web analytics
The Standard

Pike River – Charges against Peter Whittall withdrawn

Written By: - Date published: 11:38 am, December 12th, 2013 - 44 comments
Categories: disaster, health and safety, law and "order", Mining - Tags:

pike river families

In breaking news all charges laid under the HSIE Act against former Pike River boss Petter Whittall have been withdrawn.

From the Herald:

In a shock development in the Christchurch District Court this morning, the Crown said that after an extensive review it was “not appropriate to continue with the prosecution against Mr Whittall”.

Mr Whittall has proposed that a voluntary payment be made on behalf of the directors and officers of Pike River Coal Ltd (in receivership) at the time of the explosions to the families of the 29 men who died and the two survivors.

It means $110,000 will be given to each of the families and survivors – totalling $3.41m.

Mr Whittall’s lawyer Stuart Grieve QC today said a bank cheque has been given to the court and asked for Judge Jane Farish to make sure the money was available by Christmas.

While I am pleased that further compensation will be paid to the Pike River victims’ families it is disturbing that the payment of money should result on the face of it with charges being withdrawn.  There are public policy considerations and the need to maintain deterrence which mean that sometimes prosecutions should occur even if some financial redress has been paid.

The amount, $110,000 per victim, is the exact same amount that Judge Farrish ordered the company to pay when the company was sentenced for the same offence.  I wonder if the payment is in full and final settlement of this claim?  If so it seems that John Key and the Government are off the hook.

The payment is apparently being made on behalf of the directors and officers of the company at the time of the explosion.  It may be that it will be in satisfaction of any potential civil liability.  The payment was justified on the basis that a successful defence would have cost about the same amount.

Finally an apology of sorts was tendered.

Mr Whittall wishes to reiterate his heartfelt sympathy for the families and friends of those men who lost their lives in the Pike River coal mine in November 2010.

He has offered to meet with the families to convey these sentiments in person.”

Expressing sympathy and saying sorry are not necessarily the same thing.  Why is it that sorry seems to be sometimes the hardest word?

Update:  Radio New Zealand reported that Bernie Monk on behalf of the families said outside the Court that the payment was “blood money” and said they did not want to meet with Mr Whittall.

44 comments on “Pike River – Charges against Peter Whittall withdrawn”

  1. Philj 1

    Xox
    Pike River mine.
    Justice has just left the country. Welcome to the jungle.

    • Paul 1.1

      Just read Rebecca Macfie’s book on Pike River.
      Beats me how he could have got off. given the evidence there.

      • phillip ure 1.1.1

        but what would he have got..?

        ..best-case scenario..guilty/sentenced..?

        ..six months home-detention..?

        ..and after a fortune spent prosecuting him..?

        ..better the money go to the families..

        ..than be thrown at lawyers..

        ..in an exercise in (however well-deserved) scapegoating/revenge..

        ..better the money than that hollow feeling..

        ..want to do something meaningful in their memory..?

        ..work yr/our arses off to get corporate-manslaughter on the books..

        ..with meaningful penalties..

        ..for those greed-driven/uncaring bastards..i would say..’lock em up!’..

        ..but for now..?

        ..better the money..

        ..phillip ure..

    • dave 1.2

      29 dead no compensation the corperations walk away not good enough cave creek all over again
      the nats have got to go

  2. Will@Welly 2

    Blood money – filth – welcome to John Keys brighter future. The crown withdrew the charges mainly due to cost – when has that ever been a problem if you’re poor or coloured.
    So no one is accountable for 29 dying in the mine – fuck me.

    • Arfamo 2.1

      Really? Is that all it was? Can you imagine how the DoL was going to look by the time the Defence had finished asking what it had done to protect the workers? Call me cynical, but I imagine shutting the whole thing down looked like the best option for a host of reasons.

    • infused 2.2

      It wasn’t just cost you fool. Read the damm article.

      • Will@Welly 2.2.1

        The Crown Prosecutor cited “cost” as a major factor in withdrawing the charges. A long and lengthy trial – so when has ever been an issue. This smacks of one big sham starting at the top with Key and Joyce. Find the money, find the trail, find the National Party coffers.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.3

      Ask the Urewera defendents about ‘charges unlikely to succeed’?

      But they went ahead anyway, but of course the Police have unlimited budgets and patience for these sort of fishing expeditions where nobody was injured or harmed in anyway

  3. Sue 3

    Shame! – Shame on you Peter Whittall – Shame on the government – What a dark day for the families and survivors – in fact for all workers in this country.

