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Renewed questions over Sensible Sentencing Trust & GEO Group

Written By: - Date published: 10:59 am, April 16th, 2010 - 44 comments
Categories: crime, prisons, The Standard - Tags: ,

Given National’s announcement of the first private prison, it’s appropriate to renew the questions about links between the leading advocates of harsher prison sentences in New Zealand, the Sensible Sentencing Trust and GEO Group, a US private prison operation that changed its name after its previous title, Wackenhut Corrections, became a byword for corruption and abuse. Who is really behind this privatisation and longer sentences agenda? It’s time Sensible Sentencing came public on its funding sources.

Here is Tane’s post from last year raising those questions, followed by Lynn’s on Sensible Sentencing’s intriguing non-denial:

One of the features of a privatised prison system is the potential for corruption of the political process by the commercial interests of private prison operators.

Thanks to Tom in the comments it’s come to light that GEO Group, the company formerly known as Wackenhut and main contender for National’s privatised prisons, has funded ‘tough on crime’ lobby groups in the US to help fill their private prisons and improve their profit margins.

CCA and The GEO Group are major contributors to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), a Washington, D.C. based public policy organization that develops model legislation that advances tough-on-crime legislation and free-market principles such as privatization.

Under their Criminal Justice Task Force, ALEC has developed and helped to successfully implement in many states ‘tough on crime’ initiatives including ‘Truth in Sentencing’ and ‘Three Strikes’ laws. Corporations provide most of the funding for ALEC’s operating budget and influence its political agenda through participation in policy task forces. ALEC’s corporate funders include CCA and The GEO Group. In 1999, CCA made the President’s List for contributions to ALEC’s States and National Policy Summit; Wackenhut also sponsored the conference. Past cochairs of the Criminal Justice Task Force have included Brad Wiggins, then Director of Business Development at CCA and now a Senior Director of Site Acquisition, and John Rees, a former CCA vice president.

By funding and participating in ALEC’s Criminal Justice Task Forces, critics argue, private prison companies directly influence legislation for tougher, longer sentences.

Could the same thing be happening here? The extremely well funded and media savvy Sensible Sentencing Trust has come to dominate our public discussion on law and order in recent years but they’ve steadfastly refused to reveal where their funding is coming from. Their policy platform of “truth in sentencing” and “three strikes” matches ALEC’s right down to the rhetoric.

As we’ve pointed out in the past, the SST has gone to such lengths to hide their funding that they’ve publicly refused to comply with the Electoral Finance Act and have even declined to register under the Charities Act despite the tax benefits, because doing so would force some transparency over who’s paying the bills.

In the interests of democracy, now would be the time to start putting some hard questions to Garth McVicar about whether his organisation has received any funding or help from GEO Group, Corrections Corporation of America or any other private prison company or interest group. And while we’re at it, it might just pay to ask ACT and National too.

—————————————————-

Yesterday Tane did an excellent post speculating on links between the Sensible Sentencing Trust and GEO Group. GEO Group derived from the notorious Wackenhut Corrections and it now wants to run privately run and publically funded prisons in NZ. In the US, the GEO Group supports organizations preaching almost exactly the messages as the SST does here.

What has been really intriguing was the reaction (or rather the lack of it) from the supporters of the Sensible Sentencing Trust in the blogosphere. The only response has been a press release from Garth McVicar. This interesting document contains the usual attack lines on The Standard culled from the wingnut sites. Perhaps he should read our About which clearly states what type of site this is, the diversity of opinion of the writers, and who funds it. That way he will avoid the earlier gaffs by Bill English on that subject.

The few points in the press release that do not relate to our site, carefully avoid the question of funding of the Sensible Sentencing Trust. It looks like badly written classic PR misdirection.

The Sensible Sentencing Trust is funded by public donations and receives no government funding.

It doesn’t state that they have or have not received any donations from GEO Group because their ‘public’ donations are not available to public scrutiny. They get donations received from the ‘public’, which could include donations from GEO Corp.

They even had the audacity to suggest that someone should ask who was paying my salary.

Tane didn’t even mention who was paying for Garth McVicar, just the funding of the Sensible Sentencing Trust in relation to private prison operators.

This press release raises even more questions about the role of the Sensible Sentencing Trust and its underlying financial support than it clears. It would have been easy for Garth to simply say that they have not received donations from private prison operators. That was not done, which makes the silence on this subject extremely interesting.

So I’ll reiterate the points and questions that Tane raised that the SST should answer …

The extremely well funded and media savvy Sensible Sentencing Trust has come to dominate our public discussion on law and order in recent years but they’ve steadfastly refused to reveal where their funding is coming from. Their policy platform of ‘truth in sentencing’ and ‘three strikes’ matches ALEC’s right down to the rhetoric.

As we’ve pointed out in the past, the SST has gone to such lengths to hide their funding that they’ve publicly refused to comply with the Electoral Finance Act and have even declined to register under the Charities Act despite the tax benefits, because doing so would force some transparency over who’s paying the bills.

In the interests of democracy, now would be the time to start putting some hard questions to Garth McVicar about whether his organisation has received any funding or help from GEO Group, Corrections Corporation of America or any other private prison company or interest group.

These are legitimate questions to ask a lobby group that is pushing for changes in public policy and therefore public funding. Garth McVicar should answer those questions unequivocally and without the deliberate ambuigity of his last press release. If not, then perhaps the NACT government should ask them of their SST member David Garrett. The formation of public policy should be done in a transparent way, and not distorted by the private interference of a beneficary of those policy changes.

44 comments on “Renewed questions over Sensible Sentencing Trust & GEO Group”

  1. Lizzy 1

    It is incorrect they’ve failed to register with charities commission. Members have made submissions to CC to effect that CCs initial decline of registration as it considered SST to be a lobby group not engaged in enough charitable work to be wrong. I’ve seen the decline letter – its been well publicised in media. SST continues to await approval unless the application was withdrawn so far as I know. Is the article writer seeking to mislead in stating no charities application was/is made, or do they have inside info that SST is not in earnest seeking registration?
    It’s hard to imagine why a Corp would fund SST to promote strikes given the policy on thetable really is so weak it won’t up prison musters. That would be a tupid corporation. And if SST had a big benefactor then why is it seeking in recent submissions (see website sub re victim rights) to become Government funded? Maybe the conspiracy theorists ound here are paranoid…

    • Pascal's bookie 1.1

      It’s hard to imagine why a Corp would fund SST to promote strikes given the policy on thetable really is so weak it won’t up prison musters.

      So are you saying that corps would prefer tougher things, like those the SST lobby for?

      And if SST had a big benefactor then why is it seeking in recent submissions (see website sub re victim rights) to become Government funded?

      Why wouldn’t they?

    • Um, if they have not registered then it is correct that they have failed to register with the Charities Commission.

      It should be very easy for the SST to get registration. If their purposes are the assistance of victims and the education of the public these are eminently charitable purposes. All they would need to do is amend their constitution. Of course then they may have to give up the overtly political role they currently have and actually base their pronouncements in reality.

      By not registering they invite this speculation to be made. The benefit to them is that they do not have to disclose how they are funded.

      They can remove this speculation by releasing information of their funding.

      I wonder if they will?

    • lprent 1.3

      This post is a composite of two posts from last year, which reflects the information available at the time.

      Personally I haven’t been around SST’s website since then, because it was a rather turgid experience last time (and Tane is doing a sabbatical from the site).

      I’d be pretty interested in looking at the reasons in that decline letter. But in essence from my perspective I’d agree with the CC. It has been hard over the last few years to see charity work going on that isn’t directly related to lobbying.

      The 3 strikes however is merely the (stupid) end of the spectrum. During the time that the SST has been operating as a lobby group in the media, it has been noticeable that the legislation for sentences has continuously increased, and the sentences handed down by judges has markedly increased. I think that SST had a considerable part in that by providing nice juicy fear stories for the media.

      This is largely during a period where crime, both violent and non-violent, has been falling in almost every category in a manner that makes sentencing unlikely to be a consideration because it has been so consistent across all types. That hasn’t been in the media much. It implies that the better economic times and increase in the size of the police force have more to do with it than daft sentences.

      Meanwhile the SST is incredibly secretive about their funding, which inevitably leads to questions about their motivations. All they really have to do is to make that reasonably transparent.

  2. DeeDub 2

    It’s fairly easy for SST to nip any conspiracy theories in the bud then Lizzy. All they have to do is publicly deny they have received any donations from GEO or anyone like them. It is strange to me that they seem unwilling to do that?

  3. Bright Red 3

    And, Lizzy, a private trust is free to open its books even if its not a registered charity.

    If you’re so well-informed that you’ve seen the decline letter from the Charities Commission, perhaps you can say why won’t SST say who’s funding it?

  4. Lizzy 4

    I don’t know who pays for our lunches and I don’t like that – much of the meat is off McVicars farm. All sorts of people and interests are members all pushing to influence policy – which of course arises some conflict – I may be wrong but I perceive a slight Nat guiding hand behind which voices triumph. moderate voices have ensured ratified policy ws not as extreme as some motions in original form.
    Senior Nats are open re membership. It is not a homogenous org having thousands of members. Many are hard core Labour and “working class”.
    The charities comm letter with decline reasons was misinformed and a clear beat up. It assumed only the lobbying activities seen in media constitute SST work. It legalistically cited select Garthism media statements, and some website content to prove high lobbying activity levels. This misrepresents the scope of work – a huge amount of victim support occurs, which many members have written to CC to highlight and which Victim support is rightly threatened by. Vic support is neutered to express real victim gripes by its Govt funding.
    To qualify your “charitable” activities such as victim support must exceed on balance your lobbying eg Sallies lobby and do a lot of hands on aid. This is what SST needs to make a case for, and has pleaded and is per Garth now awaiting a final verdict as to registration. This is not the same as “not registering” – it is in process.
    The process for building policy and making subs is not sophisticated for a large org – it does need to get better educated human resource to analyse research etc but I think some ideas get up steam simply by the democratic inclusiveness of all comers. A lot of victim members are lower socioeconomic and not tertiary educated and this reflects in the quality of analysis / subs at times. Other members have good skills. It’s a mixed bag and charities only get the professionalism they can afford. I prefer funds go to the important conferences where support and networking and workshops that look at and deal with current real time issues occurs (making a diffrence for ironing out serous issues faced by the latest reluctant media darlings in order that next victims won’t face same same), than to pay a bunch of policy analysts.
    If Labour cant beat the buggers more members should join and work to improve the best of policy and perhaps let the rest die natural deaths. Labour is making a mistake with the discredit and stereotype approach. If they don’t align and seek working relations with a major voice for the trampled others will moreso.

    • lprent 4.1

      I’m a bit restricted in bandwidth to respond at present (left my cellphone at home today), and I’m sure you’ll get a lot of comment anyway. But I’d make one point about what appears to be a misconception on your part…

      I haven’t seen the Labour party make a statement on the SST except as a side-issue on policy.

      This site isn’t the Labour party, isn’t funded by them, and isn’t controlled by them. The only connection is that some of the authors (like me) are members of the Labour party, along with a number of other organisations that we’re interested in. Many of the authors have no connection to the Labour party and get peeved when people assume that they are. Read the about. This is a site set up to talk about politics from a left perspective.

      Now my political approach is generally pretty centerist and frequently centre-right. From my perspective the SST looks suspiciously like some of the lobby groups set up in the US by the private prison and law enforcement lobby to boost their business. That is a major issue for me when considering much of what the SST says. It obviously for many others here as well. In particular the emphasis that the SST continues to have on sentencing in their lobbying when there is no clear evidence that has much of a deterent effect, or does much apart from boosting the prison population.

  5. ianmac 5

    Lizzy: “This misrepresents the scope of work a huge amount of victim support occurs,”
    It seems to me that the SST uses victims’ distress to further their cause. I cannot believe that it serves well victims or the families of victims, to be plastered over the media. And for a long time afterwards. So in my book shame on Garth McVicar for doing what he does.
    I can however sympathise with the agony of victims and that of their families. Just abhor the “using” of them by the unscrupulous.

  6. ianmac 6

    And I wonder if a group was receiving significant funding, would it worry the group too much to not have CC approval. Why not go through the motions of applying to distract the suspicious lot, so that you can say we did try but keep the funding obscured?

