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GCSB law changes are a Dunne deal

Written By: - Date published: 8:57 am, July 23rd, 2013 - 89 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, internet, john key - Tags: ,

peter-dunne-planking

I should not have been surprised but I thought that Peter Dunne might be our saviour and stand up for the rights of ordinary kiwis to have their metadata safe.  It appears I was wrong.

The details are not out but yesterday afternoon it was announced that Peter Dunne had agreed to support the GCSB bill as long as various amendments were made.  There is to be “increased oversight” through the establishment of a two person advisory panel to assist the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security, the need to advise the IGIS if a warrant relating to a New Zealander is put on the register, and annual reporting on the number of instances the GCSB has provided asistance and the number of warrants and authoristations issued.  This is all after the event stuff and if the Kitteridge Report is an example of what will happen the important detail will not be provided and Kiwis will not be able to find out if they have been spied on.

Negotiated changes to the law include the addition of a set of guiding principles which may or may not be helpful and removal of the Order in Council mechanism to allow other agencies to be added to the list of those able to request assistance from the GCSB.  Paula Bennett will have to get a bill passed through Parliament before unleashing the GCSB onto beneficiaries.

There will be an independent review of the operations and performance the GCSB and the NZSIS and their governing legislation in 2015, and thereafter every 5 to 7 years but you have to wonder why the reviews happen after the law changes are made and not before.

And Mr Dunne will be working with others to ensure that there is a uniform definition of private communications and metadata throughout New Zealand’s legislation.  Again this is post event stuff.  Metadata is not mentioned in the original bills and this is an astounding omission given the importance metadata plays in the debate the definition needs to be perfected before the law changes are made.

Green co leader Russell Norman has described the accommodation as a “stitch up” and the changes as “cosmetic” and he is right.

And what happened to the concerns of the Law Society, the Human Rights Commission and the Privacy Commissioner amongst others?

The HRC submission in particular makes compelling reading.  It contains the following passage:

As the legislation is overly broad and enables mass surveillance, in our view, the limitation impairs the rights to privacy and freedom of expression in particular, more than is reasonably necessary. Further in the absence of any compelling argument for the level of intrusion that is contemplated, it cannot be said that what is proposed is proportionate to the objective of the legislation

Get that Peter Dunne?  The HRC is saying that there is no compelling reason for the level of intrusion that is being contemplated.

Tech Liberty NZ in its submission stated that we are entering into a society where a lot of our metadata is going to be collected randomly.  What are the benefits?  That question has not been answered.  Surely the most rudimentary cost benefit analysis should have been performed.

The HRC sums up the effect of the bills very well.  If enacted the law will permit foreign intelligence agencies to access data about private citizens in New Zealand.  None of Dunne’s negotiated changes will change this.

John Key has said that he did not believe that the GCSB had engaged in the mass collection of metadata and he confirmed that metadata should be treated the same as communication and any collection of it would require a warrant.  He planned to make a clear statement about this in the bill’s second reading

A few months ago he was ominously stating that the GCSB had engaged in 88 cases of illegal spying and a law change was necessary and now he is saying that the GCSB has not engaged in mass collection of metadata.  Either there is a problem where the law needs to be clarified or there is not.

The drafting of the law is very loose.  It is far too full of slogans and the interrelationship between the various provisions is far too complex to be understood easily.  For instance it is intended that the performance of the Bureau’s functions and the relative importance and priority of the functions are to be determined by the Director.  And “the performance of the Bureau’s functions under section 8A (information assurance and cybersecurity) and section 8C (co-operation with other entities to facilitate their functions) is at the discretion of the Director”.

To make things even worse the proposed section 8D  allows the Director “all the powers that are necessary or desirable to perform the functions of the Bureau”.  We will need an army of Kim Dotcoms with attendant resources to work out in Court what these provisions mean.

And while a warrant may be required to collect Kiwi metadata the relevant Minister can issue the warrant.  So Key’s mate will apply to Key for permission to spy on us.  Why am I not comforted by this thought?

As Idiot Savant states there is still time for Peter Dunne.  But my hopes that he would make a principled stand are fading fast.

89 comments on “GCSB law changes are a Dunne deal”

  1. Bob 1

    “And while a warrant may be required to collect Kiwi metadata the relevant Minister can issue the warrant. So Key’s mate will apply to Key for permission to spy on us. Why am I not comforted by this thought?”
    According to Peter Dunne on Breakfast this morning, his concessions mean that any warrants need to be reported to the Governor General also.
    So, to be spied on you need to be suspected of illegal activity by the Police or SIS, who then need to apply for a warrant for the GCSB to use their powers to spy on you, that then needs to be signed off by the PM of the time and this needs to be reported to the Governor General. This entire process will then be audited by a two person advisory panel along with the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security.

    Remind me again where the problem is here?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1

      “…suspected of illegal activity…”

      Bollocks. You will be suspected of entirely legal activity – activism, for example.

      If they were after illegal behaviour, wouldn’t one of the eighty-odd cases have resulted in a prosecution?

      • Bob 1.1.1

        Maybe ‘activism’ of the Urawera level, but 85 cases of spying on citizens over a 10 year period, under a less strict piece of governing legislation, with no existing independent oversight, tends to disagree with you.
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/8524274/Illegal-spying-85-Kiwis-watched

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.1.1

          No, not the Urewera level: eighty-five cases, not one of which resulted in a prosecution. Not. A. Single. One.

          We don’t know what they were, but we know who the traditional targets have been|: peace activists, trade union organisers. If they were serious about protecting our economic well-being they’d be investigating the National Party.

          You want to bend over for this crap? Sign your own bloody freedoms away.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1

            In the UK environmental activists and political groups have been spied upon and infiltrated. It’s completely anti-democratic.

            • King Kong 1.1.1.1.1.1

              You mean environmental groups like “violence not vivisection” and political groups like “Sharia law, jihadists” and the “Red Army Faction”?

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                Obviously not, because all those groups tend to break laws, and get prosecuted, unlike a single one of the GCSB’s targets.

              • Colonial Viper

                The family of murdered UK teenager Stephen Lawrence was spied on in an attempt to gain material to smear the family and destroy their credibility.

                The whistleblower had been in undercover police roles infiltrating protest groups for years.

                http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/crime/10138031/Police-spied-on-Stephen-Lawrence-family-in-smear-campaign-says-whistleblower.html

                You mean environmental groups like “violence not vivisection” and political groups like “Sharia law, jihadists” and the “Red Army Faction”?

                You probably think that you are being clever with those irrelevant comments, but the use of state power to undermine citizens right to protest is a very serious problem.

              • “You mean environmental groups like “violence not vivisection” and political groups like “Sharia law, jihadists” and the “Red Army Faction”?”

                None of which exist in New Zealand.

                The only real terrorist groups are the Business Roundtable/NZ Initiative, National, and ACT. If I had my way, those three would be under permanent surveillance as threats to the Kiwi Way of life…

                Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see RightWingers squeal like stuck pigs when a left wing Prime Minister uses the expanded GCSB powers to monitor right wing groups, bloggers, individuals, etc. Oh fun times!

                But hey, nothing to fear, nothing to hide, right, King Kong?! ;-)

                • tricledrown

                  hey Frank don’t forget civil libertarians and in king kongs case radical GM scientists who want to take us back to the jurassick era!

          • Bob 1.1.1.1.2

            Okay, lets just say for this example that the 85 cases were all ‘peace activists’ and trade union organisers. None of them have been arrested and in the last 10 years no-one has come out saying there life has been in anyway hindered by the existing laws. These changes add two layers of oversight (Governor General and a two person independant advisory panel to review warrants issued) to the existing 2003 legislation. Given the reletively low level of spying, and the requirement to have a spying agency in place (as a deterrant if nothing else), again I ask, where is the problem here?

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.1.1.2.1

              Do you have curtains, and if so, why? What’s the problem here?

              • Bob

                Yes I have curtains, two reasons:
                1) So people who don’t have a warrant that has gone through internal police/SIS scruitany prior to being given to the PM for sign off, with two layers of oversight can’t look in while I am getting changed.
                2) Thermal insulation to help keep myself and my family warm in a more efficient manner.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  In the Big Rock Candy Mountains all the cops have wooden legs
                  And the bulldogs all have rubber teeth and the hens lay soft-boiled eggs

                  When did the police and Prime Minister become legally competent to assess the difference between legal and illegal surveillance?

                  The Urewera prosecution failed at least in part because the court disagreed with the police definition of legal. Did they suddenly become more competent? Did their massive conflict of interest just disappear?

                  Or should surveillance warrants be subject to judicial review independent of the executive and enforcement arms?

        • Frank Macskasy 1.1.1.2

          Bob, your faith in the State is touching…

          By the way, where does your support for the rise of the Policed Surveillance State fit with your notions of getting the State out of our lives?!?

          • Bob 1.1.1.2.1

            Where have I ever mentioned I want the state out of my life?
            I think you are taking a pretty big leap putting me in one basket politically.

      • Wayne 1.1.2

        Not likely to cover general activism.

        The Police warrants can only be related to the suspected commission of a serious crime. I guess you could argue that the SIS warrants do not have to be related to a crime, since their remit is broader (but has to be a major intelligence threat, as set out in the SIS Act).

        The best protection for citizens is that the number of SIS warrants has to be disclosed, and now, the number of times GCSB assists the SIS.

        So general activism is not a concern of the SIS. Probably was 20 or more years ago, but not now.

        As for 85 cases over 10 years, well that is 8 a year. That is really quite low. There is likely to be 8 people a year that the SIS is interested in, and it is not who you might immediately think.

        Consider the number of people who have migrated to NZ in the last 25 years who might have links with a variety of organisations overseas (Tamil Tigers when they were active, and I don’t just mean a general sympathy for the cause).

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.2.1

          Ex Tamil Tigers are no doubt a legitimate military target, which brings us to another issue: spying is a military activity conducted by military personnel. On what planet has the deployment of military personnel against civilians ever been justifiable?

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.2.1.1

            On what planet has the deployment of military personnel against civilians ever been justifiable?

            Of course, that is the wrong question. It is normal practice.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Well it might be for US military personnel, but our armed forces can be hauled before the International Court of Justice in The Hague.

              Say, perhaps that isn’t such a bad idea.

          • felix 1.1.2.1.2

            Only on Planet Key, where there are no toilets but no shortage of shit.

          • Wayne 1.1.2.1.3

            Surely, they are not a legitimate military target in New Zealand.

            They are people resident in NZ, going about their daily lives.

            But they might also be fundraising or more particularly transferring money, or organising contacts etc (or more accurately would have been doing this, since this is in the past). Following up what particular people are doing for an overseas entity of this type is classic intelligence work.

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.2.1.3.1

              So, the GCSB were listening in on John Key’s meetings with Warner Brothers?

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.2.1.3.2

              I can’t see why you think ex Tamil Tigers wouldn’t be a legitimate military surveillance target for NZ security services. What about Irish paramilitary sympathisers?

              You acknowledge that we have seen “paranoia” lead to unjustifiable surveillance in the past. You argue that we have moved on and are more “grounded” these days. That’s debatable, but even if it is so, what makes you think paranoia can’t make a comeback?

              • Wayne

                I think we might have been at cross purposes. I do think (at least in the past) that ex Tamil Tigers (or more accurately their funders) would have been of interest to the SIS. Since the civil war is over I suspect they would no longer be of interest.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Does that mean you’re confident that paranoia can’t make a comeback? Or that you’re ignoring the tough questions?

            • muzza 1.1.2.1.3.3

              But they might also be fundraising or more particularly transferring money, or organising contacts etc (or more accurately would have been doing this, since this is in the past). Following up what particular people are doing for an overseas entity of this type is classic intelligence work

              Yes, Wayne, that is exactly what the government/intelligence are into, but they need peons like yourself to swallow, and propagate the BS!

              The system is the problem, Wayne, not the people!

        • Anne 1.1.2.2

          There is likely to be 8 people a year that the SIS is interested in, and it is not who you might immediately think.

          Now that is an intriguing statement to make. Care to elaborate?

          So general activism is not a concern of the SIS. Probably was 20 or more years ago, but not now.

          Let me assure you from personal experience Wayne, general activism wasn’t just a concern back in the 1970s and 80s in particular, it was paranoia pure and simple. And surveillance frequently occurred on the “say so” of vengeful nutters who manufactured or embroidered so-called evidence to back their claims. They got away with it scot-free, but the fallout for the innocent targets was often lengthy and quite profound.

          Your beloved prime minister can bleat and promise until the moon turns blue, but I will never trust his government’s legislative endeavours re- the intelligence services without a full, independent inquiry – and not at some nebulous time in the future but now! Nothing else will suffice.

          • Wayne 1.1.2.2.1

            Probably was just paranoia, but I think it also led to a change of practice. More recent Directors have been more grounded in reality.

            • Anne 1.1.2.2.1.1

              Yes, I agree with you there. Sir Bruce Ferguson is a case in point.

              It was that lack of reality that enabled venomous crackpots to get away with their faux finger pointing.

        • Murray Olsen 1.1.2.3

          I can just imagine someone at a sentencing hearing in court, saying to the judge “But I only commit 8 crimes a year, your worship.” Why is it OK when an apologist for the surveillance state says it?

    • mickysavage 1.2

      In response to Bob above:

      So, to be spied on you need to be suspected of illegal activity by the Police or SIS, who then need to apply for a warrant for the GCSB to use their powers to spy on you, that then needs to be signed off by the PM of the time and this needs to be reported to the Governor General. This entire process will then be audited by a two person advisory panel along with the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security.

      Remind me again where the problem is here?

      The problems are:

      1. The Prime Minister and not a judicial officer signs off on the warrant.
      2. We are still not sure if a warrant is needed for the collection of metadata. Key’s statement that he was going to clarify this in his second reading speech is bizarre. If this is the intention it should be made explicit in the bill.
      3. What effect does reporting the matter to the Governor General have? He only acts on the advice of Ministers. What is he going to do once he receives this information?
      4. The Inspectorate has been shown to be totally powerless. Having a couple of advisers is going to help how? And besides the powers are so wide what are they going to do?

      And the big question is why do we need to have these powers increased so dramatically. This is the most important question that needs to be addressed.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        And the big question is why do we need to have these powers increased so dramatically. This is the most important question that needs to be addressed.

        In the US it is because internal security projections have forecast increasing levels of civil unrest and opposition to the ruling powers in the coming decade. Driven by economic decline, climate change incidents, political disenfranchisement etc. “Occupy” really shook up the establishment, to the extent that banks paid police forces to use para-military levels of force to destroy the movement.

        The surveillance apparatus will ensure that in future, similar protest movements can be nipped in the bud.

      • Bob 1.2.2

        1) This is no change to the legislation that Labour implemented in 2003, except now it is likely there will be an independent review of warrants that are signed off.
        2) So you are unhappy that you haven’t been given advanced information around details that are set to be released in the second reading of the bill? I’m sure you don’t need reminding will still need to go through a third reading prior to being passed into law.
        3) Again, this is still a step further than Labours 2003 legislation and gives an additional level of oversight to the process that is obviously lacking.
        4) I can only assume that the powers of the Inspectorate will also be released in the second reading, and the details of how wide the level of spying will be would need to be stated in the warrant, the same way police warrants are issued at the moment.

        What have you seen in this legislation so far that shows that the existing powers will be increased so dramatically? All I have seen is clarification of the existing legislation which was obviously needed as shown in the DotCom case, where the SIS and GCSB legislation were contradicting in there ability to work together!

        • mickysavage 1.2.2.1

          This is no change to the legislation that Labour implemented in 2003, except now it is likely there will be an independent review of warrants that are signed off

          Oh yes there is. The absolute prohibition on the GCSB spying on Kiwis has been removed.

          Again, this is still a step further than Labours 2003 legislation and gives an additional level of oversight to the process that is obviously lacking.

          Governor General’s “oversight” is totally toothless. What benefit is there in this?

          What have you seen in this legislation so far that shows that the existing powers will be increased so dramatically? All I have seen is clarification of the existing legislation which was obviously needed as shown in the DotCom case, where the SIS and GCSB legislation were contradicting in there ability to work together!

          You mean the finding that the GCSB spying on Dotcom was illegal because he was a New Zealand resident? What clarification of that was necessary or appropriate?

          • Bob 1.2.2.1.1

            “Oh yes there is. The absolute prohibition on the GCSB spying on Kiwis has been removed”

            No, the NZSIS legislation allowed the GCSB to spy on Kiwi’s as long as the NZSIS had a warrant issued, this is where the whole issue lies, the original legislation contridicted itself which was brought to the fore in the DotCom case, hence the requirement for these changes.

            “Governor General’s “oversight” is totally toothless. What benefit is there in this?”

            I guess we will have to wait until the second reading, he may have the ability to revoke warrants (I severely doubt it, but I guess we will have to wait). Do you deny there is a benefit to adding a two person independant panel to review the process?

            “You mean the finding that the GCSB spying on Dotcom was illegal because he was a New Zealand resident? What clarification of that was necessary or appropriate?”

            See above

    • handle 1.3

      It is the Inspector-General of Intelligence, not the Governor-General. Not that it makes much of a real difference.

  2. King Kong 2

    And Labour’s “crim cuddling” continues.

    I know the party is totally broke, but prostituting its parliamentary vote to fat German criminals in the hope of a big donation is the kind of thing you guys pan Key for all the time.

    • felix 2.1

      Err, who did he actually donate to in the real world though?

      ps I love the way righties use the word “crim”. They almost never use it to refer to people convicted of a crime in a court of law like Cameron Slater, but almost always to people accused of a crime, or in this case to 85 people who were victims of a crime.

    • Colonial Viper 2.2

      You call Kim Dotcom a crim, but which court has found him guilty? Or do you simply prefer arbitrary extra-judicial sentencing?

      You do know that the illegal use of state force and state surveillance against NZ residents is a crime in of itself, don’t you?

      • King Kong 2.2.1

        Sorry I had trouble understanding you. You will have to take that German sausage out of your mouth.

        • felix 2.2.1.1

          Awesome way to back up your lies and stupidity.

          Well done monkey. Have a grapefruit.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.2

          First, you take Key’s sausage out of your ass.

        • tricledrown 2.2.1.3

          Primitive Primate you are the worst brat

          • tricledrown 2.2.1.3.1

            I wouldn’t be surprised if Key overrode Simon Powers rejection of Kim Dotcoms residency application so Dotcom could be extradited to the US as Hong Kong Doesn’t have an extradition agreement with the US!
            Which would mean Key knew from the start!

      • felix 2.2.2

        lol snap

      • TheContrarian 2.2.3

        Kim Dotcom has previously been found guilty of fraud and embezzlement by German courts.

        • felix 2.2.3.1

          Gosh it’s a wonder that he was allowed NZ residency then, isn’t it?

          Nonetheless, in the matter currently under discussion he’s actually one of the victims of a crime.

          • The Contrarian 2.2.3.1.1

            “Nonetheless, in the matter currently under discussion he’s actually one of the victims of a crime.”

            Yes quite. But the question was asked “..but which court has found him guilty?”. To which I responded.

    • Poission 2.3

      but prostituting its parliamentary vote to fat German criminals in the hope of a big donation is the kind of thing you guys pan Key for all the time

      as far as i am aware he has only donated to Nationals criminal partner.The only way he arrived in NZ was from the enhanced immigration policy of nats IE buy 10m in gvt stock we give you residence.

    • tricledrown 2.4

      KK which parties were cuddling up to dotcon Banks and Key took donations bribes .
      Banks for his mayoralty!
      You can bet that Key got a donation for his electorate!
      Who let him into the country under their wealthy immigrant clause!

    • Huginn 2.5

      Look into your heart, KK.

      This is exactly what Friedrich Hayek was worried about when he and Michael Polanyi campaigned to put an end to Britain’s post-war Operations Research program.

  3. red blooded 3

    Hey, come on mate; I don’t see anyone here cuddling up to Kim Dotcom. I do see people concerned about the extension of state powers (ironic from the “Less government/Keep the state out of citizens’ lives” acolytes) and the prostitution of our democratic process.

    This bill is deeply worrying. It puts too much power into the hands of the PM of the day. It assumes that a state organisation that is meant to be apolitical will never be used for political purposes (and here I use the word “political” to mean more than just party politics). It allows a side-stepping of court systems and full disclosure of evidence.

    A real life (though historical) example: What role would the GCSB have if the Springbok Tour was happening now, as opposed to in the 80’s? How many ethical, committed members of the protest movement would be spied upon and possibly brought to trial for actions that were illegal and seen as threatening to the peace but were (from the benefit of hindsight) actually hugely to the benefit of NZ on the international scene, and did not actually lead to the anarchy that so many in the then-government and ruling establishment proclaimed? How many would be blocked from future employment options (perhaps as teachers, or as government employees) because of involvement in the wider protest movement and reasonably low-level illegal action? The PM f the time (good old Piggy) wouldn’t have blinked at signing off surveillance of protest leaders and the wider protest movement. Digital communications would be tapped into (as phones were then), patterns of contact analysed… Scores of NZers with a social conscience who have gone on to contribute at all levels of our society would have been dragged into court; for what? And for what benefit?

    Yes, you can argue that people who break laws should be punished. And yes, surveillance was used at the time (I remember one particular police patsy pretending to be a plumber). Not all laws and all circumstances are equal, though. Some illegal actions are actually political (and may even in fact be ethically right). I argue that NZ would be much the poorer if the people involved in that protest movement had been more widely prosecuted and blocked from state-based future employment.

    Just a thought…

  4. Veutoviper 4

    Well, I doubt that Dunne will still see Andrea Vance as a ‘bestie’ when he reads her latest article on Stuff about his u-turn.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/8952874/Dunne-GCSB-u-turn-no-surprise

    A taste

    “To the surprise of absolutely no-one, Peter Dunne performed a U-turn on his flip-flop and agreed to support the expansion of the GCSB’s powers to spy on New Zealanders.

    None of the concessions he claimed to have won on the proposed Government Communications Security Bureau and Related Legislation Amendment Bill, address his repeated assertion that only the domestic Security Intelligence Service should be allowed to spy on Kiwis.

    Both he and Prime Minister John Key insist the changes improve the accountability of the GCSB and the transparency of its operations. But they do nothing to allay considerable public concern about what happens to information the GCSB harvests.

    There is still no mechanism in the new laws to ensure our private communications are not fed into any kind of global surveillance programme, like the NSA’s PRISM. ….”

    • karol 4.1

      This is the kicker, at the end of Vance’s article:

      As the legislation hung in the balance he was courted by the media – and for a time certainly appeared to be something of a privacy champion.

      Judging by the abuse that spewed forth on Twitter last night, he is now seen as no-one’s champion.

      In the long term, his support for the bill, may only cement the view that he is prepared to trade principles for pragmatics to secure his political future. With that in mind, pundits will watch keenly for any signals of electoral accommodations by National in Dunne’s Ohariu electorate next year.

      And from someone who knows exactly what the communications between herself and Dunne included.

  5. Observer (Tokoroa) 5

    Like honour itself, trusting people has been a rather long held practice in the Western World. It was good in Business and good in Family and Community too. Therefore, it will be difficult at first, to learn the necessary skills in constantly distrusting anybody now. But like those well known experts, Hitler, Stalin and Mao, Key and Dunn have decided to turn us into a nation of comprehensive secret spies.

    They have just passed (Ist Reading 22/07/2013) legislation that will, promote and encourage and assist every person in Government work, and their external advisers, and consultants in the commercial world, to rake through every one of your spoken and recorded words.

    Everything you write too. Even your silent pictures and videos. Absolutely any information you have on past and present friends, neighbours, employers and children (refer to your computer). All information belongs to the New Zealand State.

    Human beings, your neighbours and friends, your teachers even, will be paid to spy on you constantly. No matter what you are doing.

    This in turn, may encourage your offspring and family members to turn the tiniest bits of personal information over to State Spies, thereby becoming spies themselves.

    Your every phone call will be recorded. How’s that for making Stalin look pretty ordinary. Just leave it to Dunne. Sneaking is no problem to him.

    New Zealand already has a PARLIAMENT looking after them; a GOVERNOR GENERAL; a POLICE FORCE; and an ARMY. We do have a judiciary too, it has less importance than rubbish collection, being only a rubber stamp for parliament. It looks up any answers it needs in a law book, much the same way people look up a train time table. They have wigs and things, but they are without importance. Rather through their own fault, they have become flightless kiwis. Impotent.

    In addition, an unknown number of nations have been co-opted to assist little helpless New Zealand.

    America is one. America of course, is well acquainted with other person’s blood. They have been recording us heartily for some time – without telling us. The bastards. It is so nice to know that the ordinary everyday low paid yankees will be raking through our private stuff with total access.

    Britain is another who will help us. Britain of course, is interested primarily in a thing called the class system and also reward for the wealthy. It seldom lifts its eyes beyond these corrupting goals. However, the considered opinion of most people is that Britons will take their role of spying keenly. Especially if the Queen asks them.

    All the legislation is able to be applied to the past. Peter may have already been listening in to your information. That parliamentary sneak Peter Dunne has never done anything wrong or stupid – has he?

    • Bob 5.1

      Wow, just wow.
      I have never read so much uninformed drivel in my life.

      “But like those well known experts, Hitler, Stalin and Mao, Key and Dunn have decided to turn us into a nation of comprehensive secret spies”

      Godwins Law strikes early.

      “that will, promote and encourage and assist every person in Government work, and their external advisers, and consultants in the commercial world, to rake through every one of your spoken and recorded words”

      Pretty sure it is only the GCSB that will be able to rake through your private info, and this will only be if requested by the Police or NZSIS who would require a warrant first.

      “Even your silent pictures”

      Good words

      “Human beings, your neighbours and friends, your teachers even, will be paid to spy on you constantly. No matter what you are doing.”

      Again, Warrant required and only the GCSB will be able too. I haven’t read the legislation thoroughly, but I haven’t seen the part where Teachers will become spys.

      “America is one. America of course, is well acquainted with other person’s blood. They have been recording us heartily for some time – without telling us. The bastards. It is so nice to know that the ordinary everyday low paid yankees will be raking through our private stuff with total access”

      Wow, we don’t even need this legislation then, the Police can just call Billy-Bob in South Carolina to get all the info they need………..

  6. Sable 6

    Maybe we should call him “Dung” after this. After all he seems to like wading in shit with the likes of Keys and co.

  7. tracey 7

    dunne did what was best for dunne. got himself extensive media coverage as the defender of ordinary folks privacy. he is right wing at heart. he forgot his family gig and supported the sky deal. those who speak loudest about morality usually falter first

    • Sable 7.1

      Yep hes an odious little sell out.

      • muzza 7.1.1

        Why people thought it might be otherwise is a graphic example, of how desperate people have become, at what is being done to them, and their families.

        That’s lives being stolen, in case people were not paying attention.

        Still waiting for some sort of visual response from the sheep!

        Guess the internet has sucked the energy out!

  8. RJL 8

    Who’s taking bets on how long it takes for Dunne to resume a ministerial position?

    • Te Reo Putake 8.1

      Good call. I give it a month, tops. I’d say the sequence is this: UF get re-registered, spy bill passes second reading, Dunne gets his reward.

    • Bob 8.2

      Put me down for the resumption of Parliament after the Summer break. People have short memories, but not that short.
      Nick Smith is a case in point.

  9. Bruce 9

    The GCSB story has made it to the front page of uber-geek website slashdot.org
    http://politics.slashdot.org/story/13/07/22/239250/new-zealand-government-about-to-legalize-spying-on-nz-citizens

    “After admitting they have illegally spied on NZ citizens or residents 88 times (PDF) since 2003, the government, in a stunning example of arse covering, is about to grant the GCSB the right to intercept the communications of New Zealanders in its role as the national cyber security agency, rather than examine the role the GCSB should play and then look at the laws. There has been strong criticism from many avenues. The bill is being opposed by Labor and the Greens, but it looks like National now have the numbers to get this passed. Of course, the front page story is all about the royal baby, with this huge erosion of privacy relegated to a small article near the bottom of the front page. Three cheers, the monarchy is secure, never mind the rights of the people. More bread and circuses anyone?”

  10. Wayne 10

    I have never been able to work out why Peter Dunne is held in such odium by people of both the Left and the Right. When he was part of the Clark government I used to read these sorts of comments about Peter Dunne on Kiwiblog. Now that he is with John Key, you see them on The Standard.

    However, I naively thought that moderation was supposed to be one of the virtues of MMP; that there would be a certain number of MP’s in the centre who could work effectively with either Left or Right, and indeed would moderate them both.

    And that is what he has done here.

    Instead what so many partisans want is no one in the centre – you are either tribally Left or Right. It certainly makes it easier to demonise the other side. John Key is a tool of foreign capitalists. Helen Clark is a neo Stalinist.

    Well, we will see what the voters in Ohariu Belmont think. So far they seem to quite like his moderating influence. Maybe that is something the partisans should take onboard.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      In general I would agree with you. Although the “neo Stalinist” comment is sorta ridiculous, while John Key is certainly a servant of international capital. (Being a senior banker for Merill Lynch, there really is no other description).

      However, when it comes to civil liberties, its very hard to have a middle ground, especially in the realm of state surveillance where we have seen governments all over the world act knowingly and illegally in ways which fundamentally undermine democracy. Citizens have a comprehensive right to privacy unless exceptional circumstances or suspicions dictate.

      Dunne has supported some useful changes, but as MS points out, some of the alterations like informing the GG of surveillance is nothing more than window dressing, and the legislation remains a loosely worded dogs breakfast, and no doubt deliberately designed just that way.

      The other problem that Dunne has is that he doesn’t bother to cloak his careerism with so much a s a fig leaf any more, and politicians in both Labour and National are still wont to do. I guess you can hardly look down on a man for being honest about who he is.

    • karol 10.2

      Instead what so many partisans want is no one in the centre – you are either tribally Left or Right. It certainly makes it easier to demonise the other side

      It’s more about the perception of Dunne going with whoever has the power, and not seeming to have any underlying philosophy or convictions.

      The “centre” is a movable feast, and changes with time. It is not a “moderate” position, just one that, for the likes of Dunne, seems to go where the wind blows. People who cluster around it because they perceive it to be the centre, and that, looking a bit to the left and a bit to the right, seem to me to operating under a misconception – in NZ it’s possibly motivated by a fear of not seeming to stand out too much?

      I generally get perceived as pretty “far left”, but I don’t consider myself that, and certainly not “tribally” so: my parents were National voters. The Nat politics didn’t match up with my perceptions of the world and/or the values I deemed important. I had to find my own politics, based in values of inclusion, social justice, and a belief that society should work equally well for all, amidst various kinds of diversity.

      What gets judged by some as my “far left (blind) ideology”, is actually something arrived at by looking at the evidence – of my eyes, experience and reading, etc. It seems to provide the most logical guide to organising society.

      Dunne just seems to want power – no real underlying values, or convictions – as CV says, it just looks like careerism.

      • peterlepaysan 10.2.1

        Actually “right” “left” have become meaningless epithets usually used by people disagreeing with some one else.

        Unfortunately “centre” now is equally meaningless.

        Unfortunately this has led us to being dominated (to date) by National and labour.

        Time for a change methinks (before the GCSIB gets passed?). Not likely.

        Orwell’s 1984 springs to mind.

        Four legs good, two legs bad.

        It does not matter if the legs are are right or left.

        The haves and the have nots do matter.

        The so called Arab spring is about haves and have nots and corruption.

        These are issues that are not that far away from us in kiwiland.

        There are various religious and sectarian forces involved as well all the way from Tunisia to Indonesia.

        If one looks at the countries heavily influenced by European cultures their societies they are dominated by economic theory sectarian mullahs and their PR imams.

        China, the Indian subcontinent out to Viet Nam, South America, Africa (sub Saharan) all have their own approaches to governance.

        Every single society is faced with the gulf between the haves and have nots and how that is dealt with.

        If any of our political parties were honest they would debate the issue of how to create a fair and just society.

        “Left” and “Right” are no longer meaningful and (like “politically correct” ) pejorative.

        Left or right is not appropriate in a MMP environment. It derives from Westminster in the 19th Century.

        US based economic thinking is not really a good model for a small agricultural technologically savvy country in our geographic area. Free Trade Agreements suit the US, not anyone else.

        The social distribution of wealth underpins all rulers governance.

        The occupy demonstration, the low poll turnout for labour ought remind the labour caucus that “Les Miserables” is not just a musical.

    • Anne 10.3

      Instead what so many partisans want is no one in the centre –

      The political centre is like the eye of a tropical storm. There’s nothing there (no innovative ideas, lateral thinkers) but boring f—k-w–s who achieve nothing worth while because you can’t achieve anything in a black hole.

  11. Treetop 11

    I am asking myself why did Dunne bother to even discuss the GCSB legislation with the PM?

    Dunne and his party was history months ago and Dunne has only until the next election. Dunne needs to do some SERIOUS introspection and come to his senses and not vote for the third reading.

    At least Muldoon did not crap on NZers when he knew that he was a gonner.

    • red blooded 11.1

      “At least Muldoon did not crap on NZers when he knew that he was a gonner.”

      Excuse me??!! I seem to remember a fiscal crisis with Muldoon absolutely refusing to move on the exchange rate in the weeks in which he clung on as PM after the election (Parliament hadn’t been recalled yet, or something like that). Don’t let’s look back on this guy with rose-tinted spectacles.

      • Treetop 11.1.1

        I know that the country was fiscally bankrupt and that Muldoon was no saint. Muldoon did call a snap election in July 1984 and this was a democratic move. All I have seen this year from Key is his moral and ethical bankrupt leadership and his conniving relationship with Dunne and Banks which I find to be gutter politics, e.g. Skycity and GCSB.

        A consolation is that Key now has to court Winston.

  12. Observer (Tokoroa) 12

    @Bob

    You seem to have a fairy tale view of the spying dynamic within sovereign populations. It is kind of creepy that you Bob, Key and Dunne want full scale spying powers over your “mums and dads” of New Zealand. Including all their phone calls. Perhaps you have the sort of mind that enjoys deceit. I don’t know.

    Because the following words do not come from your hero you will be unimpressed, but here goes all the same. They are a sane view of NZ Spying legislation Bob.

    Quote: ” As the legislation is overly broad and enables mass surveillance, in our view, the legislation impairs rights to privacy and freedom of expression in particular, more than is reasonably necessary. Further in the absence of any compelling argument for the level of intrusion that is contemplated, it cannot be said that what is proposed is proportionate to the objective of the legislation”.

    The Human Rights Commission of New Zealand

  13. Colonial Viper 13

    XKCD on Edward Snowden

    http://xkcd.com/705/

  14. RedBaronCV 14

    Well Dunne must have been promised some little bauble, ambassador to France perhaps? so he should be resigning his seat close enough to the next election so there is no by-election.
    Perhaps the greens and labour should make it very clear that any little sinecure arranged for him will terminate at the next election.

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    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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