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Open mike 15/01/2013

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, January 15th, 2013 - 55 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

55 comments on “Open mike 15/01/2013”

  1. coronial typer 1

    Any sign that members will get to have a vote in February about Labour’s leader?

    • Te Reo Putake 1.1

      Happy New Year, CT. Thanks for bringing up last year’s issue again. I can report that the membership driven changes to the leadership election process are going to work in exactly the way conference endorsed.

      • Bill 1.1.1

        But I wonder if they’re going to work out in exactly the way some in caucus would prefer. And even if they do, and a membership vote is avoided, stymied or ‘just not happening’, by reason of whatever background manouverings take place prior to a 60% +1 vote of confidence being achieved, what prospects then for the Labour Party? “Not good” would be my prognosis.

        But we’ll see.

      • felixviper 1.1.2

        lolz re- “last year’s issue”. Last year it was ‘can’t you all just shut up until February?’

  2. No sign that I can see but then I think it is up to us to give our MPs a sign that a member vote is what we want, what the Party really needs to unite and fight the next election. Anyone got creative ideas for giving our MPs a sign?

  3. karol 3

    What a sad and heroic story. 26 year old Aaron Swartz, Internet freedom activist, hounded by FBI, facing possible years in jail, committed suicide. Glenn Greenwald:

    At the age of 14, Swartz played a key role in developing the RSS software that is still widely used to enable people to manage what they read on the internet. As a teenager, he also played a vital role in the creation of Reddit, the wildly popular social networking news site. When Conde Nast purchased Reddit, Swartz received a substantial sum of money at a very young age. …

    Swartz had little interest in devoting his life to his own material enrichment, despite how easy it would have been for him….

    Specifically, he committed himself to the causes in which he so passionately believed: internet freedom, civil liberties, making information and knowledge as available as possible. …

    But in July 2011, Swartz was arrested for allegedly targeting JSTOR, the online publishing company that digitizes and distributes scholarly articles written by academics and then sells them, often at a high price, to subscribers. As Maria Bustillos detailed, none of the money goes to the actual writers (usually professors) who wrote the scholarly articles – they are usually not paid for writing them – but instead goes to the publishers.

    This system offended Swartz (and many other free-data activists) for two reasons: it charged large fees for access to these articles but did not compensate the authors, and worse, it ensured that huge numbers of people are denied access to the scholarship produced by America's colleges and universities.

    In response to Swartz’s death academics liberate thousands of articles, making them freely available online. Anonymous crashes MIT website. According to the Mail Online:

    The statement came as hundreds of academics posted links to copyright-protected journals online in tribute to Internet activist Swartz.

    The movement appears to have started on Swartz’s own site Reddit and was echoed by Anonymous on Twitter, who wrote: ‘Please share: Academics posting their papers online in tribute to Aaron Swartz using hashtag #pdftribute #ICYMI.’

    • NoseViper (The Nose knows) 3.1

      RIP with honours Aaron Swartz.
      More explanatory stuff behind this story of a man who has given up on the hypocrisy and lust for power and riches gained from mining information veins as valuable as gold, and the desire of leading figures for absolute control of it and to subvert the rights of people in a democracy to information they need, and indeed have paid for through their taxes, in the USA.
      These are further excerpts from the Glenn Greenwald article which explains about this judicial wrong:

      Swartz never distributed any of these downloaded articles. He never intended to profit even a single penny from anything he did, and never did profit in any way. He had every right to download the articles as an authorized JSTOR user; at worst, he intended to violate the company’s “terms of service” by making the articles available to the public. Once arrested, he returned all copies of everything he downloaded and vowed not to use them. JSTOR told federal prosecutors that it had no intent to see him prosecuted, though MIT remained ambiguous about its wishes.

      But federal prosecutors ignored the wishes of the alleged “victims”. Led by a federal prosecutor in Boston notorious for her overzealous prosecutions, the DOJ threw the book at him, charging Swartz with multiple felonies which carried a total sentence of several decades in prison and $1 million in fines….

      To say that the DOJ’s treatment of Swartz was excessive and vindictive is an extreme understatement. When I wrote about Swartz’s plight last August, I wrote that he was “being prosecuted by the DOJ with obscene over-zealousness”. Timothy Lee wrote the definitive article in 2011 explaining why, even if all the allegations in the indictment are true, the only real crime committed by Swartz was basic trespassing, for which people are punished, at most, with 30 days in jail and a $100 fine, about which Lee wrote: “That seems about right: if he’s going to serve prison time, it should be measured in days rather than years.”….

