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On Pike

Written By: - Date published: 3:56 pm, December 12th, 2013 - 94 comments
Categories: health and safety, law, Unions, workers' rights - Tags:

The decision announced today (but made when?) to withdraw the charges against Pike CEO Peter Whittall cannot be left to rest.

When did a Judge of a New Zealand Court participate in a deal where criminal charges were dropped and money paid.  It is insufficient to say the two are not connected.  The money has been paid into the Court today.  The Judge should have had nothing to do with this part of the agreement nor used the Court to collect the cash, and she seemed in her comments to support the deal saying it was “a good outcome”.  This is my view is highly inappropriate.

The precedent is huge.  The Health and Safety in Employment Act forbids insurance being taken out to cover for penalties.  The “arrangement” reached with Whittall and his insurers with the Crown, bypasses the intention of the Act and allows a fine already ordered to be paid against the Company in one case, to be paid to escape the possibility of a conviction and fine in another, and by insurance.

If the charges could not be made to stick then it is my view, they must have been poorly laid, poorly investigated and again point to a lack of capacity and rigour in the Department.  When a Royal Commission finds as strongly as it, systematic failings in management at the mine, the test of failing to “take all practicable steps” in regards health and safety should have been proved.

Clearly the Department itself would have been a focus of this case if Whittall had continued to defend himself.  It’s failings would have been re-canvassed and its direct dealings with Whittall exposed which was not done in the Royal Commission.   The Cabinets decision not to pay reparations to the families despite agencies like ACC receiving insurance payments for the mine, left the families in a precarious financial position and opened the door for this offer to come in.  Everyone wins here except the families and most importantly except the men killed in the mine.  It is the Crowns job to represent them.  They cannot seek justice themselves.  When someone is killed like this, we hand the responsibility to the Crown to seek justice – it has failed in every way for the men at Pike.  The Cabinet should continue to be pressured to compensate for the Crowns role.

In this case, MBIE are saying the case was a waste of money given it would be complex and long.  It is saying spending the money is not in the public interest.  This is in contrast to the Cabinet Decision to allow the families to sue the Crown if they so wish, rather than seek to compensate on agreed terms – leaving the responsibility for justice to sit on the families shoulders.

We are up to our eyeballs in legal expenses around health and safety.  While money pours in from Government Agencies  to help industries run health and safety initiatives, we are fighting on all fronts using the money paid in union fees by shop workers that stack supermarket shelves at night,  to try and be the counter-voice here.  Be it cases for Security Guards killed on their first night at work on Fulton Hogan Building sites, the families of forest workers appearing at Coronial hearings or for seeking advice on what happened today in Christchurch District Court.  It sometimes feels unsustainable against all the lawyers that corporations can afford, and with a Department which does not consult or work with us on these issues.  I hope the new Worksafe will be better and we are positive about it and its new leadership but that does not release us from seeking justice in the present situation.   We are thinking how we can challenge this decision.  It’s a big job.  All ideas welcome.

94 comments on “On Pike”

  1. One Anonymous Knucklehead 1

    Douglas, Prebble, Goff, Shipley, Bolger and the rest of the neo-liberal “high trust model” enablers should be in the dock with them.

    We have to end the experiment.

  2. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2

    Hi Helen Kelly,

    I really like this article and your work however I have read this phrase:
    “Everyone wins here except the families and most importantly except the men killed in the mine.” in a number of articles relating to this issue today.

    I thoroughly disagree with this.

    A lot of people lose out with the way this issue is going.
    We need to be able to trust that everything is being done to ensure our workplaces are safe.
    This outcome, to me, ensures that a whole lot of mismanagement – incompetence – by government departments and owners of businesses – are not incurring the penalties needed to ensure that far more care is being taken in the future.

    Therefore more people than the families directly involved in this avoidable disaster are being adversely affected by this outcome.

    Infact, I’d even go so far to say that it is undermining to our very system. This is making future politicians and judiciaries work a whole lot more difficult because many [more] people are simply going to lose trust that they know or care what they are doing. The more disenchanted people become the less effectively our system functions.

    This system depends on trust and a whole lot is being lost over the piss-poor, disgraceful way that this issue is being treated.

    • helen kelly 2.1

      You are right – by everyone – I mean everyone possibly implicated – the people of NZ miss out as well.

      • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2.1.1

        I hope you make that very clear in future because I think a lot of people don’t make these important connections for themselves. (Too busy etc) …and there are important connections between what is going on for these families and all workers especially those who work in dangerous industries…[of course I know you know that...just think its a connection the general public may omit to make unless it is spelled out to them]

        • thechangeling 2.1.1.1

          There’s also a whole host of other connections I think the general public don’t get over other workplace rights attacks such as employers not having to conclude collective bargaining for example, because what it does once the collectives expire, is it puts those workers onto ‘take it or leave it’ individual contracts (Employment Contracts Act 1991 all over again) that are always heavily biased towards the employer.
          This power imbalance between worker and employer leads to the employer doing everything in their power to maximise production and/or efficiency at the cost of worker health and safety leading to worker fatigue, accidents and more worker turnover, temporary contract, untrained staffs etc etc, and with no worker input or redress to stand up for the problems that will keep evolving in workplaces under employment contracts that don’t offer any serious worker input for improving the workplace and its’ systems.

          • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 2.1.1.1.1

            @ theChangeling
            Yes I agree…yet I must make sure its very clear in case I didn’t before…I view Helen Kelly as someone who speaks out very clearly to the public on these very connections! :)

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.1.2

            “…always heavily biased towards the employer.”

            I think they are biased in favour of the employers’ lawyers and financiers. It’s not like this market-fundamentalist gibberish boosts profits for anyone who produces anything.

  3. Philj 3

    Xox
    You are it Helen! Our legal process has sold out, like most of our rights, subservient to corporate Interests. This is not a democracy any more.

  4. Pike River Disaster is us all

    The NACTs are so far refusing to be shamed into making state corporate and ministries pay court ordered compensation to the Pike River families. After Key’s crocodile tears at the public rally following the disaster, he now claims there is no legal or moral reason to compensate the families. What do you expect? The NACTs crony capitalist regime is speeding up its rip, shit and bust style of plundering Aotearoa’s natural resources. This means privatising land, water, minerals into the hands of crony capitalists, destroying nature and furthering the carbon burning climate collapse of the failing capitalist system.

    The Royal Commission, numerous testaments of miners, crusading journalism like Rebecca Macfie’s book on ‘Tragedy at Pike River Mine’, http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11158015
    and committed working class histories like Paul Maunder’s book ‘Coal and the Coast’ http://accessradio.org/public/programme.php?uid=1381360086-570-18
    put the case beyond reasonable doubt: capitalism rapes nature and chews up and spits out workers and their families in the process so it can make its profits out of their blood and guts.

    What we have said consistently about this disaster is that it is typical of capitalism in its terminal decline and no faith in the bosses’ state or in any of the capitalist parties, NACTs, Labour or Greens will change that. Labour and the unions are part of this retreat into rip, shit and bust. The old miners union has been replaced by the EPMU who are committed to working within the confines of capitalist laws.

    We need to fight like the Red Fed of the early 1900s before the labour movement was co-opted into parliament. The Red Fed was notorious as a federation of labour that put the interests of workers before the bosses’ law. They broke from the IC&A Act – labour’s ‘leg iron’ in the words of Harry Holland – and fought the bosses attempt to break their federation by violent attacks and force them back into the Arbitration Court. This year, 2013 is the 100 anniversary of the 1913 General Strike that signified the defeat of the Red Fed.

    A Red Fed today would be in a very different situation than 100 years ago. As Maunder points out, the capitalist world division of labour has changed. While the NZ economy is still based on extraction and export of raw materials, workers interests do not lie in defending their jobs by the further plunder and destruction of nature. A Red Fed would face climate catastrophe not by fighting for ‘fair shares’ in the destruction of the planet, but by fighting for a new sustainable socialist system in which the working class plans production for our need and not the profits of the 1%. So while the families should get their compensation in this life, the workers need to go on the offensive. The alternative to ongoing destruction of nature and deaths of workers is to rebuild our unions and fight for a Workers’ Government that would socialise the strategic industries without compensation to private owners, and plan production under workers control for a socialist economy.
    http://redrave.blogspot.co.nz/2013/12/class-struggle-107-rape-culture-dirty.html

    • Rogue Trooper 4.1

      +1 of course.

    • Rosie 4.2

      Great comment Red Rattler.

      Just quickly, as an aside, did you notice how under the radar the 100th anniversary commemoration of the 1913 General Strike was?

      Big up’s the the LHP in conjunction with the Wellington Museum of City and Sea for organising talks, history walks and the excellent Parade, complete with Red Fed’s and Massey’s Cossacks on horses on 5th Nov here in Wellington but where were the people? Where was the media coverage?

      And yes, “Tragedy at Pike River Mine” is on the list of must reads.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.3

      +1

      We have to stop trying to produce as much as possible and start to only produce what we need. International trading, instead of being the driver of efficiency is, as a matter of fact, the driver of the destruction of our environment through over-use of resources and, eventually, our society through lack of resources because we’ve sold them all.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    This is more like it. And specifically

    A Red Fed would face climate catastrophe not by fighting for ‘fair shares’ in the destruction of the planet, but by fighting for a new sustainable socialist system in which the working class plans production for our need and not the profits of the 1%.

    Excellent. You’re taking about bringing about a new vision to the people and a new system here, not just putting comforting sticky plasters on the current system which is taking us over an environmental cliff, at speed.

    We need to fight like the Red Fed of the early 1900s before the labour movement was co-opted into parliament. The Red Fed was notorious as a federation of labour that put the interests of workers before the bosses’ law. They broke from the IC&A Act – labour’s ‘leg iron’ in the words of Harry Holland

    Yep – fighting on a battlefield set up and conditioned by your enemy is a lost cause from the start.

    This year, 2013 is the 100 anniversary of the 1913 General Strike that signified the defeat of the Red Fed.

    This is worth reflecting on. Organised labour has almost always lost (or at best, grudgingly held even) in a big confrontation with capital.

    The alternative to ongoing destruction of nature and deaths of workers is to rebuild our unions and fight for a Workers’ Government that would socialise the strategic industries

    Not keen on a centralised “workers’ govt.” It has to be democratic and it has to be decentralised. And most enterprises can and should still be privately owned businesses – as long as the ownership and the decision making was democratic.

    And frankly, many workers nowadays are either not capable or not interested in being business owners themselves. There would be a lot of upskilling and mentoring required.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      This is worth reflecting on. Organised labour has almost always lost (or at best, grudgingly held even) in a big confrontation with capital.

      Yeah, there’s a reason for that. Ownership and control of the nations resources and businesses means that capital has all the power. This ownership model needs to be addressed along with the banking system.

      And most enterprises can and should still be privately owned businesses…

      Nope. The capitalist ownership model is, IMO, the major problem with capitalism and you can’t bring about socialism while maintaining it as it will still give power and wealth to the owners. The businesses should be self-owned or not owned at all while being controlled by the workers.

      And frankly, many workers nowadays are either not capable or not interested in being business owners themselves.

      Who said that they have a choice?

      • Colonial Viper 5.1.1

        Many are not interested Draco. Lots of people who would prefer to do their job, get a regular pay and go home without the responsibility and hassle of being a business owner.

        Nope. The capitalist ownership model is, IMO, the major problem with capitalism

        First recognise that there are many models of capitalism available.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1

          Lots of people who would prefer to do their job, get a regular pay and go home without the responsibility and hassle of being a business owner.

          Under present conditions that may be true but we’re looking at changing the conditions. People may be more interested being part of the governing of the business under a cooperative than under the present hierarchical systems.

          First recognise that there are many models of capitalism available.

          But there isn’t. Private ownership and control is the heart of capitalism. There may be a few differences on the edges (representative democracy compared to the absolute rule in feudalism) but that doesn’t make capitalism any different. The end result is the same – poverty for the many and untold wealth for the few.

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1

            The capitalism of SME’s and local family owned businesses is very different to the capitalism of trans-national capital and TBTF, draco.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1.1.1.1

              No it’s not because it must result in accumulation of wealth into the hands of the few which allows them to appropriate the communities wealth. The accumulation is exponential.

              Trans-national capital started as SME and family businesses.

              • Colonial Viper

                That process can be delayed for a couple of centuries using appropriate regulatory mechanisms.

              • ghostrider888

                You know, there are other economies (not a pleasant word the way it has evolved, What does it serve when you can gaze upon the myriad views that now critique, distort or defend effectively ‘legitimised insanity’). Good Lord, is it Hard Times all over? What about Dicken’s portrayal of people whose existence depended on sifting through chimney ash- not a lot to differentiate from the logical extreme conclusion of the opposite political polarity (lovely word polarity)
                and Who / Whom ever made the Louis XVI / jester image, just Marvellous .
                :-D :-D :-D

  6. Sanctuary 6

    If you’ve got enough money, you can get away with murder. Welcome to John Key’s New Zealand. It makes me sick.

  7. ghostwhowalksnz 7

    Helen is right on the point here-

    “they must have been poorly laid, poorly investigated and again point to a lack of capacity and rigour in the Department.’

    So The families are doubly victimised, first by the departments practically no existent oversight of the mine operation and then secondly by the botched court case ( the defence lawyers critique is withering)

    I also notice the Chief Executive of MOBIE had his appearance before parliament last week, no doubt timed so that this gross incompetence couldnt be scrutinized.

  8. Rogue Trooper 8

    “The power of the Crown, almost dead and rotten as Prerogative, has grown up anew, with much more strength, and far less odium under the name of Influence”.- Edmund Burke : Thoughts on the cause of the Present Discontents .(1770) p.10

    “The influence of the Crown has increased, is increasing, and ought to be diminished”. -John Dunning (Baron Ashburton) Resolution passed in the House of Commons, 6 April 1780′ in Parliamentary History of England (T.C Hansard, 1814) vol. 21, col.347.

    “Money doesn’t talk, it swears”. -Dylan ‘It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)’ (1965).

  9. Rosie 9

    Thank you Helen, and thank you for the work you do.

    I’ve often wondered how much more the families of the victims of the Pike River Mine disaster can take. I really thought the govt turning their back of them and not compensating them would be the final straw. It is unbearable that they have to face something so shocking and insulting yet again.

    The way the deaths of these men has been handled is the most despicable act of cruelty, cowardice and indifference I have seen levelled at working people in my life, here in NZ. My eyes have never been shut to the way a government, company or corporation can wheedle their way out of responsibility, but this is the worst. The victims are victims over and over again.

  10. vto 10

    The only option is a General Strike.

    Fucking tory scum bastards.

    Strike!

    • Rosie 10.1

      oh well vto, The right to go on general strike is illegal in this country. Handy eh?

      And Simon Bridges, he is pure evil, pure scum. Not even Key has the malicious intent that he does. There is something very very wrong with that man. Seriously.

      • vto 10.1.1

        hmmm, you sound like you know him a bit. Interesting observation.

        And is that correct that it is illegal to go on a General Strike? If so – who fucking cares? We should call a general strike regardless. Civil disobedience. Fuck the law. 29 men have been killed by the employment laws ffs ….. why would anyone have respect for the law in this area?

        • Rosie 10.1.1.1

          “hmmm, you sound like you know him a bit. Interesting observation”

          Lol. It doesn’t take too many observation skills to see what Bridges is about. Look at those sociopathic lying eyes of his, that anger and hatred simmering away below the surface, the way he speaks, the words so hard to get out, like his conscience is at war with his horrid personality.

          And then there’s the deeds to back it up. Bans protesting at sea, protesting! Which is a ban of our fundamental human rights. Writes draconian new employment law which hasn’t passed yet but will do next year. Has a petulant childish meltdown on the Campbell live show.

