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Random impertinent questions for Judith Collins

Written By: - Date published: 5:55 pm, April 10th, 2014 - 56 comments
Categories: john key, Judith Collins, national - Tags:

Judith Collins stock Judith Collins had a shocker in Parliament today and her responses to questions raised more questions than they answered.  The video of her refusing to answer questions follows.  Her chances of being the next leader of the National Party must be  tiny.  Cameron Slater will not be pleased.

Some questions that arise …

  1. Why won’t Judith Collins say who is the Chinese Public Servant who she had dinner with?
  2. Can this official help Oravida’s product entry into China?
  3. Has Judith Collins forgiven John Key yet for making her apologise?
  4. Is she really surprised that the media should be reporting on an issue where at least the perception of a serious conflict of interest involving a senior Minister exists?
  5. Doesn’t a minister have ministerial responsibility for handling their conflict of interest?
  6. Did Collins talk with anyone from Oravida about having dinner with the Chinese Official before she left New Zealand to travel to China?
  7. Does she realise that repeatedly saying “It was a private dinner and I have no Ministerial Responsibility for it” looks a bit suspect?

56 comments on “Random impertinent questions for Judith Collins”

  1. wyndham 1

    That photo. sends shivers up my spine Micky !

    Imagine crossing that !

  2. Jim Nald 2

    Thanks for posting this.

    From the video, it is obvious to see and to hear that Conflicted Collins is in big trouble, as confirmed by her colleagues’ faces shoved deeply and diligently into their pretend paperwork while, next to her, Ryall is looking like a deflated balloon.

    Why does it sound like she is digging herself deeper and deeper, into a larger hole of lies, with her venomous tongue?

  3. Naturesong 3

    Saw question time today.

    The tactic was for Collins to state that the dinner was private and thus outside her ministerial responsibility and then have Brownlee defend that position though points of order for the remainder of the supplementaries.

    Not sure if it was simply a tactic to delay for one question time session, or they are genuinely worried that once they customs official is named that an incredibly damaging relationship re: Collins, Oravida, Customs official that is greasing the rails for Oravida will become immediately obvious.
    I’m hoping for the latter, because it will eventually come out.

    Definately going to buy popcorn for the next time Robertson gets a question.

  4. David 4

    The thing is, say my husband was a director, one of just three, of a company, any company. And I was the Minister of Justice. well, I would be particularly careful, extra extra careful, that is, about any dealings I had as a Minister of the Crown, with that company in particular. I would be more worried about perceived conflict of interest around that company than about any other. I would go out of my way to not be seen as evoking Any conflict of interest with THAT company in particular, because that would be where I was most vulnerable to even perceptions of conflict of interest.

    But what do we get from this Minister? No special reticence at all about THAT company: not an iota. Falling over herself to literally go out of her way to muss with them in particular. Not showing even the slightest reticence, going as far as and further than all her colleagues (who are also Oravida beneficiaries, through campaign contributions to the Nats) to deal with them, letting her photo be used to endorse products. Using her Govt Minister position to impress everyone on her husband’s behalf: officials, etc etc, all to pave the path for her husband’s employer, the business he directs, to make hay in China. And signalling to everyone around, Chinese officials and business people, and still signalling to us back here, that this kind of behaviour is somehow ok for Cabinet Ministers? That, somehow, because everyone in the Nats seems to be in it, all sucking on the Oravida udder together, so it’s fine?

    At this point, you have to ask, how poor could a Minister’s judgement be? Or, how much interest did she and her hubby in fact have in this business and its dealings, that she would be so reckless? Or, how low have the Nat’s complicity and overall ethics slipped, that one so senior could think her peers behaviour is ok, and would sanctioned what she did?

    Either she is very very foolish and stupidly fearless, or she is in it donkey deep. And surely, if this is the kind of behaviour that’s routine and ok in Nat land, we’d better send them a message. Collins and all her cronyist mates need a Big Fat Reality Check.

  5. captain hook 5

    its not very nice when spoiled brats get their comeuppance.

  6. Penny Bright 6

    In my considered opinion, Minister for Justice Judith Collins is quite simply CORRUPT and should be sacked.

    FORTHWITH.

    New Zealand ‘perceived to be the least corrupt country in the world’ (along with Denmark, according to Transparency International’s 2013 ‘Corruption Perception Index’.

    What a load of steaming BULLSH*T!

    Seen this?

