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Nick Smith and the Ruataniwha dam

Written By: - Date published: 8:24 am, September 19th, 2013 - 37 comments
Categories: Conservation, Environment, water - Tags:

 

NickSmith forked tongueNick Smith is in trouble.  He has a lot of explaining to do to show how he has not misread misled Parliament.

The background is that the Hawkes Bay Regional Council has a grandiose plan to construct a dam to provide water for irrigation.  There are concerns that the dam could have a major adverse effect on the Tukituki River and its water quality may be devastated by increased nutrient run off.

Water quality is a major responsibility of the Department of Conservation.  Under section 6 of the Conservation Act 1987 one of its functions is “to preserve so far as is practicable all indigenous freshwater fisheries, and protect recreational freshwater fisheries and freshwater fish habitats”.  You would think that the potential devastation of a significant river would fall within this.  There is also DOC land that would be directly affected by construction of the dam.

The original 32 page draft submission said that the proposal is a risky and untested approach to water management which could kill the rivers involved.  It also said the risks of the dam project had not been fully assessed, and there was an inadequate management plan for potentially high impact effects on rivers.  It was replaced with a 2 paragraph submission that did not refer to these concerns and was neutral on the proposal.

The intensification of agriculture which will occur as a result of the dam means that much greater stock numbers will be possible.  This will mean much more effluent, and a significant rise in the amount of nitrates leeching into aquifers and streams through their urine and fertiliser use.

Hawke’s Bay Regional Council is suggesting that phosphates only and not nitrates have to be controlled.  It has proposed in Plan Change 6 an increase in nitrates, get this, of up to 500% on current levels in the Tukituki and Waipawa rivers and tributaries to what are described as toxic levels.

The problem with DOC’s position is that it is abdicating its responsibility to protect the environment and there are a distinct lack of Public Authorities advocating for protection.  The Hawkes Bay Regional Council has stated optimistically that the proposed dam “would take pressure off the Tukituki River in the summer months and potentially return it to naturalised flows. This would improve the water quantity and quality of the Tukituki River, which would be great news for the environment and recreational users.”  But there is no mention on the damage caused by increased nitrate levels.

The timing of the change to DOC’s submission and Nick Smith’s role in this will no doubt be investigated as will his recent statement to Parliament.  On September 17, 2013 in a point of order he said “[t]he member has claimed in the question that I had access to a report that I did not do so until I heard it on Radio New Zealand National this morning.”  He then said outside ParliamentI did not know that this draft document even existed until this morning. And to have accusations that somehow I have covered up its existence – it is somewhat difficult to cover something up when you didn’t even know it existed.”

This morning on Morning Report details of an email amongst senior managers leaked to Peter Fowler were disclosed.  The email, sent on July 29, 2013, said that Smith wanted to see DoC’s submission before it was lodged with the Board of Inquiry.

Smith fronted on Morning Report and in typical style answered questions with extreme confidence but there is a distinct smell about this.

He confirmed that on July 29 he was told that DOC had to finalise its submission on the Dam and that he asked to see the submission before it went in.  He then received a full briefing (20 pages) with details on why the Department had decided not to submit on the nutrient issue.

An environmentally hazardous proposal supported by the farming lobby is initially opposed by DOC, Smith asks to see the submission, it is then changed dramatically and he denies any knowledge of it.  This smells.

No doubt more questions will be asked.  But how a Minister could ask to see a report, receive a 20 page briefing on it, deny all knowledge about its existence and then claim he has not misled is beyond me.

UPDATE:  Question time this afternoon should be interesting.  Questions include:

Hon RUTH DYSON to the Minister of Conservation: Has he ever seen or received a submission or draft submission from the Department of Conservation regarding the Hawke’s Bay Regional Council Plan Change 6, which paves the way for the Ruataniwha Dam proposal, which is critical of it?

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN to the Minister of Conservation: Does he stand by his statement “No, I did not” when asked in this House whether he gave any indication to the Department of Conservation on the direction or content of its submission on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal?

37 comments on “Nick Smith and the Ruataniwha dam”

  1. alwyn 1

    Good try Micky but this is, I fear another b.s. beat-up by Radio Pravda.
    All you can say is that the Minister was told on the Monday that the Department was to put in a submission on the Friday of the week concerned and that there was some debate in the Department about what the submission should consider.
    He asked that he recieve a full briefing before the submission was made. The Department would then appear to have briefed him and shown him the two paragraph submission that they were going to submit. That is all he saw and he was never shown the draft that had been floating around the lower reachs of DOC. Ministers do not, after all, see every bit of paper produced by a department of about 1800 people.
    Incidentally you may be guilty of the thing you are blaming Nick Smith for.
    In the first paragraph you say “he must show how he has not MISREAD Parliament” .
    I think you have been misreading the evidence and that Nick has not MISLEAD Parliament.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Thanks Alwyn. Have corrected. Obviously the coffee had not kicked in properly.

      But please reconcile this for me.

      You said

      That is all he saw and he was never shown the draft that had been floating around the lower reachs of DOC

      But he did not deny ever reading the draft. He denied even knowing that the document existed.

      Don’t you agree that the two statements are not reconcilable?

      • alwyn 1.1.1

        I don’t see why they should be irreconcilable. If you ask for a briefing by the department, and say you want to see the department’s submission then that is what you are going to be shown. It’s entirely reasonable for you to ask for it of course under the “no surprises” doctrine.
        If Smith was given a briefing on the project, and shown the final version of the submission, why should he even suspect that there was an abandoned draft that had been prepared. I can easily believe that he didn’t know that some other opinion had been floating around.
        Have you ever, in your work, been asked to prepare an opinion, done a draft, modified it and come to a quite different view to the one in the first draft. Would you have shown all the versions, or only the final one, to the ultimate recipient?
        As far as the word goes I thought it was funny. I do it all the time, even when I have had enough cups of coffee to almost give me the shakes.

        • mickysavage 1.1.1.1

          He was given a 20 page report on the matter which included the 2 paragraph final submission and must have included some background into the earlier submission about water quality. He then denied any knowledge of the earlier submission.

          Seems pretty clear to me.

        • framu 1.1.1.2

          “But he did not deny ever reading the draft. He denied even knowing that the document existed.”

          smiths own words and actions condem him here, and all we can go own is his words and actions – no one but smith can read his mind

          if he had said “i asked for, and saw the draft but the extra detail is new to me” then hes got an argument – but hes not saying anything like that is he, and the emails dont even support that rather generous re-framing of his own words

          now, he might have slipped up in his initial statement – but he still standing by it – so he is telling porkies, or cant figure out why his first statement isnt very accurate.

          neither of which is really acceptable from someone in his position

          Considering the guy has a record of telling outright lies, deliberate mis-information, manufacturing false crises and didnt see any problem with using his official standing to influence ACC – im picking hes telling porkies

    • bad12 1.2

      So when DOC’s Dorris Johnson sent out the email to various senior managers requesting that a copy of the draft submission be sent to Nick Smith you are suggesting that that draft was either not sent or not received,

      Wonder what Dorris is going to say when asked who asked for or why She wanted the draft of the submission sent to Smith..

      • bad12 1.2.1

        My apologies to Doris for the mis-spell, Doris Johnston is DOC’s Deputy Director- General, not quite ‘the lower reaches of DOC’ as suggested above…

      • Pascal's bookie 1.2.2

        Exactly, here’s what the email said:

        Hello,

        The minister wants to see the submission we are proposing to make on the Ruataniwha before it is lodged.

        I suggest you send it over tomorrow for him to consider the draft and also attach the briefing note you provided me.

        I am in Hamilton tomorrow but back on Wednesday. He is concerned and is likely to query whether we leave it all to the EPA to consider.

        The Minister isn’t wanting a briefing on the subnission, he wants to see the submission.

        • Ad 1.2.2.1

          …and there it is. That’s the next best thing to the Minister’s signature.

          It’s well overdue time for Smith to go.

          Let’s see if the new labour lineup can attack and win.

          Time to merge DoC with Ministry for the Environment and get some policy teeth back into conserving New Zealand.

  2. Chrissy 2

    Nick Smith is the most useless Minister of Conservation, ever.

    • Janice 2.1

      Nick Smith has been the most useless member of parliament since he entered as a young boy. He now appears to have spent those many useless years in Bellamy’s.

      • bad12 2.1.1

        i was particularly impressed with the ‘performance’ Nick gave after being made Deputy to the then Leader Doctor Dullard Don Brash,

        Unconfirmed and possibly malicious gossip at the time said that Nick got such a rush of power to His head that He immediately went into hyper-drive barking orders at all and sundry in the halls of the Parliament including Labour MP’s,

        Far from suggesting that Nick should be removed by the Doctors in charge, He does have ‘humor value’ after-all, i would tho think for community safety reasons Nick should possibly be shadowed where-ever He may roam by the men in white coats…

      • Greywarbler 2.1.2

        He has the red faced bloated look that I associate with people who have had a too extended and continual alcohol intake.

  3. Greywarbler 4

    Nick Smith seemed to be doing something right a while ago, though now I can’t remember what it was. Because I’m numb from the implications of this business over the dam. And that’s added to the extension of mining and drilling options and the chortling about income and prosperity.

    I think that the names of the people most involved in this decision should be noted for future consideration if anything happens that destroys even parts of our natural resources. The grinning assassins of the government need their bare bottoms tanned and their foreheads tattooed for thinking about this, and when something goes wrong reparation from them personally should be demanded.

  4. Kevin Welsh 5

    I live in Hawkes Bay and I object to this for two simple reasons, although there are many more, more valid ones.

    1. Public money being spent to add value to only a handful of privately owned businesses; and

    2. “There is a reason they don’t have dairy farms in the south of Italy”. And so it goes with the area this dam is supposed to irrigate. All it will do is continue to encourage farmers to grow crops (that would otherwise be unsustainable if there was no dam) or convert to dairy, in an area that gets burnt to a crisp almost every summer. I see this as I travel regularly to Palmerston North and SH50 is the road I travel on.

  5. grumpy 6

    …and…as if to prove the agreement between CV and myself yesterday that “cronyism” is a disease not confined to political spectra, here the mighty Whale rips Nick a new one, far more brutally than the left thus far.

    http://www.whaleoil.co.nz/2013/09/docs-submission-dodgy-socialist-dam/

  6. Sable 7

    Oh dear, trouble in paradise with Whale blubber renouncing its Tory Gods.

    Love the comment about a “Socialist Dam”, whatever that actually means? Do we all sites around the dam singing the Internationale whilst waving red flags. Pure nonsense.

    • grumpy 7.1

      I think you will find it fits in with his crusade against “socialism for farmers”…..

      • Pascal's bookie 7.1.1

        Also, Smith doesn’t exactly square with the Lusk vision for the National Party. Hawke’s Bay sources indeed.

  7. Rogue Trooper 8

    Stab the puff-adder. Even an unrepentant reptile like Nick Smith must be aware of the importance of the Heretaunga aqifers and rivers to the broader Horticultural economy and, more importantly, the people who choose to live in the beautiful Hawkes Bay. The superphosphate that the sheep and cow cockies have been dumping on for 100 years has accumulated to be released continuously for the next 100 already. Talked with friend of Lou Crasborn this morning; Horticulturalists are ropable.

  8. Murray Olsen 9

    Great work by the Greens to uncover this. I can’t imagine the number of government scandals that will come to light once we have a fully functioning opposition.

    As for WhaleSpew and his aversion to a socialist dam – isn’t that where he shoots defenceless creatures with his Machiavellian mate Lusk? Maybe some farmer wouldn’t let him on his land after he left gates open or some other townie rubbish. Who knows?

  9. tc 10

    Yup it’s all about keeping the backers happy and smith is an accomplished performer (ACC beatup etc) that’s why Shonky had to get him back as Aya Tolley, Wilko just not in the same league with much needing to be done.

    Never mind the world class wines and other fine produce the HB provides you may be putting at risk as long as a few fed farmers members are happy.

  10. outofbed 11

    I know Mr Smith quite well

    Never ever believe anything he says

  11. Athena 12

    I reckon the problem is at the senior management level of DOC. National have stacked DOC with pro development types, like Al Morrison and they are the people who let the general DOC staff do the work on submissions, but then stop those submissions ever getting out (unless leaked). It is senior management against the rest of the staff, so Nick Smith can keep his hands clean. I would like to know if any of the senior management have relevant scientific qualifications. Good work by Mary Wilson on Checkpoint interviewing Doris Johnston.

    • Rogue Trooper 12.1

      yes, according to Doris , (to paraphrase her evasiveness) ” DOC are prepared to accept the existing risk assessment probability that the TukiTuki will become toxic as they continue to trial the single nutrient model around other catchments in the country as it’s catchment is deemed of only ‘medium value’ while they do have sufficient resources to carry out a full assessment at an estimated cost of “a couple of hundred thousand”.
      We, and our children Thank You Very Much, Doris .

  12. tricledrown 13

    Lizard eyes smiths tuesday ‘s answers to questions on morning report are at odds with this mornings answers.
    On Tuesday smith claimed to objection to the dam being built because of nitrgen run off.
    Was the work of one man with an agenda and no expertise in this area.
    Now it is a team of 3 highly qualified enviromental scientists.
    Lizard eyes wasn’t expecting a leak.Obviously!

  13. RedBaronCV 14

    Wasn’t there something in one of the papers the other day about the pro dam farmers financing a slate of candidates for the HBRC. Suppose if that doesn’t work we’ll get another Ecan.

  14. Tracey 15

    i heard doris on checkpoint last night. i am not sure she really addressed the tomorrow part of her email. however i got out of the car, did she blame an employee for not following her instruction?

  15. Pascal's bookie 16

    Oh dear, all yesterday’s spin just went ‘poof’ and disappeared in a cloud of bureaucratic reporting fastiduousness :


    But a report from the meeting released to 3 News shows Mr Smith was given a short briefing about the direction of the submission including the, “potential effect of the proposed nutrient limits and targets on the freshwater values in the Tukituki catchment”.

    After the briefing, Mr Smith raised concerns and requested more information, which according to an email trail, appears to have prompted senior managers to express concern also.

    The next day the 32-page submission was scrapped and replaced by a two paragraph submission approved by the Minister.

    Read more: http://www.3news.co.nz/Smith-knew-about-draft-dam-submission/tabid/1607/articleID/314011/Default.aspx#ixzz2fNHzCpgL

  16. Tracey 17

    … but the queen is keys new best friend, she wldnt holiday with a liar?

  17. Rosie 18

    Maybe Smith, in true Nat ministerial style, is making a habit of sweeping the advice of concerned relevant departments under the carpet.

    I’m currently borrowing a copy of Forest and Bird, Issue 349, Aug ’13. There is article after article describing the many ways in which the Nat govt is fucking up the environment. (my terminology, not theirs)

    “Conflict of values” is one article in particular relating to Smith’s anti environment behaviour. The discussion is about the decision to grant “mining company Bathurst Resources access arrangements necessary for it’s bid to develop a mine on Denniston Plateau……….”

    “furthermore, Dr Smith’ decision lies in contrast to the ecological advice of his own department. DOC’s 246 page report on Bathurst’s application for access arrangements (dated May 6, 2013) does not make explicit recommendation to decline or accept Bathurst’s application. But it states the application is inconsistent with objectives of the Conservation Act. It goes on to note is is “particularly concerned” about losses to the plateau’s natural and historic resources” (p.41)

    “inconsistent with objectives of the Conservation Act”

    Smith really needs to be called Minister for Polluting Businesses. His commitment to protecting our environment he has proven is at the best, weak.Great to see calls for his resignation. Wouldn’t it be great if he did go, but then what other member of the mine it, drill it sell it team would take over and carry on with the business of allowing vested interests with powerful lobby groups to continue to ruin our environment?

  18. Tracey 19

    rosie, i think thats exactly what norman called him, minister of dirty water

    • Rosie 19.1

      Oh lol. Did he? I missed that. Good on Norman. Now that we have an effective opposition leader, and combined with the Greens good efforts we might see a bit more fight in the house. It’s a great thing, at last.

    • RedBaronCV 19.2

      Well that has to be a superb double – entendre ( or something) that no doubt passed Nick Smith right by.

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    Labour leadership aspirant Grant Robertson told a blunt truism to Kathryn Ryan on Radio New Zealand the Monday after the election. “Politics has to be about more than elections,” he said. “It has to about being part of the communities...
    Colin James | 29-09
  • The mystifying rise of Jacinda Ardern
    As Labour’s leadership debacle lurches nowhere fast, the only winner thus far appears to be Jacinda Ardern. A One News poll (or what One News sometimes likes to call a poll, despite it being a self-selecting online survey. Please, just leave the...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • The mystifying rise of Jacinda Ardern
    As Labour’s leadership debacle lurches nowhere fast, the only winner thus far appears to be Jacinda Ardern. A One News poll (or what One News sometimes likes to call a poll, despite it being a self-selecting online survey. Please, just leave the...
    Occasionally erudite | 29-09
  • “Unless you can perform miracles, it’s time to go David”
    To be honest, I haven’t really had time to keep up with the volumes that has already been written regarding the (current lack of) leadership of the New Zealand Labour Party. One piece that has however caught my eye is...
    Progress report | 29-09
  • How sustainable is New Zealand?
    Behavioural economics is not a complete theory but it demonstrates that we are not the economic rational being usually assumed in economics theory. One of the most troubling divergences is that we make time-inconsistent decisions so our short run choices...
    Pundit | 29-09
  • Hold fast to your Mana – Harawira
    Hone Harawira today called on the voters of Tai Tokerau to hold fast to their mana, and not be dictated to by those party leaders who have ganged together to tell them how to vote. “I call on our people...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Media Advisory – Interview availability
    This is to advise all media that Hone Harawira will be available in Auckland tomorrow, Friday the 19th of September from 7am to 4pm for interviews relating to his recent press releases. If you are interested in interviewing Mr Harawira on...
    Mana | 18-09
  • Labour stands on proud record on Suffrage Day
    Women have come a long way in the 121 years since New Zealand became the first country to give them the vote on September 19 1893, but there is still more to do, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Carol Beaumont says....
    Labour | 18-09
  • Polling Booths asked to treat Maori voters with respect
    “Polling booths without Maori roll voting papers, Maori people not being offered assistance to vote, people getting sent from Whangarei to Wellsford to vote, Maori people getting turned away from voting because they didn’t have their ‘easy vote’ card, Maori...
    Mana | 17-09
  • Aussie Liberals embroiled in Key campaign
    John Key needs to explain why Australia’s Liberal Party is interfering in New Zealand domestic politics and is encouraging Kiwi voters across the ditch to vote for National just days out from the election, Labour’s campaign spokesperson Annette King says....
    Labour | 17-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit. “If you’re lucky enough to have...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Māori development crucial to New Zealand’s future
    Labour recognises the concern of Māori about child poverty and the rising costs of living, and in Government will make a real difference to the wellbeing of whānau and iwi, Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says. “As our Māori...
    Labour | 16-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Party members and affiliates – the real losers in Labour’s leadership f...
    Hey, wanna do a back room deal that cuts the members and affiliates out? Cunliffe must be reeling. He has lost failed Ilam candidate James Dann. It must cut as deep as the loss of Steve Gibson. Apart from providing Claire...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election res...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, the election result...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • The rich get richer
    Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman highlights the growing inequality in this article in the New York Times. The left wing slogan that the “the rich get richer” is a fact of almost perverse power. The most recent period of expansion in the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-09
  • A brief word on reinvading Iraq
    So after telling the country before the election that NZ would not send forces to Iraq, lo and behold now he’s won the election with a full spectrum dominance political majority, Key is suddenly now looking to join the re-invasion of...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • A brief word on the importance of ACT, Maori Party and United Future to Nat...
    I’m a far right wing clown who attacks tax money going on anything collective, gimmie some cash and privilege.  One of the great successes of National has been to implement hard right policy but have it sold as moderate. For some NZers,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Labour’s Angst
    Was Labour’s predictably low vote David Cunliffe’s fault? Was it policy? Was it something else that has aroused perceptions of electoral carnage? My analysis of the numbers suggests that, as uncertain voters made up their minds, there was a late...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Information wars: Gaza as “the last taboo”, the threat of mass surveill...
    “When the truth is replaced with silence” wrote the soviet dissident Yevgeni Yevtushenko, “the silence is a lie.” There has been a silence these past months full of noise, static and sound bites of those in power justifying their violence,...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • When the media say they covered Dirty Politics – did they?
    I was watching The Nation in the weekend, and watched the defenders of NZ media up against Minto telling him he was wrong in his claims of media bias and that the media covered Dirty Politics. I laughed. When the...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG – P Campbell – To the Left with love
    A week after the general election results I feel wrung out emotionally, having been through the disappointment, depression and anger of seeing  another right wing government elected overwhelmingly by winning support from the parts of NZ that will never benefit...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – I will be the new Labour Leader!
    One week after the election, while I was still waiting to be consulted about contributing to the review on what went wrong, what do you know? There is a leadership challenge. So instead of opting for a united, thoughtful and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – A Prescient Post
    A very prescient pre-election post by Martyn Bradbury tells us why the Labour Party are at war now. “The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work” Despite Martyn Bradbury warning them this Right Wing strategy “Better Work”...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – W(h)ither Labour (!/?)
    There’s an old saying that success has many fathers, but failure is an orphan. Not so in the Labour Party, wherein soul-crushing defeat on a scale unseen since 1925 definitely has many fathers (and more than a few mothers and...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • At the end of the day…
    At the end of the day…...
    The Daily Blog | 29-09
  • Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty
    Cynicism towards Key’s sudden desire to help children in poverty...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Internet MANA the election and the media
    I’ve been very critical of media reporting of Internet MANA during the election campaign and not surprised at the predictable response from representatives of the corporate media establishment. I wasn’t going to carry this further but was asked at the...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Rachel Jones – A superficial discourse analysis of a superfic...
    On Sunday there was a story about Paddy Gower and his detached retina in the Herald on Sunday. Really? I hear you ask. Really? Yes, really. Pam Corkery will have sprayed toast crumbs over her dressing gown. The reporter has become...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Terrorising Australia’s Muslim population
    We should be suspicious when 800 police conduct “terror” raids across Australia, but only one person is charged with a relevant terrorism offence (of which we know few details). We should be suspicious of the lurid tales of terrorists planning...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its min...
    Another Labour leader has resigned and as per usual, the media lost its mind. I know the Labour party has its problems and I’m not even going to try to prescribe what should be done about it. But what I...
    The Daily Blog | 28-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Loyalty, Leadership and the Labour Party
    My first after the election and I can only say I’m feeling pretty sad.  It was a terrible result, and feels even more so knowing the number of volunteers hours, hard work & sacrifice made by so many people who...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • A Study in Party Stability
    . In terms of long-term stability, one party above stands above all others, with the exception of personality-driven groups such as NZ First and United Future. That party is the Greens. If the Labour Party wants to look elsewhere for...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Cunliffe vs Robertson – Round 2
    Much to the disappointment of the NZ Herald and other right wing pundits who have decided they would like to appoint the next Labour leader, Cunliffe has surprised by deciding to damn the Caucus and appeal directly to the members...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The tasks before the left and labour movement
    Anyone on the left would have been disappointed at the result of the election. There was an opportunity to win, but that got lost through a combination of factors. There were tactical decisions made by Labour, the Greens and Internet-Mana...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • From Fiji’s dictatorship to ‘democracy’ – the AUT student team on t...
    Mads Anneberg’s profile on Ricardo Morris and Repúblika. David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. THREE STUDENTS from AUT University covered Fiji’s historic “from dictatorship to democracy” general election this month. While the election arguably legitimised Voreqe Bainimarama’s so-called 2006...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • David Cunliffe Resigns As Labour Leader – Forces Robertson Out of the Bel...
    David Cunliffe has made a smart move, resigning as the leader of the Labour Party so as to force a leadership primary campaign. The move draws rival Grant Robertson out of the beltway to parts of the country where he...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • Deep thought vs Deep prejudice
    . . This letter to the editor appeared in The Listener, on 27 September, and caught my attention; . . Mr Dawson wrote in response to one of those typically unthinking comments which  condemned the poor for their “unbridled, reckless...
    The Daily Blog | 27-09
  • The NZ National voters elected
    The NZ National voters elected...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The post election postmortem is giving me post p...
    I feel the need to contribute to the discourse. This is a new experience for me. Not having an opinion, but expressing it on a popular forum in a public sphere. That’s why I have waited till now and put...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A dictionary of education terms and definitions, brought to you by the let...
    Free to all TDB readers, please enjoy your very own cut-out-and-keep handy primer of terms that I predict you will need to know over the next three years… Achievement Gap (noun) Synonym for wealth gap. ACT (abstract noun) Intangible. Reported to exist in...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • A Mines Rescue brigadesman’s perspective on the Pike River Mine
    My husband and I lived in Greymouth in 2010, we were a coal mining family.  The day Pike River Mine blew up and the days following changed us profoundly, as it did for so many.  This is a Mines Rescue...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • The Left Triumphant! A Counterfactual History of the Last Twelve Months.
    DID IT REALLY HAVE TO END LIKE THIS? Reading through the commentary threads of the left-wing blogs it is impossible to not feel the anger; the sense of betrayal; the impression of having had something vital ripped from their grasp;...
    The Daily Blog | 26-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Myles Thomas: The media won it!
    Make no mistake, John Key is a clever communicator – reasonable, authoritative and relaxed – but without the media he wouldn’t be PM. Depending on your viewpoint, New Zealand’s news media are either a bunch of Grey Lynn lefties or...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Not Learning Lessons Past: the West’s Response to IS
    In an earlier posting Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland, I noted that the first lesson of conflict learned by Robert McNamara was “understand your adversary”. If we have honourable objectives, our first and most important weapon is empathy. In the Vietnam War,...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Dr Jarrod Gilbert – Proof of David Farrar’s deception: my ...
    In the lead up to the election the Minister of Corrections Anne Tolley launched a gang policy. In order to justify the government’s approach she used gang figures that overstated the gang problem. Not by a little bit, but a...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • SPECIAL FEATURE: Stuart Nash – Red To The Rescue?
    SPECIAL FEATURE by Selwyn Manning. IF THE ELECTION RESULT which was dished out to Labour was not enough to incite an immediate leadership primary, then the caucus’ refusal to recognise David Cunliffe as the leader should cement it. Now is...
    The Daily Blog | 25-09
  • Has the one party state crackdown begun already? Left wing NZ activist grou...
    Well known left wing activist social media group, ‘John Key Has Left Down NZ’ has been shut down on Facebook. At 11.40pm last night, Facebook, without any warning shut the group down siting a breach of terms of service as...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Why Cunliffe should probably just let Nash & Robertson win
    We have to face some very unpalatable home truths. If you are a left wing political person, best you put your vote now to the Green Party, although you’ll have to do that all the while the Greens frantically tell you...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • The graceless win of Kelvin Davis
    The graceless win of Cameron Slater’s mate in the North, Kelvin Davis is difficult to swallow. Here Cameron Slater’s mate in the North is shitting on Hone Harawira by calling Hone all steam, no hangi as Kelvin rubs his ganged up win into...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So Labour shifted too far to the left?
    So Labour shifted too far to the left?   Here’s the ill-judged view of Josie Pagani in the Pundit “Labour must change”: “At the last election I made myself a heretic when I wrote a column mentioning how unpopular the...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • Uncomplicated Loyalties: Why Cunliffe and the Labour Left Cannot Win
    THE STORY of David Cunliffe’s leadership of the Labour Party has been one of missed opportunities and unforced errors. That he was the only choice available to those who wanted to rid the Labour Party of its neoliberal cuckoos is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-09
  • So we can expect this now?
    So we can expect this now?...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Can Labour be saved? Why Whaleoil & National won and why we need a new ...
    As the shock of my optimism that NZers would recoil from the real John Key as exposed by Dirty Politics and mass surveillance duplicities wears off, I am surprised to find that the right in NZ are not content with...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Three more years (up shit creek and paddling hard)
    “If the future is not green, there is no future. If the future is not you, there is no future”. Emma Thompson’s stirring words to the climate marchers in London last Sunday are worth considering in the aftermath of the...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • One Party State
    In years to come this election will be seen as a historic turning point towards one party rule. I don`t mean this literally, absolute single party dictatorship is not in prospect. In the New Zealand context though, one party has...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • No More. The Left Falls.
    . We cannot be beaten down Because we are down already. We can only rise up and if you should beat us down, We will rise again. And again. And again… And when you tire of beating us down, We...
    The Daily Blog | 23-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA
    New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • Reflecting on Elections Past
    There are a number of past elections that can give the left in New Zealand guidance and hope. Two major points though. Major parties require leaders who can bridge the political divide through strength of personality, vision of what it...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – The Reptile Room
    I stress, at the outset, that I’ve got nothing against reptiles. Some of my best friends are reptiles. Some say I am one, but I’m not really. I just emulate that ability to sit, stationary for hours in court, eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • The success of right-wing counter messaging in the election
    One of the reasons National won the election was due to its success in counter messaging – and the way so many media commentators ran with th the right-wing spin. Here are some examples. Dirty Politics The original message was...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New Flag competition
    New Flag competition...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Submissions sought on herbicide for weed control in maize
    The Environmental Protection Authority is calling for submissions on a herbicide to improve broadleaf weed control in maize. The substance CADET contains 100g fluthiacet-methyl in the form of an emulsifiable concentrate and would contain a new active ingredient...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line
    Jesse Mulligan Lives Below Poverty Line TV personality Jesse Mulligan will live on the equivalent of the extreme poverty line this October in order to raise awareness of sex trafficking. Mulligan will survive on $2.25 for his food from October...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn?
    Narratives from the 2014 Election: What do we learn? - Sue Bradford, Russell Brown & Kirk Serpes discuss....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change
    Voices from Oceania to speak out on climate change at launch of Pacific environment report...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages
    The Ministry of Civil Defence & Emergency Management advises that while changes to Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre messages come into effect from today (Wednesday 1 October), the Ministry has been, and remains, the authoritative voice for tsunami...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Police remove banner at Statoil Offices in Wellington
    Oil Free Wellington hung a banner at 9:30 this morning at the Statoil office headquarters in Wellington as the Petroleum Summit opened in Auckland. The banner, which read 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil', has now been removed...
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Mixed massages raise concerns
    Mixed massages raise concerns for Te Taumata Kaumatua Ngapuhi nui tonu, and Te Wakaminenga O nga Hapu Ngapuhi....
    Scoop politics | 01-10
  • Union Slams Port Boss’s Pay Rise
    The Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU) says Lyttelton Port CEO Peter Davie’s 18% wage rise, taking his pay packet to $1.24m, is unjustified and inflammatory. ‘Lyttelton port has an appalling health and safety record, with three deaths on...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Prisons expert Ron Nikkel to speak in Auckland October 15
    Prison Fellowship NZ and JustSpeak have the privilege of hosting the former president of Prison Fellowship International, Ron Nikkel....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Hundreds of educators protest IES in Rotorua
    Four hundred educators from around the country took their opposition to the Government's controversial Investing in Educational Success policy to the public today....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Crime drops by 3.2 % in the 2013 / 2014 financial year
    Criminal offences dropped by 3.2 % in the last financial year according to figures released today through Statistics New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Narratives from the 2014 Election: what do we learn?
    I would like to invite you to a Fabians Reflection on "Dirty Politics, Dotcom and Labour’s worst result" with Colin James, Keith Ng, Stephanie Rodgers and Richard Harman. They will provide a debrief of analysis and lessons from the 2014...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Oil Free Wellington drops banner from Statoil headquarters
    Today members of Oil Free Wellington have targeted the offices of Statoil, by attaching a banner reading 'Statoil out of Northland: Stop Deep Sea Oil' to the entrance of Vodafone on the Quay Midland Park, where Statoil's New Zealand office...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Media Statement from Karen Price
    “After a period of intense media attention and scrutiny of our family, I set up and used an anonymous Twitter account over the weekend and made a number of comments that I deeply regret....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Greenpeace disrupts Simon Bridges’ speech to oil industry
    Greenpeace activists have disrupted the opening speech by Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridges at the Petroleum Summit in Auckland this morning....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • New Zealand Red Cross Responds to Drought in Tonga
    New Zealand Red Cross has sent an aid worker and two desalination units, to turn seawater into safe drinking water in the drought-hit Ha’apai islands of Tonga....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Can you ever tell if an email is real or forged?
    Computer industry veteran Brian Eardley-Wilmot warns that we should never take claims about stolen emails at face value....
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • NZ MPs to attend the ASPG Annual Conference in Sydney
    New Zealand MPs to attend the Australasian Study of Parliament Group Annual Conference in Sydney...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Independent Maori seats still needed in Parliament
    “He’s got to be joking!” is the reaction of the president of the Maori Party, Rangimarie Naida Glavish to a call by a former Labour Minister of Maori Affairs, Dover Samuels, for debate by Maori on whether the Maori electorates...
    Scoop politics | 30-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    Rallies supporting the rights for universal suffrage will take place all over New Zealand today and tomorrow...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand
    Trout Mass-Poisoned in New Zealand The Graf Boys New Zealand has some of the best trout fishing in the world! Every year thousands of international visitors wade pristine rivers in search of the freshwater game fish....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New Zealand’s 2014 Hottest Vegetarians Crowned
    With winter gone things are heating up, and things just got even hotter with the crowning of New Zealand’s hottest vegetarians, says animal advocacy group SAFE. Marking World Vegetarian Day, 1st October, director James Napier Robertson and actor...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A day to remember our duty to look after our senior citizens
    Human Rights Commissioner Dr Jackie Blue says International Day of the Older Person (1 October) is a United Nations day to celebrate our senior citizens, but also acknowledge the need to protect our kaumatua, or older people from abuse and...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Clear data needed on impact of benefit sanctions on children
    A lack of data on benefit sanctions means there is no way of knowing whether welfare reform is helping or harming children, says Child Poverty Action Group....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The socialist alternative to austerity and war
    Public meeting: After the New Zealand election—the socialist alternative to austerity and war By Tom Peters 29 September 2014...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • New recruits to boost border protection
    Twenty six new recruits began an intensive nine-week training course in Auckland today that will see them graduate as Customs officers in time for the busy summer season....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Dwindling Mallard population shows up ‘pest’ myth
    The pro hunting organisation Fish & Game is researching the causes of the decline of the mallard duck population, upset at the prospect of fewer ducks to kill....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Support for Democratic Rights in Hong Kong
    New Zealanders in Auckland will gather on Wednesday to support the rights for universal suffrage in Hong Kong....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Campbell Live Exclusive Interview with David Cunliffe
    David Cunliffe resigned as leader of the Labour party on Saturday; but he still wants the top job....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Action needed on cycling safety
    “Clearly we aren't doing enough to protect the 1.5 million New Zealanders who ride bikes,” said Mr Morgan....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • World Rivers Day Passes Without A Whimper
    Sunday 28 September was World Rivers Day to celebrate clean, flowing rivers and caring about them. But a recreation-conservation advocacy the Council of Outdoor Recreation Associations of NZ (CORANZ) says the day seems to have slipped by without...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • The Kiwifruit Claim: Q&A
    1. Who is running The Kiwifruit Claim? The Kiwifruit Claim was founded by kiwifruit growers representing well in excess of 10% of the industry. 2. Why are you running this claim? The introduction of Psa into New Zealand had devastating...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Fed Farmers Need to Be Weaned
    The Taxpayers’ Union is calling on Federated Farmers to make a firm commitment to reject any future Government funding, after it was revealed that the lobby group had received over $200,000 of payments in recent years....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Children paying the price for charter school stitch up
    New Zealand children will be paying a high price for a one-seat deal between ACT and National, with an expansion of the beleaguered charter school system says education union NZEI Te Riu Roa....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Hikoi From North Reaches Oil Conference Tomorrow
    Today: The Hikoi opposing Statoil plans for seismic testing and deep sea oil drilling has marched through Dargaville and later be welcomed to Piringatahi Marae, West Harbour,Tamaki Makaurau/Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Communities Still Count
    The efforts of many organisations to influence the electorate and the political parties they voted for in the lead up to the 2014 Election is over. The voting public has spoken and provided a strong endorsement to the centre-right National...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Eleven social enterprises get ready to take off
    Eleven teams from across the country will take part in the Launchpad, Ākina’s programme to get social enterprise ideas off the ground....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • An open letter to the Prime Minister
    in which Transparency International New Zealand asks the Prime Minister to ensure integrity underpins all work he leads "in the best interests of all New Zealanders"...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Paula Bennett ‘great work’ acknowledged – McVicar
    “Paula Bennett, as Minister of Social Development, has contributed significantly in lowering our crime rate and preventing further victims.” - McVicar...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Key’s Restraint in Propping up ACT Welcomed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming the announcement that ACT MP David Seymour will not be appointed as a Minister....
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • Only Concession is from the Taxpayer
    Responding to the confidence and supply agreement reached between John Key and Peter Dunne’s United Future Party, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 29-09
  • A Tent for Any Tenant
    AUT students and Salvation Army Manukau Community Ministries team up to raise awareness, as South Auckland’s housing situation moves from crisis to collapse...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report Seeks Comments
    The Cycle Safety Panel Draft Report and Recommendations was published on 25th September 2014 and the panel are inviting comments. Lucinda Rees from NZ School Speeds, the organisation campaigning for consistent speed limits outside schools, is encouraged...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour’s Review – Terms of Reference Agreed
    Labour's Review - Terms of Reference Agreed Following a meeting of its ruling New Zealand Council yesterday, Labour has released the terms of reference for the comprehensive review initiated following its 2014 election result. The review will comprise three...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • The final countdown for Kiwi smokers
    There are just two days left until many smokers stubb out their cigarettes for the last time and embark on Stoptober – New Zealand’s first national quit-smoking month....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose”
    “In A Democracy People Win And People Lose” – Chris Hipkins Labour Senior Whip I would say to all of the caucus and all of the members let's actually hear the arguments from the people who want to be leader,...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Campaign to make Murder of Unborn ”Safe and Legal”
    The IPPF have launched an international campaign through its 161 affiliates including the New Zealand Family Planning Association [NZFPA] to make the murder of the unborn safe and legal and accepted as a human right. This is an acceleration of...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Grant Robertson Labour leader hopeful on TVNZ Q+A
    “Look I think what we need to be is relevant, clear and consistent with New Zealanders about the Labour Party's values,” said Labour leader hopeful Grant Robertson on TVNZ’s Q+A programme....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Labour Needs to Get House in Order Before Deciding Leader
    Ex Labour party leader and possible repeat contender David Shearer says the Labour Party is going about the post-election period in the wrong way....
    Scoop politics | 28-09
  • Hate merchants at it again with smear tactics
    “It’s disappointing to see the hate merchants at it again with yet another attempt to smear and silence a health professional who’s doing research they disagree with,” says Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists...
    Scoop politics | 28-09
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