          As for striking, and maybe Helen if she has a chance can clarify or correct, striking is allowed on only two occasions in NZ. At a time when employment contract negotiations break down between workers and their employer – this is a formal process too, the workers or the Union representing them needs to give written notice to the employer to do so. The other time is when the workplace is considered to be an immediate danger to the health or safety of the workers. Workers can withdraw their labour at this point.

          And sadly vto, what has always bugged me was why did the miners not strike over unsafe work conditions at Pike River when they knew about them? Did they not have the support of their union, the EPMU to do so? Or did they do so already and its not widely known?

          I say that with the deepest respect and am not questioning the fact that the fault fully lies with the employer. These miners were victims of a broken safety system and a profit at any cost attitude. I often wonder if they felt that they couldn’t strike due to the oppresissve nature of the management.

          If that is the case, that adds another layer of shame upon our Government and Solid Energy.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.1.2

        The right to go on general strike is illegal in this country.

        Rules are made to be broken – especially when they enforce injustice.

        • Rosie 10.1.2.1

          Drax, I empathise with your statement but can you really imagine the whole country downing tools in support of the Miners memories and their families when in 2013, as workers we are far removed and distanced from the concept of it solidarity?

          The neolib agenda has bred selfishness and indifference in the population – it’s every worker for themselves in non unionised workplaces. The move from collective unity and strength to achieve and organise to individual self care doesn’t foster a sense of sacrifice for the sake of others.

          If an event like going on General Strike, illegally, in support of the Miners was to proceed it would need major backing and commitment from from the workers of this country – how would that happen when people are too exhausted from excessive work hours, poor pay, ill health and too disillusioned to care?

          Every day I receive email updates about workers struggle’s around the planet. It’s depressing reading. There are many that take greater risks than we would ever dream of here, and lose their lives for making a stand. (Eg, the latest death I read about was a Colombian Union leader who was shot by the military just for organising a site)

          The main difference I see between NZer’s and people from countries that have even more tenuous working conditions than ours is the will to act. The will to act has been bred out of us over the last 30 years.

          • Paul 10.1.2.1.1

            Because the Labour Party was the one that enacted the neoliberal nightmare.
            It’s hard to fight when it’s your own leaders that betray you.

          • Rogue Trooper 10.1.2.1.2

            Excellent Rosie, get those ya ya’s out!

  11. vto 11

    Judge Farish has been on my watch list for some time. She has a record of dubious judgments, emotion and tangentiality. She needs to stand down.

  12. vto 12

    Private prosecution.

    Bring on Sir Graham McCreadie.

  13. vto 13

    Minister of Labour Simon Bridges not commenting…?

    What a weak cowardly piece of piss-shit….

    This entire government is utterly unbelievable. They stink to the core. They are rotten to the core.

    I loathe them

    • Paul 13.1

      They are the puppets of the corporates

      • vto 13.1.1

        Yeah, well it is time to start fighting harder. Time to expose who funds them, who directs them, what their conversations are, who they play footsies with. Time for heavier accusations. Time to call them out.

        I loathe them. On a personal level. Because it is all intensely personal. Make no mistake – the link is direct.

        • Paul 13.1.1.1

          OK..let’s start
          Goff
          Who sponsors his support of the TPP?
          Jones
          Who sponsors his support of big oil?

          • vto 13.1.1.1.1

            Q1, don’t know. Q2, don’t know, probably corporate tangata whenua – same as for big fishing and the scum that they are.

            What was Lord Ashcroft meeting with John Key for? What was their conversation about?

            How much money gets paid by dairy interest to the National Party, and why? Is that why they fucking stole our democracy and shit in our water?

  14. vto 14

    New Zealand is fucking corrupt.

    Bribes and backhanders and inside knowledge come up in conversation like you wouldn’t believe in the Chch rebuild. Imagine it doesn’t go on elsewhere and hasn’t in the past? Fool

    Our leader is the biggest liar in the land. Even his own Nat party members think so.

    It is a fucking joke and the sooner we naïve heads-in-the-clouds kiwis wake up to this reality the better.

  15. RedBaronCV 15

    “When people get up and go to work in the morning they have the right to return to their homes at the end of the day.”

    So money that could have and should have been paid voluntarily by any number of parties culpable in the Pike River disaster, has been withheld and used to pay off thefamilies after criminal prosecution of those allegedly responsible has been dropped.
    How sick is that – the families have a right to be incensed.

    So now we have a country where the politicians can influence legal action if it suits their favourite corporate. Isn’t the first time this has happened under Nact either. Remember a few Xmas’s back when they suddenly stepped in and took over from the IRD and settled the amount for the billions the Banks owed the IRD after a succesful tax prosecution. Most taxpayers don’t get to negotiate with Cabinet if the IRD successfully prosecutes them.

  16. adam 16

    This is the elites just looking after there own. Once again working people have nothing in common with the rich white plutocrats who run this country. Scum knew it was unsafe and still he ordered men down the mine – I hope he chokes on a chip in Fiji soon!

  17. Philj 17

    Xox
    I would like to say you are exaggerating VTO. But alas, to our mutual shame, you are right on the money.
    Roll on the revolution. Nothing less!

  18. adam 18

    You want ideas – how about the unions walk away from the labour party. How about the fact that labour party has stopped representing the interests of working people, I know all you stall warts here will come rushing to there defense. Because labour didn’t do bugger all to improve worker safety in the 9 years they had in office, indeed they laid the ground work for this disaster.

    So if labour shaft working people again , what are you lot going to do – rub your hands together and say – well, at least there better than national.

    I’m bloody sick of people dying going to work – I’m sick to death of the pass the buck culture that has seemed to set in, and I’m bloody sick of so called lefties to scared to call the white elites in this country to task – no matter what f&^king party they are in. Phil Goff and co in labour are traitors to working people and I hope they go down in history as the scum sucking leaches that they are.

    • infused 18.1

      The most sensible comment here.

      • greywarbler 18.1.1

        infused
        You show your anti left direction with that remark. You would just like to stick one into the left wouldn’t you. You nasty, divisive, poisonous little RW troll.

  19. tricledrown 19

    Orders came from the highest level not to prosecute so we are told .
    Was that Mobie dickhead joyce!
    Or please standup shonky memory.
    $300 million wasted
    29 men wasted
    Following the freemarkets selfregulation

    • Will@Welly 19.1

      So what has Finlayson got to say about this? He is, after all, the Attorney General. It’s a black mark on his character as well, and he won’t like that. Fussy little bastard. Once he realises he’s been implicated as well, he’ll be squealing.

  20. Will@Welly 20

    vto – nice to see someone with a bit of fire in their belly. worth bottling. +100% !!

  21. Corokia 21

    If you have a strong stomach, read Homepaddock on this issue. The author is a Nat bigwig and its an insight in to their warped world view where the families are accused of being illogical due to grief, because they want justice and all commentary otherwise is just political posturing.

    • vto 21.1

      People like this need speaking to in very strong terms person to person when discussing such things. The heat must be turned up on these ugly ugly ways. Had one such conversation with a staunch Nat party member recently. Methinks they are well aware of their shortcomings but pride gets in the way of acknowledgment. Press it. Press them. Push hard. They will bend eventually (after they get routed next election).

      • greywarbler 21.1.1

        vto
        Most of them, never. They are masterful (he embracing she) proponents of the art of rationalisation and blinkered individualism and materialism. You don’t get to where they have got to, by being a panty-waist (whatever that term means) and worrying about every little injury that happens in life. After all you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. And a few humans losing their legs, arms, life, in the drive to make Big Money is just unfortunate collateral damage.

    • blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 21.2

      @ Corokia

      I wouldn’t have imagined that there were people out there justifying the tragically incompetent way this issue is being dealt with and yours is a very interesting comment providing insight into the illogical mindset of such … creatures (can’t quite bring myself to refer to them as people).

      It seems to be a trend that those committing crimes against our society (high profile politicians in the west) keep labelling their opponents with labels that most suit themselves… in this case those seeking justice are called ‘illogical’ whereas the name-callers are being just that.

      Another example Key calling a variety of protesters ‘rent-a-crowd’ when it is him that is prostituting himself to the highest bidder (no-principles-here-zone).

      I keep noticing this and it is occurring a lot

      It appears to be a very effective way of not taking responsibility, warping public opinion and obstructing public demand that any ‘actor’ is held to account.

  22. Carol Rose , part of the ‘secretariat’ for the families has just been on Morning Report.

    She was very articulate about the failure of the government and justice system and highlighted that Peter Whittall gets off ‘scot-free’ – no charges to face, has paid nothing personally towards compensation (it’s from the insurance company).

    She didn’t mince words. Spoke of the compensation being tempting for some families but that taking it would leave a bad taste in the mouth.

  23. Corokia 23

    Someone should be checking that the overseas witnesses have actually refused to come and testify.

    • vto 23.1

      overseas witnesses = cowards

      peter whittall = coward

      all the directors = cowards

      John Dow = coward

      weak men

      the workers = courageous

      how surprising

    • Molly 23.2

      Time to give international corporations an accountability spokesperson in each country that they operate in. If they want to have all the privileges and legal protections of a human in the form of a legal entity – then they need to provide a representative entity that can be prosecuted and put in jail.

      Let’s propose that companies like Andarko nominate one/all of their executives/board to be the go-to/prosecution target if there is a major oil spill in NZ. Remind them that if a spill occurs they personally will be prosecuted for pollution and for the cost of cleanup, and their personal assets are liable. We have some SERCO jails getting prepared for them as we speak.

      … we may be surprised at just how fast Andarko decides it is not worth the risk.

      • Arfamo 23.2.1

        They’d probably just create a position, recruit some homeless person into that role and pay them in pies.

        • Molly 23.2.1.1

          Thought of that. A stooge clause would ensure that anybody using this method is automatically given twice the sentence – and the stooge – gets whistleblower status.

          • Arfamo 23.2.1.1.1

            Now you have to get such legislation drafted and engineered through an political system that is so well-connected and in thrall to big business it will kill it before it spawns.

      • Draco T Bastard 23.2.2

        Let’s propose that companies like Andarko nominate one/all of their executives/board…

        But they won’t – they’ll nominate some fall guy somewhere. Just need to write into law that they will be held accountable along with Anadarko – no more limited liability.

  24. Bill 24

    MoBIE isn’t independent of the government, is it? And MoBIE was central to charges being dropped, yes? And just being realistic on Nationals re-election prospects with a Pike River trial all over the media….hmm. Meanwhile, wonder who thought that throwing 3.4 million dollars at people would put a lid on things? Would take a very particular and peculiar mentality to come up with that one as ‘cover’, would it not?

  25. greywarbler 25

    If the charges could not be made to stick then it is my view, they must have been poorly laid, poorly investigated and again point to a lack of capacity and rigour in the Department. When a Royal Commission finds as strongly as it, systematic failings in management at the mine, the test of failing to “take all practicable steps” in regards health and safety should have been proved.

    Helen’s point here, which I have bolded, is pivotal I think.
    The Government has failed in ensuring that the mine was on a safe site, that was going to be a viable one for a viable business, and that the facts known about the site were the result of full investigation by independent professionals, and properly checked by the Directors under oversight by people in charge of Mines. This for both safety of the site, the business, the preservation of investment money from wastage on a chimera, and of course the safety of the vulnerable workers. It is a situation similar to the collapse of the Christchurch building through lack of proper oversight by a professional, by the checking authority, and unwillingness to go forward with with a building that was capable of withstanding the stresses it could meet. That needed integrity all along the way. The Government has shown lack of integrity in the development of the mine.

    Then the mine was dependent on human miners to work within its environs to bring out the valuable coal. So the Department of Labour should have had close oversight from a man or woman who understood mining problems. If they were not well versed in the problems arising from methane leakage, then they should have been able to call in expert advice. The Government appears to have had little concern for the miners safety, and good work practices.
    Basically their attitude seems to be ‘Easy come, easy go’. A few crocodile tears then back to their comfy offices and count expenses incurred in settling the matter as cheaply as possible, as part of the payout for the deaths resulting from the explosion.

    Then there is the situation of having legal work done on this highly technical yet human disaster, by someone who it seems has done an inadequate job, the evidence relying too much on hearsay apparently. This person looks as if he/she has been set up to fail. This indicates a very poorly run, inefficient Government department/entity.

    Then there is the situation of not being able to get statements signed or witnesses to attend.
    Why has the Government not got the powers to subpoena, demand, threaten such people to
    answer questions and give an account that explains the explosion? There should be laws that can’t be evaded. If such people can’t be coerced into answering questions by attending if in NZ then they should be put on a criminal charge. If overseas if they won’t return they should then have to submit to being cross-examined by video from a legally acceptable site there.
    How come Peter Whitall is taking all the heat when Gordon Ward was big in the company till two months before the explosion? And this Gordon has chosen not to come back and give evidence. What sort of pussies run this country? There must be a conniving approach in Government that will allow such businesspeople to escape their responsibilities and instead of insisting they obey the demands of a strong and responsible justice system, they get a tap on the wrist with a bloody ‘bus ticket’

    Then there is the appearance of back room deals, only cleaner than any other dodgy past ones, because they aren’t from smoke-filled rooms, which used to be the expression. The only smoke now doesn’t come from tobacco, it’s the smoke and mirrors of those artful professional legerdemain exponents receiving the largesse of Big Business which includes the Government of the NACTs. Just another case of power without responsibility, if there is a loss, let others bear it.

    • greywarbler 25.1

      Oh great, just when I needed to edit, the function disappears. I should have said Gordon Ward, in the penultimate para Not Gordon Brown. Damn. If moderator is out there maybe you would correct to make it right please.

      [Bill: Fixed it for you.]
      Thanks Bill – have just repositioned the correction nearer to where I should have placed it. Otherwise it is not going to be noticed.
      Could I ask you to delete the one lower down 27 I think. Bit annoying, sorry.

  26. Clifford Pain 26

    PAT A CAKE PAT A CAKE MINING MAN

    MAKE ME A COAL MINE FAST AS YOU CAN

    FINANCE AND DIG IT WITH GOVERNMENT AID

    AND NEVER LET RISK MAKE YOU AFRAID

    NEVER LET HISTORY MAKE YOU AFRAID.

    http://www.nfb.ca/film/westray

    This is a film about working people everywhere whose lives are often entrusted to companies that violate the most fundamental rules of safety and decency in the name of profit.

    • greywarbler 26.1

      Clifford Pain
      You have a rhyme with a message there. I understand that many of these old rhymes like Pat a Cake actually were political satire. Great to carry on the tradition.

  27. greywarbler 27

    [Bill: Fixed it for you. And duplicate comment deleted as requested]

  28. The first thing we can all do is share Helen’s excellent analysis via Facebook and Twitter. Share it far and wide so others can read it.

    Perhaps those who support this rotten government and the system of delegated responsibility may think twice before voting in 2014.

  29. Alma Rae 29

    I have never understood why s156 of the Crimes Act 1961 has not been applied in this case:

    156Duty of persons in charge of dangerous things
    Every one who has in his charge or under his control anything whatever, whether animate or inanimate, or who erects, makes, operates, or maintains anything whatever, which, in the absence of precaution or care, may endanger human life is under a legal duty to take reasonable precautions against and to use reasonable care to avoid such danger, and is criminally responsible for the consequences of omitting without lawful excuse to discharge that duty.

    Surely a mine would qualify as “anything whatever” and a CEO would be legally in charge of it?

    • Rogue Trooper 29.1

      AR , the bee-keeper and the DF constructed bridge.

    • Colonial Viper 29.2

      Surely a mine would qualify as “anything whatever” and a CEO would be legally in charge of it?

      Not a mine mate, a ventilation/extraction system, as well as safety/escape infrastructure.

  30. greywarbler 30

    Alma Rae
    The legislation seems fit for the purpose! Applied properly it would relieve the intractable, supposed, problem surely.

  31. bad12 31

    A cowardly connivance in the utmost of despicable forms, words in the English language are simply not sufficient to portray the betrayal of the ‘Pike River families’ by the New Zealand Justice system better described as a system of Injustice,

    For anyone of us to now not believe that there are two forms of Law which operate through the system in this country where the ‘haves’ get preferential treatment while the ‘have not’s’ get jail or a kick in the guts would require a form of blindness or delusion which i simply fail to comprehend,

    Does anyone have any real belief that the decision not to prosecute the architect of the disasterous Pike River mine did not involve Ministers of the current Government and such a connivance of convenience had not been well thought out befor-hand so as to announce the Court’s decision after the Parliament rose for the year and will not sit again until well into the New Year,

    The ‘Litany’ of Lies continued yesterday as first reports suggested that Whittal was to fund the 3.4 million dollar ‘Blood-money’ offer to the Pike River families from an insurance policy which He had specifically to cover the costs of court action taken against Him or public indemnity insurance He personally held,

    Did the Court ask for proof of this ‘insurance policy’, like hell they did, and today in the face of out-rage and questioning ‘the story’ has been subtly changed to one of Whittal and former directors of pike River having stumped up the cash for such an offer,

    Helen Kelly of the CTU has suggested that a Judicial Review be sought on the decision to drop all charge against Whittal and i would recommend that the CTU persue this as a means of not only continuing the fight for Justice for the Pike River Families but also searching for the evidence of just who in the current Government had a hand in the dropping of criminal charges,

    IF, the offer of the 3.4 million dollars of compensation comes ‘without strings’ i would urge the Pike River families to take the money and put it to use privately prosecuting Whittal, or as something of some good must come from this whole fetid mess, take the money and use it to form the basis for a ‘higher education fund’ for kids on the Coast…

  32. Don Franks 32

    “We are thinking how we can challenge this decision. It’s a big job. All ideas welcome”

    The courts are theirs.

    The job sites and the streets are theirs too, but unlike the courts, they can, with effort, be made ours.

    On the job sites and in the streets is where we should challenge this decision.

    • Rogue Trooper 32.1

      Excellent. They got nothin’ , no respect; can only spin sh*t for so long really, I mean, Education? ffs.

  33. ghostrider888 33

    Health? Who do you think you are fooling Tony Ryall? Really? Listen to the Health Committee Report on investing in the upcoming generation, otherwise you’ll all be regretting it later; The census is out.

  34. Colonial Viper 34

    Helen Kelly just tweeted “we have been misled”

    Charges weren’t withdrawn agst whittal. Crown wld not provide evidence & invited judge 2 discharge. He was discharged. We hav been misled.

    This is the beginning of the end for this Government. (Fast work draco)

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    Labour | 18-08
  • Time to invest in our tertiary education system
    A Labour Government will fully review the student support system – including allowances, loans, accommodation support and scholarships – with a view to increasing access and making the system fair, transparent and sustainable, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says....
    Labour | 17-08
  • Labour will facilitate regional Māori economic development agencies
    The next Labour Government will facilitate the creation of regional Māori economic development groups lead by iwi and hapū to work in partnership with business and public agencies as part of its Māori Development policy. “Labour is committed to working towards...
    Labour | 16-08
  • PRIME MINISTER’S DENIAL AT ODDS WITH NATIONAL PARTY STATEMENT
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has today released an email from the General Manager of the National Party that directly contradicts recent statements from the Prime Minister in relation to the 2011 breaches of Labour Party website databases. In his stand-up...
    Labour | 16-08
  • Labour committed to a healthier NZ for all
    A Labour Government will shift the focus of the health system from narrow targets and short term thinking to make public health and prevention a priority, Labour’s health spokesperson Annette King says. Releasing Labour’s full Health policy today she said...
    Labour | 15-08
  • Time Key took responsibility for Collins
    It is well past time for John Key to take some responsibility for the misuse of power and information by his Minister Judith Collins, and follow through on his last warning to her, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “The evidence released...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Dear John, time to answer a few questions… – Harawira
    “When Cameron Slater says about Kim Dotcom ‘I have lots on him…death by a thousand cuts…wait till you see what comes out in coming weeks on that fat c***t’, you have to ask whether this is the same Cameron Slater...
    Mana | 14-08
  • MANA CANDIDATE FOR IKAROA RAWHITI OPENS UP ABOUT SUICIDE
    “This week suicide has claimed yet more lives in whanau and communities in Ikaroa Rawhiti, and my heart goes out to those who are dealing with such a tragic loss”, says MANA candidate for Te Ikaroa Rawhiti, Te Hamua Nikora....
    Mana | 14-08
  • Offshore betting in Labour’s sights
    A Labour Government will clamp down on offshore gambling websites that deprive the local racing industry of funds, Labour’s Racing spokesperson Ross Robertson says. Releasing Labour’s racing policy today, he said betting on offshore websites is a major threat to...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Key has serious questions to answer on Dirty Politics
    John Key must answer the serious questions raised in Nicky Hager’s new book which reveal examples of dirty politics that New Zealanders will be deeply concerned about, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Many people will be disturbed by the evidence...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Creating an inclusive society for disabled people
    A Labour Government will provide free annual health checks for people with an intellectual disability, Labour’s Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth Dyson said today in announcing Labour’s Disability Issues policy. “We will also employ another 100 additional special education teachers and...
    Labour | 14-08
  • Media Advisory – MANA name change
    This is to advise all media that on the 24th of July the ‘Mana’ party name was officially changed to ‘MANA Movement’ under the Electoral Act 1993.  The inclusion of the word ‘Movement’ in our name shouldn’t come as a surprise...
    Mana | 13-08
  • New Zealand must help in the growing Iraq crisis
    The humanitarian crisis in Iraq looks certain to get worse before it gets better,” said David Shearer Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealand should urgently pledge increased humanitarian assistance to United Nations agencies and NGOs present on the ground....
    Labour | 13-08
  • Allegations of migrant worker rort should be investigated
    Labour is calling for an investigation into the alleged exploitation of workers at Hutt Railway workshops, hired to repair asbestos-riddled DL locomotives. Hutt South Labour MP Trevor Mallard has written to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment asking that...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Medical and dentistry students get reprieve under Labour
    A Labour Government will restore the right of medical and dentistry students to get student loans after seven years of study because it is the right thing to do, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Hard on the heels...
    Labour | 13-08
  • National must stop meddling with ACC before the election
    The redesign currently occurring at the Accident Claims Corporation (ACC) for sensitive claims needs to be put on hold immediately, said the Green Party today.The Green Party is concerned about work currently underway at ACC involving the sensitive claims service...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Markets slow but first home buyers still hurting
    First home buyers are hurting more than ever as the supply of affordable houses in the market dries up, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Reserve Bank will be happy LVR minimum deposits and rising interest rates have dampened...
    Labour | 13-08
  • Green Party celebrates MOU win on contaminated sites
    The Green Party is celebrating the announcement of a national register of contaminated sites today, and $2.5 million to start cleaning two sites up. The Green Party and the National Party agreed to include toxic site management work in their...
    Greens | 13-08
  • Emergency staff at breaking point
    The Southern DHB is so cash-strapped it is failing to fill nursing rosters, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson David Clark says.  “Every day emergency department nurses arrive at work knowing they are likely to be carrying more than their recommended workload. ...
    Labour | 12-08
  • ACC minister fails in mission to change culture
    The latest damning report by the Auditor General shows that the ACC Minister has failed to fulfil her mission to fix the sick culture at ACC and real change will not come till a new Government is elected, the Green...
    Greens | 12-08
  • Labour’s regional development fund to support Palmerston North
    Labour will consider a proposal to develop an inland port at Palmerston North, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The Palmerston North community has developed plans for an inland port which will bring jobs and economic growth to a region which...
    Labour | 12-08
  • Green Party announces priorities for Christchurch
    The Green Party has today announced its plan for a fairer, smarter and more democratic Canterbury rebuild, with a focus on smart transport solutions, restoring local democracy, and keeping Christchurch's assets.The plan sits across all of the Green Party's priorities...
    Greens | 11-08
  • Rock-star economy unplugged by China log jam
    The collapse of log prices due to oversupply in China threatens to wash the gloss off what remains of National's so-called rock-star economy, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Already this year the price of milk solids has plunged by more...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Young job seekers dealt a poor hand
    National's "keep 'em poor" card for young people on a benefit is a sorry substitute for job training, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Sue Moroney says.  The Government today announced it would extend its payment card scheme to all teen parents...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Labour – achieving change for Kiwi women
    Working towards being a world leader in eliminating violence against women and children will be a priority for a Labour Government. Releasing Labour’s Women’s Affairs policy today spokesperson Carol Beaumont said while Labour had a proud track record of achieving...
    Labour | 11-08
  • Accessible healthcare also affordable
      It is obvious from Tony Ryall’s hasty attack of Labour’s plans to extend free GP visits to older people that he hasn’t bothered to actually read the policy, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. "Mr Ryall’s response to Labour’s...
    Labour | 11-08
  • TDB Political Diary for 2014 Election
    Here are the political events TDB will be covering this election. I will be live tweeting these events and  blog reviews will follow the next day. Internet MANA launch – August – Sunday 24th – 1pm, Western Springs School Green...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • One man’s struggle to find a copy of Dirty Politics
    I’m typing this on top of Dirty Politics.  I got the last copy yesterday morning at the local branch of a chain bookshop.  I was really in to get the paper.  I know it sold out – everyone knows - but the first thing...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • From Tucker to Key – while you were out
      From Tucker to Key – while you were out...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Amnesty International – Justice is not Blind in Ferguson
    When a US cop pulls a gun on an unarmed man, he could be acting upon a series of impulses that have been formed since before he or she could talk. What does that police officer see in front of...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Putting an end to zero-hour contracts in 2015
    All around the world attention is being drawn to what have been dubbed in the UK “zero-hour contracts”. These are contracts that don’t have any guaranteed hours even though the worker may be regularly employed. Unite Union has been struggling...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • NZ’s Foreign Aid: The Party Policies Compared
    For the past two elections, I’ve cast my vote based on a single question, which party promises to give the most money in foreign aid? I grant that this is a fairly narrow and simplistic lens through which to judge...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Steering By The Real: Chris Trotter responds to Paul Buchanan
    WHEN ACADEMICS take to blogging the rest of us best be careful. And when they offer comment on the subject of dirty politics we should all pay attention. I will always remember my history lecturer, Dr Michael Cullen’s, confident dismissal...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • Interview Between Selwyn Manning & Sean Plunket Over SIS Release of OIA...
    During a RadioLive interview between host Sean Plunket and managing director of Multimedia Investments Ltd, journalist Selwyn Manning, a fiery exchange developed after Plunket attempted to “wet flannel” the issue of whether the Prime Minister has been truthful over what...
    The Daily Blog | 22-08
  • “Even though my hours are being cut, my rent doesn’t get cut to compens...
    Fast Food = Slow Pay   Lola is a manager at a major fast food chain. Last year her employer arbitrarily cut her hours from 32 hours to anywhere between 18 and 26 hours each week. “I said I can’t...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Hate Politics has no place in NZ Politics
    I wasn’t going to write about Nicky Hagar’s ‘Dirty Politics’.  There are plenty of policy issues to discuss. Then I read the book, and what it reveals strikes at the very heart of our democracy. My overwhelming feeling is one...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Pak’nSave pull adverts from Whaleoil
    Pak n Save have replied to complaints that their adverts were appearing on hate speech site Whaleoil by deciding to block their adverts from appearing on the site. Their reply… Congratulations for Pak’NSave on making this type of ethical stand. They...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Herald Poll – Why the Greens will hit 15%
    The biggest problem for John Key is that there are swathes of National Party voters who are educated and decent people whom will be forced to read Dirty Politics out of intellectual curiosity and will be horrified by what National...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Dirty Politics and Dirty Media
    The Nicky Hager book is mind blowing on so many levels. The revelations of government ministers and their staff colluding with vile and hateful schemers to attack other people, is truly ugly. When the dust settles on the illegalities, immoralities...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • “You just have to keep on fighting” – an interview with Metiria Turei
    We’re meeting in her office. It’s austere, though she does have a nice teapot. The view is startling. One can map the Bowen Triangle, though the teapot is still more interesting. A group of pink faced men are running across...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Taxation and Real Estate – turning housing debate on its head
    The debate about property prices in New Zealand is disingenuous. It is clear that there is a global process in which speculators are using massive amounts of unspent and borrowed money to blow bubbles in the world’s major asset markets....
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Michael Wood – Faith and politics
    In a week which has seen our collective focus shift to those who see politics as a great game to be manipulated for their own ends, it is timely to reflect on the fact that many people are in fact...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Government’s Own Guidelines Show John Key Would Have Been Informed Of SIS...
    Analysis by Selwyn Manning. INFORMATION THAT I HAVE ACQUIRED, sourced from the State Services Commission, states in black and white the tight guideline requirements that must be followed whenever the SIS informs a Prime Minister of any pending release of...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Simply Not Credible: Dr Tucker’s “clarifications” are only making thi...
    THAT DR WARREN TUCKER, Director of the Security Intelligence Service in 2011, agreed to the release of politically sensitive material – thereby intervening in an on-going contretemps between the leaders of the National and Labour parties – without receiving the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: Evidence of Collusion between the NZ Herald and Imm...
    . 1. Prologue . The Donghua Liu Affair hit  the headlines on 18 June, with allegations that David Cunliffe wrote a letter in 2003,  on  behalf of  business migrant, Donghua Liu. Four days later, on Sunday 22 June, the Herald...
    The Daily Blog | 21-08
  • Dear Canon NZ – Malevolence should induce revulsion, it shouldn’t be ce...
    Giovanni Tiso’s analysis on Slater is possibly the best in NZ… It’s been a good week for some of us. A week of feeling vindicated, offeeling galvanised. Where it goes from here will depend on several factors, some of which are largely...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • 5AA Australia: After Dirty Politics Can National Provide Stable Government?
    AS WE ALL KNOW New Zealanders and Australians do not like political parties that are unstable, or can no longer assure us that they are able to provide stable government. And the big question for Kiwis as we prepare to...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • SIS letter means it’s over for Key
    It’s over. I may not agree with all of Phil Goff’s positions, but you can’t question his integrity the way Slater did in Dirty Politics and not be deeply concerned that our Secret Intelligence Agency is being used for political...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • who to vote for in Epsom
    who to vote for in Epsom...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • The Rise and Fall of John Key – who will be the next leader of National P...
    . . It was all set to go: Teamkey would be the cult of personality that would do Stalin, Mao, Reagan, Thatcher, or any of the Nth Korean Kim Dynasty, proud.  National and it’s “Teamkey” propaganda strategy   would cash-in Big Time...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Who said Kiwis couldn’t get a fire in their bellies over an arcane intern...
    An amazing team of activists has taken the campaign on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) to local governments throughout the country. Their latest triumph came last Monday when the Dunedin City Council endorsed a resolution expressing concern about the TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National’s Dangerous Education Agenda Exposed
    Putting aside the dirty politics coming out of the Beehive and the right-wing blogisphere, there are some very strong signals that another term of a National Government would do even more serious damage to the public education system. The Education...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • We can have clean politics and get our democracy back.
    Something is rotten in our politics and it stinks. Dirty politics has sadly become one of the defining features of this election campaign. In the light of recent revelations about the extent of nasty and disingenuous political strategies, it would...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Book burning copies of Hager’s book? The next generation of National Part...
    It seems we are getting the next generation of National Party Dirty Politics now. There are claims the Young Nats in Hamilton are buying up copies of Dirty Politics and burning them. One witness was contacted by the Waikato Times...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • National Party Poetry Day Haiku
    Key’s inbox and Cam’s poison most foul, there he blows hoist by own harpoon...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Why Cunliffe will be the next PM
    David Cunliffe will be the next Prime Minister of NZ. Labour’s inclusive and positive TV adverts… …are in stark contrast to National’s team of white people powering away from the rabble of the ‘others’… …the messaging is vital and crucial...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • From smiling assassin to grumpy butcher – on giving Judith Collins a last...
    After #dirtypolitics Key isn’t the smiling assassin, he is the grumpy butcher. When he said Judith had  a ‘last chance’ he meant 1 second after voting closes on 20th September. Key would love nothing more than to cut Collins loose and end...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • If the National Party rowing advert was real….
    If the National Party rowing advert was real there would be more blood in the water. If the National Party rowing advert was real it would be Cameron Slater calling the strokes. If the national Party rowing advert was real,...
    The Daily Blog | 20-08
  • Cameron Slater: Zionist and political pundit
    It is hard to know where to start with right-wing blogger Cameron Slater (Whale Oil), especially after the release of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics. This confirmed everything many of us thought Slater to be: a snivelling pundit who serves...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Bryce Edwards stood down from Herald for election season??? Are the editors...
    I only found this out via twitter last night and I am still in shock. Bryce Edwards, easily the best critical thinker and news analyst the NZ Herald has has been stood down by the NZ Herald ‘for the election...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • So who’s a “conspiracy theorist” now?!
    . . As the media storm over Nicky Hager’s book, “Dirty Politics“,  and allegations over smear campaigns continue to swirl,  National’s spin doctors have given Key, Collins, and other National Party ministers a string of  phrases to use in all...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Momentum shift
    When you are deeply immersed in a local campaign sometimes it can be difficult to see the helicopter view.   I don’t know how accurate the political polls are and have always known that things can change quickly in politics...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Dear Toby Manhire. Bad call on backing Farrar
    Oh dear. I say this as someone who regards Toby Manhire as one of the smartest journalists/commentators/columnists this country has, and I think Toby has made a terribly dumb call here. Let’s see if Toby is still singing Farrar’s praises...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Radio NZ apologise to me for getting it wrong
    Radio NZ have contacted me, reviewed the claim by their host that I had an advance copy of Nicky Hager’s book and they have concluded they got it wrong, they have called me and apologised and will make a statement...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Reclaim UoA – Students’ Message to Steven Joyce
    Tertiary Education – we’ve been sold a lemon  A group of 30 students attended an event on Tuesday evening about ‘the future of tertiary education’ at which the Minister of Tertiary Education Steven Joyce was slated to speak. As Joyce...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Can someone in the media please ask the PM of NZ to categorically deny any ...
    Now we see the MO of Slater & Co, the setting up, the digging for dirt, the use of staff to dig that dirt, can the Prime Minister of NZ categorically deny any National Party staff worked with Cam Slater...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Panic setting in for National as they realise what’s about to happen
    And the terror starts to set in. I’ve never seen blind panic like this before  and it’s spreading as the enormity of what’s about to happen starts to sink in. Hager’s book is a mere entree, Nicky’s personal ethics wouldn’t...
    The Daily Blog | 19-08
  • Hager’s Dirty Politics: what the book ultimately reveals is abuse of powe...
    Guide to the many faces of John Key Nicky’s book is now doing what I suspected it would do, create a shockwave of revulsion. Andrew Geddis over at Pundit Blog sums up this attitude best, and it’s reverberations build with every...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Fancy taking children seriously
    Let’s see why all political parties should pay close attention to the Green Party’s policy for children. First, it is a comprehensive attempt to put children, not ideology, at the heart of family policy. Wow, children at the heart of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Amnesty International: Dear Azerbaijan, Stop Torture, Love Kiwi Kids
    This is a world where many adults often underestimate Generation Y. Being only a few years out of being a teenager myself, I feel I can make this statement with certainty. However, I have been the Youth Intern at Amnesty...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GCSB meetings today in Christchurch 1pm at Uni 7pm at Cathedral
    The 2014 GCSB meetings to discuss the mass surveillance state legislation passed by this Government will be debated in Christchurch today at two different meetings. 1pm at Canterbury University bottom floor James Height Building: Chair: Bomber Bradbury Ruth Dyson – Labour Party...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about
    Things that 7 Sharp should probably be talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Guide to when Key is lying
    Guide to when Key is lying...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – The State of the Student Nation …or is just Al...
    Students politics are dead and our student media is in terminal decline. The most disappointing thing about university is the politics, or should I say lack of? I was raised with the idea that students held the power.They were the...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Love Lifts Us Up: Thoughts from the Green Party’s campaign launch.
    Author Eleanor Catton wants people to give their party vote to the Greens.Photo by Peter Meecham NO ONE WAS QUITE SURE how he did it. Somehow Bob Harvey had persuaded the owners of the rights to Joe Cocker’s Up Where...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Test Stream
    width="600" height="400"> archive="http://theora.org/cortado.jar [3]" width="600" height="401">...
    The Daily Blog | 18-08
  • Te Kuiti man imprisoned for images of young children
    A Te Kuiti man caught with pictures of children being sexually abused has been sentenced to ten months imprisonment. Sickness beneficiary Daniel James Parry, 35, appeared for sentence in the Tauranga District Court today (Friday) after pleading guilty...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Japan Maritime Training Squadron visit – Open Day, Band
    • The Japan Maritime Self-Defence Force Training Squadron will make port in Auckland from Wednesday 3 September to Saturday 6 September...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • MP Perk Transparency Needed
    The Taxpayers’ Union is slamming the increase in taxpayer-funded entitlements for MPs and their families published on the legislation website this afternoon . Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Debating the future of Auckland’s housing
    With only weeks until the General Election, Auckland’s mounting housing crisis will be put under the spotlight in an Election Debate hosted by the School of Architecture and Planning at the University of Auckland. The debate’s topic “Market forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Let’s sort this out – Human Rights Commission
    A Whangarei woman allegedly censured for greeting customers with Kia ora can get in touch with the Human Rights Commission says Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy. “We really need to resolve these kinds of issues. I had thought that...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Aged Care Association welcomes Labour’s wages policy
    The New Zealand Aged Care Association welcomes the Labour Party’s announcement that if elected, it will raise the minimum wage for aged care workers within its first 100 days in Government....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Honorary doctorate for Secretary-General of the UN
    An Honorary Doctor of Laws degree is to be bestowed on His Excellency Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, by the University of Auckland on Wednesday 3 September, both in recognition of his role as an international statesman...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya
    The New Zealand Bar Association joins the International Bar Association (IBA) and other Law Societies and Bar Associations worldwide over the reported surveillance of Mr Upul Jayasuriya, President of the Bar Association of Sri Lanka....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Bob Parker, China State Media and Tibet Forum
    Former Christchurch mayor was signed up to position statement without his knowledge; observed “happiness” in Tibet as Tibetan protesters elsewhere shot by security forces...
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • “Walk the talk to reduce the wage gap”
    There’s just a few weeks left to convince the candidates of all political parties that reducing the wage gaps makes good sense....
    Scoop politics | 22-08
  • Digital Currency on the Drawing Board
    Government policies and digital currency ideas and issues will come together at three public workshops next week....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • NZ Cycle Trail welcomes $8 million fund
    Government funding of $8 million to maintain and enhance the Great Rides of New Zealand will help ensure the trails are delivering the best possible visitor experience, says Evan Freshwater, Manager Nga Haerenga The New Zealand Cycle Trail Inc. (NZCT)....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Judges Comments Bonkers – McVicar
    Napier Conservative Party Candidate Garth McVicar is accusing a Judge of forgetting that he is the gate-keeper for the community and not a benevolent caregiver for law breakers. "The comments by this Judge are not just alarming, they're completely...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Oxfam: World must suspend arms sales to protect civilians
    As the New Zealand Government prepares to ratify the global Arms Trade Treaty, and after ceasefire talks collapsed and violence erupted yet again in Gaza yesterday, Oxfam is calling on all states to immediately suspend transfers of arms or ammunition...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Degrees in Picking up Rubbish
    Responding to the Fairfax media report of a University of Otago survey of Wellington’s street-connected walkways, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Another Union row
    “ The teachers union the NZEA is getting ready for another industrial dispute. These disputes now only occur in the government sector. National has no one to blame but themselves” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Whyte: Speech to Grey Power
    National’s failure to increase the age for super and reform health is a threat to every New Zealander’s security....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Local Govt should not go into business
    “No one should take any comfort from the fact that “Infracon”, a roading company in Tararua and Central Hawke's Bay, is to go into liquidation. This puts the future of more than 200 jobs in doubt. ACT sympathises with those...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Join the hikoi to end child poverty in New Zealand
    CPAG is calling on people across society to join a march from Britomart to Aotea Square in Auckland to demand action on child poverty in Aotearoa....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Ngapuhi Chair Says Enough of the Political Sideshow
    Time for side-shows to end so we can focus on future of our nation – Raniera (Sonny) Tau, Chairman, Te Runanga A Iwi O Ngapuhi...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Commissioner of Police v Kim Dotcom And Ors
    An order is made extending the duration of the registration of the restraining orders issued by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on 10 and 25 January 2012 and registered in New Zealand on 18...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Labour Announcement on Future of Hillside Workshops Welcome
    Labour leader David Cunliffe’s announcement in Dunedin today that a government led by his party would re-open Hillside Railway workshops was welcomed by the Rail and Maritime Transport Union (RMTU). ‘Since the workshops were shut down in late...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Primary teachers and principals vote to put kids first
    Teachers and principals have voted overwhelmingly against the Government’s controversial “Investing in Educational Success” policy, including proposed highly-paid principal and teacher roles....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunkett: Educating for Success
    In all the turmoil stirred up by the "Dirty Politics" revelations, the real issues that the campaign should be about have been put to one side....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Dirty Politics – Number One Bestseller and Back in Stores
    An exposé of the hidden side of New Zealand politics, Nicky Hager's book, Dirty Politics , has been in hot demand since its release last Wednesday....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Epsom: profiling NZ’s most controversial electorate
    Welcome to the wealthy inner Auckland electorate of Epsom: home of coat-tailing, the Tea Tapes, a convicted outgoing MP... and heavy newspaper and magazine readership....
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • Families Free From Violence campaign and website
    We are pleased to announce the launch of our Families Free From Violence campaign and our new Families Free From Violence website. This website has been created to encourage people to take responsibility for ending family violence by seeking help...
    Scoop politics | 21-08
  • PSA And DHBs Reach Settlement on Five Collective Agreements
    The 20 District Health Boards are pleased to reach settlement via mediation on five Multi Employer Collective Agreements (MECAs) with the Public Service Association for 12,000 mental and public health nurses, allied, public health and technical staff,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Refusal to complete census results in 46 convictions
    Failing to fill out a census form has resulted in the convictions of 46 people, Statistics New Zealand said today....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Council Amalgamations Still Bad Deal
    Northland, Bay of Plenty, and Wellington ratepayers should not be seduced into accepting the amalgamation of their Councils by a recent amendment to legislation allowing for local boards not community boards, Chris Leitch, Democrats for Social Credit...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • DHB industrial action withdrawn
    The Public Service Association (PSA) has withdrawn notices of industrial action covering 12,000 health workers at District Health Boards (DHBs) across New Zealand, after progress was made in mediation....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Aged Care Pledge Needs Better Target, Says Care Agency
    Labour’s pledge to set up an aged care working group to address industry concerns is good to see, but appears to skirt the obvious issue of a looming lack of beds and carers for our rapidly growing elderly population, says...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Social inequality still rife in New Zealand
    Social inequality has worsened over the past decade in New Zealand, a new study from Victoria University of Wellington shows....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Working towards a living wage and more Māori in paid work
    The Māori Party will build on the gains it has already achieved in Government and accelerate job opportunities particularly for young Māori....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Deepwater Group Supports Changes to Catch Limits
    The Deepwater Group says the increase in the Total Allowable Commercial Catch for hoki shows the benefits of a long term commitment to build biomass in this major New Zealand fishery....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Ohariu candidate Sean Fitzpatrick
    “Our Ohariu candidate will be Sean Fitzpatrick. Sean has strong ties to the region and I’m glad to hear he will be doing his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the area,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • ACT announces Tauranga candidate Stuart Pederson
    “Our Tauranga candidate will be Stuart Pedersen. Stuart has strong ties to Tauranga and I’m glad he has agreed to do his best to grow ACT’s party vote in the electorate,” says Dr Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party scores massive own goal
    Green Party scores massive own goal as their own policy auditor criticises their fiscal plan...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Green Party’s own Auditor of their Budget finds it dodgy
    “The Alternative Budget released by the Green's does not even stack up in the eyes of their chosen auditor – Infometrics” said ACT Leader Dr Jamie Whyte....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • New shark finning laws fall short for threatened species
    Environmental groups are welcoming some aspects of a raft of law changes announced today in relation to shark finning, but say that overall the chance for New Zealand to catch up with international efforts in shark conservation is being missed....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Promoting Labour’s Positive Policies
    General Secretary of the New Zealand Labour Party, Tim Barnett, today launched Labour’s television advertisements for the 2014 election. The advertisements help tell Labour’s positive story for a better New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Drug Court: Rare Insight into New Alternative Justice Model
    Māori Television’s latest New Zealand documentary presents a fascinating look inside a new alternative justice model – through the stories of convicted criminals....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Political parties pledge to increase overseas aid
    A survey of political parties looking at how much New Zealand should spend on Official Development Assistance (ODA) shows the overwhelming majority of parties are committed to raising the bar according to the Council for International Development (CID)....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Top Kiwis backing Tip the Scales campaign
    Sir Graham Henry, former All Black Kees Meeuws, singer-song writer Jamie McDell and fishing guru Matt Watson have pledged their support to Tip the Scales, a pre-election campaign generating public support for rebuilding New Zealand’s depleted inshore...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Maritime Union continues to press over dirty politics
    Maritime Union National President Garry Parsloe says Ports of Auckland management is trying to get off the hook from its involvement with extreme right wing bloggers during the Ports of Auckland dispute....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • No end in sight to overwhelming human cost of conflict
    Two ceasefires have brought some respite to civilians in Gaza and southern Israel, amid hope that a durable cessation of hostilities might occur. In Gaza, these breaks in the fighting have barely given people enough time to seek medical care,...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Young Kiwi speakers to represent NZ at Gallipoli 2015
    The RSA is delighted at the announcement made by Veterans' Affairs Minister Michael Woodhouse today, that all eight regional finalists of the 2015 ANZ RSA Cyril Bassett VC Speech Competition will be included in a group of 25 Youth Ambassadors...
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • “Bromance” Marriage Stunt Insulting Says LegaliseLove
    A promotional competition asking two best mates to get married in order to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the 2015 Rugby World Cup is insulting, marriage equality campaign LegaliseLove Aotearoa claims....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • Cannabis Party first to register for 2014 General Election
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party became the first party to register for the 2014 General Election today, when it meet with the Electoral Commission in Wellington at Midday....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
  • PGA: Addresses NZ’s ratification of Arms Trade Treaty
    President of Parliamentarians for Global Action and New Zealand MP Ross Robertson today addressed a celebration to mark New Zealand’s imminent ratification of the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which is expected within the next few weeks....
    Scoop politics | 20-08
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