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Newspeak

Written By: - Date published: 11:37 am, August 22nd, 2014 - 54 comments
Categories: brand key, democracy under attack, john key, making shit up - Tags:

John Key’s reaction to the revelations in “Dirty Politics” is straight out of Orwell’s classic 1984. Orwell however got one thing wrong – describing the principles of Newspeak he says “It was expected that Newspeak would have finally superseded Oldspeak (or Standard English, as we should call it) by about the year 2050.”  In Key’s National government, it’s here already.

So when Warren Tucker in 2011 wrote – “I notified the Prime Minister,” “I advised the Prime Minister.” “I informed the Prime Minister,” we are asked to believe he didn’t mean he actually spoke to the Prime Minister. When Beverley Wakem’s deputy signed her letter where she says Tucker had “discussions with the Prime Minister” she has now clarified that she didn’t actually mean that  Tucker discussed the release with the Prime Minister. And now we hear from the PM’s spokesperson that when the Prime Minister said that Tucker “discussed the release with me, as he had to under the no surprises rule” he didn’t actually mean that they spoke to each other!!!

Unbelievable – but scary.

Orwell’s prescient warning to the perils facing democracy is why the issues revealed in Hager’s book, and even more in these political and official reactions, are so important. If we cannot rely on the absolute impartiality of the final arbiter on what may be revealed as official information in the Chief Ombudsman, and the political neutrality of the keeper of the secrets in the Director of the SIS, then our democracy is indeed under threat.

Juvenal wrote “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes” (Who will watch the watchmen?)” in his famous Satires. Eddie wrote about it here in 2011, ironically in relation to Key’s comments on another of Nicky Hager’s books, Other People’s War. Some quotes:

Mr Key did not deny the report existed. “I have no recollection of reading it,” he said….He was totally confident the departments were following Government policy. “I have no reason to believe otherwise.”….So, on what basis does Key dismiss Hager’s book. “He said his officials had read the book and advised him.”

Eddie finished:

Hmm. Anyone else see a pattern here?

We can but hope that Rebecca Kitteridge now heading the SIS, and Cheryl Gwyn now investigating the release of Tucker’s briefing notes to Cameron Slater but not to other media are cut from different cloth. We need some independent and  courageous watchers. And to hang on to Oldspeak.

 

 

54 comments on “Newspeak”

  1. Craig Glen Eden 1

    I agree Mike Smith this is very serious stuff, I know you are a bit older than me but Im wondering if you have seen anything as big that rivals this since you have been alive in a political sense. I would exclude big Norms death I am more referring to the challenge to our democracy and political Governance when I say this is very serious stuff.Just asking?

  2. vto 2

    Meaning of “discuss” ….. talk about (something) with a person or people

    Pinnokeyo’s nose is growing at an alarming rate ha ha ha ha ha ha the man has become a joke.

  3. Tigger 3

    Nicely put, Mike. I’m concerned to see the politicisation of neutral posts. The speed of Bev’a reply in this case shocked me. I always regarded her with respect but this was a major misstep.

    Who watches the watchmen? Who watches the Ombudsman? If the office is now politicised then what use is it?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1

      She could have at least waited till “the end of the day”

    • mickysavage 3.2

      The other odd thing is that the person who wrote the original letter from the Ombudsman’s office was Leo Donnelly. I do not understand how Wakem could claim to know what Donnelly was referring to. Maybe he did intend to mean what his words clearly say.

  4. clashman 4

    ffs. you’d think english wasnt his first language. Maybe we need all his pronouncements translated.
    I think from now on every time he says “I” or anyone from the nats says the “prime minister” , the journos should interrupt and ask if they are referring to Jon Key or the prime ministers office.

    • ianmac 4.1

      He used to say My Government and My Ministers. Does he still?

    • Once Was Tim 4.2

      “Maybe we need all his pronouncements translated.”
      Funny (hahaha) you should say that. Back in 2008 I could hardly understand the prick – and I remember reading some of his former ‘banker’ colleagues remarking on his mumble slurring.
      I suspect he’s had some speech lessons over the past 6 or so years. When he’s bullshitting its really quit noticeable (which of course is a lot of the time)
      Lazy speech, lazy mind.
      What we’re seeing now though is what gets most egotistical malignant narcissists. They’ve told so much bullshit, they’ve forgotten which lies were which.

      If it wasn’t so serious it’d be funny as a fart

  5. ianmac 5

    In my numerous decades I know of nothing to equal this. It may have been possible in the past but this time it is the wonders of IT that have changed the risk of exposure. Spoken words just disappeared previously and now Google it, and the words that you spoke are there to haunt you.
    The irony is that Key said last week, “The words that I say are the words that I mean.” Newspeak? (His interview posted today by the Herald in his 4 person interview.)

    This will be catostrophic not least because the World will judge NZ on the integrity of our Government, should the inevitable become proven.