    Where’s the Taxpayers’ Union on this one?

    http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/business/qoa/50HansQ_20140410_00000012/12-justice-minister%E2%80%94visit-to-china

    Justice, Minister—Visit to China

    [Sitting date: 10 April 2014. Volume:697;Page:15. Text is subject to correction.]

    GRANT ROBERTSON (Labour—Wellington Central) to the Minister of Justice: Does she know the name and employing department of the Chinese official that she had dinner with in Beijing on 20 October 2013 on her ministerial visit to China; if so, is the reason that she has refused to tell the House that information because she believes it is not in the public interest to do so?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS (Minister of Justice) : I have no ministerial responsibility for that matter.

    Grant Robertson: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. This question was submitted in the normal way through the Clerk’s Office and to you. It was accepted, therefore the Minister must answer the question. She has ministerial responsibility.

    Mr SPEAKER: Yes. I want to draw to the Minister’s attention the Standing Orders and Speakers’ rulings that say she has a duty to answer a question. That answer is far from helpful to the House. She can answer it in anyway she likes, but to simply say she has no responsibility when the question has been authenticated and processed to be placed on the Order Paper is, I think, most unsatisfactory. I will invite the member to repeat the question.

    Hon Gerry Brownlee: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. What then does that do for the interpretation of Speaker’s ruling 153/1, which basically says that “The primary condition for asking a question of a Minister is that the Minister has ministerial responsibility for the subject matter of the question. If there is no ministerial responsibility, there can be no question. An opinion that is sought from a Minister must relate to a matter for which the Minister has responsibility.” Speaker’s ruling 153/3, on the same page, goes on to say: “The Speaker has no way of knowing which Minister is responsible, in the role of Speaker.” What I am concerned about here is that the only person who can fully know where ministerial responsibility stops and starts is the Minister themselves. If they say, in fact, they have no ministerial responsibility for that, in the past there has been a decision made that the public would make a judgment about that, not the Opposition.

    Mr SPEAKER: The difficulty I have with that argument from the member is that there has been a series of questions now for some weeks and the Minister has on many occasions addressed the questions to my satisfaction. So I do not think at this stage she can now claim she has not got ministerial responsibility. I do not accept that. I can equally refer the Hon Gerry Brownlee to rulings, particularly to Speaker’s ruling 173/1. It is a relatively lengthy ruling, but I will read it for the benefit of the Minister: “A Minister must give an answer ‘if it can be given consistently with the public interest’. The Minister is instructed under [Standing Order 383(1)] to consider the public interest in framing a reply. In considering consistency with the public interest, the Minister may address such principles as privacy, commercial sensitivity, or national security. But, ultimately, the judgment of whether a particular reply is consistent with the public interest is for the Minister to make. It is not a matter for the Speaker to judge. Nor is it a matter for the member asking the question to suggest that because the member considers the matter to be a matter of public interest, the question should be answered in a particular way.” I am going to ask the member to repeat the question.

    Grant Robertson: Does she know the name and employing department of the Chinese official whom she had dinner with in Beijing on 20 October 2013 on her ministerial visit to China; if so, is the reason that she has refused to tell the House that information because she believes it is not in the public interest to do so?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: It was a private dinner. I have no ministerial responsibility to explain it.

    Grant Robertson: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. In your ruling on the Minister’s first attempt to answer this, you made mention of the fact that we have had a number of questions about this. You also granted an urgent debate, in fact, around these matters because, as was put in the question, this was a ministerial visit paid for by the taxpayer. For the Minister to now decide that she does not feel like answering the questions is not acceptable. It is a breach of the Standing Orders.

    Mr SPEAKER: No, I cannot assist the member to that extent. It is certainly not helpful for the Minister to take this attitude, but I want to refer to two further Speakers’ rulings in this regard. Speaker’s ruling 173/3 says: “It is not obligatory on a Minister to answer a question. It is certainly customary but there is no sufficient reason for saying it is binding.” Furthermore, Speakers’ ruling 173/4 says: “The Speaker cannot force a Minister to give an answer to a question and has no responsibility for the quality …”. I think it is a very unsatisfactory answer that has been given by the Minister. I am not responsible for that. This House and the public will judge that for themselves. But I invite the member to now continue with his supplementary questions, and I give him one additional supplementary question as well.

    Grant Robertson: Did she discuss with the directors of Oravida what the role of the Chinese border official was before she left New Zealand?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: It was a private dinner. I have no ministerial responsibility for it.

    Hon Trevor Mallard: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Sorry, I thought my colleague was going to take a point of order. It was a very direct question, and it asked about an action to do with a particular individual, and it had to do with before she left New Zealand. It was nothing to do with something that actually occurred at the dinner; it was a question about whether she received any advice on this matter from the directors of the company before she left New Zealand, and it has been established previously in the House that she had discussions about this dinner before she left the country.

    Hon Gerry Brownlee: Speaking to the point of order, Speaker’s ruling 151(2) is also quite instructive here, inasmuch as it says: “The Minister primarily concerned is presumed to be the person to decide whether it is a question related to that portfolio or whether it is misdirected.”

    Hon David Parker: Speaking to the point of order—

    Mr SPEAKER: No, I do not need assistance on that point. I think today we have moved well past that with my saying that this question has been raised in various forms now for some considerable amount of time. At this stage of the proceedings, for the Minister of Justice to now claim there is no ministerial responsibility is, in my mind, as I have said to this House, a very unsatisfactory answer. I invite the member Grant Robertson to ask his supplementary question.

    Grant Robertson: Did the New Zealand ambassador tell her that he did not think it was appropriate—

    Hon Annette King: No, no, the other one.

    Grant Robertson: Oh, sorry, do you want the previous question?

    Mr SPEAKER: I am inviting the member to repeat his other question.

    Grant Robertson: Sorry, Mr Speaker, I did not hear you say that. Did she discuss with the directors of Oravida what the role of the Chinese border official was before she left New Zealand?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: I took part in a private dinner. I do not have ministerial responsibility for that.

    Hon David Parker: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Minister has previously admitted in this House that she should have made reference to this in her report to Cabinet after she made her visit to China. What is the remedy for the Opposition in respect of serious allegations where the Minister will just not answer any questions?

    Mr SPEAKER: The remedy available is for the member Grant Robertson to continue his line of questioning. I cannot force the Minister to answer the question. I am not responsible for the answer, but, as I said earlier, people will judge the answers for themselves.

    Grant Robertson: Did she tell the New Zealand news media that she should have put this dinner in her formal trip report to Cabinet, thereby making it a matter of ministerial responsibility?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: Actually, I should not have, because the Cabinet Manual makes it very clear that only matters of importance should, in fact, be put in. In fact, when I had a look at the manual, I noticed that actually having dinner is not something that anyone would consider a matter of national importance, unlike that member might think it is.

    Grant Robertson: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. My question was a specific one. I asked whether she told the New Zealand news media—

    Mr SPEAKER: Order! On this occasion, I am ruling that the Minister has actually addressed that question. [Interruption] Order! I invite the member at this stage to continue his supplementary questions.

    Grant Robertson: Did the New Zealand ambassador tell her that he did not think it was appropriate for him to attend this dinner?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: I have no recollection of the ambassador saying that to me.

    Grant Robertson: Did Stone Shi ask her not to name the official who was at the dinner?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: This was a private dinner and I have no ministerial responsibility for it.

    Grant Robertson: Why was she prepared to say that the official at the dinner was from a border control agency but she is not prepared to say which border control agency?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: I advised the media because that was the advice I received from the Prime Minister’s office.

    Grant Robertson: Was the Prime Minister wrong to give her that advice?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: One day that member might realise that Prime Ministers are always right.

    Grant Robertson: Was the senior Chinese border official at the dinner someone who could influence whether or not Oravida’s products could enter into China?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: It was a private dinner. I have got no ministerial responsibility for it.

    Grant Robertson: Supplementary question?

    Mr SPEAKER: I think in actual fact the member may well have found that his number of supplementary questions has expired.

    Grant Robertson: Given the ridiculous answers I have been getting, I seek leave to be allowed to ask one more question.

    Mr SPEAKER: No, I do not think seeking leave would be a good idea for the member. Because there was some confusion earlier, I will allow one more question.

    Grant Robertson: Can she confirm that she believes she has no obligation to the New Zealand taxpayer to tell them the name of a senior Chinese official that she met with along with her husband’s fellow company directors at a dinner arranged before she left New Zealand, despite taxpayers shelling out $30,000 for her to go on that trip?

    Hon JUDITH COLLINS: I have no obligation to discuss a private dinner not paid for by the taxpayer and at absolutely no expense to the taxpayer.