  4. Bill 4

    12th December 2013. The day New Zealand achieved 3rd World status. The cost of the license to do anything to anyone with impunity? Four zero’s and two one’s.

    Wonder why I’m remembering a scene from an old western where some settler tries to buy her safety by offering jewelery to the Indians…who then stuff her mouth with it til she chokes and expires.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Justice has indeed left the country; the rule of corporate malfaesance begins in earnest.

  6. Rogue Trooper 6

    CTU to consider seeking a judicial review.- Helen Kelly

    • alwyn 6.1

      I’m not a lawyer but can they get a judicial review on such a matter?
      And also would the CTU have any standing to seek such a thing?

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.1.1

        Google is your friend.

        “…judicial review is available when an Act of Parliament creates a discretionary power for public officials to exercise – be they Ministers, Chief Executives of Government Ministries, or Ministry employees – and somebody adversely affected by the exercise of that power challenges the decision on the basis that the person exercising it has not acted consistently with the power given by the Act, for example, by misinterpreting the provision giving it. ”

        My emphasis.

        • alwyn 6.1.1.1

          Yes I read that too but I didn’t understand what it meant. Is the CTU adversely affected by the no prosecution choice? Similarly are the Police, or Crown Law for that matter, reviewable?

          • Arfamo 6.1.1.1.1

            No, but the families might consider they are, and the CTU might perhaps, along with others, choose to assist them because of the implications for other workers.

            As I understand it the discretion whether to exercise any statutory authority, and whether it was properly exercised, can be judicially reviewed. Unless there is an explicit statutory prohibition against JR.

            Anyone with legal expertise able to clarify?

            • alwyn 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I hadn’t thought about the families being the direct apellants, not the CTU.
              I also read, but forgot to put it the previous comment something that, as I understood it, meant that a Judicial Review could only look at the way a decision was made but could not look at what the decision was. Again I wasn’t sure what they were talking about.
              Where do you find a “pro bono” lawyer when you want one?

              • Rogue Trooper

                Community Law Centre :-D

              • Arfamo

                Yes, that’s correct. As I understand it, in a judicial review the judge can’t simply substitute his or her own decision for that of the original decision-maker – they only decide whether the decision was properly made, with the statutory decision-maker having taken into account and given proper consideration to all the relevant matters that needed to be considered, including the provisions of fairness and natural justice under administrative law.

                Generally I think if the decision is found to be deficient, it will be referred back for reconsideration with directions.

  7. Ake ake ake 7

    Great precedence for big businesses coming into NZ (deep sea oil mining companies next?)
    Justice, culpability and punishment can be avoided quite cheaply and easily.

    /sarc

  8. shorts 8

    Our collective National Shame

    Might as well give the Pike Management and the Board knighthoods and be done with it all

    FFS

  9. ianmac 9

    Mr Key was in some trouble for ruling out a Government payout. Politically damaging.
    I bet he was surprised at the charges being dropped and the money appearing like a pot of gold at the end of his rainbow. Like what a co-incidence! Get a Lotto ticket John.
    What a relief for John Key.
    Are we reassured that all is well in NZ?
    (Really pleased for the families though.)

  10. blue leopard (Get Lost GCSB Bill) 10

    ..so what has been done to address the moral hazard aspects of this devastating event?

    What in this outcome ensures that both company directors and the NZ government actors feel something over and above a ‘duty’ to ensure workers are not being placed in circumstances of unreasonable danger? …because this sense of ‘duty’ appears to be in short supply at present.

    Is it left to those who have lost members of their family due to mismanagement of directors and the government to sue to ensure worker safety is taken seriously?

    Isn’t this something that is the government’s duty – not private citizens – to follow through with?

  11. greywarbler 11

    I needed to refresh myself so hae been doing some searches.

    First an interesting quote from Peter Whithall on one site.
    On sharetrader.co.nz site
    Some comments from sector and business people.Sideshow Bob wrote from Bolivia quoting unfavourable predictions.
    zorba disagreed using the silly tall-poppy put down that the well educated resort to when being confronted by negative factual arguments.
    “This is the classic Kiwi story of knocking a “tall poppy” project simply because its going to be a success …… he has an emotional investment in the project not succeeding.”