    And remember that Kim Dotcom has something lined up 5 days before the election.

  6. philj 6

    xox
    NZ 100 per ceng PURE!
    Not a good look for NZ Inc. , or our media.

    • Once Was Tim 6.1

      It’s Johnky we’re talking beart goan forwid. What ja mean 100% pure.
      Its hunrid piss end poor your.
      Well you ken prar aid yoose stistuks (Steven Sucka), bit oi ken pra aid yoose jizz ez men eek ken show othwoise.

      Btw Moik – with all this Newspeak, zzzzztheir arse etta fnetuks ta go withut?
      Shoodin bee rock soince ta put sumthing eart. Edge Kay Shun crik you lum could beyunda rivyou. Hoe pflea oik get Heck Yea on toot

  7. Dialey 7

    “As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: ‘you liberate a city by destroying it’. Words are to confuse, so that at election time people will solemnly vote against their own interests.”
    Gore Vidal

  8. Tracey 8

    Does this mean when the pm speaks to obama, its just someonefrom his office and when he plays golf with obama its not really him?

  9. emergency mike 9

    Who would have thunk that the PM’s office was such a powerful entity in it’s own right, separate from the PM. Does anyone know who these people are that are making such decisions about which OIA requests regarding the SIS they will or won’t share with the PM?

    There was me thinking that the PM’s office was just, you know, the PM’s office.

    • Macro 9.1

      At the end of the day — what we will find is that Warren Tucker went to the PM’s office. There was no one there — in other words he was vacant — so Tucker discussed the matter with the office (i.e. the PM) and that was that! Simple really.

  10. RedLogix 10

    Nothing new here. This is how people like Key speak all the time. Forms of words that can be unpacked in several different ways so as they always have route to weasel out.

    Now all politicians do this to an extent – it’s in the nature of the game to give yourself some options to cover the unknowns. Things go wrong and it’s unwise to paint yourself into too tight a corner.,

    But Key has crossed the line between political maneuvering and outright lying to cover up his involvement in a criminal act.

    This is not a one off. Long time readers here at The Standard know that Key lied on his CV about exactly what he was doing in the 80’s in the early days of his banking career. We know that he lied about his exact role at Merrill Lynch, we know that from BLip’s infamous list that the government Key leads is routinely deceptive and economical with the truth.

    We know that Key has been remarkably ‘lucky’ politically – to the extent that many of us suspected he was misusing his role as Prime Minister to source information about his political opponents to his advantage. Yet it is in the nature of these things that ‘smoking gun’ evidence is a rare thing – until today.

    Now we have plain evidence that John Key, and the office whose actions he is accountable for, has been involved in misusing his powers as Prime Minister. And has now lied in an attempt to cover this up. We have the smoking gun evidence on this specific matter – that this is how Key is prepared to act. That on this matter he had no scruples.

    If he has been caught out in this matter then the next question is – what else has been going on? Because at this point there is no reason to give Key the benefit of the doubt. The matters uncovered in Dirty Politics are not uncharacteristic of Key. On the contrary they are entirely consistent with everything else we know about him – smooth, plausible and charming on the surface – and cunning, ruthless and amoral behind the curtain.

    The curtain now has a rip Key can no longer obscure. We have now a plain glimpse of a small portion of what is behind it – and that glimpse alone confirms what many of us could only surmise up until now.

    The question now is – how many New Zealanders are prepared to look?

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      I was going to tweet a link out to your comment above. Would that be OK by you, RL?

    • Macro 10.2

      The question now is – how many New Zealanders are prepared to look?

      That is the question – and I regret to say not many on the Right are prepared to look. Perhaps the scene is just too awful. Never the less there is a chink in the armour. The constant drip of information backing up the Hager book from the Whaledump is whittling away at the perceived strength of the Right. I do sense a left govt – but it will be tight.

  11. An English word that is abused on a regular basis is ‘steal’, which properly describes unlawfully depriving somebody of possession of something, but is incorrectly used to describe the copying of information.

    • North 11.1

      Oh Ugly Truth…….that is a howler !

      And your PlanetKey name is akshilly ‘Pretty Lies’ is it ? According to Trip Advisor – “Planet Key where EVERY word does NOT have the meaning we’ve relied on forever.”

      Worship does not require you make a fuck of yourself every time you open your mouth you know.

      Cuppa tea and a lie down mate…….that’s what I suggest. Remember – “die from embarrassment” is just a figure of speech.

      • UglyTruth 11.1.1

        Oh Ugly Truth…….that is a howler !

        So many idiots, so little time.

        What is LARCENY?

        In criminal law. The wrongful and fraudulent taking and carrying away by one person of the mere personal goods of another from any place, with a felonious intent to convert them to his (the taker’s) use, and make them his property, without the consent of the owner.