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

    Attendee: 2009 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference
    Attendee: 2010 Transparency International Anti-Corruption Conference
    Attendee: 2013 Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate (polled 4th with 11,723 votes, campaigning against corrupt corporate control of the Auckland region)

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz

  7. repateet 7

    The bit suspect that it looks, is a really really really BIG bit. So massive that it almost matches the size of her arrogance.

  8. ianmac 8

    Judith looks increasingly upset. She must have a really, really, really good reason to refuse the answer given that the pressure must be immense. Maybe the answer would condemn her so she has to tough it out or surrender her portfolio. The Government benches are not cheering her on. Strangely quiet. It may be that those loyal Nats are finding good excuses to be somewhere else and thus avoiding contamination.

    • Tc 8.1

      The apple never falls far from the tree known as shonkey corruptus which is a species that requires a lot of resources and favourable conditions to flourish and take over the surrounding environment.

      The species is also known to thrive in clumps often working together and has a well documented behaviour of viciousness and diversion when found to be well outside its designated patch.

      Higher standards in 3 2 1…….still waiting

  9. the pigman 9

    Looks like another hopeful who won’t make it into the “two bedroom motel unit” with Dunno”Smile&Wave”Keyo prior to September. Srylands and the fan club will be gutted.

    Just Joyce and Keys left sitting in the jacuzzi.. pretty haunting image. Here’s hoping they’re avowed heterosexuals like the good Dr. Brash.

  10. North 10

    What would happen if at some point there is the overarching ‘appearance’ that the purpose of Judith Collins’ ministerial visit to China was ALWAYS to mitigate Oravida’s difficulties with getting its product into China ?

    You know, if the striking commonalities seen in the Chinese justice system and the New Zealand justice system sort of failed to cut the mustard as an explanation for the personal presence of the New Zealand Minister of Justice in China ?

    That would give the ‘appearance’ of cardinal sin, would it not ?

    Just wondering.

  11. philj 11

    xox
    Penny, I attended a public meeting of Transparency Committee and the chair, Suzanne Snively. She announced that the main issue was that there was not enough corruption to be found! The audience aceppted unquestioningly.

  12. Roflcopter 12

    Yes Mickey, those are definitely random and impertinent questions.

  13. fisiani 13

    Judith Collins had a private dinner. Private. Not hard to understand
    The Cunliffe was given $10,000 by two mystery donors. Who were they? What influence did they try to buy. What is their job? What is The Cunluffe hiding.? Why will he not answer?

    • stever 13.1

      No…Judith Collins (alone) insists it was a private dinner…but then she would, shouldn’t she?

      Her demeanour and words make it clear she has something to hide…anyone with an ounce of commonsense can see that.

      So this “private” mantra is all she has left. She’s looks pathetic and is clearly not fit to be an MP, let alone a minister (of Justice ffs!!!)

      What a role model; what a fine, upstanding woman; what an embarrassment to all NZers!!

      But then…she fits right in with the prevailing lack of morals and decency that this government and in particular this PM has shown for some time now.

      Haven’t these people ever heard of leading my example? How they can lecture the rest of us on various moral questions (e.g. to do with social security) and behave like this I have no idea. Their children must be monsters if these were their parents and role models.

    • toad 13.2

      Apparently $30,000 of public funds were spent on her trip to China. Just because none of that was expended on the dinner itself doesn’t suddenly make the dinner private.

      And if the dinner were private, why was a senior Chinese border control official Collins won’t name present at it?

      A month ago, Key said:

      “Judith had a responsibility when she was asked the questions not just to answer the question directly but to tell me and the New Zealand public everything that had gone on,” he said.

      After her performance in Parliament yesterday, surely he has to sack her.

    • framu 13.3

      “Judith Collins had a private dinner.” – with oravida staff and chinese border officials

      now – also keep in kind the claims or conflict of interest re oravida visit, that oravida donated to a charity which turned out to be the nats, that oravida donates big time to the nats, that collins attended a planned and announced visit to oravida, that oravida has pics of the nats plastered around their offices, that collins and her husband stand to gain from oravida doing well in china and that all of this happened on a taxpayer visit in her role as justice minister (not trade minister)

      do you understand that? It would appear you dont.
      if i drew two dots in front of you could you join them with a pen? – it appears you cant

    • felix 13.4

      You’re quite right fisiani.

      Judith Collins took an official publicly-funded Ministerial trip and used it – along with her Ministerial status – for private meetings to advance her private interests.

      That’s kinda the whole point.

    • Puckish Rogue 13.5

      But but but…”Hollow men!”

      Hope that answers it

      • One Anonymous Bloke 13.5.1

        So, your answer to Judith Collins’ corrupt behaviour is to allege that “Labour did it too.” Which just goes to show that when you wankers bleat on about personal responsibility, you’re lying.

        • Puckish Rogue 13.5.1.1

          No my answer was that the left, when faced with any response to their claims, generally start bleating on about unproven stuff

          • One Anonymous Bloke 13.5.1.1.1

            So, just to be clear, you’re saying that Cunliffe admits an error and pays the money back, and Judith Collins and her close friends and family are above the law, and I’m saying that you’re a sycophantic hypocrite.

            • fisiani 13.5.1.1.1.1

              The Cunliffe refuses to name his donors. Judith Collins broke no law. Pot Kettle Black.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Sure, you can pretend their actions are equivalent. It’s an empty pretence, and demonstrates quite clearly that your rhetoric about personal responsibility is nothing but lies.

                Collins is never going to be Prime Minister. She’s never even going to lead the National Party. Rotten milk stains something chronic, the Oravida stink lingers, and the longer she denies her tainted status the more the stain spreads. I’m loving it.

                • Puckish Rogue

                  Naah its a beltway issue and JC will lead National one day

                  • McFlock

                    Being corrupt was once an impediment to leading National. Now it’s a requirement.

                    • North

                      Plus 10,000 there McFlock. You’re a pussy if you’re an honest one. Not a mover and a shaker at all just a dick who people should scoff at. Sick aye ?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    What’s that stink? It smells like dead meat in rancid cream. No, it’s just Judith Collins :lol:

    • North 13.6

      ‘Private’ FizzyAnus – Judy’s loyal little soldier – you shoud be angry at Collins. She’s cocked up massively. Let you down. You know it. Worse she now compounds it by redoubling the arrogance, entitlement and exceptionalism. The very character flaws that got her in this shit in the first place.

      I partly blame the likes of you FizzyAnus. Encouraged the prideful bully by your adoration you have. Fool, you’ve enabled her, fed her hubris.

      Who you gonna choose when your other idol ShonKey Python smacks her down for welching on the contrition on his orders forced out like a stubborn stool ? He’s gotta do something. If he rationalises “not my ministerial responsibility” or sits on his hands he’s as good as licensing her to tell him to get fucked.

      My God, you’ll need counselling Fizz. No worries. ACC funding in what after all is a train wreck. You’re lucky they’re not ‘private’ yet Fizz’. Probably tell ya to get fucked were they.

      • fisiani 13.6.1

        Obviously moderation is off duty. New Zealand really does not care who Judith Collins had dinner with. Grant Robertson pretends that it is really really important. Why? What interest does he have in winning in September. None. Who benefits when The Cunliffe loses? the Caucus favourite. Why is Robertson wasting time on trivial issues rather than the big issues that will win for Labour, Tax, Spend, Borrow and Nationalise.. Oh right I suppose I’ve answered my own question.

        • North 13.6.1.1

          Oh FizzyAnus how come you think you can speak for New Zealand dork ? That’s Collinsesque to a tee. That’s ShonKey Python to a tee. Claiming to know, claiming to care. When it’s all about self self self. That’s the essence of Planet Key. You’re in for some sadness nutter. All your idols are crumbling. Goooooood job !

          You haven’t answered your own question dork. You’ve just gulped in then spat out some of that stuff that resides in your nethers. Fool. Fuck Off to SlaterPorn !

        • Murray Olsen 13.6.1.2

          Aw Fizzy, you win a free voucher for an hour of entertainment at the Gusher CBT club. People might not care about the name of a Chinese official, but they do care about corruption, and they do care about being lied to. Worst of all for you, they care about being treated with contempt. MP by MP, it is becoming increasingly obvious that your favourite party is a rotting zombie that infects everything it touches.

        • lprent 13.6.1.3

          Releases and release fatigue..

  14. Tracey 14

    how many times has she dined or lunch with the official who is a personal friend?

    has he visited her in nz?

    its funny watching fisiano of the shock horror signed a painting for charity sackable offence, defending collins.

