the next round of negotiations.Hon Tim Groser Minister of Trade 24 October 2014...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    Press Release – The Nation This weekend on The Nation with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • Agri-Food Producers Call for Strong Outcomes through the TPP
    Press Release – Federated Farmers International Agricultural and Agri-Food Producers Call for Strong Outcomes through the TPP At the round of Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) negotiations taking place this week in Australia, agri-food producer and processor groups from Canada, Australia …International...
    Its our future | 23-10
  • Grant Robertson is not as much like Joseph Stalin as some would have you th...
    It’s not often you see a New Zealand political figure compared favourably to Stalin, but this is what Chris Trotter has done to that decidedly non-genocidal non-lunatic Grant Robertson.  ...
    Pundit | 23-10
  • Food, Fossil Fuels and Filthy Finance
    It is depressingly apparent that powerful forces in the global economy are set to carry on with the exploration for and use of fossil fuels ass a primary source of energy for decades to come. Oxfam has produced a report...
    Hot Topic | 23-10
  • 2014 Arctic sea ice extent – 6th lowest in millennia
    The National Snow and Ice Data Center has reported that this year we saw the 6th-lowest minimum Arctic sea ice extent on record. Research has shown that most of the long-term decline in sea ice, or the “death spiral” as...
    Skeptical Science | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    Today I made my oral submission to the Environmental Protection Authority on Chatham Rock Phosphate’s application to mine phosphate from the seabed approximately halfway between the mainland and the Chatham Island. In a nutshell this application is for the deepest...
    frogblog | 23-10
  • Surrounded sex offender still won’t come down from roof
    While they would still appreciate him coming down, police say they’re confident the man has “nowhere to hide.” After an agonising 54-year wait, it is beginning to appear as though a notorious sex offender dressed as Santa may not, in...
    The Civilian | 23-10
  • Stuart’s 100 #46 On the Way or Already There?
    46: On the Way or Already There? What if we dropped the pseudo-word “roading” from Auckland’s vernacular? Roads are on the way somewhere; streets are already somewhere. This simple difference in understanding and perspective between movement and place often results...
    Transport Blog | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    frogblog | 23-10
  • More police misconduct
    Another day, another IPCA report - this one into a police officer who unjustifiably set a police dog to savage a surrendering suspect:A police dog was set on a man who had his hands in the air in what is...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • Media Link: The revolution will not be televised.
    I had the opportunity to do a long interview with Olivier Jutel, host of the Dunedin Radio One show “The revolution will not be televised.” It is a rare occasion when one gets to converse at length about a variety...
    Kiwipolitico | 23-10
  • Key spoke to Cameron Slater ‘not as Prime Minister’, but as a sponge
    Cameron Slater (left), and John Key (right), presumably in his capacity as a kitchen sponge. Facing fresh criticism about the details of his relationship with Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater, Prime Minister John Key today claimed that, on the occasions...
    The Civilian | 23-10
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Musa Kart is a Turkish cartoonist. In February he published a cartoon criticising Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's cover-up of a corruption probe. Now, he's being prosecuted for it:Turkish prosecutors have filed an indictment against a famous cartoonist working for...
    No Right Turn | 23-10
  • Workers’ rights under attack
    Now that 51st Parliament has been officially opened and sworn in, the government’s first order of business is to ram through an amendment to the Employment Relations Act. These legislative changes represent a massive assault on the rights of everyday...
    On the Left | 23-10
  • Assaulted for protecting olive trees
    Villagers and activists were assaulted, handcuffed and hospitalized today while protecting olive trees at the site of a proposed coal plant in Turkey.The Kolin Group wants the olive trees cut down to make way for a new coal power plant....
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Shell Oil Cowboys Caught Drilling Illegally in New Zealand
    “There be trouble in town sheriff, some cowboys is coming into town”. It could be a line from a grainy old western from our childhood (well, mine anyway) when the good, clean living people of a well to do town...
    Greenpeace NZ blog | 23-10
  • Freedom of information: How it works in Norway
    While we're all wailing and gnashing our teeth about the corruption of our Official Information Act, the Open Government Partnership has a great piece on how Norway does it better. Key to their approach is proactive publication of the metadata...
    No Right Turn | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    CTU | 22-10
  • There appears to be an off button
    John Key’s ability to turn his Prime Ministership on or off as he pleases raises a number of troubling issues for the general public....
    Imperator Fish | 22-10
  • National’s failed commodities export strategy exposed
    National's strategy to rely on commodities such as milk powder and logs has been exposed in the September trade figures released today, the Green Party said."National's strategy to hang all economic hope on exporting ever-increasing volumes of milk powder and...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Caution needed on calls to arm police
    There is no justification for routinely arming our police and doing so would change forever the way officers interact with their communities, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “As one of the few organisations distinguished by its unarmed status,...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Govt strains to get tea break law through
    The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“National desperately...
    Labour | 23-10
  • How low can you go? Mining the depths
    The company says there will be economic benefits, which the EEZ Act says the EPA must consider, but even these benefits are in doubt. The royalties while not set will be tiny, the profits will flow offshore, and whatever phosphate...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Fed Farmers defend GE Agriculture
    Federated Farmers, which represents a minority of farmers, appears to be captured by a pro-GE clique hell bent on increasing unsustainable technologies for the benefit of the herbicide and patent controlling seed companies. That there are better more sustainable farming...
    Greens | 23-10
  • Government loses the affordable housing race
    Nick Smith is dreaming if he thinks he can deliver affordable housing to Cantabrians on his current figures, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “The Minister’s announcement that the Government will build 237 new homes, most of which will...
    Labour | 23-10
  • Labour’s thoughts with Canadians
    Labour has offered its sympathies to the family and friends of the Canadian soldier who died in what appears to be a premeditated and unprovoked attack while standing at guard at the Ottawa National War Memorial. “Our thoughts are also...
    Labour | 23-10
  • What next for TVNZ? Outsourcing the news?
    Television New Zealand’s decision to outsource Māori and Pacific programming is a real blow to the notion that our state broadcaster is a public broadcaster, says Labour. “CEO Kevin Kenrick has said today that TVNZ has ‘a very long and...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Green Party expresses sympathy for Canadian shooting victims
    The Green Party expressed its solidarity with Canadians and the Canadian Parliament today, offering its sympathy for family and friends of the soldier killed in the attack. "Our thoughts are with all those caught up in the shooting in Canada...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Prime Minister must honour his promise
    It’s time for John Key to honour his promise to the Pike River families, says Labour MP Damien O’Connor.  “International mine experts have confirmed the view of WorkSafe New Zealand and many miners on the West Coast that it is...
    Labour | 22-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health about Katherine Rich’s c...
    KEVIN HAGUE to the Minister of Health : Is he satisfied that there is no conflict of interest in the head of the Food and Grocery Council, Katherine Rich, being a board member of the Health Promotion Agency; if so,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Kennedy Graham to the Prime Minister on the Deployment of New Zealand Speci...
    Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that the risks to New Zealand from any commitment of military assistance to counter Islamic State militants in Iraq would be "no greater than I think the...
    Greens | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • 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
  • Kevin Hague speaks in the 2014 Address and Reply debate
    Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker, and, like others, can I begin my contribution by congratulating you and the others in the Speaker's team: the Rt Hon David Carter, Lindsay Tisch, and the Hon Trevor Mallard. I also want...
    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
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • 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
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • 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
Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere