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Pike River – Charges against Peter Whittall withdrawn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In breaking news all charges laid under the HSIE Act against former Pike River boss Petter Whittall have been withdrawn.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River victims’ families it is disturbing that the payment of money should result on the face of it with charges being withdrawn.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

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    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Neglected rural and regional roads will cost more lives
    The government must take urgent action to prevent more accidents to truck drivers and other road users of increased logging trucks on neglected roads, says Darien Fenton, Labour’s Transport spokesperson. “The dangers to drivers and other road users in the...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace
    If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. “Judith...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Ryall needs to heed hospital workforce issues
    The public health workforce, the same one Tony Ryall argues is making a lot of progress is facing increased pressure and staff burnout through his continued shuffling of the deckchairs, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Mr Ryall uses all...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Key ducks but can’t avoid High Court slap
    The High Court’s slap in the face to John Key and his Government over Chorus has left it with no option but to accept the Commerce Commission’s lawful process in deciding the price of copper, says Labour’s associate ICT spokesperson...
    Labour | 09-04
  • First home buyers shut out as LVRs bite
    The bad news continues for young Kiwis as the latest Core Logic report shows the proportion of first home buyers has declined since LVR lending restrictions came into force, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Twenty two centres across the...
    Labour | 09-04
  • MANA – and, or, or not – DOTCOM
    Both MANA and the Internet Party share goals in common with other parties, like getting rid of National and reining in the GCSB. There are also differences, as there are with other parties as well. MANA accepted a request to...
    Mana | 09-04
  • Wise heads want wise response
    Labour accepts the challenge laid down by the Wise Response group to protect and future-proof New Zealand’s environment and economy. A petition calling for urgent action was presented to Labour’s Environment and Climate Change spokesperson Moana Mackey at Parliament this...
    Labour | 09-04
  • Greens support high profile Kiwis’ call for climate action
    The Green Party fully supports a group of high profile Kiwi business people, lawyers, academics and commentators delivering a petition to parliament today calling for the Government to take the threat of climate change more seriously.Wiseresponse, a group of over...
    Greens | 09-04
  • Mayor’s jobs initiative shows up inactive Govt
    Auckland Mayor Len Brown and the Auckland Council are to be congratulated for providing opportunities for young people to get into work, but it stands in stark contrast to the National Government overseeing spiralling youth unemployment, Labour’s Employment, Skills and...
    Labour | 08-04
  • National discovers public servants needed after all
    New figures released today show National has done an embarrassing U-turn after discovering it actually does need the public service, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says. “Wellington now has the most public servants it has had since 2000. Figures...
    Labour | 08-04
  • School closures about saving Hekia, not kids
    The National Government's decision to merge Phillipstown and Woolston schools is another disaster for Christchurch and proves this Government is more interested in saving face than in what is best for children, the Green Party said today."Hekia Parata's stubborn refusal...
    Greens | 08-04
  • Cosgrove writes to invite Countdown to Committee
    Labour’s Commerce spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove has today written to the Chief Executive of Progressive Enterprises Dave Chambers, asking him if he would accept an invitation to appear before the Commerce Select Committee. “Yesterday National MPs blocked my motion to invite...
    Labour | 08-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The Oceans Issue
    The ‘Earth’ is 71% water but our oceans are the last frontier. The oceans are huge, relatively unexplored, full of weird and wonderful diversity. In New Zealand we’re never far from the sea, and our identity, our landscapes, our communities,...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fear of South Auckland
    Fear of South Auckland...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • TV News Geography
    TV News Geography...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The best bit about gay sex
    The best bit about gay sex...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 1
    On not voting 1...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • On not voting 2
    On not voting 2...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour on trucks
    Labour on trucks...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Claire Trevett shows how biased msm works
    Read this nonsense by Claire Trevett… David Cunliffe denies claims he is ‘running scared’ Labour leader David Cunliffe has dismissed claims he is running scared from Prime Minister John Key and playing hard to get over a Campbell Live series...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Why won’t Judith Collins identify who the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is?
    Rumour as to the real reason Judith Collins won’t reveal who the mysterious Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ is who dined with her at a private dinner is because the Chinese ‘bureaucrat’ wasn’t some lowly border official and they are actually a junior ranking member...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Fighting PNG corruption and social media gags with … outspoken blogs
    Graphic: shutterstock.com Dr David Robie also blogs at Café Pacific THE BLOGGING war is hotting up in Papua New Guinea – just when things are getting riskier with draconian proposals over cybercrime law on the horizon. The state target for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • UNbelieved – the true racism of NZ
    Racist Cartoon by Al Nisbet sums up the casual racism NZers enjoy The New Zealand government must consider United Nations rebukes on their indigenous rights record as ordinary and unremarkable by their casual reaction to the latest indictment - delivered through the clear and clinical...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: What has ACC Minister been doing? Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Judith Collins has made such little progress on ACC’s unacceptable privacy practices and needs to be held to account for...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Labour turns wheels for cycling safety With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: SPEECH: Institute of Directors LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour LeaderSpeech to the Institute of Directors15 April 2014, Auckland It’s a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: More Oravida endorsements from John Key The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in recei...
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: 85 more jobs killed by the NZ dollar – Christchurch textile firm in receivership News that the high New Zealand dollar has claimed another textile firm has come as a huge shock to...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support Tuesday, 15 Apr 2014 | Press Release Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have been driven to the wall by a...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • Boots Riley to perform live in Auckland
    Press Release: Mana Tamaki Branch are excited to announce that we have a very special guest, Boots Riley, coming to our very own neighbourhood! On Tuesday April 15 at 7.00pm Boots will be hosting a political discussion and Q&A followed...
    The Daily Blog | 14-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04