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NRT: A dirty deal

Written By: - Date published: 6:33 pm, February 27th, 2014 - 46 comments
Categories: law - Tags: , , ,

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This original of this post is here at No Right Turn

When the government dropped charges against former Pike River boss Peter Whittall over the Pike River mine explosion, they claimed that the simultaneous announcement that he would pay compensation to the families of the 29 men he was accused of killing was just a coincidence, and that there was no deal. As usual, they lied:

Twelve health and safety charges laid against Whittall were dropped in Christchurch District Court on December 12. It was also announced at that hearing there would be a $3.41 million payment to the families of the 29 men who died in the mine and the two survivors.

At the time, Judge Jane Farish stressed to media there had been no back-room deal. One of Whittall’s lawyers, Stacey Shortall, also said any suggestion the payment offer from the Pike River Coal Company and its directors and officers was in return for the charges being dropped was ‘‘absolutely wrong’’.

But in an October 16 letter, Whittall’s lawyer Stuart Grieve QC lays out a proposal to make available $3.41m to the Pike River families.

The letter, released exclusively to Fairfax Media, says that in ‘‘advance of the $3.41 million being made available, it is proposed [with precise terms to be agreed] that … the Ministry will not proceed with the charges laid against Mr Whittall by advising the Court that no evidence will be offered in support of any of the charges.’’

So, they cut a deal with a rich prick to allow him to buy his way out of jail, then lied to the public about it (and in the process, turned a High Court Judge into a liar as well – wonder how she feels about that?) This isn’t justice. But its clear that National thinks that the law only applies to peasants, not to them and their rich mates.

46 comments on “NRT: A dirty deal”

  1. mickysavage 1

    If it smells like a deal and quacks like a deal …

    No matter how this is presented it has the taint that following an offer of a payment of compensation a charge was withdrawn.

    BTW Judge Farrish is a District Court Judge.

    • rhinocrates 1.1

      I think that we need to start making a blacklist of officials who are potentially corrupt or incompetent.

      Starting:

      Mike Bush, nominated as new police commissioner: praises corrupt cop who planted evidence.

      Jane Farrish: apparently willing to be bought out of prosecution

      Peter Marshall, Police Commissioner: blind to rape gang and rape culture in the police, tries to intimidate complainants.

      Greg Sparrow, Police something in Dunedin: allowed the murder of two children due to blindness of domestic abuse despite being warned well in advance.

      Name and shame them.

  2. Clemgeopin 2

    How the heck could the government allow such a shameful unfair secret arrangement be put in place without taking the families into confidence and seeking their views or approval first? Surely, it can’t be that the government wasn’t aware of this deal?

    This matter is so serious that the government needs to be censured, charged and it should resign immediately.

  3. felix 3

    Finally got around to reading Rebecca Macfie’s Pike River book recently.

    Can’t believe that bastard’s not in jail.

    • greywarbler 3.1

      Rebecca was interviewed on Radionz this morning.
      Tragedy at Pike River Mine – How and why 29 men died – book

      • felix 3.1.1

        Hmmm, nothing on the website. Which programme was it?

        • greywarbler 3.1.1.1

          felix
          Can’t give easy tab don’t know how – but go to News – National – Top Stories – MP claims dirty deal done on Pike charges – click on that presents summary and down the bottom is a live line to MacFie’s comments. (I see she was on Checkpoint 7 mins approx)

    • amirite 3.2

      +1 Her book should be a compulsory reading for all parliamentarians.

    • greywarbler 3.3

      Pike River mine explosion November 19, 2010. Pike’s mine manager White had Australian mining experience. His response to the explosion news was to tell Rockhouse to keep low and he would get out all right. When Rockhouse finally walked out of the mine with Smith, there was no-one waiting at the entrance.

      This was at 5.26 pm, 1 hour 42 minutes after the explosion, of which he thought he’d been unconscious for 50 minutes. If 10 minutes was added to that for orientation before Rockhouse phoned and spoke to Doug White, then there was about 42 minutes for Rockhouse to walk about 2 kms supporting Russell Smith, with limited air as the air supply gear was inadequate or decommissioned. Rockhouse had to phone, and help then was sent promptly.

      People won’t come back to testify. Now that is a point. NZ has had 29 people killed in a work accident and those involved don’t have a summons issued that if not complied with means they have committed a jailable offence and cannot return to NZ.

      Players – Doug White refused to be interviewed, involved from 2010-2011. Tony Radford business driver with 31% shareholding company and director involved from about 1990 then with coy 2006-2012, Ray Meyer director 2000-2010, Arun Jagatramka director for Gujarat NRE, India 2007-2011 and Stephen Rawson director 2000-2006. Also Dipak Agarwalla.for Asurashtra Fuels 2005-2011. Gordon Ward did not respond to requests for information, accountant with pretensions. Involved from 1998-2010.

  4. RedBaronCV 4

    Did Fairfax get the letter under an OIA request or some other way?
    If so why are they running this story? Who is to be embarassed here?

    BTW I find it creepy that someone can buy their way out of crimnal charges. Justice for sale in NZ along with everything else.

    • mickysavage 4.1

      Radio NZ seems to have a copy of the letter and also Andrew Little. There may have been a mass release.

      • karol 4.1.2

        Andrew Little’s press release says he got the letter from an OIA.

        Labour has obtained under the Official Information Act a letter from Peter Whittall’s lawyer Stuart Grieve QC which has been sanitised for public release.

        “The public will be deeply concerned to learn that such a deal was offered last October, nearly two months before the former Department of Labour, now WorkSafe, went to court.

        “There has been speculation about a backroom deal ever since the charges against Peter Whittall were dropped. Now this letter confirms those fears.

        “What hasn’t been explained is why the charges against Peter Whittall were discharged, not withdrawn, meaning he can never face any charge associated with the Pike River deaths.

        “My hunch is the original letter contains a lot more and sets out the real deal. We need to know what that was.

        • Kahukowhai 4.1.2.1

          The important point is Little’s comments that the charges were discharged rather than withdrawn. All of the media reports have been pointing out this means that he cannot be charged again in the future.

          If that turns out to be correct then heads should roll in the government.

        • Clemgeopin 4.1.2.2

          [1] Can’t the verdict of discharge be challenged and appealed in a higher court?
          [2] Can’t the parliament reopen the case?
          [3] Is it a good idea for a nation wide protest day and march to be organised by the families, the opposition and concerned citizens?
          [4] If all else fails, Can’t the present opposition give an assurance of revisiting this case in parliament and in the courts when they get back into power?
          [5] Is there any other remedy/redress possible?

          • PapaMike 4.1.2.2.1

            Clemgeopin

            Your comments are very pertinent, but would be helped if the families had not accepted the money.

            • Clemgeopin 4.1.2.2.1.1

              Were the families taken into confidence about the secret deals and conditions of accepting the money? Were they aware that the CEO and the company would be given a free pass about their culpability? Were the families mislead, hoodwinked or blackmailed with offers of money instead of fair justice?

              I think these are important questions that haven’t been answered yet, as far as I know.

              • PapaMike

                I believe it was in the Media arena in November immediately following the High Court decision.
                Seems may have ben overlooked until now though.

          • Kahukowhai 4.1.2.2.2

            I am puzzled as to the lack of comment on this in the wider media or blogosphere. It would appear the government, having swept aside its own massive failures to ensure public safety through the Mines inspectorate, has decided that giving Whittall a get out of jail free card is the way to go. Let us sweep the whole thing under the carpet with the greatest possible speed.

            Any comment from the families, this one seems to have gone under the radar.

  5. Skinny 5

    To think John Key stood side by side with Whittall on stage at the very public memorial service for the lost miners. I could not believe gullible idiots like John Key and the shrill media, mainly at TV3 News were hailing the Corporate murderer as a hero and worthy of New Zealander of the year.

    • tc 5.1

      Key is not gullible and TV3 does as told. More spin for the masses, alot knew exactly why and who could be held accountable,as RL says had to put a stop to that.

    • greywarbler 5.2

      From the book Tragedy at Pike River Mine, I listed the other ‘players’ in Pike River Coal in an earlier comment on this thread. And their time of involvement with it. While Peter Whittall has been involved long-term, there are others who have been driving the whole project from their chairs, and who knew about the problems likely to be faced. It seems to me that Whittall is a fall guy and the shadowy figures from the boardroom are also of interest when assessing responsibility.

      This is the brief bio from the book. Peter Whittall Pike River Coal’s first employee, hired in 2005 as General Manager, Mines. Whittall oversaw design and development of the mine as a start-up operation.
      Also filled the role of Statutory Mine Manager from September 2009 until December 2009.
      He became Chief Executive of Pike River Coal Ltd in October 2010. He finished working for the company (in receivership) in November 2011. (fr Tragedy at Pike River Mine Rebecca Macfie).

      On the actual size of the coal field Macfie writes: “the seam lay 13 metres thick in places, ran six and a half kilometres from north to south, and was up to two kilometres wide.
      This was no ordinary coal. It was ‘beautiful’ – a bright, lustrous coking coal with properties that would be sought after by international steelmakers, who rely on coke as a source of fuel for their blast furnaces, and of carbon to bond with iron to produce steel.
      Pike’s low ash and high fluidity made it a unique and potentially highly valuable resource…’ p.23

      Of importance in understanding the situation is the 1993 findings of Masaoki Nishioka, a respected and experienced engineer with Japanese giant Mitsui Mining. He was approached and was interested and proposed drilling seven bore-holes to reveal the coalfiield geology.

      ‘Nishioka concluded the coal had valuable characteristics’ but he recommended non-involvement to the Mitsui board. He advised that its location and geography would cause access to be ‘difficult and expensive’.

      There were other factors that concerned him too. The coal extracted from the boreholes contained so much methane that the gas had bubbled out of the samples. One highly experienced man commented that it was the gassiest coal he’d seen in 40 or 45 year of mining. Any underground mining operation at Pike would have to very carefully manage the methane, a gas which is explosive within the range of 5 percent and 15 percent of air and poses one of the greatest risks in underground coal mining.

      Another deterrent was that the upper layer of the seam was high in sulphur, which would make it useless as a coking coal for the steel industry. Nishioka calculated that Pike would produce only about five or six million tonnes of saleable coking coal – not enough to justify the significant investment that would be required to develop the mine.
      fr Macfie: Tragedy at Pike River Mine

      So with that knowledge, the men who pursued the planning, financing and commissioning of the mine and also the positive representation to the shareholders and to the employees, must have a major responsibility for the later disaster. This is because they knew of the extreme gassiness and explosive potential, and with that careful oversight of this problem should have been a top item of interest, with a budget provided for metering levels and gear required for safeguards.

      From reading about the unfolding story of the mine’s development in Macfie’s book it is clear that the mine was not prepared adequately. Appropriate gas measuring was not installed and then maintained and monitored. Safety measures needed to be instituted from the start and maintained at a high level. This was not done. The men were under pressure to perform and getting even the needed big machinery was blocked, proper safety equipment was not on the approved action list.

      • amirite 5.2.1

        The conclusion that one comes to from reading the book: this mine should never have been allowed to open, let alone operate in the way it was designed and built. There was no escape route for the miners from there. Even the fittest among the miners would not have sustained the climb up the 100 m high ventilation shaft that was supposed to be used as an emergency exit.

        Whittall’s involvement in the whole company management was donkey deep. He was considered a sort of control freak by many of his colleagues and employees. The primary motivator for him and the management was to start the mine and start making (unrealistic) profits from it, no matter what. First, the brand new, untested, cheap mining machines imported from Australia, were breaking down a lot. Second, many workers weren’t adequately trained and briefed on h & s issues. People complained, nothing was done. Much later, proper second hand machines were bought .

        Many times Whittall was notified about health and safety issues in the mine, about several incidents of high methane levels and methane leaks (even one incident of igniting of methane just prior to the fatal first explosion) in the working part of the mine.

        There is such a big, detailed account in this book of all that was wrong with the mine since the very beginning to the tragic end. I just can’t understand how NONE of the charges against Whittall (and the others) could not stick.

      • Kahukowhai 5.2.2

        And in spite of these concerns it was marketed and developed as a high quality reserve of, if I recall correctly, some twenty million tonnes? And they were going to have a mining output of a million tonnes a year which many thought was overly optimistic. So I would have thought some of the shareholders would have had a case for the promoters being prosecuted for making fraudulent statements about the mine and its potential.

  6. RedLogix 6

    The reason why no-one was prosecuted is because a Court case would have opened the proverbial worm can.

    There was never a lack of someone to prosecute. It was that there were too many people to prosecute – right to the very top.

    Had to put a stop to it.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      +1

    • Kahukowhai 6.2

      Legally under HSIE Whittall was the only PERSON that could be held liable.

      The COMPANY was separately prosecuted and fined. However the fine has not been paid as the company is insolvent and the parent company NZ Oil & Gas refused to pay out.

      • RedLogix 6.2.1

        Oh yes I realise all that.

        The point is that Whittall’s only plausible defense was along the lines of “I was only following orders, and besides everything I did was legal”.

        At that point it would become clear that Whittall was being thrown to the dogs for the sins of his masters.

        There is of course a difference between LEGAL and ETHICAL. (Or MORAL even.) However legal something is, if it offends the values of Joe Public it would have become an embarrassment.

        In election year.

        • Kahukowhai 6.2.1.1

          An honourable person such as Whittall could have chosen to be, would have pled guilty at the earliest opportunity, because he was so involved with the mine as its first employee and the most senior member with mining experience (the previous CEO and the directors had no knowledge of underground mining) then his knowledge of what was needed to establish a safe mine should have ensured the mine was built from the ground up and operated safely. Instead he compounded his earlier errors by taking on the CEO’s job two months before the disaster.

          So he presumably accepted the advice of his lawyers that a plausible defence would have been to try to shift the blame onto the other managers and the directors, and whilst there was indeed a case that could be made that these other parties were also responsible it doesn’t entirely remove blame from his own shoulders.

  7. Philj 7

    Xox
    Another sad day for justice and fairness in New Zealand. There is the smell of rotting fish in Government and the Corporatocracy that runs this, The most Southern State of the US of Aotearoa.

  8. adam 8

    Silly question – but why are you shocked? Do you think the ruling classes give a shit about us? It really is a case of BFW http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPMwFgJ6WDU&feature=kp come on folks, we the people are there to be protected from.

    So one section of the ruling elite protected another section of the ruling elite – nothing new. Same shit, different time in history.

  9. This is utterly contemptible. Compensation should have been given but not in a trade for no prosecution.

    Who was the lawyer’s letter addressed to? It seems to be directed at MBIE, the mega-ministry (that folded in the old Department of Labour).

    Who is the minister?

    Mr Fixit.

    Indeed.

  10. Kahukowhai 10

    And you claim that Whittall is a “rich prick” and how do you back up that claim? He did not actually pay the money himself, it came from insurance.

  11. Kevin McCready 11

    6D of the letter. I will tell the Crown (ie Ministers) what to say! Amazing John Key thought he would get away with it.

  12. Murray Olsen 12

    Heads should roll over this one. Someone should end up behind bars. If they don’t, we have to ask serious questions about our democracy and the rule of law. The bastards are so arrogant they think they can take all the peaceful options away from us, and kill us at will.

    • RedLogix 12.1

      Yes – the word you are looking for is hubris.

      It’s a word that weaves together their arrogance, their assumed, unquestioned entitlement to privilege, their unconcealed snobbery.

      Of course they’d never imagine themselves as murderers. They think themselves fine upstanding people who adhere mightily to the last jot and title of the law.

      And yes when they take away all our peaceable options interesting things do happen. In that vein I’d recommend this recent essay:

      In point of fact, as Walter Laqueur showed in his capable survey Weimar: A Cultural History, denouncing the Weimar Republic as a fascist regime was quite the lively industry in Germany in the very late 1920s and early 1930s. Unfortunately for those who made this claim, history has a wicked sense of humor. A good many of the people who liked to insist that Weimar Germany was a fascist state got to find out—in many cases, at the cost of their lives—that there really is a difference between a troubled, dysfunctional, and failing representative democracy and a totalitarian state, and that a movement that promises to overturn a broken status quo, and succeeds in doing so, is perfectly capable of making things much, much worse.

      http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/fascism-and-future-part-one-up-from.html
      http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/fascism-and-future-part-two.html
      http://thearchdruidreport.blogspot.com.au/2014/02/fascism-and-future-part-three-weimar.html

  13. amirite 13

    The MSM, the social media and the public are strangely silent about this.
    If it was a Labour government that signed this dirty deal off, the public would be baying for blood.

    • Kahukowhai 13.1

      The government created a diversion in Christchurch with Brownlee savaging the new mayor and council, although in saying that I am surprised the families spokesperson seems not to have grasped the significance of the acquittal, given that they had pressed Graham McCready to withhold pressing his own charges against Whittall in order to leave themselves future options.

  14. RedBaronCV 14

    Give it time, not sure that this is going to just pass unnoticed.

  15. Tracey 15

    Jane Farrish: apparently willing to be bought out of prosecution…

    perhaps she was taking the paeties at their word. it would be unusual for a judge to be privy to settlement.

    are criminal settlements not confidential?

    • Murray Olsen 15.1

      I got the impression that it was all done without the judge’s knowledge. In fact, a bit like the case the police presented to a court with the Red Devils in Nelson. I think NAct have spent so long slagging off “lenient” judges that they have come to hold them in contempt, and see nothing wrong with using them as unwitting rubber stamps.

  16. Clemgeopin 16

    TODAY’S NEWS : LAWYER AND GOVERNMENT, BOTH DENY INITIATING THE DEAL!

    Pike River Mine boss Peter Whittall’s lawyers and the Government both deny initiating the cash deal.

    Whittall’s lawyer, Stuart Grieve, QC, laid out a proposal to make $3.41 million available to the Pike River families in a letter dated October 16.

    Grieve said in “advance of the $3.41 million being made available, it is proposed [with precise terms to be agreed] that … the ministry will not proceed with the charges laid against Mr Whittall by advising the court that no evidence will be offered in support of any of the charges”.

    Prime Minister John Key said on Thursday that the offer was unsolicited.

    Key said the Government played no part in the decision to drop the charges.

    “My understanding is the judge made it quite clear the reasons she actually supported the actions that were taken were because it was very unlikely a prosecution would be successful,” he said.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/9779078/Denial-of-Pike-deal-initiation

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    Last week we mentioned about how Auckland Transport was launching a new PT brand. That occurred yesterday and as well as new look buses, they have also launched a new brand for their public transport operations – AT Metro. Auckland Transport has...
    Transport Blog
  • Whales, dolphins, and ‘gunshots’
    I've just returned from seven days on board SV Vega as part of a small team monitoring the impacts of seismic testing on marine mammals off the west coast of Northland. No research has been done in this area, so...
    Greenpeace NZ blog
  • Meat workers need Jobs that Count
    The CTU is supporting todays Meat Workers Union campaign to combat insecure work in a core New Zealand export industry. Photo:  ...
    CTU
  • 2014: A Venture Capital Odyssey
    Fresh off the wire from Hong Kong, from your friends and mine at io9: Hong Kong based venture capital firm Deep Knowledge Ventures (DKV) has appointed a machine learning program to its board. Called VITAL, it's an "equal member" that...
    Polity
  • Buzzfeed takes the Herald
    Here's a Herald article this week, titled (I kid you not): 20 somewhat horrible things I do to my kids that I don't feel guilty about [Facepalm] I want the Herald to be good. I really do. I know some...
    Polity
  • Sad
    There's a lot of non-cheery news out there in the lead up to Christmas. There's the Taliban school massacre, the Sydney siege, the US Torture Report, and - at a much lower level, and closer to home - the Treasury's...
    Polity
  • “I said surface, not surplus”
    Here are ten explanations, excuses or distractions Bill English might like to employ over the coming days in response to news that his long promised budget surplus looks to have disappeared....
    Imperator Fish
  • Talking terror
    [Content note: discussion of terrorism and violence] Last month I wrote about the aims of ISIS as NZ’s terror legislation ramped up, how their structure and organisation has become almost impossibly fluid, adapted to social media and the internet in...
    On the Left
  • Letter to the editor – Time to milk a tragedy again, by our Dear Leader
    . . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date: Tue, Dec 16, 2014 subject: Letter to the editor . The Editor Dominion Post . Once again, predictably, our esteemed Prime Minister has exploited a tragic situation for his...
    Frankly Speaking
  • Hard News: Word of the Year 2014: #dirtypolitics
    A transient political scandal which has been dealt with, resolved and thoroughly moved-on-from with no hard feelings at all has somehow been named as the Public Address Word of the Year 2014."I honestly can't understand how this has happened," said...
    Public Address
  • Station Boarding Stats for 2013/14
    Late last week Auckland Transport provided me with some fascinating stats related that broke down rail patronage results by station. The data is for the previous financial year -so from 1 July 2013 to 30 June 2014 – and covers 10.05 million...
    Transport Blog
  • US drones: target one, murder twenty-eight
    U.S. drones kill on average 28 unidentified people for every intended target, according to a report published by Reprieve, a group that represents civilian victims of drone strikes. The CIA launched two drone attacks, claiming it was trying to kill...
    Redline
  • Govt spend on transport out of step with reality
    The National Government is planning to allocate ever increasing amounts of taxpayer funding to build expensive new motorways despite record numbers of New Zealanders flocking to buses and trains, said the Green Party. The Government released its Government Policy Statement...
    Greens
  • Solar homes stymied by Govt inaction
    Government inaction is allowing the big power companies to discourage the nascent solar power sector, the Green Party said today. Green Party MP Gareth Hughes launched a petition today calling on the Government to empower the Electricity Authority to act...
    Greens
  • Foreign buyers for iconic island must add value
    Labour will look very closely at any Overseas Investment Office application to purchase Pakatoa Island if it is not bought by a Kiwi, says Labour’s Land information Spokesperson Stuart Nash. “Pakatoa is an iconic island in the middle of Hauraki...
    Labour
  • Way opening for April Sun in Cuba
    The United States of America’s President’s historic announcement yesterday to restore diplomatic ties with Cuba should be applauded by the New Zealand Government. The announcement marks a turning point in more than five decades of hostility between the two countries...
    Greens
  • Minister ducking for cover over ‘Diplomat Case’
    Apparently the Ministerial Inquiry into what now seems to be being referred to as ‘The Diplomat Case’ ( I have a few other names for it) has been completed and is in front of Foreign Affairs Minister McCully. Initial Reports seem to...
    Greens
  • Energy users need answers on Vector share plans
    Energy Minister Simon Bridges needs to stop ducking for cover about whether or not the Government will support plans to nationalise and then privatise $2.1 billion of shares in the Auckland Electricity Consumer Trust, Labour's Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says. “It...
    Labour
  • Turning up the heat on working conditions
    A “Jobs That Count” campaign has the full support of Labour, the party’s Labour Relations spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. Organised by the Meat Workers Union, the campaign aims to put the spotlight on job insecurity in the meat processing industry....
    Labour
  • Biosecurity it’s everyone’s responsibility
    Biosecurity costs New Zealand millions of dollars in attempting pest eradication and much more in ongoing management of pests in farming, horticulture, beekeeping and conservation, as well as in our own backyards and recreation areas. More work must happen at...
    Greens
  • Failure to diversify puts prosperity at risk
    Beyond the news that a long-promised surplus is unlikely, further embarrassment is hidden in the fine print of the half year economic and fiscal update, Labour says. "National’s failure to rebalance the economy is further exposed in projections from its...
    Labour
  • Ombudsman probe targets Ministerial integrity
    John Key is on notice that the entrenched cynical and manipulative abuse of official information requests by his Government will no longer be tolerated, Labour’s Open Government spokesperson Clare Curran says. “The announcement by the Ombudsman of a wide-ranging review...
    Labour
  • Bill English’s face is redder than his books
    The Government owes New Zealanders an apology for failing to deliver the surplus it spent four years and two election campaigns promising, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Bill English’s face is redder than the Crown accounts. This is the...
    Labour
  • Is the Health Minister accountable to the public? He doesn’t seem to thin...
    Lately I’ve been involved in a sort of farcical standoff with the Health Minister, who seems to be under the illusion that I have no right to ask questions about conflicts involving Health Promotion Agency Board member Katherine Rich, and...
    Greens
  • Irresponsible tax cuts lead to seventh successive deficit
    National's borrowing to pay for cutting the top tax rate was irresponsible and will likely lead to a seventh successive deficit, the Green Party said today. Treasury have forecast a $572 million deficit this year in its Half Year Economic...
    Greens
  • Minister closes down dissent on climate change
    Minister closes down dissent on climate change In a threatening letter to Maori leaders, Minister for Climate Change Tim Groser says he will be requiring future international delegations to toe the party line, Labour’s Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. “In...
    Labour
  • Heartfelt sympathy for Sydneysiders
    The Labour Party has offered its heartfelt sympathy to the people of Sydney after the hostage situation in the city, says Labour’s Acting leader Grant Robertson.  “Our thoughts are with all those who went through this horrific and traumatic experience....
    Labour
  • Farewell at Phillipstown
    Last Wednesday, I attended the farewell for Tony Simpson, Principal of Phillipstown School. It was a very emotional event where many of us in the large crowd shed tears. Bagpipes and tiny tamariki performing kapahaka brought the house down and...
    Greens
  • The CIA Torture Report
    Earlier this week, the United States Select Committee on Intelligence released the Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Detention and Interrogation Program.  The report, which was five years in the making, looked into the CIA’s interrogation techniques from 2001...
    Greens
  • Haere Rā 2014
    We’ve almost reached the end of the Parliamentary year so I wanted to take a moment to reflect on some of my highlights of the term in this blog post. It’s been an absolutely hectic year juggling an election campaign...
    Greens
  • Labour applauds High Court decision on Ruataniwha
    Today’s decision by the High Court on the Ruataniwha scheme is a victory for NewZealand’s environmental groups, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson RuthDyson....
    Labour
  • A welfare system for the 21st Century
    Today Child Poverty Action Group released a background paper on ‘The complexities of ‘relationship’ in the welfare system and the consequences for children.‘ The report includes 16 recommendations to modernise our welfare system which is no longer fit for the...
    Greens
  • Welfare system out of date and out of touch
    A new Child Poverty Action Group report released today highlights another example of how our outmoded social welfare system is harming kids, says Labour’s Social Development Spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.  “The complexities of how a ‘relationship’ is defined in the welfare...
    Labour
  • NZ should formally recognise Palestine
    New Zealand should follow the lead of Sweden, and now recognise Palestine as a separate state On 30 October, Sweden’s new government formally recognised the state of Palestine, only the second Western country to do so, after Iceland. Down here...
    Greens
  • James Shaw’s adjournment speech on behalf of the Green Party
    It is a great honour for me to speak on behalf of the Green Party in this adjournment debate. I thank my colleagues for the privilege. I became a MP only 12 weeks ago, a period of time that seems...
    Greens
  • Time to end legalised cruelty of factory farms
    We can ensure that animals are kept in safe and ethical conditions. Claims of economic impact and practicality as justification for animal cruelty just don't stack up.Use our easy e-letter to write to the Minister for Primary Industries Nathan Guy...
    Greens
  • Government can’t rely on geothermal to grow itself
    While Electricity Authority figures showing geothermal has risen from the fourth to the second highest source of power generation are a promising sign for a geothermal renaissance, there can be no cause for complacency, Labour’s Energy spokesperson Stuart Nash says....
    Labour
  • Big bickies for bosses despite subpar performance
    While public service workers are experiencing Grinch-like wage increases state sector bosses have pocketed early Christmas presents in the form of whopper pay hikes, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “Unbelievably State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie got an additional...
    Labour
  • Consent should come before research grants for phosphate mining
      The Government’s decision to make a grant by Callaghan Innovation to Chatham Rock Phosphate is highly questionable, says Labour’s Science spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “The fact is that the company still has to get a marine consent to mine the Chatham...
    Labour
  • A Tale of Two Farms
    Pig farming has yet again been thrust into the public view with two programmes this week on Campbell Live highlighting the very different conditions for pigs on two very different farms. The first programme exposed the awful conditions on a...
    Greens
  • Dirty Dairy Accord failing to clean up rivers
    The first monitoring report of the Sustainable Dairying Water Accord fails to show progress on cleaning up our rivers since the Accord was introduced, the Green Party said today. The Accord's targets for stock exclusion are weaker than the previous...
    Greens
  • The Indignant Kiwi: Why we need to do more to protect our national bird
    A kiwi, about to be released into the wild, was first introduced to Prime Minister John Key and German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel on her recent visit to New Zealand. By all reports, Dr Merkel was delighted to meet the rather indignant...
    Greens
  • Conflicted interests and health promotion; my opinion.
    As it happens, I know quite a bit about health promotion. It was an area I worked in prior to becoming an MP. What differentiates health promotion from the strict biomedical model, or from health education, for example, is its...
    Greens
  • Transparency on foreign buyers register needed
    News that Overseas Investment Office officials have been working on a register of foreign buyers of New Zealand homes is a welcome surprise, but Land Information Minister Louise Upston now needs to be clear on the details of the project,...
    Labour
  • National moves on state house sell off
    The Labour Party understands the Government has decided to move ahead with a mass sell-off of state houses. Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says he has been told by sources that Cabinet agreed the plan for their sell-off this week....
    Labour
  • Back-down on expert teacher plan welcomed
    News that the Government has backed down and returned to the drawing board on its flagship ‘expert teacher’ policy will come as a welcome Christmas present to schools and teachers, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Teachers throughout New Zealand...
    Labour
  • John Key can’t duck the blame for internet and phone price increases
    Shareholders are winning out over Kiwi households in the latest episode of the long-running fiasco on copper network phone and internet prices, Labour ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said today. “As predicted last week hundreds of thousands of Kiwi households now...
    Labour
  • An astounding disregard for Māori Affairs
    I have sat on the Māori Affairs Select Committee for most of the last 12 years. I love the committee, its work, its constituency and I especially love how it works differently than other committees, with a strong commitment to...
    Greens
  • Plunging dairy payout will hit regions hard
    The plunging dairy payout will hit New Zealand’s provincial towns and farm service industries hard, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Farmers have been bracing themselves for this expected announcement but it will be small towns and those who...
    Labour
  • Reducing inequality creates a stronger economy
    An OECD report finding New Zealand has one of the fast growing rates of income inequality shows “trickle down” economics has failed and that everyone is better off under a stronger economy, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “The Government should...
    Labour
  • Government surplus target turning sour
    The Government’s golden surplus target is under threat with today’s Crown accounts showing the deficit is $260 million worse than expected, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is two blows in one morning for the Government’s economic credibility after...
    Labour
  • Greens call for end to cruelty of factory farming
    The Government must end the legalised cruelty of factory farming, the Green Party said today.Footage shown on Campbell Live this week revealed yet again the appalling, but legal, conditions pigs are routinely kept in on factory farms. The conditions the...
    Greens
  • Milk price plunge creates $6b economic black hole
    The plunge in Fonterra’s forecast dairy payout to a seven-year low for farmers will create a $6 billion economic black hole, showing yet again that National’s failure to diversify is hurting the economy, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The...
    Labour
  • Gender Pay Gap: It’s a Matter of Leadership
    The State Services Commission’s annual Human Resource Capability report for the public sector shows the gender pay gap has not decreased since at least 2010. The gap is 14% across all management roles – a slightly bigger gap than for...
    Greens
  • Pardon me Minister, but the cracks are showing
    Cracks are appearing in Cabinet ranks with the Minister of Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, throwing his predecessor under the bus over a huge spike in spending by advisers, Labour's State Services spokesman Kris Faafoi says. "Spending to 'staff the...
    Labour
  • Confirmation of no confidence in schools plan
    That just 90 of the country’s 2500 schools have signed up to the Government's one-size-fits all performance pay scheme confirms a wide-spread lack of confidence in it, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The scheme, which creates ‘executive’ and ‘lead...
    Labour
  • John Key’s secret foreign buyers register
    John Key has been secretly planning a register for foreign buyers without telling New Zealanders, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Last week Andrew Little called on John Key to adopt the Australian policy on foreign buyers....
    Labour
  • Another kick in the guts for Christchurch
    The government has walked away from the people of Christchurch with Cabinet’s decision today to cut funding available through local Members of Parliament offices to assist people with their earthquake related issues, says Labour’s Earthquake Recovery Spokesperson, Ruth Dyson.  “Over the...
    Labour
  • State house sell off will make transience worse
    The National Government’s plans to sell off state housing will increase the rate of transience among the poorest families, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. The Growing Up in New Zealand study released today reveals families with children under two...
    Labour
  • Report shows need for independent food safety agency
    The inquiry into the botulism botch-up shows the decision to merge the food safety authority into the Ministry of Primary Industries was a failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “MPI has been severely criticised in this report for...
    Labour
  • National needs to pull their head out of the sand on climate change
    Green MPs were out across the country attending Heads in the Sand events this weekend. I spoke at the Christchurch event where a couple of hundred people mimicked the Government’s climate policy by burying their heads in the sand. It...
    Greens
  • Claims of pumping up the volume all noise
    New manufacturing figures from Statistics NZ reveal a further decline in New Zealand's export performance, highlighting the Government's ongoing failure to rebalance the economy, Labour's Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says."The National Government has adopted a volume-based approach in an...
    Labour
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining.   “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today so the...
    The Daily Blog
  • Letter from Pakistan
    I was in Peshawar last week. It is a vibrant city with a real energy to it. It is my favourite place to be in Pakistan. You feel the energy as you drive around the city. I am in an...
    The Daily Blog
  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Media Release: Rail & Maritime Transport Union Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at...
    The Daily Blog
  • So the United States of Torture is the ally we are supporting to re-invade ...
    How easy is it to con the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind? Very. The despicable means by which this corrupt dirty politics Government have gone about trying to use the fear and anger caused by the Sydney hostage situation...
    The Daily Blog
  • A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins
    A tale of two gunmen – how the media spins...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Jill Ovens – Auckland Hospital worker cuts – Democracy the ...
    Auckland Hospital kitchen workers tell CEO Ailsa Claire (far right) a week ago that they did not want to be contracted out. Such was the arrogance that no contingency plans were made in the event that these workers would be...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political opportunists out in force over Sydney hostage crisis
    It hasn’t taken long for supporters of New Zealand’s so-called “anti-terror” legislation passed last week through parliament to try and justify it in the wake of the Sydney hostage crisis. Before we even knew much about the gunman or hostage...
    The Daily Blog
  • NZs new hobby – hating the poor
    Last week people queued at the doors of the Auckland City Mission. They are people that are living without enough income to afford the basics let alone the extras we as a society have come to expect at Christmas. Extras...
    The Daily Blog
  • The only people who believed National’s surplus illusion were voters
    Sigh – the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind are pretty easy to con aren’t they? National’s surplus was always a joke that would never happen, but in every single focus group, voters believed by overwhelming numbers that National were...
    The Daily Blog
  • Key’s crocodile tears over dirty politics
    John Key: Bloggers ‘not big part of my day’ Prime Minister John Key says bloggers are not a “big part of his day” but he lives in a world where he can’t ignore them. Speaking on TVNZ’s Breakfast programme today,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why we are in inequality denial and climate change denial
        We are a country in denial over our inequality and climate change. Both issues have the same thread that runs through them. 30 years of neoliberalism has generated its own cultural narratives and myths. We have been taught that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of ...
      This weeks Waatea news column – Why proclaiming Key as the Politician of the Year is ethically bankrupt...
    The Daily Blog
  • Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety
    Media Release: Rail and Maritime Transport Union   Britomart violence raises questions over rail staff safety   The Rail and Maritime Transport Union is raising serious questions over the safety of the staff on Auckland’s train network after violent incidents on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Australia stares down Siege – National Party politicise tragedy
    The Sydney siege has finished, from the reports that are breaking the gunman, Man Haron Monis is dead and one of the hostages has also been killed. The Australian Police seem to have acted incredibly professionally and the real Australian...
    The Daily Blog
  • The termination of the Internet Mana alliance
    Last week the Mana Movement and Internet Party wrote to the Electoral Commission to cancel the registration of the Internet-Mana political party. It was a decision which brought the arrangement between the parties to a natural end after failing to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Peace breaks out between Greens and Labour
    Finally some good news for the Left. Peace has broken out between the Greens and Labour. One of the greatest barriers to a real relationship between the Greens and Labour has been the uncompromising arrogance of the Labour Party Caucus...
    The Daily Blog
  • Little keeps it stupid, simple
    Labour MP drops euthanasia billA bill which would legalise voluntary euthanasia has been dropped by Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway at the request of his leader Andrew Little. Mr Lees-Galloway had been canvassing support for his End of Life Choice Bill...
    The Daily Blog
  • Dear Ministry for Social Development,
    Dear Ministry for Social Development, I realise you probably already know this, but just a wee reminder of REALITY. You know – the reality of the vast majority of us who aren’t making ends meet and are struggling to live...
    The Daily Blog
  • Social Policy still in the dark ages when it comes to relationships
    Two years ago I became aware of the work of two very able barristers who defend low income women accused of relationship fraud. CPAG then began collecting cases and stories of horrendous misery and victimisation. Then penny was slow to...
    The Daily Blog
  • The truth about inequality
      The truth about inequality...
    The Daily Blog
  • Rather Than Sending Troops To Iraq … Brownlee May Wish To Consider Better...
    There’s something a little unsettling going on at the moment. Ok, many somethings. Of particular concern is the fact that right now, New Zealand troops are training at Waiouru for deployment to Iraq – and, assumedly, the ongoing war against ISIS. Brownlee,...
    The Daily Blog
  • West Papua’s Saralana Declaration most vital unity development for 52 yea...
    Newly elected spokesman for the unified West Papuan movement Benny Wenda is treated to a chiefly welcome at the opening ceremony of the “unity” meeting in Port Vila. Photo: © Ben Bohane/wakaphotos.com David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific. A...
    The Daily Blog
  • Helen says it all
    Helen says it all...
    The Daily Blog
  • When Fran O’Sullivan, John Armstrong and Cameron Slater are singing Andre...
    The mainstream media of NZ will never allow a Labour leader who threatens the bastions of neoliberalism from ever taking power. David Cunliffe found that out. So when the mainstream media establishment from Fran O’Sullivan to John Armstrong to even...
    The Daily Blog
  • Wisdom’s Mirror: Can Grant Robertson Slay the Neoliberal Gorgon?
    HOW TO ELIMINATE one’s rival without getting one’s hands dirty? It’s a problem with a prodigious political pedigree. King David’s lust for Bathsheba drove him to order Uriah, her unfortunate husband, placed in the front line of battle – where...
    The Daily Blog
  • GUEST BLOG: Miriam Pierard – Sweet Sixteen and able to vote?
    The level of voter participation in elections is an indication of the health of a democracy. Declining turnout across the democratic world, particularly among young people, has led to questions about the legitimacy of our governing institutions. It is time...
    The Daily Blog
  • Public Equity and Progressive Politics
    We heard from the OECD on Wednesday morning (10 Dec) [Focus on Inequality and Growth] that inequality suppresses economic growth. (Here are Radio New Zealand’s morning reports on this.) This is hardly a surprise to many economists and non-economists alike. The key point in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Analysis: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us!
    Analysis (Text & Audio): Across The Ditch – Selwyn Manning & Peter Godfrey Headline: Final Across The Ditch Bulletin for 2014 – Lorde Help Us! 5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.FiveAA’s Peter Godfrey and MIL’s Selwyn Manning present their last...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sharing intelligence with CIA torturers
    New Zealand’s spy agencies have long presented intelligence sharing with their US counterparts as mutually beneficial and benign. That stance has always lacked credibility and is now its impossible to justify. The just-released US Senate Intelligence Committee report shows that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour votes for Surveillance State. NZ First Opposes!
    A few weeks before the election, the New Zealand Labour Party decided to cash in on simmering popular discontent with the state of the surveillance state that National’s set up. Never mind their own previous and well-publicized brushes with egregious state-surveillance … they wanted people to know that...
    The Daily Blog
  • Economic ideology destroys us all
    The OECD’s latest report says “The biggest factor for the impact of inequality on growth is the gap between lower income households and the rest of the population. The negative effect is not just for the poorest income decile but...
    The Daily Blog
  • 3 simple words for the Labour Party
    I have 3 very simple words for all those Labour Party apologists who are trying to rinse Labour clean here. Get. A. Warrant. You can all try and spin this any way you want, but Labour voted for 24 hour...
    The Daily Blog
  • 2014 – Year of the angry white knuckle
    I knew Internet/MANA would have to fight National, ACT, Conservative Party, United Future, Maori Party and the mainstream media. I didn’t think they would also have to fight Labour, the Greens and NZ First as well. Apparently feeding hungry kids in...
    The Daily Blog
  • Chris Rock on cop shootings
    Chris Rock on cop shootings...
    The Daily Blog
  • Bank Lending: Restrictions and Favourites
    An important story in 2014 has been the Reserve Bank’s ‘loan-to-value ratio’ restrictions, which have made it extremely hard for first-time house buyers to get sufficient finance to buy a house. Corran Dann in TVNZ’s  Q+A (7 Dec) suggested that...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – How should Waitangi Tribunal ruling on S...
      This weeks Waatea news column - How should  Waitangi Tribunal ruling on Sovereignty be implemented?...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour sell us out on warrantless surveillance
    Isn’t it depressing that Labour are selling us out by voting for warrantless spying by an agency caught out smearing them? Last night Labour do what they always do, over compensate on Security issues. So terrified are Labour at being...
    The Daily Blog
  • This Is The Headline For Test Post
    This Is The Headline For Test Post Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut eget neque facilisis sapien laoreet volutpat. Nulla vel nisl nec purus interdum tincidunt. Phasellus orci sapien, vestibulum et pulvinar non, pellentesque eget leo. Sed...
    The Daily Blog
  • Question Time in Parliament Today – National Party MPs cheer graph that s...
    This is the graph the National Party were shown by Russel Norman in Parliament today and they all cheered…     …they cheered?!?!?!? That’s beyond denial, that’s just gleefully suicidal....
    The Daily Blog
  • NZ Pastor Prays For Homosexual Author To Kill Himself
    By Jayden Jameson and Jessie Hume If we ever needed a reminder that homophobia is alive and kicking in New Zealand we have Pastor Logan Robertson from the Westcity Baptist Church. The Westcity Baptist ministry could apparently be described as New...
    The Daily Blog
  • Political Journalism in the South-Pacific – a new direction for NZ influe...
    Last week, the incredible Pacific Journalism Review celebrated 20 years of promoting and supporting and standing up for Journalism in the South-Pacific. The conference at AUT featured journalists from around the pacific who have battled and fought and been punished...
    The Daily Blog
  • Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future
    Antarctica minus the ice – welcome to your future...
    The Daily Blog
  • REAL LIFE GUEST BLOG: Lou – 15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homel...
    This is Key’s real life – other NZers aren’t so privileged    15 shifts in 12 months……permanently homeless since May. I went to the Salvation Army yesterday on advice for emergency housing as my temporary accomodation had turned volatile. Just...
    The Daily Blog
  • Labour Party Members should be furious at reviews findings
    Let’s see The Standard use this image Well, well, well… Labour’s election review: What went wrongLabour’s review panel has reported its findings back about the party’s election campaign and the reasons for the low 25 per cent result, identifying problems...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins joins the Sunday Star Times and cements the Rights dominance...
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins   I don’t read the Sunday Star Times, so had no idea that they had just decided to make Judith Collins of all people a new columnist. Her appointment cements into place...
    The Daily Blog
  • Grey Lynn Festival – very Grey – Art in the Dark – very Dark
    The battle of Helm’s Deep from the Two Towers would have had better OSH conditions than Art in the Dark   Grey Lynn Festival – 2 stars So the Grey Lynn Festival happened last weekend. It’s a day where the good liberal...
    The Daily Blog
  • ‘Stalking’ Ede
      Tau Henare accuses TV3 of stalkingA former National MP has accused TV3 of stalking after one of its journalists attempted to question a former Beehive spin doctor. Today’s episode of The Nation featured an unsuccessful attempt to question former...
    The Daily Blog
  • Taxpayer Union, the NZ Herald and Len Brown’s secret hidden love den
    I love the way the NZ Herald introduced the discredited Taxpayer Union in their bullshit story about Len Brown’s secret hidden love den… ‘Secret room’ spending shows need for recall electionsA lobby group says revelations Auckland Council spent $30,000 on...
    The Daily Blog
  • Eric Garner killed by NYPD original footage
    The horror of a ultra militarised and racist American Police Force who can kill with impunity. Obama claims cameras on every office would stop this type of brutality, these cops knew they were being filmed and killed him anyway. In...
    The Daily Blog
  • Unjust to imprison us for crimes we haven’t yet committed
    Once again National and Labour have succumbed to the “law and order” brigade enabling the passage of a Bill imprisoning people for crimes they might commit in the future. The Public Safety (Public Protection Orders) Bill allows the Court to...
    The Daily Blog
  • SPCA welcomes glueboard traps ban
    The Royal New Zealand SPCA applauds the ban on the sale and use ofglueboard traps in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics
  • Mediation Between Lyttelton Port and Union Fails
    The Rail and Maritime Union (RMTU) has opted to continue its overtime ban indefinitely after mediation with the Lyttelton Port of Christchurch (LPC) failed to progress collective bargaining. “There was no substantial shift in LPC’s position today...
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  • Review into Phillip Smith’s escape submitted to Government
    A multi-agency review on the escape of Phillip Smith to South America has submitted its initial report to the Government today....
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  • Len Brown gets haybales from giant chicken and Ms. Santa Cla
    Today at 10.30am, Ms. Santa Claus and a giant chicken delivered haybales to Len Brown’s office, urging Auckland City Council to decline a resource consent application sought by cage egg producer Craddock Farms....
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  • Increased Abuse of Parents A Predicted Outcome
    Family First NZ says that the increasing level of parental abuse , especially towards mothers, is an unfortunate but expected outcome of the rise of children’s ‘rights’ and the undermining of parental authority....
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  • Brownlee’s Misplaced War on Acronyms
    The beleaguered Minister of Defence who reportedly cannot tell an RFL (required fitness level) from an AWQ (annual weapons qualification) has declared war on military acronyms while proving the proverb about those in glass houses....
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  • Fluoride risks whitewashed in rushed consultation
    Ministry of Health propose to exempt toxic industrial waste products used in water fluoridation from the Medicines Act 1981...
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  • Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand
    JUANderful Juan” in 7-Minute Migrante Video Project Shares Practical Tips on Working and Living in New Zealand...
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  • Christmas Day in Prison
    Christmas Day in prison this year will involve swapping the main meal of the day, so that dinner will be served at lunchtime, leaving the evening meal to be sandwiches. This is standard practice for this day....
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  • Alcohol advertising bans need stronger evidence
    Wellington (18 December 2014): The New Zealand Initiative’s Head of Research, Dr Eric Crampton, today urged Cabinet to look to the evidence before banning alcohol advertising and sponsorship. The Ministerial Forum on Advertising and Sponsorship...
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  • EPA grants marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has granted a marine consent to OMV NZ Ltd to continue its development drilling programme in the Maari oil field in the South Taranaki Bight....
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  • DHB puts staff and patients at risk in order to save money
    The Public Service Association (PSA) is alarmed that the Waikato District Health Board (WDHB) is proposing to cut the 4 and 2 roster system, established nationally, for mental health nurses. The PSA represents more than 210 mental health nurses working...
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  • Ambivilence about alcohol marketing recommendations
    Ministers Adams and Dunn issued a media release yesterday nearly two months after receiving a final report from their Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, and four years following an original announcement to review alcohol...
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  • Alcohol forum recommendations: a step in the right direction
    The Forum has stated clearly that that it accepts alcohol marketing plays a role in heavy alcohol consumption and subsequent harm, and that young people need to be protected from it by regulation....
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  • Court Judgment: Nicky Hager v Police on Dirty Politics Raids
    Mr Hager alleges that steps taken by the second respondent (the Police): first, in deciding to apply for a search warrant in respect of Mr Hager’s premises; secondly, in applying for the warrant; and thirdly, executing the warrant at his...
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  • Holiday home hazards revealed
    Common sense ways to look after your property this summer Auckland, 18 December 2014 – Burglars aren’t the only threat to your home during the holiday season, says AA Insurance. It’s more likely to be broken water pipes, burst hot...
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  • Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace
    Grieving families should be able to scatter ashes in peace 18 December 2014 Funeral directors are relieved that Wellington City Council has finally dropped plans to charge families for permits to scatter ashes in public places. Funeral Directors...
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  • RSA Offers Condolences To Victims Of Sydney Siege
    As an organisation representing over 100,000 New Zealanders, the RSA has today condemned the actions taken by Man Haron Monis during his siege in a Sydney café, and offered their deepest sympathies to the friends and family of Tori Johnson...
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  • Kiwi activists crowdfund billboard for Simon Bridges
    Almost seven thousand New Zealanders have taken part in a crowdfunding campaign, and have raised enough money to put a billboard up in Tauranga that is directed at Simon Bridges, the Minister of Energy and Resources....
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  • Leaked TISA text exposes US threat to privacy, data security
    ‘The US is demanding that New Zealand and other countries accept sweeping rules that would override privacy protections for digitised personal and other data’, according to Professor Jane Kelsey from the University of Auckland....
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  • Lyttelton Port workers begin overtime ban
    Workers of Christchurch Rail and Lyttelton Port have begun an indefinite ban on overtime, according to the Rail and Maritime Transport Union. The ban was announced at a mass meeting at the Port after negotiations between Lyttelton Port of Christchurch...
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  • Ban on Alcohol Advertising Could Cost Taxpayer
    Responding to yesterday's release of the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship, Jordan Williams, the Executive Director of the Taxpayers’ Union says:...
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  • Farm safety isn’t helped by punitive fines
    Federated Farmers Health and Safety spokesperson, Katie Milne says she is concerned about the impact of the $40,000 fine for a Marlborough farm couple, who weren’t wearing helmets and carrying children as passengers. The Court case, and subsequent...
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  • New online guide to NZ’s environment goes live
    The Environment Foundation* has launched a new web-based guide to the management of New Zealand’s natural environment....
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  • Ban On Alcohol Advertising Just One Step
    Family First NZ says that a proposed ban on alcohol advertising at sports events as recommended by a ministerial forum is an important move, but will not solve the binge drinking and alcohol abuse issue on its own....
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  • CLANZ scholarship winner to examine legal services to Crown
    Wellington in-house lawyer Tania Warburton is the inaugural winner of the research scholarship established by the Corporate Lawyers Association of New Zealand (CLANZ)....
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  • Joint Australasian operation dismantles drug syndicate
    The Joint Organised Crime Task Force (JOCTF), leading a multi-agency team, has smashed a multi-million dollar international organised crime network following raids across Melbourne this morning....
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  • Video: Meet Mark Gilbert, U.S. Ambassador-Designate to NZ
    Join us in welcoming Ambassador-Designate Mark Gilbert and his wife Nancy. They are arriving in New Zealand shortly and wanted to introduce themselves. Watch this video to learn about his connections with Aotearoa, and why he thinks the partnership between...
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  • MIA Welcomes Review Findings
    The MIA welcomes the findings of the Health Quality & Safety Commission into child and youth mortality arising from the use of motorcycles, quads and other agricultural vehicles....
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  • Quads Bikes Not for Under 16s
    Safekids Aotearoa strongly supports recommendations made in a report released today highlighting the dangers posed by quad bikes when ridden or controlled by children who are under 16 years of age....
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  • Inquiry on Parliament’s legislative response to emergencies
    Public submissions are being invited on Regulations Review Committee’s Inquiry into Parliament’s legislative response to future national emergencies. The closing date for submissions is Sunday, 1 March 2015....
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  • Switch off on the beach NOT at level crossings
    KiwiRail and TrackSAFE NZ have launched a new summer rail safety campaign with a message to motorists to stay focused and always look for trains at level crossings over the holidays. December is known as the month for family, festivity...
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  • Report on child and youth deaths from vehicle use
    Quad bike and other off-road vehicle accidents second largest cause of child recreational deaths...
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  • Inspector-General accepts apology for leak of report
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, Cheryl Gwyn, has accepted an unreserved apology from Hon Phil Goff MP for disclosing some of the contents of her recent Report into the Release of Information by the NZSIS in July and August...
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  • Santa’s naughty list shows NZPork in trouble
    Santa has provided animal advocacy organisation SAFE with an early copy of this year’s naughty list , as it prominently features many animal-abusing industries and businesses, with NZPork topping the list....
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  • WWI veterans had persisting higher risk of early death
    New research on the impact of the First World War on participating New Zealand soldiers shows they typically lost around eight years of life and had an increased risk of early death in the post-war period....
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  • Rainbow Wellington urges further change from Blood Service
    This week the New Zealand Blood Service (NZBS) announced the implementation of the agreed changes to blood donor deferral. For men who have sex with men (MSM) this primarily involves a reduction of the deferral period from five years to...
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  • New Zealand Government signals reversal of fortune
    The Government’s robust $372 million forecast surplus from Budget 2014 will turn into a $572 million deficit, according to the 2015 Half-Yearly Economic and Fiscal Update and the Budget Policy Statement. Imports are cheaper and good export prices...
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  • Time for Jobs that Count in the Meat Industry
    The NZ Meat Workers Union will launch a new national campaign to highlight job insecurity in the Meat Industry this afternoon in Palmerston North....
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  • Protest at killing of schoolboys – Vigil 17/12/14
    A peaceful vigil will be held in Downtown Square opposite Britomart station – cnr of Queen and Customs St from 11-45 am: Wednesday 17 December 2014....
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  • Social housing provider opens development in Johnsonvillle
    Social housing provider, Accessible Properties, will be opening eight new social housing units in a new housing development in Johnsonville tomorrow....
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  • NCWNZ Wins Court Case
    ComVoices welcomes and celebrates the news that the National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) has won its High Court case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
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  • Cut Taxes + Cut Waste = Surplus
    Responding to the Treasury's Half Year Fiscal and Economic Update, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director, Jordan Williams, says:...
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  • Cuts in public services likely fromBudget Policy Statement
    The horizon for workers looks gloomy with the release today of the Budget Policy statement. “Continuing real cuts in Government funding of public services are inevitable as a result of today’s Budget Policy Statement. The policy ignores the social,...
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  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
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  • Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update 2014
    The Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU) 2014 provides the Treasury's latest economic forecasts and the forecast financial statements of the Government, including the implications of Government financial decisions....
    Scoop politics
  • Chief Ombudsman launches major review of OIA practices
    The Chief Ombudsman, Dame Beverley Wakem, has today begun a wide ranging review of Official Information Act (OIA) practices in the public sector....
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  • The Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning
    “Our hearts and minds are with the people of Sydney: the Tasman Sea got a little smaller this morning,” said Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy....
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  • A safety message for the festive season from Housing NZ
    Batteries may be required for some of the best toys under the tree this year, but they are just as essential to enjoying the greatest gift of all, says Housing New Zealand General Manager of Property Services, Marcus Bosch. “Smoke...
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  • Charity Wins in the High Court
    The National Council of Women of New Zealand (NCWNZ) is delighted that the High Court has found in its favour in its case against Inland Revenue and the Charities Registration Board....
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