  7. Lizzy 7

    Ianmac – you’re pretty wrong there. The victims wilfully whore their own distress to help progress victim rights. They are consenting adults. It doesn’t harm – it empowers. I know people prefer sanitise reality for their own comfort but showing the pain is unfortunately the primo way to further agendas that aid the victim sector and thereby society ultimately. No pressure is applied to vics to media pander. I’venever sen the “using of vics by the unscrupulous” in long dealings. Vics get media exposure like it or not so they may as well be supported and assisted to deal with it. SST gives media training en masse by having journos tell us how the game works. That is the opposite of exploitation. It is letting media persons of integrity help us gear up. We are told its our right to tell media to bugger off if we want and SST will be right behind us if we do. Such info from professionals is valuable. Media has a formula – it likes to portray victims tears and angst, we’d as happily show them our recovery stories too but they just aint interested in that. Support from SST – including media management training – is not harmful to victims. The suicide rate among SST members I’d say is lower than among non members who’ve suffered homicide. The concerted attempt to portray Rita Croskery, susan couch, kelly piggot and others as pawns kept in perpetual victimhood is laughable when you know these people. They are survivors who’ve embarked on an important journey to raise understanding of crimes effects and the need for a better plan.

    Repost from post by Verona under article re Russel Brown GM interview

    Members on the whole aren’t vengeance freaks all THEY seek (they do rather than being manipulated to) is comprehensive improvement of the system as negotiated by victims. The SST has achieved time and again where no other org or quango has eg grants to homicide victims which is standard to cover outrageous system participation costs overseas. I’d even say victim rights advances of sorts which have no bearing on offender treatment is the primary business of SST. The focus on aspects of sentencing is fully warranted. Large numbers of members had their relatives killed by people on bail or early parole after serious crimes including rape murders, that made their high risk to the public obvious.

    The measures sought are attempts to close loopholes that are ridiculous. Why should people drive while awaiting hearings for drink driving? Why should the Judges get away with insane sentences that frequently are beyond belief? A watchdog os certainly needed. After the Roper report and the Waitangi Ttibunal agreement by Durie with the Crown in the 80’s to relinquish treaty rights to a seperate justice system on the condition of one that avoided imprisonment so far as possible we swung to a system that the criminally inclined considered a joke.

    McVicar admits to brushes in the law in his youth and feels it right he got the message where the line was from real sanctions. The SSTs concern is with sociopaths who cannot be made safe for public exposure the more time people with high levels of sociopathy are kept behind bars the fewer oportunities they have to gratify their predatory natures. As a prison nurse I know they don’t reform that’s science. SST also supports broken windows policing as it works. Not the namby pamby stuff. Alongside that the bulk of members are sane enough to see the importance of contributing to a supportive uplifting caring community. Some of the more time advanced victims quietly commit to a lot of at risk youth work. They are hardly blue rinsers.

    The SST provides a very caring understanding community to people of high needs such as most people will never know. Oldies withhold judgement of newbies who are often in anger stages and give listening ears that noone in the public is often able to offer. Newbies get hope by seeing the calm and survivorship of oldies. Sometimes Mothers who’ve lost daughters hook up with daughters who’ve lost Mothers. It is a very special group of people with pure intent to make a difference for the benefit of those not affected yet. Stupidity is not an entry qualification, many do a lot of homework on crime prevention. This feeds into SST policy, and members make individual efforts as well. It’s grass roots and I hope it remins so.

    Garths not a real redneck, if anything he just plays the part in a bit of theatre sports to bring needed attention to our cause. But he’s not the Devils advocate he fights inventively for victims. Look at the long haul support of the RSA victims. Without his support they’d just get crapped on 4 eva buy our so caring State that caused their tragedies through heinous offender processing.
    You want real rednecks go to the States and see the pro death penalty campaigners. Big diff.

  8. Lizzy 8

    BTW it’s not new policies upping prison musters. A report by Labour back in 2003 that was toured round all the marae predicted the inmate number blow out based entirely on projections relating to the 1990’s brown baby boom. It showed something like 1 in 4 kohanga reo kids needed a bed booked. And showed crime declining in other groups – similr levels to Scandinavia.

    Labour and the Nats have passed many policies and laws to reduce jail likelihood and average sentence since. Home detentions extension to serious violent offenders / drink drivers etc. In November they reduced the max sentence for drug impaird driving causing death from 5 to 3 years. The presumption is diversion for the commonest offences such as cannabis possession. Ministry of Justice is constantly seeking policy and legal adjustments to further reduce jail risk.

    While the max for murder has been increased this does not effect musters as high sentences are only handed out sporadically to high profile media cases to create an impression toughening up. Increased maxes don’t affect benchmarks – this would require set minimums which there has not been drive for.

    NZ is only overimprisoned because we’re a criminally oriented and violent culture. But if we did not deliver baby food cotton wool sentences that average far far lower than tariffs in most OECD countries and applied typical overseas sentences our already high muster would likely double. Tough justice simply isn’t politically or fiscally do-able here, it would remove too many voters from polling booths and taxpayers from the pool. Any “toughening” by the SST machinations is therefore likely to be trivial (has been allalong) or faux to impress post war baby boom Nat voters.
    The overall trend on close analysis is steady liberalisation.

  9. ianmac 9

    Lizzie. You are a passionate advocate for your cause. There are many who no doubt benefit from SST support.
    You say:”They are survivors who’ve embarked on an important journey to raise understanding of crimes effects and the need for a better plan.”
    My trouble is that I agree with that intent but totally disagree with your solution.
    We all agree that the fewer than 100 really serious dangerous people should be kept safely from society, but to lump all the criminals in that category is just wrong.
    I worry that you may be involved with this with the right intentions but “mislead” by those with another agenda. Good luck and thanks for fronting up.

  10. Lizzy 10

    There are not fewer than 100 really seriously dangerous offenders. Ask womens refuge how many severe bashers they’re dealing with repeatedly. Check how many mad bads are committed under the mental health and crimes act to forensic words exactly because they represent a severe danger. How many murderers are incarcerated presently – the greatest predictor of future violence is past violence.
    A couple of forensic wards in each main centre nearly tally 100. I’ve been case manager for at least 100 dangerous prior killers and I’m just one person. One to four % of the population are sociopaths with raised likelihood of being serious dangers. There are more than 100 criminal gang members in NZ and recruitment procedures ensurethese persons have capability to violence. And then we have tens of thousands of repeat drunk drivers who pose 100x more risk than jo blow of killing you or even occasionally a whole family suicide bomber style.
    Your sums aren’t good. Prisons mediate and mitigate risk exposure to dangerous persons who are best seen behind bars and not heard for the maximal possible time. SST is not for general imprisonment – it wants the prisons to discharge petty bed cloggers and reassign their holiday camp flats to those fit for institutionalisation. In the 1960s Manson said please I don’t want to go back out in that crazy world. He knew his best niche was inside – pity for a dozen odd victims that the liberals could not stomach the reality. I know of persons clearly dangerous pushee outside of prison by do-gooders and parole boards who were totally against release who then deliberately went out and stabbed people as they felt it was their only ticket home.
    Every society since time immemorial has had people unfit for public release – the % remains quite constant, and the most humane thing is to keep them in a controlled environment. As I see it SST is just advocating for this prisoner right to protect us and them from themselves. Identify the threats, isolate the threats humanely – everyone lives happily ever after.
    Instead we have Graham Burtons and Wiliam Bells running round on P as Parole Boards love ‘em.
    Parole Boards and sentencing Judges failing to uphold their social contract. I’d ask you how you’d feel if your kid or gran was murdered by a caught red handed rapist murderer on bail as he awaits trail. Such stories are the norm among SST members. No smoke without fire.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. Any society or organisation that seeks to manipulate political power must open up all it’s sources of funding for public review.

  12. ianmac 12

    Lizzie: There are so many points that you make that I can’t manage to raise points about them all. I was sure that you said you were a prison nurse then you are a case manager for more than 100 murderers. A bit confusing as it would define your credibility a bit. However I accept your sincerity.
    I still have concerns about your defining of very serious offenders and I think that there are less than 100 seriously terrible people in NZ who may be beyond help. Put them aside.
    It is probable that of the other 8,000 could be helped to be part of society, instead of being damned to a life of prison.
    You seem to want to abolish Parole. What happens when prisoners are released?
    What happens to the need of prisoners to learn to read or do maths?
    What happens to those who would respond to a drug/alcohol programme?
    What would happen if beginners were part of a restorative program?
    You see the message SST gives me is:
    Increase Sentencing for criminals.
    Avoid putting money skills into rehabitation.
    They are all losers.
    Anyone who says otherwise are mamby pamby wishy washy doggoders.
    The original question raised by the “Standard” was over SST funding. I don’t think you have addressed this.

  13. Lizzy 13

    Programming does not change risks pose by bona fide sociopaths who are far more than 100 of he 8000+ doing the jail rounds. There is no “cure” for sociopathy. SST is not against rehab for suitable people – it is for not pushing crap uphill with those not suited. SST arguments aren’t generalised “they’re all losers” ones. SST is against Rest justice as it is being run not as a concept.
    The policy is to abolish parole for the worst offenders but not to then release them wthout any follow up. A period of supervision after the sentence is what is proposed. Complicated legally but that’s the idea. Do the time – none of this make believe sentencing in saying in fromnt of victims and the Press the killer gets 10 years then slyly renegging by bringing up parole in say 5, then forcing vics who don’t agree, likely with rational cause, to attend traumatising parole hearings every few months for the next 5 years. That is pure deception and corruption. If Judges lie about sentences to sociopaths this just enhances their oerception the system isn’t serious and can be manipulated. Certainty of firm limits is a basic requirement for behaviour modification. We don’t need this “hey there’s a law you get a serious sentence but hey we’re only joking to keep up appearances”. Get real.

    Back to the funding issue – yes I agree it should be revealed but why would you do that just for prurient interests of clear opponents, when the normal process is to do it via charity registration. Also I thought all workers were voluntary but smewhere here its claimd GM is salaried. Registration is a matter SST is attempting – they’d not do this if desperate to hide interests in the long term. The Q vaguely remains of why not just fully disclose now regardless. Or is there stalling going on for a reason other than a sane wish not to give ammo to enemies hmmm? Most intriguing.

    • aj 13.1

      Re funding. It a simple matter of if there is nothing to hide, then reveal it.
      Anything short of full disclosure inevitabley leads to the conclusion there is something to hide.

  14. Rex Widerstrom 14

    If I get time later today I’ll make some more substantive comments (well done The Standard for re-raising the question).

    In the meantime I’ll just point out that it’s not just the SSTpotentially being bought out. A coterie of kaumatua couldn’t wait to get their noses in G4S’s trough… including none other than Tuku Morgan, who says it’s all about “what’s best for Maori”.

    Well one Maori, anyway. Guess his underwear drawer needs replenishing.

  15. Jared 15

    So theres no proof that the SST is backed by GEO Group, you just think it might? Conclusive huh?
    I remember not so long ago alleging SAM CASH was one of Len Brown’s campaign team only to be threatened with being banned from this website. Isn’t it ironic that Draco T Bastard comes out with “Any society or organisation that seeks to manipulate political power must open up all it’s sources of funding for public review.” yet The Standard won’t even make one of its authors admit they are part of Len Brown’s campaign team?

    [lprent: We don't make anyone declare who they are in real life. That includes authors and commentators. You can read their opinions and decide if they make sense or not. The only time we get interested in who people are in real life is if they claim to be someone and we want to ensure that they aren't trying to do an identity theft.

    We're also quite clear about where our minuscule sources of funding are and have always done so - it is in the about and a number of posts on the subject. Just for your benefit and to make sure you can't claim ignorance, I'll detail them again.

    Currently this site costs about $140 per month to run after rising from $100 per month a couple of months ago. Over the years it has been as high as $150/month and as low as nothing apart from time on my systems.

    Over the last 2 and half years, the costs have been paid for by me with some donations recently from the donate button by individuals helping out. Over the last 8 months donations in the range of $25 - $100 have managed to pay for the majority of the costs (thanks to those who contribute). Consequently we are not beholden to anyone.

    The increasing traffic is pushing our costs up which is why we're moving to a trust arrangement so we can get a bank account rather than just having a paypal account for paying for the server (and donations). The new server going online this weekend will shift our costs to $240 per month, which is why we now have advertising to help pay for it. However we're perfectly capable of dropping back to funding it from donations from readers and contributions by authors if we have to.

    But of course we don't run around the country to every available media forum and doing victim exposure for the media, so our costs are minimal. The cost structure for SST looks to be on a completely different order to what we have, so authors here have been asking who finances them. It is a legitimate question because of the obscurity with which the SST holds over their finances. ]

    • Armchair Critic 15.1

      Go and have your cry somewhere else.
      You turned up with stuff you can’t back up and got called on it. My recollection is that all you did on SC’s post was attack the author; you completely failed to address the subject of the post.
      Now you suggest that, based on a comment by someone who is not anything to do with the site (AFAIK DtB is not an author here and has nothing to do with running the site), a privately run website should be run to the same level of accountability as a lobby group. FFS, what next? Should friends who turn up at the pub to discuss politics be forced to bring their pay slips and tax returns?
      Can you not spot the difference between The Standard and SST?

      • Jared 15.1.1

        Come off it Armchair! I called the author on the fact that they are scaremongering by insinuating the SST are backed by the GEO Group without any discernible and qualified evidence. If you want to allege something, at least have evidence.
        Both this Author and My point was that if you are pushing a political message you should disclose your backers/interests. In the case of Sam Cash the last 18 posts have been about criticising John Banks and C&R. Now, either he has a hard on for Len Brown, or he has forgotten that there are other players in the mayoral race, but it would seem (and I have it on good authority) that he is working for Len Brown on his campaign. 18 out of 25 posts about John Banks and the regularity of the posts (1 year gap between last posts and the campaign against John Banks) would indicate otherwise.

        But let me reiterate. The questions asked by the posts author question who is behind the SST and its campaign, and so is mine. Why the author on here is allowed to question who is behind the SST and I am not allowed to question who is behind Sam Cash is beyond me. It smacks of hypocrisy and a hidden agenda. If you want one side to be transparent, be transparent yourself.

        • Armchair Critic 15.1.1.1

          “Why the author on here is allowed to question who is behind the SST and I am not allowed to question who is behind Sam Cash is beyond me.”
          Wild stab in the dark – it’s because you are not an author here. Perhaps you should start your own blog.
          I still don’t get why you care who Sam Cash is. Your obsession seems to verge on unhealthy. Maybe he does work for Len Brown, maybe he doesn’t, I have no idea. Either way, John Banks would not make a good mayor of Auckland.

          • Jared 15.1.1.1.1

            What does it matter if im an author on here or not. Authenticity is not determined on author rights, and never should be. If that was the case the herald could print any thing they like with the defence that the critics weren’t an author, thus they had no right.

            My obsession is one of truth. Sam Cash is clearly on a campaign to damage John Banks (which is ironic considering banks voters are hardly likely to visit the standard) yet he won’t reveal his name ([guess deleted -- r0b]) or who he works for (Len Brown).

            The point it is, regardless of if I am an author, if the OP is asking the SST to reveal who they work for, why is SAM CASH behind a veil? aren’t they both the same circumstances? and if one is questioning why they wont reveal their backing why can’t the other also without reprimand?

            [lprent: Adding you to the auto-moderation queue. You've been warned about speculating about authors before. I won't bother banning you, it is going to be more fun to embellish your comments with notes when you walk near the line. Besides, usually your comments are actually readable opinions. ]

            • Pascal's bookie 15.1.1.1.1.1

              Jared, the SST is being asked if it is backed by private prison operators. This is because they back similar orgs in the US.

              You simply assert things about Sam Cash. SC writes about the ak race and clearly doesn’t like Banks. Big deal. Private citizens can do that.

              Now you claim to have it on ‘good authority’ that SC is linked to the Brown campaign. Fair enough. ‘What authority?’ is a fair question. A little disclosure on your own part might not go amiss if you want to be consistent.

              Also worth noting: There is a fundamental difference between private citizens working/volunteering for political candidates, and corporations backing supposedly grassroots lobby groups to effect policy. If you can’t see that difference, that says more about you than the Standard. The difference is there though, so your little hypocrisy distraction fails the first hurdle. Non-equivalence.

              • Jared

                My sources aren’t quotable. Needless to say, we mix in the same group and its a difficult secret to keep. Also, previously I asked if Sam Cash worked for Len Brown’s campaign only to be threatened with being banned, in this case its not just about “private citizens” its about a campaign and if the standard wants disclosure, then I want disclosure, it would seem only fair. In the case of Sam Cash he purports to be a private citizen who cares about the Supercity Mayoral race yet he seems to be a member of one of the candidates campaign.

                It does not matter if it is a corporation or in the case of Sam Cash, someone who holds themselves out as a private citizen but in reality is actually a member of Len Browns team, disclosure is universal. If you represent external parties, hold yourself out as such.

                • lprent

                  I don’t think that Sam has ever proported to be anything. He/she/it has been writing here for as long as The Standard has been running and I can’t remember even a comment by Sam that has ever given a statement about who they are in real life. Frankly I really don’t care anyway.

                  So your argument is with me and the policies of the site. I have a distinct aversion to people trying to guess who authors or commentators writing under a pseudonym are. Doesn’t matter if it is Sam or you, except that I tend to protect authors more (they’re more useful to me). We protect people who write under a pseudonym. The extent of my interest in who people are in real life is limited to figuring out if they are who they claim to be if and only if they are claiming to actually be a specific person – in other words identity theft. Apart from that I look for the banned trying to wok around the ban on a new identity

                  Take the opinion written here and argue for or against it, or leave it – I really don’t care much. Attempt to make assertions about who someone is when you have no evidence apart from simple suspicion and I’ll land on your arse wanting to tear it off and feed it to your lying face. That is just a variant of cyber-stalking. If I don’t know who someone is that is writing here with the evidence I have available, then you have no frigging possibility of being right by simple dumb guesswork.

                  Don’t whine about the house rules because there is f*ck all you can do about them. Just obey them, or leave voluntarily or I’ll ensure that you do leave permanently. It is a pretty simple choice. There is f*ck all you can do about the choices wither.

              • Armchair Critic

                “it would seem only fair”
                FFS – Please go and have your little cry elsewhere.
                The two situations are not equivalent and you seem to be deliberately ignoring the differences.
                As for your sources not being quotable – in saying this you are doing precisely what you are arguing against the authors here doing.
                How about you sort your contradictions out and come back with something (anything) solid, as proof of what you are saying.

        • lprent 15.1.1.2

          Half of my last 50 posts have been about climate change. Most of the other half have been about admin of this site. One I have an obvious interest in, the other is something that I have no conceivable real life interest in apart from a general interest in talking about it. In neither case do I have revenue interest in them – this site costs me.

          If you look at rocky, another in real life known author here, almost all of her posts are about animal welfare. She does this despite never being in a job connected with animal welfare.

          Now I realize that some people like yourself on the political right have a problem with people doing things just because they’re interested in them, but it is almost the norm for those on the left. Trying to look for pecuniary motives may work for some people on the right, but it is usually a pointless exercise for most of those on the left.

          Trying to ‘prove’ something by the types of posts (or comments) that people write around here is the mark of a someone trying hard to make the grade of idiot.

  16. Daveosaurus 16

    For me, the SST lost any credibility they may have once had when they spoke out in support of a violent criminal who hunted down and killed a defenceless teenager.

    • ianmac 16.1

      I think that Lizzy might justify that by saying Mr McVicar was just trying to focus attention on an issue. He surely wouldn’t be suggesting that to kill a lad for graffitti was OK? Not really!

    • Didn’t the SST start as a support group for a bloke threatening violence? If I recall accurately (and please correct me if I’ve got this wrong) the bloke was arrested for trying to deal to someone convicted of some other offence and the SST was a cheer squad for his lawbreaking.

      I guess the real problem is in the name. They claim to be supporting casualties of crime, but their only solution is to lengthen jail terms which obviously does nothing for the victims. Sorry, vics. Really must get used to trivialising the sufferers of crime as the SST’s supporters do.

  17. prism 17

    captcha heat – as in more heat than light I guess. Apart from the huge cost of keeping these men, and women, locked up there is the brutalising effect on those who might have some sense and sensibility still that could be worked on. Breaking the cycle programs would be good to bring back. Cut the ties to gangs for a start where possible.

    Get a short spell in gaol. If there is a willingness to work at improvement, a different mindset give those people a suspended sentence. Keep the bad repeat ones in, the rest of the community don’t want to be rats in a giant laboratory mingling with people who the system hopes will not offend egregiously again, but often do.

  18. Lizzy 18

    I took it a bit like the parent who says “tough bikkies” to a kid who hurts themself doing something they’d been told not to. It was a sentiment of “the moral of the story is don’t screw with others” rather than of “good job he’s dead/killed him”. But of course people will seek to interpret the comments made to fit with their prejudices. Me and you. Only Garth really knows what he may have been thinking and suggesting. Why liberals rush to make negative judgements or to cry racism says more about how they perceive the way the wrd works perhaps – than the merits of the situation. SST has string Maori representation and these are a politically astute race so are a driving force within. Oh of course – they are so colonised they fail to recognise a racist leader. yeah right!

  19. millsy 19

    Hey Lizzy,

    So you think that a fence is worth more than somone’s life then?

    Would you kill someone who was tagging your fence? Be honest now.

    Personally I think the SST are intolerant rednecks, hell bent on throwing people in jail (especially those who are poor and brown), for offences as trivial is littering. And anyone who are associated and supportive with them are racist, homophobic, and intolerant bigots (I wonder if Garth McVicar wants poor people sterilised and homosexualty recriminalised.)

  20. Lizzy 20

    The definition of bigot to me is someone who judges a group they do not know. Enjoy your hate speech ranty, because no such bile comes from your average SST supporter. Oh and stop projecting, I didn’t say I think taggers should die – perhaps that “suspicion” says more about you. Do you think bad things ought happen to SST people maybe?

    • millsy 20.1

      But you more or less implied that you supported a tagger getting murdered in cold blood.

      I have traweled thru press releases from the SST and the message I get is more or less that civil liberties should be suspended, police be given the right to torture offenders, young people be beaten on a regular basis, people should be killed if they step out of line, the poor should be made to live on the street, and brown people by banged up in prison for the slighest offfence. Also, the only family worth having is the two parent family, and all solo mother are whores who breed criminals for as living.

      The SST is so full of white middle class bigotry that it would put the KKK to shame.

      Your a nasty person for associating with them.

      • millsy 20.1.1

        Plus I think McVicar is on record for linking the increase peadophilia and child sexual abuse to the decriminalisation of homosexuality.

  21. Lizzy 21

    Oh puhleeze, if you have truly seen such a character shining through press releases that does not speak to general member beliefs – 10,000 members don’t write the releases, maybe on or two do. If you’re making accusations like that about homophobia you’d better be prepared to bak it up with a quote, because I recall that one member is the partner of a gay guy that was murdered. So it aint adding up sunshine. I do understand, oh yeah, I do, as to how the far left needs a bogeyman to project it’s shadow onto. And is putting McVicar to good use.

    A friend of mine Ingrid Reidel grew up in Nazi Germany which inspired her PhD in myth and Jungian psychology – she has taught me it is a dangerous path you follow when you start demonising and separating yourselves from others by making “badness” judgements. Which is what you do to Garth and just did to me by criticising my association with SST. I doubt you understand even the basics of liberalism versus fascism, when you seek to criticise freedom of association. It is far better to debate arguments on merit and perhaps decide one view is more or less informed or foolish than another, than to ascribe bad character. Ascribing bad character leads to genocide.

    Prescott Bush had poor character in that he funded the Nazi machine, same with Ford who sent Hitler birthday cards and provided vehicles to move the people to concentration camps, same with the US presidents who re-employed 2000 Nazi war criminals, including the scientists that got them on the moon as a good vantage point for nuking those below. I’d appreciate if you would reassign me out of these peoples category. My record so far is of saving a few dozen lives (due to my occupation). Of course if you’d rather I don’t save yours should we meet…

    Economic conditions were worse early last century – 3 or so murders yearly in the 1950’s – a 3000 percent increase today. Are you so dense you do not see that it is the Nanny state and removal of personal responsibilities and community values that has produced this? The human genes didn’t just suddenly sprout a murder chromosone. Think about it, then join the collective responsibility to make changes. C’mon hand ove a $20 mmbership fee then once you get newsletter and suchlike you just may be qualified to speak on the subject of sensible sentencing.

    • millsy 21.1

      So, Lizzy, which of these things do you attribute to the rising of crime:

      1) Universal healthcare – so people get the treatment they need when they are sick regardless of income
      2) Welfare – so people who arent lucky enough to land on their feet get a roof over their head and food in their belly – so you want people on the street?
      3) High mininum wages – god forbid that the money they get from their job should be enough to pay their rent
      4) Decent working conditions – because working 12 hours in a sweatshop would stop people from committing crime would it?
      5) Universal Education
      6) the right to join a trade union
      7) no fault accident insurance
      8) state houseing
      9) civil liberties
      10) the right of children not to be hit

    • millsy 21.2

      If ‘Community Values’ means the following:

      1) forcing women to stay in unhappy marriages
      2) dictating to women what they can do with their own body
      3) thrashing a child with a coathanger until they bleed
      4) single mother having to live in their cars with their children
      5) giving police the power to torture
      6) condoning homophobic bullying
      7) killing young Maori boys for tagging a fence – they did that in Alabama in the 20’s didnt they?