      I believe it has more to do with what I told the New York Times’ Noam Cohen for an article he wrote on Swartz’s case. Swartz’s activism, I argued, was waged as part of one of the most vigorously contested battles – namely, the war over how the internet is used and who controls the information that flows on it – and that was his real crime in the eyes of the US government: challenging its authority and those of corporate factions to maintain a stranglehold on that information. In that above-referenced speech on SOPA, Swartz discussed the grave dangers to internet freedom and free expression and assembly posed by the government’s efforts to control the internet with expansive interpretations of copyright law and other weapons to limit access to information.

      That’s a major part of why I consider him heroic.

    • Aaron Swartz on How we stopped SOPA

    • Huginn 3.3

      Horrible, just horrible.
      JSTOR indicated that they were not interested in pursuing this but the US DoJ refused to let it go.

    • QoT 3.4

      For bonus horror, here’s AlterNet’s list of 10 Awful Crimes That Get You Less Prison Time Than What Aaron Swartz Faced.

      Because liberating monetized public documentation is so much worse than distributing child pornography. *headdesk*

    • Murray Olsen 3.5

      I’ve always objected to the government (a bit less now that it’s the Aussie one) paying for me to perform research, the results of which effectively become the private property of some publishing company. To keep my job, let alone get promoted, I have to publish or perish, and I have to publish in what are called “high tier” journals. Granted, the results of my research might not be anything earth shattering, but shouldn’t they at least belong to the people who pay for them through their taxes? I include the population of the whole world here, because research is not something that can be done in any one country in isolation. I think what Swartz did was morally correct and have always made pdfs of my work available freely to anyone who’s been interested. Nevertheless, for most of the world, they are hidden behind paywalls. On a final note, there may only be three or four people on the planet who have any interest in what I do anyway 🙂

  4. Dr Terry 4

    I am sure I must have got it wrong – I thought the membership vote (with particular reference to February) was “a given”. Could it be possible that Shearer has already put a stop to that possibility?

    • Bill 4.1

      If 60% +1 of caucus give Shearer their confidence in Feb, then there is no wider vote. So you might want to have a wee word in the ear of your local mp about their future selection prospects in the event that they are thinking of denying the membership a wee bit of democracy via endorsing Shearer in the caucus vote.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        Indeed. Caucus control the ‘trigger’ mechanism allowing the wider membership to have a say or not. Caucus (34 individuals) can veto the democratic membership process for thousands of members and affiliate members by not pulling that trigger.

        • Jane 4.1.1.1

          Sadly I predict there is zero chance of a wider vote happening, the impact of weeks of public campaigning between DS & DC would be caustic and the fallout for the losing side significant. The thought of this will prompt caucus to support DS by at least the needed 60% +1 out of self preservation, it’s wrong but it’s what I predict.

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1.1

            Sadly I predict there is zero chance of a wider vote happening, the impact of weeks of public campaigning between DS & DC would be caustic a

            Your prediction is actually the OPPOSITE of what happened in the previous leadership contest – the media and the public became engaged, hundreds flocked to town meetings around the country, and the Labour Party gained a huge new membership.

          • bad12 4.1.1.1.2

            I think it would be sad for the Labour Party if the Caucus didn’t trigger a Party wide leadership vote in February,

            I can well imagine a traveling ‘townhall’ type leadership contest capturing not only the 6 o’clock news for it’s duration but also capturing the interest of a wide section of the voting population,

            A 4 week nationwide townhall type contest is likely to help Shearer’s public image as much as it would Cunliffe’s, for all we know Shearer might just shine in an Aro Valley type atmosphere where candidates get to mix it not only with each other but with the public as well,

            It’s a pity that Labour didn’t hand the ‘trigger’ by vote to the Labour Party annual conference which would have removed from the Caucus the need to ponder questions of self preservation which you have alluded to,

            My view is that if Labour ever address the question again at a Party level they should consider extending the Party wide vote to also include voting for who would make up the Labour Government Cabinet,

            Should such a vote have been possible during the Lange Government the likes of Sir(spit) Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble may well have become seat warmers on the back-bench before such major damage as they did inflict upon us ever had the chance to flower…

            • Murray Olsen 4.1.1.1.2.1

              I suspect Douglas, Prebble and a few who are still there would have formed ACT earlier in that case and disappeared into the dustbin of history.

          • Fortran 4.1.1.1.3

            +1

        • Te Reo Putake 4.1.1.2

          CV, it’s worth remembering that the members (and the DC camp in particular) wanted this system. And, just for clarities sake, it does not go to the members to decide if Shearer fails to get sufficient support in caucus. It goes to caucus, affiliates and members. Remember, this is the system Cunliffe wanted. It’s not Shearer’s fault if it doesn’t work the way his opponents want it to.

          34 members (caucus) do not ‘veto’ democracy if they endorse Shearer. They will be following the brand new democratic process that the wider membership and affiliates voted for at conference. Can’t get more democratic than that, comrade.

          • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.2.1

            Remember, this is the system Cunliffe wanted.

            Moira, Tim and NZ Council all wanted the general system. Shearer and Robertson have both said they supported it. The specific % threshold however was a different matter and really, the only bone of contention. It probably should have been set at a UK Labour matching 20% but that wasn’t an option even put on to the table.

            34 members (caucus) do not ‘veto’ democracy if they endorse Shearer. They will be following the brand new democratic process that the wider membership and affiliates voted for at conference. Can’t get more democratic than that, comrade.

            Yes, there are always limitations to democracy in every constitutionally enshrined system. And having a very small group decide if and when everyone else gets a say, is (in my books at least) an example of such a limitation to democracy.

          • Galeandra 4.1.1.2.2

            Comrade??!!
            Sanctimony or Sarc?

            If there’s no indication of concern in the caucus about addressing the calculated injustice of 2012 by allowing the members to sit in judgement then, comrade, you can push your own barrow from now on.

          • blue leopard 4.1.1.2.3

            Well here is hoping that at least members of caucus are “reading” their potential support base correctly, because from reading these pages it would appear useful to give the opportunity of leader endorsement to the wider members. This would ensure that the outcome was solid endorsement and would squash the strength of rumours regarding manipulation and lack of confidence. My guess is that if this doesn’t occur, NZLP will lose a great deal of members.

            I have merely formed these opinions on the subject from what I read on this blogsite and write them because I am losing confidence that those involved in this issue in the caucus* are capable of rational thought and ensuing pragmatic actions to clear up the matter.

            *and including those expressing the belief that criticism must be silenced before the date of the leadership vote, i.e prior to when the issue can be resolved.

            • King Kong 4.1.1.2.3.1

              Dear Blue Leopard,

              The caucus of the NZ Labour party acknowledges your threat but reiterates our position of not taking seriously the rantings of a hundred or so delusional shut ins.

              By the way we have a card here from the National Party addressed to you and your mates at the Standard thanking you for all your hard work.

              Regards
              The Caucus (well most of us)

              • Its not a threat, I made very clear this is a personal opinion predicting what I consider the best way to deal with the issue.

                I suggest, King Kong, that you keep the National Party card because your name-calling and apparent inability to respond intelligently to clearly stated reasoned opinion, most suits the divide and rule tactics of the right.

                The whole “do not be concerned, do not criticize” and “the left is divided” is such a pack of right-wing spin, I just do not why anyone other than extremists are buying into it. Its time to throw those memes out.

                In short: thanks but no thanks. Your spin will not affect this writer.

              • McFlock

                Can I just say that if KK really was a member of the Labour Party caucus (or involved with them in any polite or professionally-tolerated way ), every criticism about team shearer, ABC, etc would be well-deserved if not completely understated.

          • Another Viper 4.1.1.2.4

            TRP, the gift that keeps on giving.

            Welcome back from the hols. Whatever the DC camp is, I’m sure they love the way you re-enforce the perception that the insiders in the Wellington beltway believe that everything will be rosy in the garden if Cunliffe goes away.

            Who has been offered Annette’s seat? And Trevor’s? And Phil’s And Ross’s?

            And New Lynn?
            And Waitakere we already know.

            When everyone sits on their hands and shuts and nods obediently all will be hunky dorey? Yeah Right.

            • Fortran 4.1.1.2.4.1

              Annettes’ to Helen Kelly – a natural selection.
              Caucus needs her nous and skills.

            • The Voice of Reason 4.1.1.2.4.2

              Greetings to you too, AV.

              Sorry my regular doses of reality don’t sit well with you, but there’s nothing I can do about that, you’ll just have to get up to speed all by yourself. Shearer is the leader now and he will be endorsed by caucus in a few weeks. Cunliffe is not going to be leader. It’s over for him. That’s just the way it is and no amount of wishful thinking is going to change that scenario.

              • ianmac

                +1 VOR. The reality is hard for dreamers.

                • muzza

                  Are you referring to the reality of of NZ’s sham democracy?

                  • ianmac

                    VOR: Shearer is the leader now and he will be endorsed by caucus in a few weeks. Cunliffe is not going to be leader. It’s over for him. That’s just the way it is and no amount of wishful thinking is going to change that scenario.
                    Said simply and in my opinion correctly assessed. The constant grizzling from some is Scotch mist Muzza. Unimpressive mist at that.

                    • The Al1en

                      “The constant grizzling from some is Scotch mist Muzza.”

                      Or voters two years out from the real election, telling the Labour caucus they’ve got it horribly wrong and had better fix it, or else.

                      “Unimpressive mist at that.”

                      But much clearer than the Labour party fog/smoke machine.

                    • Um ianmac as much as I respect you and TVOR I think the party activists need to have a chat about things like party principles and the best way to ensure that the Caucus respect these principles.

                    • Anne

                      Concur mickysavage.

                      Ignoring the fact that a group within the Labour Caucus behaved in an extremely unprincipled manner late last year does not make the problem go away. Indeed, it may cause them to behave in such away again if the rank and file don’t stand up to them and tell them enough is enough.

                  • Te Reo Putake

                    Thanks, Ianmac. I’m finding quite curious that posters on TS, who are for the most part, intelligent, thoughtful and politically sound, haven’t spotted the bleeding obvious.

                    And, Muzza, you’ve been exposed as a sham participant here anyway, hoist majestically on your own petard, so your thoughts on democracy, or anything else, have little cachet round here.

                    • muzza

                      I’m not the one carting around the handle of *The Voice of Reason*, clinging onto a dying labour party, pretending they represent, “the left”.
                      I would suggest talk of sham participation might be, oh, let’s call it, ironic!

                    • felixviper

                      You’ve rumbled yourself muzza.

                      Thanks to your sad little efforts to impress your sad little friends, nothing you write here is ever going to be seen as anything but a sad little experiment.

                    • McFlock

                      good point FV.

                      MUZZA: SERIOUS QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR “EXPERIMENT”:
                      What content analysis tools and other methodologies do you use?
                      What format do you keep your notes in?
                      What’s the null hypothesis you’ve set out to test?
                      What’s the theoretical basis behind your experiment?

                      Why are you experimenting on human beings without their knowledge or consent?
                      What ethical approval process did you go through?
                      Will subjects be informed of the purpose and results of the research?
                      Will any papers resulting from this experiment be peer-reviewed?
                      Will subjects be anonymous in any publications resulting from your experiment?

                    • muzza

                      All three of you, again, sheesh its become too easy!

                      Felix – Are you a (DIC)? How have I rumbled myself, and who do you think my friends to be? Indications are, you had your nose (ego) put out of joint, and if you believe that I’m interested in trying to impress people, it serves only to project, your own self, further into the light. In a reference McFlock can understand, the linguistic stroking/wanking/posturing) here is a remarkable insight, which begins with the head. Remember its online sunshine, but the personalities scream through loud and clear!

                      McFlock – It’s not that formal bro (and ive stated on here more than once that I was using it for personal interest only), but what I started with was curiosity in getting to understand the positive impact, if any, that sites such as this can have , in real terms! No need to capture information to build towards a conclusion, let’s just say that herd mentality/fear/ego, will prevent meaningful change in NZ, and that this site illustrates nicely the barriers/constraints!
                      Call it too much hui, not enough do-ey, call it anything you like, but don’t believe its making any difference, if in fact that is what you care to impart during this life!

                      QoT – We live/function, inside of, and surrounded by the lies, and shams of systems/people, you do understand that eh!

                    • McFlock

                      so basically, your “research”is not recorded and you don’t plan to share any knowledge gained in a verifiable way. You are the perfect judge of the form the “research” should take and even the most subtle implications of its results.

                      That’s not “informal” or “personal” “research”. You just pretend it is in order to avoid admitting that all you’re really interested in here is to reinforce both your undeservedly inflated ego and you monomaniacal delusions. And to think that you have the unmitigated gall (or lack of self-awareness) to accuse everyone else here of whacking off.

                  • QoT

                    Question, muzza: is your use of “sham democracy” a real expression of your opinion, or just part of your personal research project?

        • The Al1en 4.1.1.3

          “Caucus (34 individuals) can veto the democratic membership process for thousands of members and affiliate members by not pulling that trigger.”

          And the leadership gun that killed DC lies smoking under which one of those 33 beds?

      • Rosie 4.1.2

        “…you might want to have a wee word in the ear of your local mp about their future selection process……….”

        Yep, done that! I’m not a Labour Party member, just an ordinary voter but feel its so important to let our Labour MP’s know just how voters are feeling about the current leader. I have no idea whether they know or care how strong the general feeling is about Shearer but I do believe its important that voters speak up and that the Party listens and takes note.

  5. Well done Rosie. I’ve had a ‘wee word’ too. Problem is my MP is not listening and is firmly in the King/Mallard camp. That’s why I was hoping for some creative ideas for lobbying MPs, something beyond the ‘wee word’.

    I really want to see all aspiring MPs put themselves forward and the members (and yes TRP), affiliates and caucus voting on them all. Apart from the unequal resourcing in late 2011 when the Leader’s Office put all its resources behind one candidate, I thought the leadership race then was a healthy and positive process for the Party. I understand those earlier issues can be managed with new rules to ensure the Leader’s resources cannot be unfairly used again.

    So rather than a caustic process, this is a fantastic opportunity to parade the candidates, generate new interest in the Labour Party and create new policy ideas.

    I think the much more caustic option is a confidence vote in Shearer that few believe in. For Shearer to lead he needs to be endorsed via the new constitution. If he’s the best MP for the job, then he’ll shine through. Afterall, he’ll have had 15 months in the role and that’s a big incumbent advantage.

    To all Labour MPs: Vote for democracy and to allow Shearer the opportunity to be anointed under the new constitution. Let all other interested MPs show us their stuff: Robertson, Cunliffe, Little, Parker, Goff, Jones et al. The caucus vote in February is a positive opportunity. Don’t be driven by fear by faction play in the caucus…..this is your one opportunity to unite the Party before the next election.

  6. hush minx 6

    I’ve one idea if you’ve talked to your mp but they weren’t of a mind to listen- talk to a few more! And perhaps those who are in the middle ground, rather than entrenched positions. A few of the ones who I think are in the not sure camp would be people like Ian Lees-Galloway, Andrew Little, Raymond Huo, Maryan Street, William Sio, David Clark. Actually I’m not sure it’s awaste of time letting any mp know, regardless of the strength of their opinion – they should at least be interested to hear from you (and the fact that your local mp wasn’t open to listening!)

    There also the party president and general secretary. If there’s strong feeling in the party they should be part of representing the members views to caucus (actually could they recommend to caucus that there’s a vote? Can they do that sort of thing?)

    • Another Viper 6.1

      “Much harder to fathom is the self-defeating hostility of Labour MPs who were, until last year’s party conference, considered to be on the left of the caucus. One might have thought that Phil Twyford, Clare Curran, Jacinda Ardern and Andrew Little would have welcomed the opportunity to travel in the slip-stream of an ambitious left-wing policy aggressor. After all, the best chance a left-wing Labour MP has of “making a difference” is surely when the massive tensions built up under a climate of stress are suddenly released in a torrent of radical reform.”

      This is what Trotter had to say about the aligning instincts of MPs.

      The ‘shut-up-or-get-out’ attitude of Mallard’s goffers on this page only confirm that Trotter in on the right track.

      And that is why the members voted for the low trigger point: they do not trust the antics of Trevor n his ilk.

  7. The discussion around the definition of mandate reveals much about our expectations of what constitutes good governance. http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2013/01/chris-trotter-and-mandate-word.html

    • weka 7.1

      Just when you thought Trotter was in the process of redeeming himself he comes out with that crap. Thanks Dave.

  8. millsy 8

    Currently doing a few personal projects at the moment, one is OIA’ing various public bodies, (councils, govt departments, SOE, Crown Entites, etc) about outsourcing, I got a response from the Kaipara DC today with what they outsourced, and what they do in house:

    Outsourced Activities:

    Dog and animal control, noise control.
    Refuse collection.
    Kerbside recyclable collection
    The operation of the refuse transfer stations in Paeroa and Waihi.
    Road maintenance.
    Roading professional services
    Street light maintenance
    Legal services
    Commercial cleaning of Council corporate buildings
    Valuation services
    Some resource consents

    In-House Activities:
    Library activities – operational and management
    Swimming pools – operational and management
    Sports Fields and Recreation Reserves – operational and management
    Pensioner Housing – operational and management
    Town Halls – operational and management
    Cemeteries – operational and management
    Non Recreation Reserves – operational and management
    Waihi Events Centre – operational and management
    Public Toilet – operational and management
    Maintenance of land drainage system
    Maintenance of stormwater drain system
    Maintenance of sewer network
    Operation and maintenance of wastewater treatment plants
    Maintenance of water supply network
    Operation and maintenance of water treatment plants
    Footpath maintenance

    Results will be placed in the Standard’s ‘Open Mike’ posts as and when they become available. I hope to do all public bodies over the next 12 months. I will also place the results online elswhere in a yet to be determined format…

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  • Drawn
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • Timing is Everything
    I was asked give a Canterbury perspective on whether I expected government services to be cut to fund tax cuts in 2017. The answer is not as straight forward as the question. In May 2011, only three months after the Christchurch… ...
    Briefing PapersBy Cameron Preston
    13 hours ago
  • Pettiness and transparency
    Last night saw the second reading of Adrian Rurawhe's Official Information (Parliamentary Under-Secretaries) Amendment Bill. Following the select committee phase and a very convincing report by the Ministry of Justice refuting National's constitutional claims, it seemed like the bill would… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    13 hours ago
  • Film review: The Nice Guys
    Ryan Gosling saves The Nice Guys from being overshadowed by some particularly cringeworthy moments. Photo: Supplied It’s fair to say that Ryan Gosling has been sorely missed. After directing Lost River in 2014 and starring in 2015’s The… ...
    13 hours ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
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    frogblogBy Steffan Browning
    14 hours ago
  • International students excluded by programme sell-off
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    14 hours ago
  • Three things to look for in today’s budget
    Today’s Budget is important for tertiary education because it provides roughly two-thirds of the money for public education (with most of the rest coming from student fees). Often the minister and the media will focus on individual line items that highlight specific issues upon… ...
    14 hours ago
  • Speaker: I am a Really Useful Engine
    A couple of weekends ago, we were getting ready to go try out the new section of Te Araroa tramping track between Paekakariki and Pukerua Bay. Very nice views, I recommend it, though probably not on a really windy day.I went to… ...
    14 hours ago
  • One in 12 PTEs are high risk
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    14 hours ago
  • Minister to Auckland: find more international students
    Tertiary education minister Steven Joyce has told the University of Auckland they need to get more international students rather than seek more public funding. Joyce told Newstalk ZB that the University of Auckland already gets slightly more funding than the other universities. “Because they are… ...
    14 hours ago
  • DIY Touring The World: Australia
    For the Kiwi musician, the grass has always seemed greener in Australia.  In the final episode of DIY Touring The World, A Low Hum's Ian Jorgensen heads to Big Sound - a music industry conference and festival held in Brisbane. Industry… ...
    15 hours ago
  • Notes on P contamination
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    DimPostBy danylmc
    16 hours ago
  • The government’s housing message dilemma
    John Key was across the media yesterday, trying to tamp down suggestions the Budget would do anything at all to address the housing “issue” which everyone else in New Zealand has accepted is a crisis. The lines are familiar: there’s… ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    17 hours ago
  • Legal Beagle: Geoffrey Palmer has decided to write a constitution
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    17 hours ago
  • Open letter from Paula Bennett to the State House tenants & homeless of Auckland
    Dear Homeless and others, Please leave. Except for Hosking, there’s too many Auckland media asking hard questions like, “What are your plans?” and “How will you help these people?” It really has been quite a trying couple of weeks for… ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    17 hours ago
  • Budget day 2016, what we want to see
    Today is budget and while we wait to see what, if any, goodies Bill English will announce, I thought I would list some of the things I’d like to see and what we may actually see. My gut says we… ...
    18 hours ago
  • Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement Amendment Bill
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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    21 hours ago
  • Questions & Answers – May 25
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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2016 – Scoop Full Coverage
    Article – The Scoop Team Scoop will be updating this page with Budget announcements, reaction and analysis once the Budget is released at 2pm. Hit reload to see the latest version. Budget 2016 – Scoop Full Coverage Parliament Live –… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Human sexuality is stupid and confusing
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    TangerinaBy Coley Tangerina
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell: the latest allegations against Helen Clark
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    1 day ago
  • In-depth: Experts assess the feasibility of ‘negative emissions’
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    1 day ago
  • A BIG win for the Arctic!
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    1 day ago
  • Inner East cycle consultation
    Auckland Transport recently consulted on cycle networks for the inner western suburbs of the isthmus. Now they’re doing the same thing but for the inner eastern suburbs. Aucklanders have an opportunity to shape the cycle network in the inner-east… ...
    1 day ago
  • Minister undermines State Sector Act
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    1 day ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Paula Bennett’s housing deja vu
    After a week of bad media coverage about homelessness in Auckland, Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett was today forced to act, announcing that she would pay homeless Aucklanders $5,000 to move to the regions (where they'd conveniently be out of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    frogblogBy Mojo Mathers
    1 day ago
  • Fluoridation: One small step sideways?
    Fluoridation. Let’s not ignore the elephant in the room – the need to separate scientific review from community consultation. Most health officials and science-minded people welcomed the recent announcement of the government’s plan to transfer decisions on water fluoridation from local… ...
    1 day ago
  • Finding a sense of porpoise
    Being a porpoise looks rubbish.Dolphins look like they have fun. They even look like they seek out fun. Okay, the fixed grins make them seem perpetually happy but let’s be honest - when was the last time you saw a… ...
    1 day ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and one with some real business. First, there's the second reading of Sue Moroney's Parental Leave and Employment Protection (Six Months’ Paid Leave and Work Contact Hours) Amendment Bill, which will hopefully either pass, force… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    frogblogBy Metiria Turei
    1 day ago
  • Forcing transparency on Ministerial transport
    One of the perks of being a government Minister is the Ministerial limo - a chauffeur-driven car you can take anywhere. These vehicles are publicly funded and used for public business, so we should be able to see who uses… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Wicklow 2 win unconditional bail
    From éirígí: Great result today as éirígí’s Sean Doyle and Citizens Against Privatisation stalwart Eamonn McGrath were released from Cloverhill prison on unconditional bail. The unexpected outcome came virtue of a “technicality” in committal warrants as papers that were due… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • We shouldn’t just forgive, but pay back odious debt
    Over 9,000 people have signed Action Station's petition calling on the government to forgive odious emergency housing debt. The government's response? Nope:Wiping the debt of people who have been staying in motels for emergency accommodation would not be fair to… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Opening up NLTF to all modes
    The Green Party released a new freight policy yesterday. They’re looking at ways to invest to increase safety and reduce carbon emissions: The Safer, Cleaner Freight policy sets a target for moving half of freight on rail… ...
    2 days ago
  • The American Black Movement in the Sixties: Victories and Lost Opportunities
    The Black Power slogan of the 1960s was replaced with empowerment for the black American middle class and burgeoning capitalist layers The reign of the first black president in the United States is coming to an end.  Obama, or O’Bomber… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Three Dreams
    I have three dreams. One is characteristic, one is recurring and one is singular.The characteristic one is simple in concept: it's me and my friends going places and doing things. In the last one I can recall, there was a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Did you know this about tigers?
    Next in our series, we turn to the king (and queen) of the jungle - the tiger. Here are 10 incredible tiger facts from forests campaigner Richard George:10. Tigers have better short-term memories than humansTigers’ have one of the best… ...
    2 days ago
  • How well do you know the Polar Bear?
    Since the very beginning of Greenpeace, our movement has been fighting to protect some of the world’s most vulnerable animals. And over the years, we’ve learnt some truly incredible things about the magnificent creatures we share this planet with. So… ...
    2 days ago
  • How well do you know the orangutan?
    Next in the series, forests campaigner Richard George shares his 10 favourite facts about one of of our closest living relatives - the orangutan:10. Orangutans are ticklishThere are two kinds of ticklish. There’s the gentle kind that feels itchy and… ...
    2 days ago
  • Income inequality is one of the defining issues of our time
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    Closing the GapBy Ben Smith
    2 days ago
  • Dying For Latvia?
    Preparing For War: Nato forces in the former Soviet republic of Latvia as part of the 2014 "Silver Arrow" military exercises in the Baltic states. Such naked demonstrations of Nato's extended reach - right up to the borders of the… ...
    2 days ago
  • How much do you really know about turtles?
    I’m Willie and I’m an oceans campaigner here at Greenpeace.Over the years I’ve had the privilege of watching turtles from the bow of Greenpeace ships, and many of my colleagues have encountered these peaceful ocean wanderers far out at sea… ...
    2 days ago
  • How much do you know about whales?
    I’m Willie and I’m an oceans campaigner here at Greenpeace.Over the years I’ve had the privilege of seeing lots of whales, both from the deck of Greenpeace ships, and also on whale-watching trips. I’ve been lucky enough to see massive… ...
    2 days ago
  • Are noisy oceans to blame for beached whales?
    Noise is the most invisible of all the man-made threats to the ocean, but to whales who ‘see’ by hearing, they simply cannot escape it.Water is an excellent medium for relaying sound, enabling some species of whale to communicate across… ...
    2 days ago
  • Sylvia Park growth plans
    Sylvia Park is already Auckland’s largest shopping centre, but it’s likely to get even bigger in the next few years. Kiwi Property, who own the centre, have plans to expand the retail offering, as well as adding office buildings. In… ...
    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    2 days ago
  • PrintNZ Forum Speakers Enlighten Delegates
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    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Nick Smith: There is NO crisis
    MyThinks has been fielding many questions about Nick Smith. “What’s happening with housing?” “Does Nick Smith know anything about any of his policy areas?” “Why does he look so shifty when he’s telling us what we should think?” These are… ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 days ago
  • Tracking the 2°C Limit – April 2016
    April is starting to come down off the shockingly high anomalies of the first couple of months of this year. GISS is clocking in a still strong warm anomaly of 1.11°C. This is by far the hottest April in the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Fanshawe St Bus Stop improvements
    Occasionally it is small projects that can have a lot of impact on people’s PT experience. With the ever growing number of people working near Victoria Park, an upgrade to the bus stops on Fanshawe St along with improvements to the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Fanshawe St Bus Stop improvements
    Occasionally it is small projects that can have a lot of impact on people’s PT experience. With the ever growing number of people working near Victoria Park, an upgrade to the bus stops on Fanshawe St along with improvements to the… ...
    2 days ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
    Last week NewsHub revealed leaked MPI reports which showed that MPI had been turning a blind eye to widespread criminal behaviour in the fishing industry. Today was the first day of Parliament since those revelations, and given their seriousness, it… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
    Last week NewsHub revealed leaked MPI reports which showed that MPI had been turning a blind eye to widespread criminal behaviour in the fishing industry. Today was the first day of Parliament since those revelations, and given their seriousness, it… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Punakaiki Fund invests in Populate
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    Lance WiggsBy Lance Wiggs
    2 days ago

  • How the budget fails new New Zealanders
    Greens co-leader James Shaw was absolutely correct to say the 2016 budget is just papering over the cracks. There’s nothing in this budget to increase wages, address inequal pay for carers or deal with the shocking pay rates and employment… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 hours ago
  • Parents will pay more as school budgets frozen
    Parents will pay more for their kids’ education as a result of this year’s Budget after the Government froze operational funding for schools, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This means schools are effectively going backwards. They will need to… ...
    8 hours ago
  • Sticking Plaster Budget fails the test
    Bill English’s penultimate Budget fails to tackle the structural challenges facing the economy – a housing crisis, rising unemployment, underfunded health and creaking infrastructure, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This Budget applies a sticking plaster to a compound fracture.… ...
    9 hours ago
  • John Key fails middle New Zealand with no fix for housing crisis, more underfunding of health
    Middle New Zealand has again missed out in this year’s Budget with not a single fix for the housing crisis, and health and education woefully underfunded again, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This Budget is just a patchwork… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Labour Bill would back Kiwi jobs
    The Government’s $40 billion of buying power would go towards backing Kiwi businesses and jobs under a Labour Member’s Bill which will be debated by Parliament, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “My Bill – which was pulled from… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Julie Anne Genter: My Budget 2016 wish is fairness
    When my parents first visited me in Auckland ten years ago, they remarked on how there were no homeless people on the streets. Coming from Los Angeles, they were used to seeing the impacts of horrendous inequality and a lack… ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    13 hours ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
    Pesticide reduction The Budget is an opportunity for the Government to launch a pesticide reduction strategy that multiplies the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ capacity to reassess pesticides and other toxins.  The Agricultural Compounds and… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    14 hours ago
  • Steffan Browning: Pesticide reduction and Organic Growth Strategy in Budget 2016
    Pesticide reduction The Budget is an opportunity for the Government to launch a pesticide reduction strategy that multiplies the Environmental Protection Authority’s (EPA) and the Ministry for Primary Industries’ capacity to reassess pesticides and other toxins.  The Agricultural Compounds and… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning
    14 hours ago
  • Minister won’t fess up on wrong figures
    The Minister of Health was caught out telling porkies in Parliament today when he was asked about the number of people getting access to mental health and addiction services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 day ago
  • Scrambled announcement policy on the hoof
    Paula Bennett’s scrambled desperate announcement that she will pay homeless people to move to the regions is just the latest evidence of the disarray this Government’s housing policy is in, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This is policy… ...
    1 day ago
  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    1 day ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    1 day ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    1 day ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    1 day ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    2 days ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    2 days ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    2 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    3 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    3 days ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    3 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 days ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    4 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    4 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    4 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    6 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    6 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    7 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    7 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    1 week ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    1 week ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
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