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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 | 08-09
  • Let’s do the FEED before the weed
    “Last week I put out a very strongly worded email to my colleagues about an online promotion about cannabis law reform” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira “and I stand by that criticism today.” My concern was...
    Mana | 08-09
  • TE KAEA and NATIVE AFFAIRS live to fight another day
    “I understand that both the chair of the Board of Maori Television, Georgina Te Heuheu, and new CEO, Paora Maxwell, are now saying that my comments this morning about their plans to cut Te Kaea and Native Affairs, were wrong, and that...
    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
  • THE DEATH OF INDEPENDENCE FOR MAORI TV
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Hang tight everyone – Marama Davidson campaign reflection
    To the many people who had expressed their overwhelming support for me to enter Parliament this election – thank you. That the Greens held steady in a big loss for progressive politics is an achievement. We are hopeful that after...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA
    New flag for NZ once Key signs TPPA...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • Reflecting on Elections Past
    There are a number of past elections that can give the left in New Zealand guidance and hope. Two major points though. Major parties require leaders who can bridge the political divide through strength of personality, vision of what it...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Kelly Ellis – The Reptile Room
    I stress, at the outset, that I’ve got nothing against reptiles. Some of my best friends are reptiles. Some say I am one, but I’m not really. I just emulate that ability to sit, stationary for hours in court, eyes...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • The success of right-wing counter messaging in the election
    One of the reasons National won the election was due to its success in counter messaging – and the way so many media commentators ran with th the right-wing spin. Here are some examples. Dirty Politics The original message was...
    The Daily Blog | 22-09
  • New Flag competition
    New Flag competition...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • No time for self-pity
    After 23 meetings across the largest non-Maori electorate in the country – almost all of which went fantastically, approx 4,500km on the odometer, positive MSM and social media coverage, and polling well, I admit my team and I headed to...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • The 30 second speech that could have saved the Moment of Truth
    As the dust settles and we struggle to understand what the bloody hell happened on Saturday, many point to Kim’s failure at the Moment of Truth to present his evidence. I think that Kim was poorly advised and that politics requires a...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Internet MANA and the 2014 election
    It was always going to be a hard task for Hone Harawira to hold onto his Te Tai Tokerau seat when the political establishment united in a coalition to defeat him and the chance for Internet MANA to bring more...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Unity in Action
    Yes the Left have taken a drubbing, but never mind, time to pick ourselves up off the floor, patch up our wound pride, dust ourselves off, cast around for our friends and allies, and re-enter the fray. Lots of work...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • A Fiji democratic mandate for the coup leader – what now for the media?
    Attorney-General Sayad-Khaiyum and Rear-Admiral (Ret) Voreqe Bainimarama’s Fiji First party is poised to lead the country in the next four years. Photo: Mads Anneberg, an AUT Pacific Media Centre student on internship in Suva with Repúblika Magazine and Pacific Scoop...
    The Daily Blog | 21-09
  • Why I voted Labour and why 2017 will be different
    As a 3nd and 5th generation Kiwi-Indian (depending on which side of the family we have to go with), my relationship with New Zealand is a special one. Like other New Zealanders who are not of the Caucasian variety, the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Humble Pie
    Oh. My. God. This was a heartbreaking nightmare. I was wrong, horribly, horribly, horribly wrong. I honestly believed that the resources, the media attention, the vile toxic politics exposed by Dirty Politics and the mass surveillance lies would have seen...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Election 2014; A Post-mortem; a Wake; and one helluva hang-over
    .   . It would be fair to say that the results for Election 2014 did not go as anticipated. The Left has had a drubbing – and some of it was of our own making. In other aspects, there...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Voting turnout affected by bad weather?
    . . NZ, Upper Hutt, 20 September –  Cold, wet weather in the Hutt Valley, north of Wellington may be impacting on voter turn-out. A head-count of people visiting the Trentham School Voting Station in Moonshine Rd, Upper Hutt, indicated...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Final total of advance voting
    And the final total for the advance voting was a staggering 717,579 advance votes against 334,558 in 2011       Tonight, I’ll be watching the TV3 election coverage because I could bare Paul Henry’s smugness one inch more than Mike Hosking’s...
    The Daily Blog | 20-09
  • Vice article on NZ election
    Here is my Vice article on the NZ election....
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • The attempt to kill off Internet MANA
    It’s the last day of campaigning today and the long list of those attacking Internet MANA got longer yesterday with Winston Peters backing Labour candidate Kelvin Davis against the MANA Movement’s Hone Harawira. Davis is now supported by Labour, National,...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • A final word on the election – it’s now all up to you
    Brothers & Sisters, the fate of Aotearoa is now all in your hands. We here at the Daily Blog have thrown everything we can at this bloody Government and have spent every waking hour of this campaign trying to highlight...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – ...
    I can’t tell what is National Party advert and what is the NZ Herald – but then again, I never could...
    The Daily Blog | 19-09
  • TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why Nati...
    TVNZ election coverage – white people telling other white people why National Party is great...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • REVIEW: Royals of Kihikihi
    What an absolutely stunning show.  I had to ask twice to check I’d heard right that this is the first staged production for Samuel Christopher, who also played a raw, real, but vulnerable, Wolf Royal, home from London for his...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • 800 Cops to detain 15 ‘terrorists’ – why Australia’s hysterical Isl...
    I’m sorry but I can’t take this current Australian terror threat seriously. 800 cops to detain 15 people and arrest one of them? A week after Abbot decides to send in Australian forces to the cluster fuck of Iraq, suddenly...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Unbelievable corruption inside Government to attack Kim Dotcom
    The corruption inside this Government just more and more filthy – we now have an ex-Customs Lawyer quitting  after being told to bury information that could embarrass the Government, specifically to do with Kim Dotcom… Curtis Gregorash said he was told...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Coalition for Better Broadcasting – Everyone Loves A Win-Win That Keeps G...
      Permit me to quote some figures at you… -68% of New Zealanders think political news on television focuses too much on politicians’ personalities and not enough on real issues. This is the key result of a recent UMR survey commissioned by...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of ...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, another week of being the most in demand broadcaster in the country...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • EXCLUSIVE: Te Tai Tokerau independent poll (44% Hone-27% Kelvin) vs Maori T...
    The Te Tai Tokerau Maori TV poll on Monday this week painted a bleak picture for Internet MANA supporters, and it’s results have been seized upon by Labour, NZ First and even the Maori Party (who seem set once again...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The time for TPPA weasel words is over
    Almost every day of the election campaign there has been a policy announcement that would potentially run foul of what I understand is currently in the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA):  more constraints on foreign investment or investors … regulation of...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • MELTDOWN – Maori Party turns on their own Te Tai Tokerau candidate – ag...
    The tensions are building in Te Tai Tokerau with the Maori Party on the verge of meltdown. Days out from the election, the Maori Party Executive has tried to heavy their own Te Tai Tokerau Electoral Committee and their own candidate, Te Hira Paenga,...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • We Can Change this Government
    We Can Change this Government – Mike Treen at the First Union stop work election meeting...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Election 2014: For and Against
    With the general election tomorrow, we have had a very noisy campaign but little sign that the electorate wishes for a fundamental change of governmental direction. This reflects in part the fact that the economic cycle is close to its decadal...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eye To Eye Uploaded: Martyn ‘Bomber’ Bradbury
    This interview was filmed a couple of weeks ago between Willie Jackson and myself, I was a tad off with my prediction of NZ First....
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The Donghua Liu Affair – The Players Revealed
      . . – Special investigation by Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules‘ Speculation that the Beehive office of Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, was behind the release of a letter linking Labour leader, David Cunliffe, with controversial Chinese businessman, Donghua Liu, is...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold NZ d...
    It should read ‘never stop spying’. As if you needed another reason to boycott Telecom/Spark – they sold us down the river to the US by allowing the Southern Cross cable to be tapped… The ability for US intelligence agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • The NZ First-Labour Party attack strategy against Internet MANA better work
    The final days of the campaign are ticking down and Labour and NZ First are manoeuvring to kill off the Internet MANA Party by both backing Kelvin Davis for Te Tai Tokerau. It’s a risky gambit that they better pray to Christ...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Bill English’s latest insult to beneficiaries – apparently they are lik...
    National’s hatred towards the poor continues unabated as National desperately try to throw raw meat to their reactionary voter base in the hope to inspire enough hate and loathing to win back their redneck voters from the Conservative Party and from...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Eminem ain’t happy with John Key
    Eminem ain’t happy with John Key...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Key claims he did not inhale
    Key claims he did not inhale...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Final prediction on election result 2014
    What an election campaign. The character assassination of David Cunliffe kicked things off with the Herald on Sunday falsely claiming $100 00 bottles of wine, $15 000 books and $150 000 in donations  from a donor that turned out to be...
    The Daily Blog | 18-09
  • Live blog: Bainamarama takes commanding lead in Fiji elections
      Interview with Repúblika editor Ricardo Morris and Pacific Scoop’s Mads Anneberg. PACIFIC SCOOP TEAM By Ricardo Morris, Mads Anneberg, Alistar Kata and Biutoka Kacimaiwai in Suva WHILE the results are provisional at this stage, it is clear today that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • 5AA Australia: NZ Elections Two Days To Go! + Edward Snowden + Julian Assan...
    Recorded live on 18/09/14 – Captured Live on Ustream at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/multimedia-investments-ltd 5AA Australia’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning deliver their weekly bulletin: Across The Ditch. This week, they discuss the latest news as New Zealanders go to the polls on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What has Colin Craig done for his Press Secretary to quit 2 days before ele...
    This is VERY strange.  Colin Craig’s Press Secretary Rachel McGregor, has quit 2 days before the election, allegedly telling ZB that Colin Craig was a “very manipulative man”. I’ve met Rachel many times in the past as Colin’s Press Secretary, she is...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” – A brief w...
    “If you want steak, go to the supermarket and buy steak,” said Key in the final leaders debate. Problem of course is that the 250 000 – 285 000 children living in poverty can not afford steak, milk, butter, eggs...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • National’s final bash of beneficiaries before the election
    On cue, whenever National feel threatened, they roll out a little bennie bash just to keep their redneck voter base happy. Nothing like a bit of raw meat policy to keep National voters focused on the evil threat solo parents...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • With All Of This In Mind, I Vote
    This is my last blog before the election and I really just want to speak from the heart. Right now in this country it seems to me that a lot of people consider the “essentials” in life to be simply...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Left has to vote strategically this election
    The dedication, loyalty, and tribalism of party politics means that sometimes the left lets itself down by not voting strategically. We all want our favoured party to get maximum votes, naturally, but the winner-takes-all approach doesn’t always suit multi-party left...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Dear NZ – as you enter the polling booth, stand up for your rights
    The last days before a NZ general election are a busy time as politicians make their pitch and party activists prepare to get out the vote. It is sort of weird watching from the distance of Europe the strangest election...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • What is Waihopai, John, if it isn’t a facility for “mass surveillance...
    John Key assured us on RNZ’s Nine to Noon programme yesterday that “In terms of the Fives Eyes data bases… yes New Zealand will contribute some information but not mass wholesale surveillance.” How does this square with the operation of the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Mass Surveillance and the Banality of E...
    Renowned journalist and intellectual Hannah Arendt coined the phrase “the banality of evil” to describe the normalisation of genocide in Nazi Germany. I thought of her phrase when I was listening to Glenn Greenwald and other international whistle-blowers talking about...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Election. Down. To. The. Wire
    Funny how last week it was John Key winning by 50%, now it’s neck and neck. I have always believed this election would be down to the wire and it is proving so. The flawed landline opinion polls the mainstream...
    The Daily Blog | 17-09
  • Reward offered in latest seal shooting
    It is with shock and dismay that our organization learns of the latest shooting of a New Zealand fur seal, this one on Stewart Island. This is the third such crime to reach our attentions since May this year and...
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • Taxpayers Forgotten in Ministerial Horse-Trading
    Responding to the Prime Minister’s comments reported on Radio New Zealand , that he is considering giving Act MP David Seymour a ministerial role because “When they have more staffing and resources as a result of a junior ministerial role...
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • Labour’s Defeat Points to a Forgotten Target Market
    With the devastating defeat for the Labour Party in the election, Labour seems to have lost touch with what resonates with New Zealanders....
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • Cunliffe may survive year but doomed by end of 2015
    NZ First is expected to take one seat off Labour once special votes are counted, maintaining the election-night result that John Key’s National Party will be able to govern alone, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders...
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • Making All New Zealand the Place Talent Wants to Live
    The development of the provinces is becoming a major issue for New Zealand, and for the new Government. Television New Zealand’s Sunday programme (21 September) addressed the plight of towns such as Whanganui, where jobs and populations are declining....
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • China’s booming torture trade revealed
    The flourishing trade, manufacture and export of tools of torture by Chinese companies is fuelling human rights violations across Africa and Asia, new research by Amnesty International and the Omega Research Foundation reveals....
    Scoop politics | 23-09
  • President Obama Congratulates Key
    The President called Prime Minister Key late last evening to congratulate him on his third electoral victory....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Seven Pasifika MPs elected – highest number ever
    AUCKLAND ( Pacific Media Watch / The New Zealand Herald ): The highest number of Pasifika MPs elected in New Zealand's history were voted in at the weekend general election....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • LGNZ congratulates National
    LGNZ congratulates National Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ) congratulates re-elected Prime Minister John Key and the National led government on winning their third consecutive term following Saturday’s general election. LGNZ President Lawrence Yule acknowledges...
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • The Letter – 22 September 2014
    John Key’s win is historic. In the history of MMP elections – worldwide – ever – no government has won an absolute majority. MMP was imposed on Germany to make sure that country never had another Hitler. It is designed...
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Election Coverage – None Better Than Trans Tasman
    To get a steer on what was going to happen in the election - away from the histrionics of the mainstream coverage - the best place to go was The Main Report Group’s weekly political report Trans Tasman....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Federated Farmers intemperate
    For the second time in a week Federated Farmers has made intemperate and provocative comments on environmental issues, says EDS....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • MP’s Stolen Items Recovered
    Following a complaint to Parliamentary Services today [ September 19 ], items which had been stolen from NZ First MP Andrew Williams’ Wellington parliamentary office have been recovered and returned....
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Election results bad news for those on benefits
    Beneficiary Advocate Kay Brereton says, “ The election result holds no good news for people on benefits, National campaigned successfully with their beneficiary bashing agenda, and will now believe their punitive treatment of beneficiaries has the support...
    Scoop politics | 22-09
  • Opportunity to progress water infrastructure
    “National’s re-election is an opportunity to develop the infrastructure New Zealand needs to provide surety of water for agriculture, town drinking water supply, waterways, recreational use and to future proof the country from climate change,” says Andrew...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Wellington City joins the global call for 100% clean
    At 1:00 pm, residents and visitors of Wellington gathered at the summit of Mt Victoria to join the millions strong call for a 100% clean future....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Hikoi with us from Cape Reinga to Auckland Oil Conference!
    Monday 22 September 2014: Maori from different tribal areas along the western length of Northland are organising a hikoi starting on Saturday to a Government oil conference in Auckland to make sure that Norwegian oil giant Statoil gets the message:...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Roy Morgan NZ Election Update With A Look At The Polls
    Roy Morgan NZ Election Update With A Look At The Polls National re-elected to third term with record high vote as Labour slumps to worst result in over 90 years...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • National-led Government wins mandate for RMA reforms
    An unprecedented increase in support for the third-term National Party, the best electoral performance since 1899, has delivered a clear mandate for reform of the Resource Management Act says Federated Farmers. “Vital reforms to the RMA have...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • New Zealand says no to Culture of Death
    Right to Life is pleased that the people of New Zealand have rejected a culture of death by refusing to elect a Labour/Green government that supported the decriminalisation of abortion....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – Steven Joyce
    CORIN Steven Joyce if we could start with how things are going to look now with your support partners. Can you just run us through, National can technically govern alone on what you’ve got at the moment, do you think...
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – Kelvin Davis
    SUSAN Well earlier this morning, just before we came to air in fact, Corin spoke to Kelvin Davis, one of the big winners of the night, the new MP for Te Tai Tokerau....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Q + A – David Cunliffe
    CORIN Joining me now is Labour Leader, David Cunliffe. Good morning to you Mr Cunliffe. This is a tough result for Labour, how much personal responsibility do you take for this....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Grey Power congratulates Key
    Grey Power National President Terry King congratulated John Key for his party’s “resounding win “ in yesterday’s election and hoped that the new National Government would look hard at issues affecting the ever–growing number of older New Zealanders....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • EMA congratulates PM John Key and National
    The Employers and Manufacturers Association extend hearty congratulations to the re-election of Prime Minister John Key and National....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • Helen Clark Receives Inaugural Women’s Health Rights Award
    Helen Clark was honoured as the first recipient of the Women’s Health Rights Award at the 121st Woman’s Suffrage event held in Auckland....
    Scoop politics | 21-09
  • National deal with New Zealand First unlikely
    The National party is unlikely to offer a confidence and supply agreement to New Zealand First according to Dr Ryan Malone, Director Training and Research at Civicsquare....
    Scoop politics | 20-09
  • Daily Election Update #12: NZ First to hold balance of power
    Winston Peters’ NZ First Party will hold the balance of power after tomorrow’s election, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Mr Peters is then expected to back a National-led...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election Day is Time to Refocus on Policies
    Over the course of this election campaign there has been a lot of focus on dirty politics and spying, and not a lot on policy. With election day looming, Gareth Morgan is calling for people to refocus on the issues....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • The Kiwi FM Alternative Election Commentary
    Saturday 20 September from 7pm on 102.2 Auckland, 102.1 Wellington, 102.5 Canterbury, or KiwiFM.co.nz...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Beneficiary Bashing unacceptable
    Kay Brereton of the Beneficiary Advocacy Federation of New Zealand says “ the comment made by Bill English yesterday comparing beneficiaries to crack addicts is shocking and incredibly poorly timed.”...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • UN Experience Beneficial
    Acclaim Otago representatives have just completed their participation at the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability examination of the New Zealand government in Geneva, Switzerland. "It was an interesting two days which we believe has...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Changing face of NZ should be reflected in newsrooms
    With Fairfax Media’s Journalism Intern search closing on Sunday, Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is urging aspiring journalists from Maori, Pacific and ethnic communities to apply. The deadline was recently extended to 10pm, Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • SPCA expresses concern over toxin in waterways
    Ric Odom CEO of Royal NZ SPCA has expressed concern over the toxic poison 1080 entering waterways, but DoC, Council’s and Ministry of Health have colluded to make it legal....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 13-18 September
    Below is iSentia’s final weekly Election Index, covering the period 13-18 September and showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. The methodology used...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Epsom Candidate (Adam Holland) More Liberal Than ACT
    For the past four years I, like 500,000 other New Zealanders, have been illegally smoking cannabis for medicinal purposes and/or even just for the occasional laugh with friends on the weekend. We don't hurt anybody, we don't cause nuisance, we...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Left Coalition Will Save Dolphins
    A left coalition would safeguard both Māui and Hector’s dolphins, as well as revive our inshore ecosystems. Labour, Internet Mana and the Green Party all have strong policies in place for dolphin protection. The Maori Party, and to a certain...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Waihoroi Shortland: Ngāti Hine is not standing alone
    The Chairman of Te Rūnanga a Iwi o Ngāpuhi, Sonny Tau is blowing smoke worthy of a Dotcom rally with claims that Ngati Hine is standing alone in its opposition to Tūhoronuku says the Chairman of Te Rūnanga o Ngati...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Oceania voices on environment loud and strong
    While money and energy continues to be spent on global talks about climate change, Pacific islanders are scrambling to build sea walls out of sticks, stones, shells and coral, to protect their lands and homes from erosion and rising sea...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Prime Time with Sean Plunket – Tonight
    No MPs tonight --- the campaign will be over at 9 30. Instead we will look back --- and possibly forward on what we have learned and what might happen. Listener Political Columnist Jane Clifton Editor in Chief, NZ Herald,...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Election fails to address youth financial wellbeing
    Young people don’t feel included in New Zealand’s financial success and believe inequality is a problem, according to a new survey conducted by Westpac’s Fin-Ed Centre at Massey University....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Winston’s Waffle doesn’t hide the facts
    The Conservative Party is celebrating the ASA's finding announced today that rejected all but one of the complaints raised against its controversial “Conservatives or Peters” pamphlet. “Despite pages of complaints from Peters legal team the only...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • NZ Independent Coalition looking forward to tomorrow
    “Our team is looking forward to tomorrow. It is a real opportunity to reclaim politics for the people,” said NZ Independent Coalition leader Brendan Horan....
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Insights Issue 35/2014 – 19 September 2014
    Insights Issue 35/2014 - 19 September 2014 In This Issue • RMA reform the golden unicorn of policy | Jenesa Jeram...
    Scoop politics | 19-09
  • Special voting arrangements made for NIWA crew
    One of the most unusual polling stations for this year’s general election is in the middle of the ocean miles from land. NIWA’s flagship research vessel Tangaroa, has been doubling as a polling booth for crew and scientists at sea....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Tourism operators urged to vote strategically
    Tourism operators should make sure they know their local candidates’ view on tourism and use their vote to support the country’s second largest export industry, says Chris Roberts, Chief Executive, Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA)....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • WGTN: March for free education
    We are students, university staff, and members of the community. Whichever parties form a government after September 20th, we are demanding an end to corporatisation of education....
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Evidence of Corruption a National Scandal
    Internet Party leader Laila Harré will take evidence of corruption to international forums if there is not a full Royal Commission to investigate the growing evidence of the systematic use and abuse of democratic institutions and processes for political...
    Scoop politics | 18-09
  • Govt continues to throw money at charter school experiment
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