      Then you can stick it where the sun dont shine Lizzy.

      • millsy 21.2.1

        Im guessing you also share McVicar’s views on prison violence and rape. 100% permissive.

        The burgular who had his eyes gouged out by his cell mate and is now a sitting duck, or the young petty thief who get repeatedly raped by his cell mate would get no sympathy from you..

        • millsy 21.2.1.1

          Hey Lizzy where are you? Stringing up a tagger on a lamp post in Remuera I take it?

          A cross made of NZ wood burns nicely doesnt it?

    • NickS 21.3

      Economic conditions were worse early last century 3 or so murders yearly in the 1950’s a 3000 percent increase today.

      Except you’re not controlling for population, in which the actual numbers of murder should be murders per 1000 head of population per year you statistically illiterate fool, nor have you provided a source for this claim,. Perhaps Statistics NZ, instead of Sensible Sentencing propaganda would be an intelligent place to start?

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    Greens | 22-10
  • Kennedy Graham to the Prime Minister on the Deployment of New Zealand Speci...
    Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that the risks to New Zealand from any commitment of military assistance to counter Islamic State militants in Iraq would be "no greater than I think the...
    Greens | 22-10
  • EPA finds Shell Oil illegally drilled two wells
    The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has concluded that Shell Todd Oil Services (STOS) broke the law by drilling two wells without a marine consent off the coast of Taranaki, the Green Party said today. The EPA conducted an inspection of...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Soaring rail use in Auckland shows need for rail link now
    News that Aucklanders overtook Wellingtonians as the biggest train users is further evidence the Government needs to start work on the Auckland City Rail Link now, the Green Party said today.Auckland Transport said today that in the year to September,...
    Greens | 22-10
  • Tea breaks gone by lunch time
    Labour is calling for an eleventh hour reprieve to employment law changes which could see thousands of Kiwi workers not covered by collective agreements lose their smoko breaks, its spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.“How cynical that on the...
    Labour | 21-10
  • Metiria Turei to lead fight on feeding hungry children
    Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira.Mrs Turei, who leads the Green Party's work on child poverty, will pick up Mr...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Otago dairy farms fail basics
    I’m really privileged to take on the responsibility of the water portfolio. Eugenie Sage has done excellent work in this area in the last term of parliament and provided a great platform for further work. Last Parliament my bill to...
    Greens | 21-10
  • A mighty totara has fallen across the Tasman
    The New Zealand Labour Party expresses deep sadness at the death of former Australian prime minister Gough Whitlam, aged 98. “Today a great totara has fallen across the Tasman,” Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says....
    Labour | 21-10
  • Note to National: Must deliver on child poverty
    John Key and his Government will be held to its promise to make child poverty a priority, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “In its priority-setting speech today the Government stated child poverty would be a major focus for...
    Labour | 21-10
  • New Analysis show Government cut tertiary education funding
    New analysis done by the Green Party today shows the Government has made cuts to funding of tertiary education since 2008.Figures compiled by the Parliamentary Library show that between 2009 and 2015 Government funding to Tertiary Institutions dropped by 4...
    Greens | 21-10
  • Students doing it tough as fees rise again
    The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Steven Joyce is shutting a generation...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Key misled New Zealand on Iraq deployment
      John Key was misleading New Zealanders prior to the election when he ruled out New Zealand special forces being deployed to Iraq, says Labour Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff.  “Post-election he has cynically disregarded that by saying that deployment of...
    Labour | 20-10
  • Swearing about swearing the oath
    Yesterday, I was swearing. Swearing the Parliamentary oath, that is. But, under my breath, I was also quietly swearing about the archaic, colonial form of that oath and its inappropriateness for today’s Aotearoa New Zealand. To be permitted to speak...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Kevin Hague speaks in the 2014 Address and Reply debate
    Thank you very much, Mr Deputy Speaker, and, like others, can I begin my contribution by congratulating you and the others in the Speaker's team: the Rt Hon David Carter, Lindsay Tisch, and the Hon Trevor Mallard. I also want...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Damning report on Ruataniwha dam numbers
    When I presented my submission to the Board of Inquiry on the Tukituki Catchment Proposal I compared the proposed 83 metre high Ruataniwha dam with the Clyde Dam and noted the risk of cost blowouts in the construction process.  The...
    Greens | 20-10
  • Church congratulated on child poverty stand
    The efforts by the bishops of the Anglican Church to ensure that the issue of child poverty is not forgotten is a call to all New Zealanders to take action, says Labour’s Interfaith-Dialogue Spokesperson, Su’a William Sio.   “I think...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour names Review Team
    Labour’s New Zealand Council has appointed Bryan Gould as Convenor of its post-General Election Review.  He will be joined on the Review Team by Hon Margaret Wilson, Stacey Morrison and Brian Corban (see further biographical details here). The Review Team...
    Labour | 19-10
  • Labour backs urban development plans
    Auckland Council’s plan to set up an urban development agency is to be applauded and central government should get behind it to make it a success, Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. Auckland Council CEO Stephen Town has indicated plans...
    Labour | 18-10
  • New Zealand can be rightly proud of seat on Security Council
    Gaining a seat on the United Nation’s Security Council shows the sort of standing that New Zealand has in the world and the quality of the long campaign that we ran over nearly a decade, says Foreign Affairs spokesperson David...
    Labour | 16-10
  • NZ has opportunity on UN Security Council
    New Zealand has an opportunity to make a major contribution to the strengthening of international law and institutional capacity through its upcoming two-year tenure on the United Nations Security Council, Green Party spokesperson on global affairs, Dr Kennedy Graham said...
    Greens | 16-10
  • MPI still dragging the chain over causes of food bug
    The Ministry of Primary Industries’ release of Environmental Science and Research’s initial reports regarding the sources of a nasty stomach bug will be little comfort to the 127 people affected by it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “This...
    Labour | 16-10
  • Treasury officials should try working without food
    The Green Party is challenging Treasury officials to work for a week without eating properly, in light of their advice to Government that a food in schools programme is not needed."Treasury's advice was that providing food for children in schools...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Councils need to better protect our drinking water
    Environment Canterbury (ECan) is proposing several variations to its regional land and water plan that will allow for increased nutrient and other pollution from irrigation and intensive agriculture on the Canterbury Plains. Commissioners are hearing submissions on Variation 1 to...
    Greens | 15-10
  • National needs to commit to making NZ workers safe
    The National Government must do more to help make New Zealand workplaces a safer place to work in, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Data released by Statistics New Zealand today showed that workers in the fishing and...
    Greens | 15-10
  • Key commits to deployment before consultation or analysis
    John Key’s offer to consult Opposition parties on whether to deploy New Zealand forces against ISIS looks increasingly like a PR exercise only, says Labour’s Defence spokesperson, Phil Goff. “The presence of New Zealand’s Chief of Defence Force at a...
    Labour | 15-10
  • National must end ideological opposition to raising income
    If John Key is serious about tackling child poverty he must approach it with an open mind, and overcome his ideological block to raising incomes as a solution, the Green Party said today.Papers released to Radio New Zealand today show...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Pentagon links climate change and terrorism
    Yesterday the Pentagon launched a plan to deal with a threat that “poses immediate risks to national security”; one that “will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the nation”. It wasn’t referring to Ebola or ISIS. It was...
    Greens | 14-10
  • Four Nominees for Labour’s Leadership
    As at 5pm today four valid nominations had been received for the position of Labour Leader, as follows: Andrew Little(nominated by Poto Williams and Iain Lees-Galloway) Nanaia Mahuta(nominated by Louisa Wall and Su’a William Sio) David Parker(nominated by Damien O’Connor...
    Labour | 14-10
  • Green Party calls for consultation over terrorism law changes
    The Green Party has today written to the Prime Minister asking him to engage in wider consultation prior to changing any laws as a result of the recently announced terrorism law reviews, said the Green Party today. In a letter...
    Greens | 14-10
  • MPI must name product and supermarket chain
    The Ministry of Primary Industries must name the product responsible for severe gastroenteritis affecting people around the country, and the supermarket chain distributing it, Labour’s Food Safety spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The Ministry seems to be more concerned about protecting...
    Labour | 13-10
  • John Key dishonest about reasons for wanting to change terrorism law
    John Key is misleading the public to push through terrorism law changes under urgency, the Green Party said today. On Sunday, John Key stated that it is not illegal for someone to fight overseas for a terrorist group, such as...
    Greens | 12-10
  • Law changes shaping up to be worse than first thought
    The Prime Minister needs to be up front about exactly what changes he is planning to make to the Employment Relations  Amendment Bill, Labour's spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says.Interviewed on Q&A yesterday John Key said he did not...
    Labour | 12-10
  • Rapists, not Tinder, the threat to women
    Blame for rape and sexual assault should only ever be laid at the door of the perpetrator, not dating services or the actions of women themselves, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “Tinder is not the problem and women...
    Labour | 09-10
  • Safer Journeys For People Who Cycle
    You have a rare opportunity to tell the people who are making the decisions on cycling how to make it better. The Cycling Safety Panel is seeking feedback on their draft recommendations for improving the safety of cycling in New...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Subsidising more pollution will undermine water clean-up plan at Te Waihora...
    In 2010, NIWA found Canterbury’s Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere had the worst nutrient status of 140 lakes around New Zealand that it measured. In 2011, the National Government committed to spending $15 million across the country through the Fresh Start for...
    Greens | 08-10
  • Adding value not herbicides
    The HT swedes, and other brassicas, might seem like a good idea to farmers struggling against weeds but like the GE road, is this the path we want our agriculture to be treading? The Federated Farmers President, Dr William Rolleston...
    Greens | 07-10
  • ‘Blame the Planner’ bizarre approach to child poverty
    The National Government is stooping to a bizarre new low in blaming "planning processes" for poverty and inequality, after spending six years doing nothing about either the housing market or child poverty, the Green Party said today. Finance Minister Bill...
    Greens | 07-10
  • Media Advisory
    MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”. He is however available for media comment tomorrow, Tuesday the 8th of October, all media arrangements are...
    Mana | 07-10
  • RECOUNT JUST ONE STEP TO RESTORING CREDIBILITY
    “I have applied for a judicial recount of the votes in the Tai Tokerau election because it is one step in trying to restore credibility to the electoral process in the north, and, I suspect, in all other Maori electorates...
    Mana | 07-10
  • MANA SEEKS TAI TOKERAU RECOUNT
    The MANA Movement is supporting Leader Hone Harawira’s application for a judicial re-count in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate for the 2014 general election. President Lisa McNab says there are a number of serious issues of concern regarding the ability...
    Mana | 07-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • More Latté Than Lager: Reflections on Grant Robertson’s Campaign Launch.
    BIKERS? SERIOUSLY! Had Grant Robertson’s campaign launch been organised by Phil Goff? Was this a pitch for the votes of what few Waitakere Men remain in the Labour Party? Was I even at the right place? Well, yes, I was....
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • About Curwen Ares Rolinson
    Curwen Ares Rolinson – Curwen Ares Rolinson is a firebrand young nationalist presently engaged in acts of political resistance deep behind enemy lines amidst the leafy boughs of Epsom. He is affiliated with the New Zealand First Party; although his...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kelly Ellis
    Kelly Ellis.Kelly Ellis – As a child, Kelly Ellis didn’t so much fall into the cracks, but willfully wriggled her way into them. Ejected from Onslow College – a big job in the 70s – Kelly worked in car factories,...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • About Kate Davis
    Kate Davis.Kate Davis – Having completed her BA in English and Politics, Kate is now starting her MA. Kate works as a volunteer advocate at Auckland Action Against Poverty and previously worked for the New Zealand Prostitutes Collective. Kate writes...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Parker does a Shearer – oh for a Labour Leader who can challenge msm fals...
    Sigh. It seems David Parker has done a Shearer… Like a cult and too red – Parker on LabourLabour leadership contender David Parker says Labour borders on feeling like “a cult” and must look at its branding – including its...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • A brief word on the hundreds of millions NZ is spending on the secret intel...
    The enormity of the mass surveillance state NZ Government’s have built carries a huge price tag… Kiwis pay $103m ‘membership fee’ for spyingThe $103 million taxpayer funding of New Zealand’s intelligence agencies is effectively a membership fee for joining the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Where. Is. Jason. Ede?
    Where. Is. Jason. