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On the Pike Report

Written By: - Date published: 10:05 pm, November 5th, 2012 - 99 comments
Categories: Mining, workers' rights - Tags: , ,

I’ve got to say I’m pleased to see the recommendations of the Pike River report and the fact that it looks like the government will be putting them in place.

I’m not so happy about the reaction to the the resignation of Kate Wilkinson. She’s not brave, and her losing the labour portfolio doesn’t change the fact that the government that blocked changes that would quite likely have stopped the pike tragedy from happening.

This is about more than just Kate Wilkinson. It’s about a political and business culture that has turned concerns for health and safety into a “political correctness gone mad” joke – at a cost of the lives and limbs of Kiwi workers.

It’s not a joke I find funny at all. Certainly not as funny as Gerry Brownlee did when the government kicked mine safety changes to touch:

99 comments on “On the Pike Report”

  1. karol 1

    That video of Gerry Brownlee is damning – and very sobering.  I hope he also is held to account for such a cavalier attitude to health and safety.

    • Red Rosa 1.1

      +1

      No doubt there are gaps in Labour’s record up to 2008. But that report, and his rubbishing of it, puts Brownlee right on the spot. He opened Pike River and has been Minister of Energy and Resources (though not demonstrating much of either) since 2008 to date.

      • Fortran 1.1.1

        Trevor, Trevor come out wherever you are !
        Why did you sign off the agreement to the opening of the Pike River Mine when you were Miniister of Labour, if it was unsafe ?

  2. Wilkinson’s resignation is like a slap with a wet bus ticket,a non event,her work load just
    got less, the real heads that should roll are hiding behind her.
    What i can see comming is huge costs being awarded to families of the victims, through
    various sources involved in this,those costs will be massive.
    My thoughts and love go out to the families of the pike river victims.

    • Jackal 2.1

      Yes! Considering the Commissions findings, I think there could well be a claim by the families that National will drag through the courts with even more delay tactics. They won’t simply admit their wrongdoing, as Key’s trying to shift blame solely onto the company yesterday demonstrated.

      Gerry Brownlee thought Labours review on mine safety was a joke… Well nobodies laughing now. In the cold light of day and with the facts at hand, Brownlee should be gone before lunchtime. He won’t be, mainly because John Key is a spineless worm without any intention of holding Ministers to a higher standard.

      I sometimes wonder how these neo-liberal fucktwits live with themselves?

      • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1

        I sometimes wonder how these neo-liberal fucktwits live with themselves?

        Psychopaths feel neither guilt nor shame.

      • Reagan Cline 2.1.2

        The owners of the Pike River Coal Company are responsible for the lack of safety measures on their property that led to the disaster.

        • OneTrack 2.1.2.1

          Dont spoil a good opportunity to moan about the nacts. I blame Simon Lusk and Crosby Textor.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.2

          Reagan – I agree entirely: it’s time to get the Pike River company directors and to get Whittall on the stand for manslaughter.

          Do you think National will front up and push through measures to allow this?

          • karol 2.1.2.2.1

            Yes.  Finlayson said in the House today that he is considering corproate manslaughter.  But, of course, the government is happy to put all the blame on Pike River.  It shifts the focus from their contribution to the disaster.

            • Colonial Viper 2.1.2.2.1.1

              Ahh. In this case, I think it would actually be suitable and lasting penance for the National Government.

              Such an addition to the Crimes Act (along with another one, Corporate Ecocide) would have far reaching impacts on enforcing corporate responsibility.

              Sentencing must involve custodial sentences, not just wet bus ticket fines.

          • PlanetOrphan 2.1.2.2.2

            From memory there was a lot of talk about the inspectors being given the run around when they were there, so it is likely that a prosecution is in the pipeline, The Gnat’s are gauging the wind at the mo.

            The company has a lot to answer for, but as those inspectors where aware of the issues for a long time prior, the Gnats’ have a large amount of culpibility to answer for as well.

            From memory they were trying to get acces to the mine for a year or more and were “Held” up at the gate etc everytime.

    • North 2.2

      Kate “Gone For A Skate” Wilkinson – it’s a bloody stunt – nothing less.

      Meant to show how seriously and earnestly Dunnokeyo’s Cabinet of Higher Standards takes the concept of “responsibility”. And all these eggs are nutting on about how she did the “honourable” thing.

      Utter bullshit !

  3. xtasy 3

    In early 1992 I left NZ very disillusioned, after 10 years of a struggle here, to work, make a living and trying to survive. Back in Europe I got a real “shock” about how living standards there had improved substantially, while I slaved my butt off in little NZ for next to nothing for years.

    After a brief stint back here, I spent time in Europe until early 1997, then returned, to find challenges again, wages still dirt low, hardly worth making any effort for, I trained, got work and slugged it out. Things were not easy, and as over 3 years not much was gained, I was off to Europe again in mid 2000. I got a job there after months, got other jobs later, but it was not easy. So hearing about the supposed “economic boom” in 2004, I thought that NZ finally got itself sorted and came back with hopes.

    Most hopes were dashed soon, then came the slump and recession, and so it went downhill.

    I had been through the “reforms” of Douglas, supported by slime face Prebble, tolerated by Labour and pushed through relentlessly in late 1980s and early 1990s. I was told by Shipley to put in a vege garden if the cut benefit would not pay my way, so I tried that.

    In the end, I had enough of all the shit. NZ has been a repeated bull-shit story to me and many other migrants. Being a “loyal” sort I mostly stuck it out and struggled on, while many other migrants said: “Nuff of this shit!” So they and many Kiwis moved on.

    Where are we now? We had “reforms” that “liberalised” building standards and led to leaky building issues costing NZ billions for years to come. We had the abolition of safety standards in mining and other areas, costing people bad health, accidents, and in some cases death.

    Now, finally, some idiots up top start to realise, after 29 deaths of innocent, hard and honest working miners died, to face the tunes and accept, they have to improve working conditions in mines again.

    NZ is to many I know a total laughing stock, that is overseas, mostly. It has gone down the liberalisation, freeing up bull-shit road for decades, which made some filthily rich, and which destroyed endless other people’s lives.

    So now some may believe this is a turning point. I am afraid, it is just more “cosmetics” by a rat bag, rotten, rich capitalist elite class serving servile merchant government, that has NO soul, NO morals, NO integrity, and that NEVER should have been allowed to run the show in this country. I am bloody angry, and I am NOT ALONE!

    • thatguynz 3.1

      +1000
       
      No you are not alone and you are also very very correct.  People need to realise that this malaise isn’t a left/right issue – both “sides” of the house sip from the same Kool-Aid…  This is a perpetuation of what has been proven to be a very very nasty orthodoxy (albeit highly successful for those that were meant to benefit) that values wealth over people and profit over morals and ethics.
       
      People wonder about the erosion of society and humanity over the past thirty years yet can’t make the mental leap to determining either how and why it has occurred, much less potential options to resolve it.
       
      I truly love my country.  I have no desire to leave and take advantage of the current favourable conditions of out nearest neighbour – god knows that they are on more of a slippery slope than us only they haven’t quite figured that out yet.  I want nothing more than to see this country return to a place where my children can grow up and raise their future children in a peaceful, congenial and fair society that values them as individuals more than it values them as consumers. 
       
      Utopian? – youbetcha.  Realistic? – probably not with any of the existing talking heads within the house, on either “side”.
       
      Just my 2c..

  4. asd 4

    The ironic thing here is that Jenny Shipley, Ruth Richardson and Jim Bolger along with the rest of the early 90s National Governments cabinet are all liable and should be made culpable and accountable for the changes they instigated and legislated for that deregulated the mining industry and relaxed mining inspections in the Labour department at that time. Helen Clarke is also implicitly responsible too for not tightening up the Labour departments regulations when she took over. Kate Wilkinson is just the “fall guy” so it looks as if someone has taken responsibility. Once again past (and current) neo-liberal policy makers take NZ down to new lows.

    • xtasy 4.1

      tarrring and feathering comes to mind, for all the gang(s), starting there, including Douglas, Prebble (traitors), now Brash, Key and consorts, what a great carnival atmosphere within a new, modern day Queen Street “riot” would that be? Even MSM may come out and take a glimpse!

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      I can only reiterate what I said earlier: If a government passes laws that results in predictable deaths then they should be done for murder. It really is as simple as that and none of this resigning to get away with it either.

      Time to have an accountable government.

      • Colonial Viper 4.2.1

        Indeed. And if a private sector firm structures things in a similarly predictably harmful way their directors should be done too.

      • insider 4.2.2

        That’s a Ken Ring like nonsense. Anyone loon or vested interest can ‘predict’ deaths and then claim vindication if something, even if unrelated, happens. We’d never have a minister of transport or health on that measure.

        • Jackal 4.2.2.1

          What you should have said is that it’s less likely any government would pass or remove legislation that reduced safety in the workplace. The fact that they could be held personally responsible for their decisions would hopefully be more compelling than the funds industry lobbyists throw around.

        • Colonial Viper 4.2.2.2

          That’s a Ken Ring like nonsense.

          Sorry mate, you’re excusing gross negligence here, expecting competence and thoroughness when lives are on the line is not superstition. Asshole.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.2.3

          If the government has been told by the relevant ministry and/or independent source that indications are that the law changes that they’re contemplating could result in more death and they put them through anyway and then such a death occurs they should be held accountable.

        • karol 4.2.2.4

          Someone in the Urgent Debate today – probably Andrew Little -  said, when businesses try to cut safety corners, they are more likely to do so on things that would cause occasional accidents.  i.e. they are less likely to cut back on things that would be noticeable in accidents daily.

    • mike e 4.3

      Doug Kidd , Bill Birch and Mad Max Bradford should all face manslaughter charges as they were the labour ministers who did away with mine safety!

      • insider 4.3.1

        But mine safety in terms of fatalities improved throughout the 90s and 2000s

        • mike e 4.3.1.1

          Thats because most underground mines were closed, and most of the underground coal mines were operated by solid energy which have a much higher standard and experience!
          Shifting the blame is the name of your game!

        • Colonial Viper 4.3.1.2

          But mine safety in terms of fatalities improved throughout the 90s and 2000s

          No it didn’t; if it had we wouldn’t have the problems which led to Pike River deaths.

          Just because you can’t see the house rotting underway underneath doesn’t mean its not happening.

  5. AmaKiwi 5

    Our system of government is dysfunctional. Elected dictatorship is the root cause of the Pike River disaster.

    Dictator Jim Bolger (with Ruth Richardson) came to power in 1990 and 2 years later scrapped health and safety regulations. Our dysfunctional system provided no way we could stop them. Trying to reason with them was pointless. The dictatorship of the day is all powerful. In 2008, a review found a need for major improvements in mine safety. But a year later we have a new dictator who ignores the recommendations. The dictator ignores workers’ protests.

    The dictatorship of the day acts with impunity, trashing whatever it wants. The costs are enormous. The current dictators have decimated the Dept. of Conservation. Tens of millions of dollars of damage has been done, much of it irreparable. They staged a coup d’etat, destroying local government for 1.5 million Aucklanders. They took control over Christchurch.

    Our so-called “prime ministers” are elected dictators. Labour dictators have also done whatever they pleased and the public be damned. The fault is not with particular parties, it is with the system that gives them unbridled power.

    Each new dictatorship believes its divinely inspired ideology requires it to tear apart our school system, health system, local bodies, and everything else 61 wankers take a fancy to re-inventing.

    We must have a more intelligent, more democratic form of government. If Parliament passes a bill the people should be able to veto the bill in a referendum. Under veto referendums, in 1992 miners and workers would have had a chance to collect enough signatures to force a referendum. Then they could take their case to the voters, to ask the people to reject the cuts to health and safety made by Dictators Bolger and Richardson.

    Veto referendums is my suggestion. When parliament passes a law, we, the people, have 3 months in which to collect signatures from 2% of the voters. If we get those signatures, a referendum must be held to decide if the bill will become law. The referendum is BINDING. If we vote “no” the bill is dead. If we vote “yes” it becomes law.

    If we vote “no” asset sales, the sales are stopped. WE should be able to decide if Christchurch loses control over its planning, what changes will be made to MMP, if pubic public lands will be mined, if the holiday highway will be built, if government departments are put into a blender for Stephen Joyce to destroy, if our soldiers go to Afghanistan.

    This is our God damn country, NOT theirs. 61 wankers should not have dictatorial control over 4.4 million people.

    Veto referendums.

    [lprent: fixed typo. ]

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      The fault is not with particular parties, it is with the system that gives them unbridled power.

      QFT

      • aerobubble 5.1.1

        Today, in the house, Mallard asked why National had shelved a mines inquiry on entering government, that would have return mine check officers to mines. The Attorney General
        grew laughter when he replied, Labour had failed to do anything about the matter.

        This isn’t about power, its about ethics, the governing party, on the day a minister resigned a portfolio, still doesn’t get the gravity, that 29 died due to deregulation. That deregulation they as a party espoused that led to leak homes costing billions to our economy, to 115? who died in
        CTV building due allegedly to a lax attitude to checking credentials of a civil engineer (buildings
        destroyed by earthquake should not collapse entirely).

        No, this all about the Key government view.

        Sociopaths get jobs too, indebted managers are working today
        across industries, a civil engineer has even been known
        to fake their credentials (CTV), its astonishing that Key cannot
        imagine that putting total faith in trusting industry to protect
        safety employees because ‘companies don’t want to lose lives
        and profitability’ is the worse type of cop out since its
        obvious even competent ministers miss problems and so resign,
        individuals do put profit over safety, people do make profit
        pledges to win elections, or contracts to build world class mines,
        and even sociopath do allegedly fake civil engineering degrees that
        are use to construct a building that killed people.

        Yet still Key endorses the lax lazy attitude it’ll be okay to allow
        industries across the nation to put safety over profit.

        But worse, its not the first disaster in industry due to lax regulation,
        that implemented worker protections removed by previous National
        governments at the pleadings of industry for efficiencies needs.

        When asked why his predecessor had scraped the union check officers
        in mining investigated by the last Labour government, the attorney
        general groom laugher from his over back benchers when he replied
        Labour had been ineffective. 14:40pm today in the House.

        Sorry, but they bleeding don’t care about the country.

        I was watching the excellent Scots History program on Choice TV,
        about how Scots having suffered from distance unresponsive governments
        from Westminister, forced out by clan ‘political correct’ over lords, left
        Scotland forever, to NZ, to Oz, to Canada and America. VERY MUCH like our
        currenct skilled crisis.

        The hands off government of Key, the lax lazy ethics, of trusting executives
        to be perfect managers over unions and workers, selecting winners if you will,
        is core to the problem, Key doesn’t believe he can do any wrong, the market
        will clean up after him (funny that, I thought clean up was a profit thing not
        a social cleanser.).

        • RedLogix 5.1.1.1

          I was watching the excellent Scots History program on Choice TV,
          about how Scots having suffered from distance unresponsive governments
          from Westminister, forced out by clan ‘political correct’ over lords, left
          Scotland forever, to NZ, to Oz, to Canada and America. VERY MUCH like our
          currenct skilled crisis.

          Yes, both of us watching it last night made exactly the same connection.

          Next question. Why do New Zealanders keep voting for governments that act against their own interests? (And this is not a phenomenon confined to this country.)

          1980. A crucial date. I believe it was when the hidden political persuaders mastered their dark art.

          • Colonial Viper 5.1.1.1.1

            The Left never evolved an appropriate or effective response. We were also short of well resourced, articulate leaders willing to stand for principle and for the people against corporate money.

            Even 30 years after the onset of neoliberalism when we know in detail both in theory and in practice why neoliberalism and free market capitalism is a total failure – the Left still has no strategy or ability to take its message to the wider public.

            White collar managers on $80K pa have been fooled into thinking that they are not really working class; blue collar workers on $40K pa have been taught how to despise those who are unemployed – even though they themselves may be in next months dole queue.

            The ethos of fuck you and your family Jack, because me and my family are doing OK is prevalent.

            • RedLogix 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes but why? You’ve posited this as a moral failure … on a mass scale.

              Part of me still connects this with the rapid decline of the non-fundamentalist churches in this time period. Cause or effect? I’m not sure. But there is no doubt that the core values which drove the reform and socialist movements of a century ago had their genesis in the social principles they were reading in their Bibles. They truly understood that they were indeed their brother’s keeper.

              Now there are many good reasons why the Churches have lost so much ground, much of it their own fault. But it’s come at a price … the ‘fuck you I’m alright Jack ethos’ is what we’ve been left with.

              Nor has science filled this moral vacuum.

              • karol

                Part of me still connects this with the rapid decline of the non-fundamentalist churches in this time period.
                 
                But the US has a load of fundies who are also into individualistic capitalism.  I think it has more to do with power of the elite to influence media, popular discourse and politics.  And the promise of continually new shiny consumer things to own, keeps people distracted.

                • Colonial Viper

                  power of the elite to influence media, popular discourse and politics.

                  Of course, these are also key parts of the puzzle. The elite have the resources to try multiple angles and multiple combinations, to keep what works and improve and change what doesn’t.

                  You can see it in how CT evolves National Party spin lines over the first 72 hours of some major event or crisis unfolding.

                  The guys at the top of the right wing pile aren’t necessarily that smart or hard working – but they have the money and the institutions to keep legions of very smart, very hard working people on call, on their behalf.

              • Colonial Viper

                RL – people need beliefs in their life. If it wasn’t belief in the church or in community, then it was in consumerism, free markets or ego power.

                Yes but why? You’ve posited this as a moral failure … on a mass scale.

                More like moral ignorance. Once it becomes normalised – indeed, idolised – to pursue wealth at the cost of all else, even those around you, the societal norm is to participate and do the same.

                The typical upper middle class dinner party in the 2000′s…chatting away about all the best ways to negatively gear your property investment portfolio, avoid taxes, the next up and coming suburb to buy into, when the right time to flip a property on was, etc.

                Discussion on the moral questions of today’s society and economy? Nah, all just rats in the maze trying to impress other rats.

          • aerobubble 5.1.1.1.2

            Murdoch. Cheap Oil fueled a false sense of ability amongst managers, that they were making the right decisions. Murdoch-Thatcher abstracted this movement into modern neoliberalism.

            Now we’ve hit peak oil the market signals can’t be hidden behind media-government blather.
            Basically our own public life has been saturated by turd blossoms.

    • prism 5.2

      Amakiwi
      Good points. Needs to be said then repeated till understanding is reached by all or nearly all. 80/20 would do fine.

    • KJT 5.3

      http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2011/06/democracy-recap.html

      http://kjt-kt.blogspot.co.nz/2011/10/democracy-repris.html

      It would be nice if we had Democracy.

      Like these people. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/1435383/How-direct-democracy-makes-Switzerland-a-better-place.html

      Unfortunately we have the peculiar arrogance of politicians, who think that 61 people have the right to make decisions, that the rest of us have to suffer for, without any regard to our wishes or taking any responsibility.

      It applies to both the left and right. Both would rather be dictators for three years than allow us to make our own decisions.

      As NRT said once. “Even if it is the wrong decision it is ours to make”.
      Though, evidence from countries with a real degree of democracy, and from business studies, strangely enough, shows that, on the whole, the more people involved in the decision making the better.

      Representative democracy is a contradiction in terms. There is no such thing. Being graciously allowed to change our dictators every three years, by vote, is no different from the banana republics, who at least had the satisfaction of shooting the last lot of incompetents.

  6. AmaKiwi 6

    Correction: The second to the last paragraph should say, “if public lands will be mined,” not “pubic” lands.

    It’s late. The mind wanders. (Freud is smiling.)

  7. fender 7

    As that baffoon Brownlee illustrates in that clip, this pack of Nact children are unable to engage in any serious debate about anything. The way they conduct themselves is pathetic, they seem to have this strange notion that governing is a chance to play standup comedy. They are clearly deluded if they think anybody believes they are either clever or funny, or will ever have a future in the entertainment industry.

    It’s time these batshit Key clowns were marched out of the beehive, taken down to the comedy stage and presented with their rotton tomatoes and other refuse they so greatly deserve.

  8. vto 8

    Key – what a pathetic effort at answering Campbell Live’s probing questions. Key had not a clue.

    Wilkinson – good riddance. Fuck off back to your farm and continue your flawed ways out of the way.

    Brownlee – Buffoon. His attitude in that vid displays perfectly the deadly flaws in National party unthinking.

    English and Carter – evil doers in stealing NZ’s resources for their voters through tyranny and lack of democracy.

    Government – fucking fools. Do not trust them to run the rules and do not trust them to set the rules.

    Authority – in cahoots with the above lot. Fuck them and their dangerous and cavalier attitudes to law and society.

    shrink to your own smaller communities folks… there aint no trust, competence or safety out there in the wider nation…

  9. karol 9

    Drill it, mine it, sell it Gerry Brownlee – champion of deregualtion of the mining industry.  
     
     
     
     
     
     

  10. Tracey 10

    Gerry Brownlee has some actual complicity in this, to my knowledge Wilkinson doesn’t. So, throw another female to the wolves National… Strange that Bennett gets to stay…. no blokes want that job in National???

    This all contradicts the notion being peddled that it’s so hard to start mines in NZ. Labour let this one start, Gerry opened it, and the company was left to do it how it liked. Hardly hard. Then, it went under when the times got hard. Whittal is not lacking for work… like the banks, this is just a blip, business as usual soon enough.

    • weka 10.1

      Bennett is for all intents and purposes a man. That’s why she has so much power currently. The fact that she is physically a woman works in NACTs favour. Nothing like dressing up power and corruption in a woman’s body. It confuses people about what women’s power is and makes out that there is no other way of being. It’s perfect they put her in charge of welfare. This is the exact same dynamic as Shipley, Richardson, Thatcher… tools of the patriarchy (in both senses of the word).
       
      Not sure about Wilkinson. Someone commented yesterday that she had direct involvement in decisions that lead to the disaster.

  11. ianmac 11

    Brownlie-Finland + Brownlie-Underground Mining Safety= A really funny guy.

  12. ianmac 12

    What was the date of the 60minutes program?

  13. prism 13

    Kate Wilkinson resigning can be looked at from a number of viewpoints. One is to ask how often do ministers take responsibility for what they do when it has bad effects? There is no real sanction for them carrying out some policy that will kill people, or allow financial predators, or the government itself, to strip people of their savings.

    So Kate W has thought – why should I be the patsy? It is for polynesian ministers to be taken to task, and then to Court, for mishandling the role of wise, trusted agent for the people, not me.

    • ianmac 13.1

      Prism “It is for polynesian ministers to be taken to task, and then to Court, for mishandling the role of wise, trusted agent for the people, not me.”
      I don’t get it. Polynesian???

  14. prism 14

    ianmac
    I was thinking of politicians being held to account and Taito Phillip Field came to mind.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taito_Phillip_Field

    He was held to account but it doesn’t happen very often, and I did think that there might be more inclination for the hounds to sniff out certain targets rather than others with wider influence and bigger pockets.

  15. Fortran 15

    After the next election there will be no more mining, of any sort, in New Zealand – so why worry.
    Russel will see to it.

    • Na Russel wants factories and Kiwi Saver – which equals growth, no mining no growth

    • Tracey 15.2

      yea Fortran what a bastard that Normnan is, wanting workplaces to be safe for people… doesn’t he know it impacts the bottomline…. oh wait, having killed 27 people impacted the bottom line quite a lot for pike river coal too.

      I was in greymouth the day the suits from Pike River were in the pub celebrating the go ahead for the mine… I wonder when the last time they stepped intot hat pub was?

  16. Jenny 16

    The coal powered steam roller crushes all before it.

    “Race for coal production exposed Pike River workers to risks” Scoop News.

    When it comes to the huge amounts of money that can be made from mining coal for export, the sickly smell of corruption is beginning to permeate the State

    As corruption and greed effectively killed these workers, corruption and greed is also required to kill our planet.

    The political Corruption pressure and greed at the highest levels of the State on behalf of the coal industry is starting to form an obvious pattern.

    As Solid Energy hires private investigators and agent provocateurs with taxpayers money to spy and infiltrate environmental groups. (even under a Labour administration)

    As the high court has ruled ‘out of order’ any testimony relating to climate change in the Denniston hearings.

    As a government department department charged with protecting the environment orders their staff not to be involved in any voluntary scientific investigation of the Denniston Plateau even in their own time.

    DOC staff banned from ‘Denniston bio-blitz’

    The First two examples of corruption in the State speak for themselves. In the last it might be asked:

    What legal, or moral right have DOC got, to order staff not attend a voluntary “Bio-blitz” even as private citizens. Even threatening them with disciplinary action, (possibly resulting in dismissal), if they do the investigative work that they are supposedly paid to do?

    The bioblitz will involve volunteers and scientists scouring the plateau to create a snapshot of its animal inhabitants and ideally discover new species, before a planned 200ha opencast coalmine goes ahead.

    DoC staff had been advised by head office that it “would not be appropriate for them to attend the bioblitz”, said Buller area manager Bob Dickson.

    He had not received any negative feedback from staff about the directive.

    DoC spokesman Rory Newsam said because one of the aims of the event was to encourage public pressure on DoC to decline Bathurst Resources’ mining application, it was inappropriate for staff to attend, even in a private capacity.

    What on Earth?

    I didn’t know that interests of Bathurst resources were of any concern to DOC, surely their first priority is to protecting the natural environment?

    So is DOC an independent body of the state concerned with the protection of the natural environment, or a government and private sector stooge?

    The corrupt standover tactics employed by DOC against their staff on behalf of Bathhurst’s application to mine Denniston couldn’t be more blatant.

    “As public servants, it is inappropriate for DoC staff to be involved in an activity that forms part of a clearly stated campaign to change Government policy and we have simply reminded staff of this fact,” said Mr Newsam.

    The political affiliations of DOC workers in their own time should be their own business. And if it doesn’t affect their work, not a cause for disciplinary action, in itself.

    Would these threats be acted on if DOC workers did volunteer work for the environment in their own time for the Greens, or even the Labour Party?

    After all, these organisations also “campaign to change government policy”

  17. karol 17

    Darien Fenton got an Urgent Debate on the Pike River Report in the House this afternoon. She has referred to that Gerry Brownlee performance in the House as shown in the video above.  She sounds quite emotional in her speech.

    The cost-cutting NAct government denied inspectors the money for travel to inspect mines.

    A long litany of damning behaviour by our current government.

    • Banks is speaking and has been talking about people he had employed who essentially caused the accidents.

      He is obviously operating on Planet Banks today. 

      • karol 17.1.1

        Banks made himself look pretty clueless as a businessman/employer.  His sole strategy to H&S seemed to be to tell his employees once a practice was wrong, then be surprised that they didn’t get the message. 

  18. joe90 18

    Interesting to compare the outcomes following Pike River killings and the methane explosion in the Upper Big Branch mine which killed 29 men.

    The then superintendent of the Upper Big Branch mine has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the federal government and despite the company paying a $210 million settlement with more court action likely there are calls for the CEO and board of the mine owners to be prosecuted.

    Whittall will probably be shown the wet bus ticket while Dow and his board ride off into the sunset.

    • vto 18.1

      exactly joe90, where is John Dow?

      What has he got to say on the report?

      Has the chairman of the company made any statement?

      Is John Dow hiding like a chicken shit coward?

      Why is he not fronting?

      Why is he hiding?

      His company committed manslaughter.

  19. fisiani 19

    The opposition comments in Parliament today are absolutely disgusting. Exploiting the grief of 29 families for political gain is just disgusting.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      Oh Fisi save us your crock tears.

    • joe90 19.2

      Yeah, terrible that a government be taken to task over the cancellation of a review that would have saved lives.

    • McFlock 19.3

      Manage to keep your face straight as you typed it, fis?

    • karol 19.4

      And Finlayson & Banks, not accepting the failure of deregulation and their role in it is disgraceful.  Banks gave a load of anecdotal flannel about his experiences as a restaurant employer.  Videos here.
       
      Mallard said that the 1990 changes weere wrong and that the changes his government made to the laws in 2003 were not good enough, as a subsequent accident showed.  That is why they were working on tightening the regulations. He was very critical of Wilkinson’s rejection of the changes they and others recommended.
       
      Andrew Little gave an excellent speech with gravitas and was well-informed.  He talked of the need to re-empower unions, change the laws and improve funding for the check inspectors.
       
      I’m just watchinga recording of Brownlee crying crocodile tears for the dead and bereaved.  Darien Fenton.

      • mickysavage 19.4.1

        Aye I was proud to be a Labour Party member today.  Andrew Little gave a great speech.  His comment about how he turned up on the coast and saw 5 PR spin doctors for the company there explained why the MSM thought that Whittall was a great guy.  He should have been pilloried.

        And (cough cough) Trevor Mallard gave a great speech.  He very gently but directly addressed the Government and the decision to shelve the review of mine safety that Labour had started.  It was introspective, he wondered if he should have done more, but it also skewered the Government.

        On ya Trev. 

        • Colonial Viper 19.4.1.1

          :) Yeah nice work from Labour today. Thumbs up team.

        • vto 19.4.1.2

          Yep, just listened to Andrew Little’s speech. He made a very powerful point when he asked where the NZ business community was in commenting on Pike River and the state of health & safety in the workplace. Andrew noted that everytime workers rights are attacked or reduced the business community comes out beating its drum loud and clear, and yet here when 29 of the business community’s workers are killed dead they are dead quiet. Disgusting.

          Where is Business New Zealand?

          Where is John Dow?

          Chicken-shit disgusting cowards.

          One thing Andrew didn’t get right I think was he said this is not a time for blame. In fact it is exactly the time for blame. It is the time to point the finger at the people, at the organisations, at the policies and philosophies. The evidence has been heard and the conclusion reached. Blame needs to be sheetd home at some point and this its it. And everybody sees where the blame lies…

    • Tracey 19.5

      I recall when you wanted no investigators at that mine immediately following the explosion Fisiani… that was disgusting too apparently. However, had that not happened most of the documentation around this would have been destroyed. That you shamelessly feign to purport on the familie’s behalf to say what is exploitation ill behooves you. What about the company that exploited 29 men to death???

  20. Dv 20

    In Qtime HT NRT
    Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I think that is a ridiculous statement. That is saying that a company is prepared to risk the deaths of its employees and the reputation of the company for the sole purpose of making money, and even from the most hardened socialist I find that something difficult to believe. In the case of the Pike River mine, let us argue just for a moment that the Pike River Coal company was halfway through its mining operations, and was a successful operation that was operating well. An explosion of the magnitude that took place back in 2010 would have then completely and utterly collapsed that company. That would have made no economic sense to anyone.

    HUH
    I thought the mine DID explode and the company DID collapse.

    What a really really weird comment.

    • karol 20.1

      Here: yes it’s part of  the government putting all the blame on the company, except for where they can say Laour was just as bad.

      • Red Rosa 20.1.1

        Absolutely. NRT is worth ten opposition MPs’ by himself.

        http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/

        I’d have thought that the leader of a party which began at Blackball, not far from Pike River, and is himself well distant from any possible blame, might have shown some indignation…fury…gumption….but not on TV3 tonight.

        Kevin Haigh deserves credit for provoking such a typical slippery Key response.

        and Trevor Mallard also…said what needed to be said.

        • karol 20.1.1.1

          Excellent post by NRT.  Typical once-over-lightly from TV3 and Garner.  He avoided mentioning the strong criticism by the opposition of Brownlee, Key and Wilkinson’s past behaviour that supported the inadequate regulation of mines.
           
          Garner was all congrats to Key for managing the situation so it’s put to bed quickly by sacking, having Wilkinson resign her portfolio.  According to Garner this leaves the opposition without a target. He said that the oposition didn’t call for Wilkinson’s total resignation from cabinet because ex-Labour government ministers are equally to blame – that’s Garner’s interpretation.
           
          But the opposition have bigger fish to fry than spending all their time on attacking the out-of-reach Wilkinson – she’s a bit of a scapegoat anyway. Instead in Qu time today, Shearer attacks the lax attitude to health and safety in Key’s cabinet.  Peters attacks the failure of government policy.  Hague attacks the neoliberal ideology of deregulation.

          Was Garner there or did he just get some junior to feed him the edited highlights?
           

        • Draco T Bastard 20.1.1.2

          Actual NRT link: Utterly, horribly wrong

      • Red Rosa 20.1.2

        Absolutely. NRT is worth ten opposition MPs’ by himself.

        http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/

        But I’d have thought that the leader of a party which began at Blackball, not far from Pike River, and is himself well distant from any possible blame, might have shown some indignation…fury…gumption….but not on TV3 tonight.

        That debate showed up some true colours.

        Kevin Haigh deserves credit for provoking such a typical slippery Key response. In fact, judging by the look of Key recently, he seems to be losing it big time.

        Andrew Little, Trevor Mallard also…said what needed to be said.

        • Colonial Viper 20.1.2.1

          On Planet Key, free market companies safeguard employees lives, but in NZ they haven’t and many people have died.

      • felix 20.1.3

        karol, did you notice Key accidentally admitting that his govt, as regulator, is responsible for the disaster? I nearly tripped over when I heard it.

        Kevin Hague: Does he agree that the deregulation of occupational health and safety that occurred in the 1990s was the major factor in creating an environment where management at Pike River were able to ignore workers’ calls to improve safety; if not, why not?

        Rt Hon JOHN KEY: No. Let us take a step back. The primary responsibility of any company, when it comes to health and safety issues, rests with that company, so a good employer is always going to make sure that their employees are safe in the workplace. The role of a regulator is someone to ensure that the company is fulfilling its obligations, not to fulfil those obligations for the company. The company itself must do that. In the case of Pike River Coal, the company utterly failed.

    • gnomic 20.2

      ‘That is saying that a company is prepared to risk the deaths of its employees and the reputation of the company for the sole purpose of making money . . . .’

      Thus spake smirking batshit weasel man. I had thought he was not very bright, but this seems to be proof that John Key is an idiot as well as a knave. I expect we can safely assume that he has never read Upton Sinclair’s *The Jungle*.”Radical action must be taken to do away with the efforts of arrogant and selfish greed on the part of the capitalist.” So said Theodore Roosevelt and he was no fan of Upton Sinclair. Clearly this failed comedian has never read anything by B. Traven on the suffering of plantation workers.

      I expect too the weasel has never done any hard dangerous manual labour – perhaps someone can correct me on this point? Has he ever driven an old truck with no seatbelts through the Karangahake Gorge by night to make the company some money? Has he ever staggered under the weight of a sheet of gib across a building site? Has he got a clue about what the workers do?

    • Tracey 20.3

      “That is saying that a company is prepared to risk the deaths of its employees and the reputation of the company for the sole purpose of making money”

      The reort concluded they did just that. As for his suggestion that companies can’t be “stupid” he must have already forgotten the GFC and the financial industry meltdown.

  21. RedLogix 21

    The person most probably culpable in the political sense is Gerry Brownlee.

    Pike River Coal was conceived and permitted under Labour as a development project. The reasonable goal was to drive an exploratory shaft into the seam in order to determine what conditions they found and what would be required to turn it into a safe and productive mine.That was achieved.

    Even so plenty of people had sufficient cause for concern about the industry in general to push very hard for a major review and to push for a substantive re-regulation. But the new National govt in 2008 was entirely set against such a review. It was mocked in Parliament and dumped.

    More significantly the new government had made developing the mining industry a big priority. To the extent that tens of thousands of New Zealanders turned out in the biggest demonstrations since the Iraq war to protest the proposed desecration of our Conservation estate.

    This is why it was so important to Brownlee as Minister of Energy and Resources to open Pike River as a for the showcase the potential of the industry. Yet Pike was never ready to be a production mine. It was neither technically safe, nor was it fiscally feasible for a company with no other cash flow to develop to the point where it might have been.

    I believe that the cover-up that Bernie Monk and the families have encountered is all about deflecting attention from Brownlee’s role in this disaster. Even the most minimal, the lightest of regulatory oversight should have prevented Pike River from being turned into a production mine. I suggest that if someone looked hard enough there will be evidence of Ministerial interference. Interference to ensure, to enable the mine to proceed … against all reason.

    I suggest that given this government’s track record (Sky City? Snapper? ) this is a very plausible scenario.

    • Colonial Viper 21.1

      Brownlee has been keeping a very low profile. But in a very safe National seat, why would he be worth a convoluted protective strategy and expending political capital on?

      • RedLogix 21.1.1

        Because I suggest that the level of culpability is un-survivable, and might well take down Key as well.

    • Draco T Bastard 21.2

      That would require asking the right questions of the right departments via OIA.

  22. infused 22

    Interesting to note a few manufacturing places I do work for are now big on health and safety. Lots of updates going on around factories in loom of a big osh shakeup.

    • RedLogix 22.1

      And I guess that has to one of the big questions around Pike River. I’m personally very close to three people who are senior H&S people. All three of them have repeatedly expressed astonishment that this was allowed to happen. Even under the current regime.

      Even the most elementary processes where not followed. Such a comprehensive failure stinks of more than hubris and negligence.

  23. Bruce 23

    I totally agree with many views here. I cannot fathom the total failure that lead to 29 dead people on the job. China occasionally has mining disasters – it’s kind of expected of them in a way. Here we are year 2000+. We know what lead to this and many people know the timeline regarding the National Party and their efforts to cut costs (at least Labour tried to do something while last in power). Brownlee is a disgrace and so is Wilkinson.

    *The Pike bosses did what they did because they could get away with it*

    This is a prime example of why we have laws and also people (people with power) who enforce those laws – this is done through regular audits/inspections. There are far too many people getting injured and killed on the job in NZ at the moment and no job is worth dying for. Employers need to lift their game big time, I also concede that workers need to think about what they are doing, stop cutting corners (to brown-nose in many cases), and be prepared to say “No” to the boss if they think a task is unsafe. This brings up the issue of the 90 day no rights law and the issue that working people feel they have to make a good impression at any cost, especially in the first few days of the job.

  24. Bruce 24

    Furthermore, I propose there should be ‘No Go’ areas for politicians – absolutely enshrined areas of legislation that cannot be changed (particularly in the area of health and safety law). Cutting costs should not result in deaths.

  25. Tracey 25

    A mining consultant yesterday said he has NEVER seen this environment in a mine in a developed country. he then stated he has worked in Turkey and Russia(regarded as developing) and doesn’t see it there.

    This had to be wilful and deliberate policy of the company. The DOL turned a blind eye OR was denied funding to keep watch.

    I’m still waiting for the LIbertarianz to explain how in a fully derugulated society this type of company would act better than this.

    • mike e 25.1

      libitarianz answer would be there would be no mining because the number of miners dying would put people off doing mine work!

      • vto 25.1.1

        Libertarians and similar ilk are sheepishly quiet about this because it is like a blinding light to their philosophy.

        Hello Rodney Hide?

        Hello Roger Douglas?

        What say you of the cause of the death of these 29 men and its implications for your political philosophy?

        We hear nothing because they have no answer. Their brainwaves have been evaporated by this blast of blistering light.

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    Labour | 20-04
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    Further damage from the huge storm that battered the West Coast was prevented by the great work of our volunteer Fire Service and locals will be extremely grateful, Labour’s MP for West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “Our region has been...
    Labour | 19-04
  • Time for Ryall to fix mistakes and help families
    Families who won a long and lengthy Court battle for financial help to support their disabled daughters and sons are now facing a new battle with health system bureaucracy and need the Health Minister's help, Labour's Disability Issues spokesperson Ruth...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Time for greater ministerial accountability
    The Green Party has today released a proposal to introduce a ministerial disclosure regime in New Zealand to improve the transparency and accountability of government.The proposal, based on the system used in the United Kingdom since 2010, would require all...
    Greens | 18-04
  • Power prices soar on the eve of winter
    On the eve of winter as New Zealanders are turning on their heaters, power prices have soared sky high, Labour’s Energy spokesperson David Shearer says. “Energy Minster Simon Bridges claimed in Parliament that prices were estimated to rise 2.4 per...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Workers can kiss goodbye to Easter Sunday off
    The Government’s decision to “reprioritise” scarce labour inspector resources by abandoning the enforcement of Easter Sunday Shop Trading laws means workers can kiss goodbye to a guaranteed day off, says Labour’s Associate Labour Issues spokesperson Darien Fenton. “The Labour Minister...
    Labour | 18-04
  • Businesses need to respect workers this Easter
    Businesses intent on flouting Easter shopping laws should face stiff penalties, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today. This Easter, at least one major garden centre chain intends to open on Good Friday despite this being in breach...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney's Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members' ballot. “It’s time the Government acted in the interests of families,” Sue Moroney says. “National has tried every...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the price for Genesis far too low in a desperate attempt to beef up demand....
    Labour | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Associate Immigration spokesperson. “In the past 12 months, temporary...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Since 2009 resignation rates among sworn staff have...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand to revisit its decision to evict an essential community organisation in Christchurch with only eight weeks notice.Yesterday at the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence support services the organisation...
    Greens | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Auckland Council has implemented a by-law banning the use of psychoactive...
    Labour | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination after revelations that three out of seven properties sold in Wanganui tested positive for methamphetamine,...
    Labour | 17-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Before his departure, John Key said he would wait until all...
    Labour | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today.The report tabled in Parliament yesterday shows that total use of ozone depleting gases in New Zealand has...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.  ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Turning Shane: How Murray McCully deprived Labour of Mr Jones
    THERE ARE THREE TYPES OF TRAITOR. The first is the person who betrays his country for a higher cause. The second betrays his country for money. The third betrays his country for the wrongs it has done him. By far...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • Why NZ needs a Digital Bill of Rights
    I’m glad the Greens have taken on board some of my suggestions for a NZ Digital Bill of Rights. October last year I blogged… what should a NZ Digital Bill of Rights look like? -freedom of online expression -freedom of...
    The Daily Blog | 23-04
  • The blue collar cred smoko room mythology of Shane Jones as told by the msm
    So apparently, Shane Jones leaving is the end of the Labour Party. Yawn. Vernon Small screams, “Disarray. There is no other word to describe the mess the Labour Party plunged into last night” while John Armstrong predicts “resignation couldn’t have...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Flockton Floods Again
    Last week the Flockton Basin flooded again – the second time in six weeks.  And not just roads and land, but homes and garages.  Some people have been flooded multiple times since the earthquakes.  One couple, after the March flood...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The PI vote and political stunts
    The mainstream media got quite excited a couple of weeks ago when a number of Pasifika church leaders were photographed at the Manurewa markets wearing blue, Key-people t-shirts. The clergy pictured in those articles said that they had changed allegiance...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • EDUCANZ / EDUCAN’T
    Oh hello, select committee … sorry to interrupt your tea and bickies, but I have something on my mind that I really need to talk to you about. You see, word on the street is that you are planning to...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Why Waiariki and Epsom are so important this election
    Two of the lynchpin electorates that need to go the Opposition’s way if there is any chance of a Labour led Government are Waiariki and Epsom. Epsom is the only lifeline for ACT and if the 6000 progressive voters in...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • TV Review: Seven Sharp: third strike lucky
     More prophetic than anyone could imagine – Jesse in a coffin  Jesse Mulligan was the last of the original ill-fated trio to be dumped from Seven Sharp.  This happened last week with little notice given and less notice paid.  His removal was more inevitable than the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The Liberal Agenda 23rd-27th April
    The week is dominated by the launch of the NZ International Comedy Festival – our picks for the week are… WEDNESDAY 23rdSunrise Yoga on Queens Wharf 7am-8.15am Queens Wharf, 89 Quay Street (bottom of Queen Street) Free ********************************************************************* THURSDAY 24th5...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Shane Jones caption contest
    Shane Jones caption contest...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Helping Simon Bridges find the forest he lost
    Helping Simon Bridges find the forest he lost...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • On climate change denial
    On climate change denial...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Labour on manufacturing
    Labour on manufacturing...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • When your National Party mates claim National are a better economic manager...
    When your National Party mates claim National are a better economic manager, show them this graph...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Introverts Unite (separately)
    Introverts Unite (separately)...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The problem with food
    The problem with food...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Why queues outside synthetic cannabis shop is proof regulation is working
    Latest moral panic on synthetic cannabis is that there were queues waiting for a store to open over Easter. Yawn. Before the Psychoactive Substances Act (PSA), there were up to 6000 venders and hundreds of different brands. Since regulation via the...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • Shane Jones resignation: Labour dodge a bullet & the Greens smile
    Best Friends Forever now Thank God Shane Jones is selling out and taking a job for National… Shane Jones to leave Labour, set to work with Murray McCully Shane Jones is quitting Parliament and the Labour Party, and there is...
    The Daily Blog | 22-04
  • The only one happy with ACTs new ’3 strikes’ for burglary will be priva...
    The great scholarly Grand Cleric of the libertarian right, Jamie Whyte, has come down from the mount with two stone tablets and sadly all he has is 3 strikes, not 10 commandments… Jail burglars after third offence, says Act Party...
    The Daily Blog | 21-04
  • Trade and Investment Agreements: Human Rights For Sale
    On March 29, many New Zealanders took to the streets in defense of democratic rights by opposing the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). A week earlier, delegates from dairy unions from around the world (including the NZ Dairy Workers Union...
    The Daily Blog | 21-04
  • Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting polic...
    Rest in peace Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter – despite the disgusting police racism and injustice you were undefeated...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Maori Party wine and dine invite
    Maori Party wine and dine invite...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget
    For Simon Bridges – here’s the forest you forget...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Never forget the GCSB lies
    Never forget the GCSB lies...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • The Empire strikes back
    The Empire strikes back...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • God bless capitalism
    God bless capitalism...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Drone killings erode social constraint on using violence
    The drone killing of an (unnamed) New Zealander in Yemen should prompt us to look at the ethics of this practice. We’re told from birth that murder is wrong. Yet drone killings (as conducted by the Obama administration) convey the...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Labour’s first 100 days – where the messaging needs to be
    ‘The first 100 days’, an expression coined by President Roosevelt in 1933, is generally used to describe the successes and accomplishments of a government at the time when their power is greatest. During the 2008 election campaign, John Key issued...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Pharrell: a new brand of feminism?
    I think most people heard about how the song Blurred Lines featuring and co-written by Pharrell and performed by Robin Thicke (who has adeptly just been named “Sexist of the Year”) really pissed a lot of people off last year. ...
    The Daily Blog | 20-04
  • Why Easter holidays should always be mandatory and retail free
    The moaning from retailers that they can’t open the cash registers and worship the consumer culture of consumption over Easter bores me immensely because I’ve always believed that public holidays should be mandatory. It’s not that I really care about...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Why punish the parents of the disabled?
    Parents who have adult children with disabilities saw a glimmer of hope when the promise for payment for caring for their children was given. But like most things, the complicated and relentless bureaucracy of the whole process shows a completely...
    The Daily Blog | 19-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Total figures for campaign against alcohol fuelled violence
    The final total figures for the eighth police led Operation Unite: a Blitz on Drunken Violence was announced today by Jon White, CEO of the Australia New Zealand Policing Advisory Agency (ANZPAA)....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • ACT’s proposal to further three-strikes policy short-sighted
    JustSpeak is calling out the ACT Party’s extension of the three-strikes policy as knee-jerk punitivism, political populism and based on a culture of fear, rather than evidence....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • InternetNZ pleased Green Party taking issues seriously
    InternetNZ is pleased to see the Green Party join Labour in having a serious discussion about online rights....
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Age Concern calls for building accessibility for elderly
    Age Concern has made a submission strongly opposing the clause within the Building (Earthquake-prone Buildings) Amendment Bill that exempts building owners from providing or improving building accessibility. The current Building Act 2004 clearly acknowledges...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Internet Rights & Principles Coalition: Internet Rights Bill
    The Internet Rights and Principles Coalition (IRP Coalition) of the UN Internet Governance Forum applaud the release of the NZ Green Party’s Internet Rights and Freedoms Bill for public consultation. The IRF Bill is a pioneering project for the internet...
    Scoop politics | 23-04
  • Gender quotas should be a last resort
    The Institute of Directors in New Zealand (IoD), says introducing gender quotas is not the best solution to increase the number of women directors on New Zealand boards....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Taika Waititi lends support to #BeefWithBullies campaign
    Even if Chardonnay doesn’t like your Michael Jackson dance moves, that’s no reason for you to be made fun of. Renowned Kiwi director, Taika Waititi has pledged his support to the Mad Butcher’s anti-bullying campaign #BeefWithBullies. With...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Commissioner proposes limit on credit reporting charges
    The Privacy Commissioner, John Edwards, is proposing an amendment to the Credit Reporting Privacy Code that would limit what credit reporters can charge individuals wanting immediate access to their credit information....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Does ACC system provide access to justice asks UN
    The United Nations Committee responsible for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities ("CRPD") has formally raised access to justice and other issues with the New Zealand Government. The Committee considered a report submitted...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Iwi concerned over future of country’s oldest wharenui
    An East Coast iwi says they are concerned the Crown has not made good on its promise to return their wharenui – the oldest meeting house in the country. “The Government promised to return our wharenui, now they are reneging,”...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • NZDF-Supported Anzac Day Commemorations in France, Belgium
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) will be increasing its support for official and locally-run Anzac Day commemorations in France and Belgium this year with a 10 person contingent, including a Māori cultural element, from New Zealand as well...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Third National Māori Housing Conference set to take place
    Success stories in Māori Housing developments from around Aotearoa will be shared at a National Māori Housing Conference, to be held in Whanganui from May 1-3. Conference hosts the Whanganui Iwi Housing Forum and national umbrella organization Te Matapihi...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Partnership targets visitor safety on New Zealand roads
    Partnership targets visitor safety on New Zealand roads Tourism New Zealand, the New Zealand Transport Agency and Air New Zealand have joined forces to target Chinese tourists with important road safety messages before they get behind the wheel. A...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Renewable energy in the Pacific under EU-NZ Partnership
    European Commissioner Piebalgs and New Zealand Foreign Minister McCully depart on 23-27 April on a joint mission to the Pacific to see EU-NZ renewable energy and energy efficiency projects....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Disabled Community Further Marginalised by Proposed Bill
    Disabled Community Further Marginalised by Proposed Building Amendment Bill for Earthquake Prone Buildings to the Building Act....
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • Home loan affordability worsens by most in 12 years
    Home loan affordability worsens by most in 12 years as interest rates and house prices rise...
    Scoop politics | 22-04
  • ACT should abandon Three Strikes
    Rethinking Crime and Punishment is urging right wing politicians to do their homework before coming up with one-off “tough on crime – high on vengeance’ sentencing policies for which there is no evidence of success. He was responding to the...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Noho Hewa’: Visit of Native Hawaiian filmmaker
    Native Hawaiian filmmaker, Anne Keala Kelly, will be in Aotearoa New Zealand for two screenings of the award winning documentary 'Noho Hewa: the wrongful occupation of Hawai'i', a powerful portrayal of the multiple links between militarisation and...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Rural Contractors NZ hits the road during May
    Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ) will be updating its members on the latest changes in health and safety, transport and employment laws – as well as other topics – in a series of roadshows being held around the country during...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Landlord and tenant alarm at healthy homes bill
    Landlord and tenant alarm at healthy homes bill Landlords and tenants should be alarmed at Labour MP Phil Twyford’s Healthy Homes Guarantee Bill that would immediately impose stringent requirements upon rental properties without defining those requirements,...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • US/New Zealand relationship best in thirty years
    US/New Zealand relationship best in thirty years. NZ well qualified for UN Security Council seat...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Oxford University study says large dams are uneconomical
    Just in time for this week’s ASEAN Renewable Energy Week, new scientific results have questioned the economic viability of large dams. Calculations by the Bruno Manser Fund show that the Malaysian Bakun Dam scores even worse than the average large...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • ACT Speech: Three Strikes For Burglary, Three Years Jail
    Last year there were more than 52,000 reported burglaries. According to the Treasury, for every 10 reported burglaries, there are another 12 that go unreported. This means there were more than 120,000 burglaries last year – or over 2000 a...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Derek Leask: Media Advisory Re: Nigel Fyfe MOJ Appointment
    Derek Leask yesterday 20 April 2014 made the following observations in response to a media enquiry about the recently announced appointment of Mr Nigel Fyfe, currently Deputy Secretary at the Ministry of Justice (Legal and Operational Services and Legal...
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Oceans In The Spotlight At Election Year Oceans Forum
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    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Himalayan Trust responds to Everest avalanche
    The Himalayan Trust has launched an appeal to help the families of the Sherpa climbers impacted by the recent tragedy on Eve rest, Nepal....
    Scoop politics | 21-04
  • Tariana Turia: Labour doesn’t deserve our vote
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    Scoop politics | 20-04
  • Family Court Consumers Group appalled at legal rort
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    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
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    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
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    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
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    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
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    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
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    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
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    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
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    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
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    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
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    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
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    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
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    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
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    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
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