        (Black’s Law Dictionary)

        Conversion: Any unauthorized act that deprives an owner of personal property without his or her consent.
        http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/conversion

      • Gareth 11.1.2

        https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com/ad-hominem

        Regardless of your opinion of UglyTruth and their beliefs, and despite the ad hominem attacks, I completely agree with UglyTruth on that one point.

        “Stealing” and “Theft” are terms that are abused and misused to describe copyright infringement.

        They are used to make copyright infringement sound more serious and damaging than it is, as well as being an intellectually lazy way to describe it to people unfamiliar with the concepts. Copyright infringement is a crime, but it is not the same as depriving someone else of their property.

        In a discussion about the twisting of language it does appear to have a tangential relevance.

        You seem to be going off a bit half-cocked there.

        • Gareth 11.1.2.1

          Anyone wanting to play a fun game, have a look at the website I used in my previous post and try to count how many of the logical fallacies have been used by John Key in the last week and a half.

          I counted 13.

          https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com

        • UglyTruth 11.1.2.2

          Copyright infringement does not include fair use of copyrighted material. The problem is that the US doctrine of fair use describes a more restrictive meaning than the natural meaning of fair use. Since the US doctrine is not part of NZ law, the local meaning of copyright infringement is not the same as the meaning in the US, where ordinary copying of copyrighted material is deemed to be a crime called theft.

          • Gareth 11.1.2.2.1

            I don’t agree that there is such a thing as a “natural” meaning of fair use. Not as it relates to copyright law anyway.

            Copyright is an artificial monopoly granted by the state. Exceptions to the monopoly are likewise granted by the state.

            There are certainly different interpretations of fair use in different country’s laws. For example, format shifting is counted as fair use in NZ. In the UK, it is not.

            Legally, even in the US, the crime is not called theft. Only media reporting and press releases by major copyright holders call it that. The courts call it copyright infringement. All courts, including the US Supreme Court, have made the distinction between the two. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copyright_infringement#.22Theft.22

            • UglyTruth 11.1.2.2.1.1

              The natural meaning of fair use is use that is consistent with the principles of equity, since what is fair falls within the realm of equity. IMO the reason the state has a problem with descriptions of fair use is because matters of equity relate to conscience, and the state doesn’t have a functional conscience.

              P.S. Thanks for clearing up the distinction between the media’s description and the court’s description in the US

        • ianmac 11.1.2.3

          Apparently data theft is not illegal because data off a computer is not property in law. Funny that but the finer points were discussed by the legal experts including I think Andrew Geddis or some experts.

          • UglyTruth 11.1.2.3.1

            An essential quality of property is exclusive possession. As soon as data is copied from the original source to another party it is no longer property.

  12. ianmac 12

    Here we are. Panic over.
    “Prime Minister John Key says nothing has changed after a video emerged from 2011 appearing to contradict his claim he was never told by the SIS it intended to release politically sensitive secret documents to Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater.
    Speaking to media outside Mt Roskill Grammar school this afternoon, Mr Key denied the video was a contradiction.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11312794

  13. rob 13

    There is a book called Doublespeak :Why nobody means what they say any more by William Lutz. I am beginning to think they must have this as their cabinet manual, and thrown the real one out.

  14. McFlock 14

    I have heard that when some leaders start to lose touch with reality they begin to refer to themselves in the third person. “Caesar did this”, “the Prime Minister will do that”, and so on.

    But I have never heard a politician refer to his office in the first person before.

    The only thing close is one or two mentions of feudal lords referring to each other by realm, rather than personal name, back in the middle ages. “York vexes me”, “France has sent an emissary”, that sort of shizzle.

    It seems that dunnokeyo has gone beyond dictatorial, and into medieval – which probably explains his contempt for the due process that has its roots in the Magna Carta.

  15. Wht NEXT 15

    Roll Up the greatest bull session since Keys lot became the govt
    The first act The Hair Splitting -what will we say
    The second act No one can touch the Teflon PM
    admissions to the show there will be none just like what will come of any inquiry relating to Dirty Politics
    Vote for the good of Democracy

  16. Wht NEXT 16

    Roll Up the greatest bull session since Keys lot became the govt
    The first act The Hair Splitting -what will we say
    The second act No one can touch the Teflon PM
    admissions to the show there will be none just like what will come of any inquiry relating to Dirty Politics
    Vote for the good of Democracy

  17. lurgee 17

    I suppose one positive is that it means it is impossible to claim Phil Goff knew anything, since if Mr Tucker says he briefed the Leader of the Opposition, it could mean whatever anyone wants it to mean.

  18. North 18

    National Party Conference update – John Key speaking to delegates:

    ” [MyOffice] welcome you to the eighth annual conference of the New Zealand National Party which [MyOffice] have addressed as your leader – the sixth since [MyOffice] was elected prime minister.

    You and [MyOffice] have heard all the tedious lies from the Left about [I] and [MyOffice] The Left says it looks like [MyOffice] told Dr Tucker to release Oil to the Whale and when the job was done [MyOffice] was briefed by Dr Tucker confirming mission completed. You and [MyOffice] know the truth. It was not [MyOffice] who was briefed by Dr Tucker. No ! [MyOffice] was in Hawaii at the time. Dr Tucker briefed [I] and [MyOffice] knew nothing about it. Good People of the New Zealand National Party……..
    [MyOffice] swear !

    Well……..[MyOffice]’ll be fucked ! How petty can they get ? Everyone makes mistakes sometimes – even [MyOffice].”

    Delegates respond with l-o-o-o-o-o-n-g s-l-o-o-o-o-o-w clap.

  19. Once Was Tim 19

    You can be sure that one of them is (i.e cut from a different cloth). She has my sympathy even having to get involved with these arseholes’ antics. I hope she has people looking out for her but I’m pretty sure she won’t take shit and will deserve every penny of her salary.

    There are some real fucking cowards running this junta IMO

  20. FunnyCunny 20

    If John Key died, would that mean that his whole office died and he was actually alive? I’d hate to be in charge of writing the autopsy.

  21. Penny Bright 21

    FYI – this was published on the NBR.

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/national-key-take-knock-post-hager-digipoll-ck-161236#comments

    For the public to have confidence in Government at the highest levels, we must have genuine transparency, accountability and the ‘highest ethical standards’.

    The FACTS that have been revealed through Nicky Hager’s ‘Dirty Politics’ prove that New Zealand’s ‘perceived’ status as the ‘least corrupt country in the world’, is meaningless garbage.

    In my considered opinion, the party political, unregulated Office of the Prime Minister, is completely out of control.

    In my considered opinion, and clear understanding, it’s the supposedly apolitical, impartial DEPARTMENT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET (DPMC) that should be handling OIA requests/ replies and dealing with the SIS – NOT the Office of the Prime Minister.

    Why is no one else focusing on this pivotal issue?

    Where is the ‘Rule of Law’ / regulations / protocols and procedures that are supposed to guide how things are to be done in a proper way at the highest levels of Government in New Zealand?

    How are Ministers to be held accountable to the ‘highest ethical standards’, by the Prime Minister (as set out in the Cabinet Manual), when the moral compass of John Key is apparently stuck on Wall Street?

    ie: No laws / rules / regulations/ ethics / morals – just unbridled free-market casino capitalism at its most debauched?

    How does Prime Minister John Key who has come directly from that Wall Street banker environment, detoxify, and transmogrify into a decent, honorable Statesman, committed to serving the public and the public interest?

    It appears that he doesn’t / hasn’t – and now our New Zealand has been contaminated at the highest levels with these ‘Wall Street’ ways.

    Time for a HUGE clean out?

    I think so.

    Penny Bright

    • FunnyCunny 21.1

      Penny, your the best! Wish you were Prime Minister!

    • UglyTruth 21.2

      Why is no one else focusing on this pivotal issue?

      IMO it is because they don’t like the implications of institutional corruption, particularly that which originates from conservative tradition.

      Where is the ‘Rule of Law’ / regulations / protocols and procedures that are supposed to guide how things are to be done in a proper way at the highest levels of Government in New Zealand?

      The rule of law is not a set of regulations, protocols, or procedures, but is rather the principle that the relationships between free will, ethics, and consequences conform to discovered principles of nature and are not defined by social convention. These relationships are typically expressed as maxims which are known as the maxims of the common law.

      The rule of law is what sets true democracy apart from the UN doctrine that “the will of the people shall be the basis of the authority of government”.

  22. Chooky 22

    +100 Penny…and Selwyn Manning has this to say:

    ‘Government’s Own Guidelines Show John Key Would Have Been Informed Of SIS Release To Whaleoil’

    By Selwyn Manning / August 21, 2014

    “SSC-GuidelinesINFORMATION THAT I HAVE ACQUIRED, sourced from the State Services Commission, states in black and white the tight guideline requirements that must be followed whenever the SIS informs a Prime Minister of any pending release of sensitive intelligence information.

    The official guidelines further cast doubt over the Prime Minister John Key’s version of events that the Prime Minister was not made aware that intelligence documents were being declassified and prepared for fast-track release to Cameron Slater.

    Those guidelines show that it is virtually beyond belief that John Key, as the Minister in charge of the SIS, did not know highly sensitive information was being prepared for release, and to whom it was being released to.

    As such, the Prime Minister’s insistence that he did not know, now looks difficult to believe…The Government’s Consultation Requirement:
    The Government’s State Services Commission (SSC) is the authority that ensures a minister is informed of a pending or potential release.

    The SSC guidelines titled: Release Of Official Information: Guidelines for Co-ordination (ref.) state clearly:

    The Official Information Act has not removed the duty on a public servant to keep the relevant Minister fully informed. It is important to consult with Ministers where release is likely to lead to public comment on a political issue. Consultation over an Official Information Act request gives a Minister an opportunity to comment on any political issues or matters relating to government management.

    It would be appropriate for departments to consult their Minister when:

    requests are received from the Opposition, the Opposition Research Unit, recognised interest groups or the news media especially where the information is particularly sensitive;

    the subject matter is controversial and likely to lead to questions of Ministers;

    facts, opinions or recommendations in the information are especially quotable or unexpected;
    the information reveals important differences of opinion among Ministers or agencies.
    (ref.)

    Beyond this, the Government’s guidelines are promulgated, or formally declared, by the Prime Minister’s office itself.

    The State Services requirement stipulates:

    “Attention is drawn to the guidelines promulgated by the Prime Minister’s office on consultation between Ministers’ offices. Essentially these provide for the Private Secretaries and Press Secretary in each office to be responsible for the managed release of Official Information Act requests by Ministers’ offices.”

    The Government guidelines do not allow a lackadaisical approach to the consultation process, but rather create a REQUIREMENT for all public servants of ministries, departments and intelligence agencies to be bound by.

    While it is customary for politicians to refer to this consultation as a no-surprises “convention” as the Prime Minister recently said, this is a far too relaxed an interpretation of the reality.

    The reality is that the director of the Security Intelligence Service was REQUIRED to consult and inform the Minister, who is John Key, on the release of the intelligence information. No surprises politeness, friendly observance to a convention, does not come into it.

    The communication channels between officials and minister vary from ministry to ministry, department to department. But every public servant dealing with Official Information is provided with their own “procedures for such consultation” as developed by the ministry, department or agency.

    It is known that some ministries, departments, agencies have tight protocols expanding to around 74 pages long.

    There are consequences if a public servant does not follow those guidelines, and ministers are not left in the dark.

    Obviously, departments take this incredibly seriously.

    As the SSC guidelines state: “NOTE: Communication is the key factor which will assist in consultation.”

    Consultation Between SIS and PM’s Office:

    Consultation between the SIS and the Prime Minister’s office follows a strict protocol. It informs the chief of staff Wayne Eagleson, the chief press secretary, the press and political advisor (at the time Jason Ede), and the Minister himself, John Key.

    For John Key to not be informed of this controversial sensitive intelligence information is beyond belief.

    In checking out the practise of public servants observing the SSC guidelines the consensus is:

    This is what public servants do. They build in consulting and no surprises in accordance with SSC guidelines. All departments develop and apply their own procedures for such consultation.

    Minister’s offices frequently push back on information releases, but the department gets itself into trouble with the Ombudsman if it doesn’t apply the OIA correctly and fairly.

    It is usual for those requesting information to become impatient, and for the proceed to take up to 20 working days minimum. And it is usual for the consultation period between the public service and a minister will take at least five days.

    During this period, especially when information is sensitive, it is clear a robust exchange is in evidence between department, ministry, agency and minister.

    Public servants say this period elevates the biggest risk in a delay.
    It is therefore preposterous that a minister would not be informed about sensitive releases.

    Damage Control:

    Furthermore, the consultation period empowers a minister or department to try and get on top of any damage that the release of information may cause.

    Departments often proactively release the information and then referring requestors to the official website.

    With regard to this specific release of intelligence information, it would be fair to conclude that a reasonably minded New Zealander would believe it likely that Whaleoil blogger Cameron Slater was used as a part of the Prime Minister’s office damage control strategy, designed to create a hit on the then leader of the opposition, Phil Goff.

    The SIS Director’s Revelations:

    OIA-SIS-Felix Marwick-9-Nov-2011On the back of this, the New Zealand Herald this morning released an official letter from the then SIS director Dr Warren Tucker to Newstalk ZB journalist Felix Marwick, where Dr Tucker states: “I notified the Prime Minister… that I was going to release redacted documents in response to the request from Mr Slater.”
    Dr Tucker goes on to state: “I informed the Prime Minister that I had informed Mr Goff of my decision to release the information.”

    Release By SIS Director To Selwyn Manning:

    In a report by Nick Grant in the National Business Review this week (ref.)
    I confirmed that I had received the same information as Cam Slater albeit a few days after he received it.
    I had telephoned the SIS’s open phone line as a prelude to making an Official Information Act (OIA) request for both John Key’s and Phil Goff’s briefings.
    As I told the NBR: “My interest was, if I got the PM’s briefing and I got the one presented to the leader of the opposition, I’d be able to compare the two and get a pretty good idea of whether they were the same or different – even if they were heavily redacted.”
    “What I wanted was pretty specific … From that conversation I understood they were preparing information and that the request would probably be successful.”
    I submitted my OIA request on 29 July 2011 and received a heavily redacted copy of Mr Goff’s briefing on 8 August 2011.
    I remember at the time that was highly unusual. I had had dealings with the SIS previously and written extensively about the SIS and my experience suggested it would be customary, if lucky, to receive a response around 20 working days.
    I received the response only one week later. I was Intrigued by a phrase in the covering letter from Dr Tucker that suggested I was well aware of Mr Slater’s parallel OIA request.
    I later contacted Cameron about the issue. I put it to Cam: did he get a tip-off and if so who from. He denied having been tipped off.
    What added to the mystery was that other journalists representing mainstream media were refused the information.
    As I said to the NBR: “As I understand it, the Dominion Post put in one that was very closely worded [to mine] but didn’t get a response.”
    I am left to consider whether my OIA request was in some way used to legitimise the security information drop to the Whaleoil site.

    In Conclusion:

    If there is a public interest element intensifying to this current state of affairs, it would suggest the Inspector General of Intelligence and Security give considered urgency to her inquiry into this matter and deliver her findings well ahead of the September 20 General Election.

  23. Alistair Connor 23

    Funniest thing I’ve read today : This little throwaway line
    Key denies video was a contradiction – Election 2014 – NZ Herald News

    Mr Key said he was “100 per cent confident” a member of his office hadn’t leaked the information to Slater, and he said he was prepared to go under oath on the issue.

    Key is prepared to go under oath to say… let’s see… “I don’t actually know what was going on in my office during that period because I was in Hawaii and nobody tells me anything, honestly, it’s hard to get good help these days, but I solemnly swear that none of them spoke to Slater”

  24. disturbed 24

    How can the Prime Minister be trusted by all NZ now if he lies, or can’t control his own highest ministerial office in the land, The office of the Prime Minister?

    The bungling of IOA procedure , and the leaking of information and collusion came from there or him, so he can’t have it both ways, so he is between a rock and a hard place.

    Penny & chooky both of your blogs are great information blogs. Hang em high.

    Price of freedom & democracy is constant vigilance Mr Key missed that point here.

  25. twistarilli 25

    This article was ++good. Thanks for that.

  26. soon as I heard this new interpretation from our prime mincer ….. it totally reminded me of when
    Bill Clinton, while being questioned about Monica Lewinsky, brilliantly sends the questioning in a new direction. To determine the meaning of the word “is”.

    Here’s what Bill Clinton said to the grand jury about why he wasn’t lying when he said to his top aides that with respect to Monica Lewinsky, “there’s nothing going on between us.” How can this be? Here’s what Clinton told the grand jury (according to footnote 1,128 in Starr’s report):

    “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. If the–if he–if ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is not–that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement….Now, if someone had asked me on that day, are you having any kind of sexual relations with Ms. Lewinsky, that is, asked me a question in the present tense, I would have said no. And it would have been completely true.”

  27. venezia 27

    So Mr Key keeps talking past the interviewers and repeating the same old spin. His Orwellian explanations on the Slater/SIS OIA issue are truly extraordinary.

  28. aerobubble 28

    One aspect of Newspeak was the shrinking dictionary.

    This is what I found in my old dictionary for propaganda…
    …organized dissessemtion of information…
    …sound exactly what the Office of the Prime Minister was doing,
    organizing the OIA request quickly to Slater to produce favorable
    propaganda.

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    Merchant bankers, overseas companies and property developers will be lining up to buy 364 state houses in Horowhenua during two days of “market sounding” meetings starting tomorrow, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Despite a housing crisis and families ...
    22 hours ago
  • QUESTIONS FOR (ORAL) ANSWER- WEDNESDAY 27TH OF JULY
    While Parliament might be in recess, there are still plenty of things that Ministers need to answer for. So the Labour team has put together six of the best questions that the Government should be answering today (plus a special ...
    22 hours ago
  • Andrew Little’s International Affairs Speech
    Tena Koutou Katoa Can I begin by acknowledging: Sir Doug Kidd, President, NZ Institute of International Affairs Maty Nikkhou-O’Brien, Executive Director, who did all the organising for today’s event. Labour’s foreign affairs spokesperson David Shearer. Victoria University of Wellington law ...
    23 hours ago
  • Inquiry into surgical mesh needed now
    The Government must urgently launch a Ministerial inquiry into surgical mesh after more than 500 patients have lodged claims of complications with the ACC, say Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “This is the most widespread crisis involving surgical devices in ...
    24 hours ago
  • Crime on the increase yet again
    Police Minister Judith Collins’ contention that crime is falling has proven to be wrong yet again, with latest Police statistics showing an increase in most crimes, Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “Figures for June 2016 show an increase in ...
    2 days ago
  • Major reform of careers and apprenticeships to meet Future of Work
    The next Labour Government will transform careers advice in high schools to ensure every student has a personalised career plan, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Today I am announcing the next Labour Government will commit to a major ...
    2 days ago
  • DOC struggles on the pest front undermine Nats’ predator-free promise
    The Government’s planned predator-free initiative comes at the same time as the Department of Conservation is facing major challenges to keep pest numbers down, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.  “DOC’s annual report shows it failed on 5 out of ...
    2 days ago
  • QUESTIONS FOR (ORAL) ANSWER- TUESDAY 26TH OF JULY
    While Parliament might be in recess, there are still plenty of things that Ministers need to answer for. So the Labour team has put together six of the best questions that the Government should be answering today (plus a special ...
    2 days ago
  • Unfunded CYF a ticking time bomb
    The Ministry of Social Development is sitting on a ticking time bomb with Child, Youth and Family out of pocket by $56 million despite increased demand for its services, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “The new entity that’s replacing ...
    2 days ago
  • Lack of any real funding in predator free proposal
    Predator Free New Zealand is a laudable idea but the Government has not committed any real money into killing New Zealand’s pests, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.  “The $28 million earmarked for this project is just to set up ...
    3 days ago
  • Andrew Little Speech to LGNZ Conference
    Thank you for having me here today. Local Government New Zealand’s work of advocating for New Zealand’s 78 local councils is critical as we upgrade New Zealand’s economy, and make sure it’s delivering for all our people. Whether in Auckland, ...
    3 days ago
  • John Key must sack out-of-depth Trade Minister
    The Prime Minister must sack Todd McClay for failing to do his job as Trade Minister and be on top of a significant potential threat to some of our biggest exporters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Todd McClay is clearly ...
    3 days ago
  • 45,000 Kiwis sent back to their GPs
    Last year nearly 45,000 Kiwis were sent back to their GPs without getting to see specialists they were referred to, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. “This is a shocking figure and underlines how far the cut of $1.7 billion ...
    3 days ago
  • Half a million smells like pure cronyism
    The National/ACT Government’s decision to pump hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars into a new lobby group to advocate for charter schools shows just how much of a failure their ideological experiment has become, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    3 days ago
  • Select committee changes Kermadec/Rangitāhua Ocean Sanctuary Bill
    Photo by Tom Hitchon Parliament’s Local Government and Environment Committee has made many changes to the Kermadec/Rangitāhua Ocean Sanctuary Bill in response to public submissions, particularly submissions from iwi authorities and Te Ohu Kaimoana.   Read the amended Bill and the ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    5 days ago
  • Housing map a hit as crisis spreads across NZ
    More than 55,000 New Zealanders have used Labour’s interactive housing map in its first week to see how the housing crisis is affecting their local community, Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Our innovative map shows the housing crisis is ...
    6 days ago
  • Bridges must come clean about fraud within transport
    Hundreds of thousands of dollars of public money have gone missing and  the Minister of Transport, Simon Bridges must come clean after the Labour party revealed that a senior manager is being investigated for serious fraud, says Labour’s Transport Spokesperson ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour supports Spencer victory
    Labour congratulates Margaret Spencer for her tireless efforts in challenging the Government over family carer rights, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Annette King. ...
    7 days ago
  • US Warship visit welcomed by Labour
    Labour sees the United States warship visit as a red letter day for New Zealand’s non-nuclear status, which is core to our identity and has defined us a nation for 30 years, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Annette King. ...
    7 days ago
  • Time for honest dairy sector conversation
    ...
    7 days ago
  • What next? Dog kennels?
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett needs to explain why the Government thinks it is acceptable for it to refer families to live in garages and sheds, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This is a new low, just when you ...
    7 days ago
  • Banks bust a move, Government possum in the headlights
    Three of the big four banks have acted responsibly by bringing the shutters down on property speculators earlier than required by the Reserve Bank, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It’s a shame the Government isn’t as motivated to act ...
    7 days ago
  • Latest OECD dairy forecast raises serious questions for economy
    The latest global dairy price forecast shows that New Zealand dairy farmers will not reach a break-even payout before 2019 at the earliest, and will not reach the dairy price factored into this year’s Budget until after 2025, Labour’s Finance spokesperson ...
    7 days ago
  • National’s reckless, out of touch approach to economy exposed
    Today’s economic assessment from the Reserve Bank highlights the danger to the New Zealand economy from a National government that is recklessly complacent in the face of a housing crisis and a struggling export sector, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. ...
    7 days ago
  • GP’s visits get more expensive
      Visiting the GP is set to become more expensive after the Government ignored warnings that people were not receiving access to affordable  healthcare, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Over 400,000 New Zealanders who should be able to access ...
    1 week ago
  • Farm prices bear brunt of dairy downturn
    The slump in dairy prices that has seen farm prices drop to their lowest level since 2012 and down a third from their peak in 2014 will be of concern to farmers, banks and our overall financial stability, Labour’s Finance ...
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank “gets on with it”, National carries on in denial
    The proposal by the Reserve Bank to tighten loan to value ratios for investors shows they are prepared to do their bit to crack down on speculators, while National is still stuck in denial mode, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing crisis holds up interest rate cuts
    The housing crisis that National still wants to deny is stifling the New Zealand economy, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The latest Consumers Price Index shows that all prices excluding housing and household utilities decreased 0.5 per cent – ...
    1 week ago
  • Housing crisis holds up interest rate cuts
    The housing crisis that National still wants to deny is stifling the New Zealand economy, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The latest Consumers Price Index shows that all prices excluding housing and household utilities decreased 0.5 per cent – ...
    1 week ago
  • Govt’s state house sell-off ramping up
    Government plans to ramp up the state house sell-off by selling another 1000 houses in 2016/17 will mean more families in need missing out, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “New figures show the Government plans to sell 1000 ...
    1 week ago
  • Govt’s state house sell-off ramping up
    Government plans to ramp up the state house sell-off by selling another 1000 houses in 2016/17 will mean more families in need missing out, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “New figures show the Government plans to sell 1000 ...
    1 week ago
  • National must reassure exporters on dumping case
        The National Government needs to show our key exporters that they are in control of any anti-dumping case against China before it damages some of our most important industries, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.     ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National must reassure exporters on dumping case
        The National Government needs to show our key exporters that they are in control of any anti-dumping case against China before it damages some of our most important industries, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says.     ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Papers describe litany of incredulity
    Treasury documents which slate the Government’s plans for a national bowel screening programme confirm the proposal was nothing more than a political stunt to cover up underfunding of the health sector, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette Kings says.  The papers were ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Effect of rampant house prices widens
    The latest house price figures from REINZ show the housing crisis expanding throughout the country, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “We are seeing steep increases in median house prices in Central Otago Lakes – up 42.4% in the last ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Public invited to have say on homelessness
    People who are homeless, those who were once homeless, those working with the homeless and concerned New Zealanders are being asked to share their experiences and solutions to this growing issue with the Cross-Party Homelessness Inquiry. This inquiry was launched ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sorry seems to be the hardest word
    An apology from Hekia Parata to the people of Christchurch is long overdue, Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. "As if the earthquakes weren't traumatic enough, Hekia Parata and the Ministry of Education then attacked the one thing that had ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis affecting more than 98 per cent of NZ
    Labour’s new housing map shows the housing crisis is now affecting more than 98 per cent of New Zealand, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “Housing pressures have seen house prices rise faster than wages in all but four ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Uber might not be a taxi firm but it must pay tax
    Uber needs to explain how it paid only $9000 in tax when it earned $1m in revenue and is one of the fastest growing companies in the country, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Uber New Zealand appears to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax changes should have been made 3 years ago
    National could have avoided the international stain on our reputation from the Panama Papers if it had let IRD’s planned review of foreign trusts go ahead three years ago, instead of now belatedly acting because of the Shewan recommendations, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government must stop state house sell-off
    The Government must immediately pull the plug on its planned sell-off of state houses in order to stop the housing crisis getting any worse, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “While Paula Bennett is putting people into transit camps in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Thoughts on Labour’s new housing policies
    The Labour Party launched its package of ideas to fix the housing crisis over the weekend. Their ideas match ours in many ways. This is good news, because it means that when we change the government we’ll be ready to ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    2 weeks ago
  • Thoughts on Labour’s new housing policies
    The Labour Party launched its package of ideas to fix the housing crisis over the weekend. Their ideas match ours in many ways. This is good news, because it means that when we change the government we’ll be ready to ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    2 weeks ago
  • Thoughts on Labour’s new housing policies
    The Labour Party launched its package of ideas to fix the housing crisis over the weekend. Their ideas match ours in many ways. This is good news, because it means that when we change the government we’ll be ready to ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing crisis drives household debt to record levels
    The Finance Minister must be woken from his slumber by Westpac’s report today that says house prices have largely driven household debt to record levels and are rising at a pace faster than other developed economies, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson ...
    2 weeks ago
  • English denies dividend decision made – Joyce should delete his account
    National must explain who is right in the Housing NZ dividend debacle, after Bill English said no decision had been made on a payment for the next two years, in direct contrast to Steven Joyce, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pressure forces Govt to make policy on the hoof
    Steven Joyce’s surprise announcement that Housing NZ will no longer be used as a cash cow has forced the Finance Minister to make one of National’s biggest ever U-turns, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “After years of insisting the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 10-fold more affordable houses under Labour
    New data showing homeownership rates continue to fall and more Kiwis than ever rent, highlights why Labour’s plan to build 10 times more affordable housing in Auckland is so desperately needed, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Labour’s Affordable Housing ...
    2 weeks ago

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