  15. One Anonymous Bloke 15

    If Tories weren’t so stupid they’d be a lot better at corruption. Take Oravida, for example: it wasn’t enough for them to buy the National Party, they had to go and display their trophy photos for all to see, and now all that money, all those dinners, all that carefully nurtured greed, all for nothing.

    Never mind, Tories, I’m sure there are plenty of non corrupt regular New Zealand milk export businesses who don’t need their very own Minister of Justice to get ahead.

  16. One Anonymous Bloke 16

    The unsavoury lease agreements for MFAT and the NZTE? Gone by lunchtime. Not the sort of people the Crown should be associating with.

  17. Tracey 17

    do we think that the chinese government, authoritarian and brutal, doesnt already know who the official dining with collins is? if we believe they do, it cannot be collins desire to protect the official from its government.

    • Huginn 17.1

      I don’t know about that,
      The Chinese government can be brutal. They may know, but that doesn’t mean that they’re going to be happy about the whole world knowing if all comes out in Parliament here.

      Collins may not be able to protect the official, but she may not want to be the one who puts the boot in either.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 17.2

      That’s drawing a long bow. I doubt the “help” he provides Oravida will be as effective if everyone knows he’s doing it: that’s reason enough for anonymity.

      PS: “Kim, if I help you in the future it’s better no one knows…”

  18. aerobubble 18

    Who paid for the dinner then?

    • ianmac 18.1

      Judith was asked in the House a week or two ago who had paid for the dinner and she said she had no idea, but added that the NZ Taxpayer didn’t.

      • Anne 18.1.1

        Has anyone asked Judith Collins why the Chinese border official was invited to the “private dinner party between friends” when she had never met him before? Was it for services rendered on behalf of her businessman husband…?

        Does that mean her husband might have paid for the dinner that she claims “she doesn’t know who paid for it”?

        • One Anonymous Bloke 18.1.1.1

          He was there to get the impression that Oravida is an important company that has its very own Minister of Justice. Think of the opportunities!

      • dv 18.1.2

        If you go to a ‘private dinner, and someone else pays.
        Would you say Thank you

        Perhaps not thank your husband though, but then you would know wouldn’t you?

  19. rob 19

    Judith Collins is corrupt .
    Bill English cannot remember 21%
    I’d say they both are road kill
    Let alone Parata or that guy from Tauranga with no sense of NZ geography or parliamentary history
    He was a crown prosecutor for gods sack
    How many innocents got sent down and how many crimes got off ?

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  • The judiciary doesn’t take electoral crime seriously either
    That's the only conclusion which can be drawn from John Banks' laughable sentence for filing a false electoral return. A hundred hours of community service and an evening curfew for deliberately attempting to undermine our democracy? Well, that will encourager...
    No Right Turn | 31-07
  • Feed: Food Show 2014: Not Bad
    There are a number of things you can count on at The Food Show in Auckland. Among them: the stall immediately to the left of the entry to the hall is always a busy one. It's most people's first stop,...
    Public Address | 31-07
  • And justice has been seen to be done
    So the first line of John Banks' future obituary has now been written: "John Banks, former mayor of Auckland and a long serving MP and Minister for the National and Act Parties who was convicted of falsely reporting contributions to...
    Pundit | 31-07
  • People talking’ #17
    It being the weekend that truffle growers from all over New Zealand meet to discuss their trade and to eat the fruits of their endeavours, I will be absent from the Hot Topic helm for the next few days. Please...
    Hot Topic | 31-07
  • Gordon Campbell on the rise of ISIS, and Labour
    While global attention got distracted by the fate of MH17 and the atrocities in Gaza, the world’s other mega ‘bad news’ story – the rise of ISIS-led fundamentalism in Iraq – has reached a tipping point. Reportedly, the ISIS fighters...
    Gordon Campbell | 31-07
  • Wet bus ticket
    So John Archibald Banks has been convicted and sentenced for electoral fraud. Good. But the sentence is a complete joke. Here's what he got: 100 hours of community service. That's about 12 days of community work. A bit light, but...
    Polity | 31-07
  • Banks follows fathers footsteps
    For over three years after it became common knowledge that John Banks had intentionally filed a false electoral return, the National led government has relied on the disgraced MP's support to pass numerous controversial policies.Unfortunately National was allowed to continue...
    The Jackal | 31-07
  • Ministerial eating competition
    What if National wins a third term? The prospect, while unlikely, is worth considering. I think one thing we could do to lighten the mood if National wins is to run an eating competition