    A copy of letter by Peter Whitthall, General Manager, Mines written 23 May 2007 to the
    Greymouth Evening Star firmly criticising Dr Murry Cave saying in part –
    his description of deep, highly gassy coals and associated risk of outburst bears no relationship with the shallow, moderately gassy, non-outburst prone conditions at Pike River.

    Further detail –
    http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/pike-river-mine-inquiry/pike-river-some-background-reading/

    Then there is the book that has recently been released which is said to be very thorough and factual and strong stuff.
    Book – Tragedy at Pike River Mine: How and why 29 men died.
    by Rebecca Macfie
    launched in Greymouth
    16 November 2013
    Except despite early plans to pre-drain methane from the coal seam before mining began, this hadn’t happened. Instead, gas was bled out of the seam from the in-seam drill holes that Pike relied on to find out where the coal seam lay, and drained through a pipeline the company knew to be inadequate and overpressured.

    Pike had forged ahead with the introduction of its hydro-mining system before establishing the second means of egress that was required in law. It had widened the area to be mined with the hydro monitor without adequate knowledge of how the strata above would behave. It had started commissioning the system without having sufficient skilled workers to man it, and in the face of repeated spikes in the volume of methane released into the mine atmosphere.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/west-coast/9407313/Book-Excerpt-Tragedy-at-Pike-River-Mine
    and further from the book –
    http://www.listener.co.nz/current-affairs/pike-river-mine-fatally-flawed/
    Nothing was heard from other people who had been closely involved in the development of the mine. Gordon Ward, who had been Pike River Coal’s chief executive until two monthsbefore the disaster, remained resolutely in Australia, where he now lived.
    Tony Radford, who had chaired the Pike board until 2006, remained a director until June 2011, and was chair of New Zealand Oil & Gas, wrote a brief submission under a compulsion order from the Royal Commission. He was not called to give testimony.

    Something about the interaction re Gordon Brown
    http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/pike-river-mine-inquiry/pike-river-inquiry-phase-3-whittall-rejects-allegations/

    Some history –
    Various setbacks occurred during late 2007 and early 2008 delaying the start of coal production.
    The mine operators noted that technical difficulties with several mining machines were to blame for the delays, which also forced the company to ask for an extension from its financiers.[5]In February 2010, the first export shipment of 20,000 tons of coal was delivered to India for use in steel production.
    An explosion on Friday 19 November 2010 trapped 29 workers inside the mine.
    I lost my link to some of the factual information..
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pike_River_Mine gives some more detail

    Finance and backers.
    Pike River Coal Ltd is listed on the New Zealand and Australian stock exchanges. It raised NZ$85 million in additional capital for expanding the mine in 2007.[29] As of August 2007, over NZ$100 million had already been invested into developing the mine.

    The development was valued at NZ$2.3 billion and was initially held by New Zealand Oil & Gas (29% stake plus options and bonds[31]) as well as the two Indian companies, Gujarat NRE Coke Limited (17% share), and Saurashtra Fuels Private Limited (15% share),

    After the IPO, the ownership percentages changed to NZ Oil and Gas 31%, Gujarat NRE Coke 10%, Saurashtra Fuels 8.5%, with private minority shareholders holding 7.9% and the remaining 42.5% having been sold to the general public.[4

    Timeline of disaster
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4368031/
    and when Peter Whitthall General Manager –
    A company involved with lots of positive talk about expertise and chest-beating big business deal –
    http://www.tunneltalk.com/MacDow-Feb09-Award-winner-at-Pike-River.php
    and
    http://www.listener.co.nz/commentary/pike-river-mine-inquiry/what-really-happened-at-pike-river/

    and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_manslaughter

    • Paul 11.1

      Have just read the book.
      It makes you ashamed to come from this country, when our legislators set up the laws to protect profit above people. Pike River was a cowboy company, allowed to operate under the deregulated wasteland that NZ become after the neoliberals looted it from 1984 to 1993.

  12. greywarbler 12

    Don’t know where the smiley face got in. It looks as if there should be a capital D but I can’t edit.
    The ghost in the machine has a ‘funny’ sense of humour.

    [Fixed – MS]

  13. Will@Welly 13

    Time for that biddy goat Farish to hang up her robe, take her over-inflated pension, and find a new career. Perhaps Finlayson’s bitch.

  14. jcuknz 14

    I think it preferable that the families should get the cash rather than it be used to feed the legal aparatus with the likely result that nobody gets hung and nobody gets satisfaction in a long winded court action.

    • ghostrider888 14.1

      yes (sighs reluctantly with head bowed). Where does the power (Influence ) lie? Has there been a flood of judgements in favour of ‘labour’ (hmmm, reminds me of some Younger-than-me people I met today) and the environment under the behaviour over recent years of the Crown? ( reflects for , well didn’t need to really ) Tokenism , reminds me of all the greenstone pendants that re so visible as well collectively fail our kaitiakitanga (cannot incentivize the recycling of glass and aluminium for thsoe that would naturally benefit for example)
      That Graham McCready is a wonderful and atoning man though; just wonderful, people will not forget him like they shall John Key (restaint :-D )
      It’s not called the Peoples Republic of China by deception; Very wise people The Chinese; much can be learned from their reciprocation in trade (mercantile means, possibly alternative ends, we shall see) Must bring the rear along with the front; The Stick or The Carrot? (should be able to understand that; not certainly though, intoxication appears to be a popular past-time) :-D

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Ministry must protect organic food industry
    The Ministry for Primary Industries must take urgent action to protect New Zealand’s $150 million organic food and beverage industry by establishing a certification regime, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “Despite working with Organics Aotearoa on the issue… ...
    10 hours ago
  • Tony Abbott, indigenous rights, and refugees
    This week, Tony Abbott has visited Aotearoa New Zealand, bringing with him his racist policies against indigenous Australians and his appalling record on refugee detention camps. Abbott has launched a policy “to close” remote aboriginal communities, which is about as… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    14 hours ago
  • PM’s housing outburst bizarre
    Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford has described the Prime Minister’s latest comments on the Auckland housing crisis as bizarre. “John Key is deep in denial. He must be one of the only people left who are not concerned about the risk… ...
    1 day ago
  • Deflation: Another economic headache linked to housing crisis
    National’s housing crisis is causing even further damage with the second consecutive quarter of deflation a genuine concern the Reserve Bank can do little about, as it focusses on Auckland house prices, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “This is… ...
    1 day ago
  • Pot calling the kettle black over fossil fuel subsidies.
    Over the weekend alongside nine other countries the New Zealand Government has endorsed a statement that supports eliminating inefficient subsidies on fossil fuels. Fossil fuel subsidies are a big driver of increasing emissions. Good on the Government for working internationally… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    2 days ago
  • At last – a common sense plan for Christchurch
    The Common Sense Plan for Christchurch released by The People’s Choice today is a welcome relief from the shallow debate about rates rises versus asset sales, Labour’s Christchurch MPs say. "Local residents – who have spent weeks trawling through the… ...
    3 days ago
  • National must lead by example on climate change
    The National Government must meet its own climate change obligations before it preaches to the rest of the world, Labour's Climate Change spokesperson Megan Woods says. "Calls today by Climate Change Minister Tim Groser for an end to fossil fuel… ...
    3 days ago
  • Biosecurity rethink a long time
    The Government has opened New Zealand’s borders to biosecurity risks and its rethinking of bag screening at airports is an admission of failure, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. Nathan Guy today announced a review of biosecurity systems in… ...
    4 days ago
  • Chinese rail workers must be paid minimum wage
    KiwiRail must immediately stop further Chinese engineers from working here until they can guarantee they are being paid the New Zealand minimum wage, Labour’s MP for Hutt South Trevor Mallard says. The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment today released… ...
    4 days ago
  • Better consultation needed on Christchurch asset sales
    The Christchurch City Council (CCC) should be promoting wide and genuine public consultation on its draft ten year budget and plan given the serious implications for the city’s future of its proposed asset sales, outlined in the plan. Instead, it… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    4 days ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    4 days ago
  • ‘Healthy Families’ a good start but not enough to tackle obesity relate...
    Today the Government is making a the meal out of the launch of its ‘Healthy Families’ package to promote ‘healthier decisions’ and ‘changing mindsets’ over nutrition, physical activity and obesity. Great! The programme is based on a successful model from… ...
    GreensBy Kevin Hague MP
    4 days ago
  • No more sweet talk on obesity
    The Government should be looking at broader measures to combat obesity rather than re-hashing pre-announced initiatives, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says.  “While it is encouraging to see the Government finally waking from its slumber and restoring a focus on… ...
    5 days ago
  • Government two-faced on zero-hour contracts
    The Government should look to ban zero-hour contracts in its own back yard before getting too high and mighty about other employers using them, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Information collated by Labour shows at least three district health… ...
    5 days ago
  • Scrutiny of battlefield deaths should continue
    As New Zealand troops head to Iraq under a shroud of secrecy, the Government is pushing ahead with legislation to remove independent scrutiny of incidents where Kiwi soldiers are killed in hostile action overseas, Labour’s Defence spokesperson Phil Goff says.… ...
    5 days ago
  • Damp-free homes a right for tenants
    Labour is urging tenants to use a little known rule which gives them the right to live in damp-free rental homes. Otago University researchers have today highlighted the Housing Improvement Regulations 1947 as a way tenants can force landlords to… ...
    5 days ago
  • National must take action on speculators
    The Government must take action on property speculators who are damaging the housing market and shutting families and young people out of the home ownership dream, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “There are a number of options the Government could… ...
    6 days ago
  • Milk price halves: A $7b economic black hole
    Global milk prices have halved since the peak last year, creating an economic black hole of almost $7 billion that will suck in regions reliant on dairy, crucial industries and the Government’s books, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The… ...
    6 days ago
  • Kitchen plan set to swallow up health boards’ funds
    The financial impacts of implementing a proposal to outsource hospital food, forced on them by a crown-owned company which is now facing an auditor-general’s inquiry, are being felt by district health boards across the country, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King… ...
    6 days ago
  • Reserve Bank scathing of Government
    The Reserve Bank’s most scathing critique to date of National’s inability to handle the housing crisis shows the Bank is sick of having to pick up the pieces, Labour Leader Andrew Little says.  “John Key continues to deny there is… ...
    6 days ago
  • Time for McDonald’s to upsize work hours
    Labour is calling on McDonald’s to have more respect for their workers and offer them more guaranteed work hours. McDonald’s is proposing to guarantee its workers 80 per cent of their rostered hours, Labour’s spokesperson for Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway… ...
    7 days ago
  • Brownlee misses the boat on asbestos
    Gerry Brownlee has once again missed an opportunity to improve the lives of Cantabrians post-earthquakes, Labour’s Canterbury Earthquake Recovery spokesperson Ruth Dyson says. A new report from the Royal Society of New Zealand and the Prime Minister’s Chief Science Adviser,… ...
    7 days ago
  • Government must come clean on troop deployment and protections
    New Zealanders deserve more than to hear about their troops’ deployment overseas from Australian media, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “News from Australia that Kiwi troops are on their way to Iraq this week is another example of the culture… ...
    7 days ago
  • Cancer prevention calls gain momentum
    Research showing bowel cancer treatment sucks up more public health dollars than other cancers once again highlights the need for a national screening programme, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A study by Otago University, which found colon cancer is… ...
    7 days ago
  • Burger King shows zero-hour contracts not needed
    The abandonment of zero-hour contracts by Burger King is further evidence good employers do not need to use them, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues Iain Lees-Galloway says. "Congratulations to the Unite Union and Burger King for settling an employment agreement… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis deserve more than reheats
    The Government looks set to rely on regurgitated announcements for this year’s Budget if today’s speech is anything to go by, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “National has been building up to this Budget for seven long years, promising a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords not cashing in on insulation schemes
    The fact so few landlords have taken up the generous taxpayer subsidy for retrofitting shows it is time to legislate minimum standards, says Labour’s Associate Housing spokesperson Poto Williams. “Many landlords aren’t using Government insulation schemes because they don’t want… ...
    1 week ago
  • Zero excuses, end zero hour contracts now
    It’s time Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse cut the weasel words and banned zero hour contracts, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “Michael Woodhouse today acknowledged zero hour contracts are unfair. ...
    1 week ago
  • We’ve reached Peak Key with ‘artificial target’
    John Key’s attempt to redefine his cornerstone promise of two election campaigns as an artificial target suggests his other promises are works of fiction, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “For seven years and two election campaigns, John Key has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Top 10 need to know facts on climate change
    All the numbers and stats around climate change can be confusing, so we’ve put together a handy list of the top 10 numbers about climate change that we should all know- and then do something about. You can sign up here to… ...
    GreensBy Frog
    2 weeks ago
  • Campbell Live a bastion of investigative journalism
    The announcement that current affairs programme Campbell Live is under review and may be axed has sparked outrage from the New Zealand public, for good reason, says Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran. “Investigative journalism is a precious resource in today’s… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ground Zero for ‘disastrous’ contracts
    Yesterday the Green Party called on the Government to follow the leadership of Restaurant Brands and ditch zero-hour contracts. Currently it looks like the Government is a large part of the zero-hours problem. It allows these types of “non-jobs” to… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Trust in National will disappear with deficit
    Bill English is set to break his promise to get the books back in the black this year and lose the trust of Kiwis who have had to do it too hard for too long, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Dorothy Jelicich passes away
    It is with sincere sadness that the Labour Party conveys its sympathies and condolences to the bereaved family of Dorothy Jelicich who passed away last night at the age of 87 years, says the MP for Mangere, Su’a William Sio.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government leaves aquaculture industry at sea
    If the Government had acted in its first term, the Sanford mussel processing plant would not have to close, says Labour’s Fisheries spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “Sanford is considering closure after a decline in the natural supply of spat. This is… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maggie –it’s time to roll your sleeves up
      It’s time for the Minister of Conservation Maggie Barry to listen to the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment  and start untangling the mess around  New Zealand’s stewardship land, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “The Commissioner has called for… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Gutting of prison jobs a gift to private prison provider
    Today’s announcement that sections of three prisons are to be closed is the thin end of the wedge for the privatisation of the country’s prison service, says Labour’s  Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  It's estimated that 260 prison officers will lose… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joyce must rule out revising export target
    Steven Joyce must rule out a second revision of the Government’s export target in six months and stop trying to massage statistics when he fails to meet his goals, says Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark. “National set a target… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Caregiver law passed in haste now a fail
    The Government’s response to supporting family caregivers is mean spirited and designed to fail, says Labour’s Disability Issues Spokesperson Ruth Dyson.  “Figures released by the Ministry of Health show that only a tiny percentage of the eligible families have applied… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Clear message handed to nuclear states
    MPs Phil Goff, Shane Reti and Marama Fox are due to meet with diplomats from the United Kingdom, Russia, the United States, China and France tomorrow to hand deliver a letter calling for their countries to disarm their nuclear weapons.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parity is no party for export businesses
    The extent of the damage done by the high dollar to New Zealand businesses is larger than many think as shown by a dramatic decrease in exports to Australia as our dollar rises, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “When the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nats’ limited thinking stifling innovation
    Businesses trying to innovate and create better products are being let down by this Government with an industry expert saying Steven Joyce’s mini-tax credits will have almost no impact, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Andrew Dickeson, director of taxation… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Vanishing Nature: A must-read for all New Zealanders
    The Environmental Defence Society’s new book Vanishing Nature – facing New Zealand’s biodiversity crisis, should be read by every New Zealander concerned about our native plants and wildlife and striking natural landscapes; and particularly by Government Ministers before Budget Day… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    2 weeks ago
  • The CYF review – an exercise in predetermination?
    Child Youth and Family (CYF) has a troublesome history of underperformance and botched care and protection cases, the most recent being its abject failure, along with the Police, to address the Roastbusters sexual abuse allegations with any semblance of professionalism.… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Time to act to protect Hector’s Dolphins
    The death of a Hector’s Dolphin in a set net must lead to action from the Minister of Conservation, Ruth Dyson, Labour’s Conservation Spokesperson said today. “Despite the fact that the Akaroa Harbour has been a Marine Mammal Sanctuary since… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Double-laning Darby and Joan disputed
    The Prime Minister’s by-election promise to double lane the road between Northland’s iconic Darby and Joan kauri trees has been contradicted by officials, Labour’s spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The NZ Transport Agency has told a media outlet that not all… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parity: Cheaper trips but lower incomes
    The Kiwi dollar’s near-parity with the Australian means some tourists will have cheaper Gold Coast holidays but New Zealand incomes will stay lower for longer, making it harder for many to afford the trip, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • English’s state house flog off plans exposed
    Labour is calling on Bill English to confirm or deny a claim the Government is exploring a mass sell-off of state housing to tenants. Property magnate Bob Jones writes in a newspaper column published today that the Minister responsible for… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extension of work scheme urged for disaster relief
    The Government is being urged to extend the Regional Seasonal Employment (RSE) scheme to help families in the most severely-damaged islands of Vanuatu, following Cyclone Pam. “Allowing a further 300 people to take up seasonal employment in New Zealand under… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Nuclear deal with Iran should be just the start
    A deal struck by Iran and major powers to ensure the Iranian facilities producing nuclear material are not used for the purpose of constructing nuclear weapons has been a long time coming, Labour’s Disarmament spokesperson Phil Goff says. “Undoubtedly Iran’s… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere