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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got one thing wrong – describing the principles of Newspeak he says “It was expected that Newspeak would have finally superseded Oldspeak (or Standard English, as we should call it) by about the year 2050.”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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  • TISA – Another secret trade deal you may never have heard of
      This post first appeared on The Daily Blog You’ve probably heard of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) by now and the widespread concerns around it but what about the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA) also being currently negotiated by… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    4 days ago
  • Health chickens coming home to roost as Dunedin loses right to train doctor...
    News today that Dunedin Hospital has lost orthopaedic training accreditation is a major blow and proves the Government’s prevarication is having devastating consequences, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Losing orthopaedic advanced training is serious. There is a knock on… ...
    4 days ago
  • $74,000 quarterly rise shows crisis out of control
    New figures out today showing Auckland house prices have spiked by a massive $74,000 in the past quarter is further evidence the city’s housing crisis has spiralled out of control, Labour’s “In spite of constant announcements and photo opportunities from… ...
    4 days ago
  • Democracy for Nauru now
    Murray McCully must send the strongest possible message to the Nauruan Government that New Zealand does not condone its actions given the disturbing developments there, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. “Right now we are seeing Nauru stripped of… ...
    4 days ago
  • Recovery needs more than a rebrand
    Today’s announcement of new governance arrangements for Canterbury seems to be nothing more than a fresh coat of paint on the same old approach, says Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “The Canterbury Recovery has been too slow, with… ...
    5 days ago
  • Copper decision a victory for status quo, not Kiwi households
    New Zealanders hoping for cheaper copper broadband will be disappointed by the Commerce Commission’s latest decision in the long running saga to determine the price of copper, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “In an apparent attempt to appease everyone,… ...
    5 days ago
  • It’s time for hard decisions in the Bay
     The Ruataniwha dam project is turning into a huge white elephant as the economics fail to stack up, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri.  “Ruataniwha simply doesn’t make economic sense when you look at other major irrigation schemes around the… ...
    5 days ago
  • More testing won’t lift student achievement
    Hekia Parata’s latest plan to subject school students to even more testing and assessment won’t do anything to lift the educational achievement of the kids who are struggling, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “New Zealand school students are already… ...
    5 days ago
  • Bad week for NZ economy gets worse
    The bad news for the New Zealand economy got worse this morning with the 8th successive drop in dairy prices at this morning’s global dairy auction, again exposing the absence of any Plan B from the National Government, Labour’s Finance… ...
    5 days ago
  • System failing to protect women and children from family violence
    Last week we called for mandatory child safety investigations in domestic violence cases. This came after the coronial inquiry into the deaths of Bradley and Ellen Livingstone and the verdict in the trial of the west Auckland boys charged with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • Backers banking on social bonds cash?
    The Government is refusing to say what the $29 million it has set aside for its controversial social bonds programme is for, raising suspicions it is an upfront payment to the project backers, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A… ...
    5 days ago
  • Plastic Free July
    Today is the start of Plastic Free July. Since its inception in Perth, Western Australia four years ago, more and more people and organisations from around the world have joined the call to refuse single use plastic products. Nearly all… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    5 days ago
  • State house sell off Bill gives extraordinary powers
    The Government is about to give Ministers extraordinary powers to take direct personal control of selling state houses, exempting Ministers from normal legal requirements and leaving the sale process wide open for corruption, Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The… ...
    5 days ago
  • Cash for charter schools, mould for state schools
    At a time when state schools are struggling in old, cold, mouldy buildings and can barely make ends meet, the National Government is shovelling cash at charter schools which aren’t even spending the funding on kids’ education, Labour’s Education spokesperson… ...
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand needs a wise response to climate change
    Today in Parliament I got to hear from a group of New Zealanders who are concerned for the future of our country. Called Wise Response, the group is a broad coalition of academics, engineers, lawyers, artists, sportspeople and others who… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • No alternative as waste scheme trashed
    Nick Smith must explain how he is going to prevent contamination of New Zealand’s ground and water with liquid and hazardous waste after scrapping the only monitoring scheme and offering no replacement, says Labour’s Environment Spokesperson Megan Woods. “From today,… ...
    5 days ago
  • Flawed system rates death traps as safe
    ACC Minister Nikki Kaye needs to come clean about what really lies behind the reclassification of 18 vehicles in her new motor vehicle registration system introduced today, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. "New Zealanders deserve the truth about the… ...
    6 days ago
  • Tiwai Smelter and 800 workers left in limbo
     Workers at Tiwai smelter and the people of Southland have once again been left in limbo over their future in the ongoing debacle over whether the plant stays open, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little.  “It’s not good enough that after two years of… ...
    6 days ago
  • New twist in state house sell-off saga
    The Government has opened the door to buyers of state houses simply being landlords and not required to provide social services, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The Prime Minister said at his post-Cabinet press conference buyers would not “have… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government fees will hit charities hard
    National’s decision to ignore the concerns of charities will see the voluntary sector face hundreds of thousands of dollars in new costs if the Policing (Cost Recovery) Amendment Bill passes, says Labour's Community and Voluntary Sector spokesperson Poto Williams. “National’s… ...
    6 days ago
  • Four out of ten for Simon’s Bridges
    The Transport Authority’s decision to fund only four of the 10 bridges promised in National’s shameless Northland by-election bribe is a huge embarrassment for Transport Minister Simon Bridges, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “After one by-election poll showed they… ...
    6 days ago
  • Falling consents adding to Auckland housing woes
    Falling numbers of building consents being issued in Auckland will add to the city’s housing shortfall and fuel skyrocketing house prices, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford “The Productivity Commission found there was a shortfall of around 32,000 houses by the… ...
    7 days ago
  • So Mr English, do you have a plan?
    DIpping confidence about jobs, wages and shrinking exports are highlighting the lack of a plan from the government to diversify the economy and build sustainable growth, Grant Robertson  Labour’s Finance Spokesperson said. " Data released over the last week… ...
    7 days ago
  • Serious risks to tenants and assets in sell-off
    Overseas evidence shows there are serious risks around the Government's plan to sell off state houses to social housing providers, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “In the Netherlands – where community housing providers supply the majority of social housing –… ...
    7 days ago
  • Land of milk and money
    Kiwi families are paying over the top prices for their milk and someone is creaming off big profits, says Labour’s Consumer Affairs spokesperson David Shearer. “In 2011 the Government told us high New Zealand milk prices were a natural result… ...
    1 week ago
  • MoBIE largesse doesn’t stop with TVs and hair-straighteners
    The number of MoBIE staff earning more than $150,000 has risen 23 per cent in just a year, Labour’s Economic Development Spokesperson David Clark says. Documents obtained from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment show there are now nearly… ...
    1 week ago
  • English wants to flog state houses to Aussies
    Bill English’s admission that he would sell hundreds of New Zealand’s state houses to the Australians is the latest lurch in the Government’s stumbling, half-baked housing policy, Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Bill English should face reality and admit his… ...
    1 week ago
  • Exports continue to fall as Government fails to diversify
    The Government quickly needs a plan to diversify our economy after new figures show that exports are continuing to fall due to the collapse in dairy exports, Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Dairy exports fell 28 per cent compared… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government inaction leads to blurring of roles
    The Treasury wouldn’t have had to warn the Reserve Bank to stick to its core functions if the Government had taken prompt and substantial measures to rein in skyrocketing Auckland house prices, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The problems… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Courthouse closures hitting regions
    The Government’s decision to shut down up to eight regional courthouses, some supposedly only temporarily for seismic reasons, looks unlikely to be reversed, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“The move has hit these regions hard, but appears to be a… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A Victory for Te Tiriti o Waitangi
    This week my partner, who has a number of professions, was doing an archaeological assessment for a District Council. He showed me the new rules around archaeologists which require them to demonstrate “sufficient skill and competency in relation to Māori… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Tough bar set for Ruataniwha dam
     Today’s final decision by the Tukituki Catchment Board of Inquiry is good news for the river and the environment, says Labour’s Water spokesperson Meka Whaitiri. “Setting a strict level of dissolved nitrogen in the catchment’s waters will ensure that the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for Women and National missing the mark – part two
    The Minister for Women was in front of the select committee yesterday answering questions about her plans for women. Some useful context is that we used to have a Pay and Employment Equity Unit within the then Department of Labour… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Lavish penthouse spend confirms culture of extravagance
    At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says. News that taxpayers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Television exodus cause for concern
    The shock departure of yet another leading journalist from the Native Affairs team raises further concern the Board and Chief Executive are dissatisfied with the team’s editorial content, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “Annabelle Lee is an experienced… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Million-plus car owners to pay too much ACC
    More than a million car owners will pay higher ACC motor vehicle registration than necessary from July, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “During a select committee hearing this morning it was revealed that car owners would have been charged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill will restore democracy to local councils
    A new Labour Member’s Bill will restore democracy to local authorities and stop amalgamations being forced on councils. Napier MP Stuart Nash’s Local Government Act 2002 (Greater Local Democracy) Bill will be debated by Parliament after being pulled from the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister for Women again misses the mark – part one
    Yesterday I asked the Minister for Women about the government’s poor performance on it’s own target of appointing women to 45% of state board positions. I challenged why she’d put out a media release celebrating progress this year when the… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Banks enter Dragon’s Den in pitch for Government’s mental health experi...
    Overseas banks and their preferred providers were asked to pitch their ideas for bankrolling the Government’s social bonds scheme to a Dragon’s Den-style panel, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. Dragon’s Den was a reality television series where prospective ‘entrepreneurs’… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Global Mode bullying won’t stop people accessing content
    It’s disappointing that strong-arm tactics from powerful media companies have meant Global Mode will not get its day in court. Today a settlement was reached terminating the Global Mode service, developed in New Zealand by ByPass Network Services and used… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 weeks ago
  • More questions – why was the Former National Party President involved wit...
    Today in Parliament Murray  McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain Maori TV interference
    Te Ururoa Flavell must explain why he told Maori TV staff all complaints about the CEO must come to him – months before he became the Minister responsible for the broadcaster, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Sources have told… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • KiwiSaver takes a hammering after the end of kick-start
    National seems hell bent on destroying New Zealand’s saving culture given today’s news that there has been a drop in new enrolments for KiwiSaver, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “New enrolments for the ANZ Investments KiwiSaver scheme have plunged… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Straight answers needed on CYF role
    The Government needs to explain the role that Child, Youth and Family plays in cases where there is evidence that family violence was flagged as a concern, Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Arden says. “The fact that CYF is refusing to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prime Minister confuses his political interests with NZ’s interest
    The Prime Minister’s statement in Parliament yesterday that a Minister who paid a facilitation payment to unlock a free trade agreement would retain his confidence is an abhorrent development in the Saudi sheep scandal, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • #raisethequota
    Last Saturday was World Refugee Day. I was privileged to spend most of my day with the amazing refugee communities in Auckland. Their stories have been inspiring and reflect the ‘can-do’ Kiwi spirit, even though they come from all different… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Dairy conversions causing more pollution than ever, report shows
    The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (PCE) released two reports on freshwater quality and management last Friday. The water quality report shows that dairy conversions are hurting water quality and says that despite great efforts with fencing and planting, large… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Employers want urgent action on health and safety
    Moves by National to water down health and safety reforms have been slammed by employers – the very group the Government claims is pushing for change, says Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Relations Iain Lees-Galloway. “The Employers and Manufacturers’ Association has… ...
    2 weeks ago

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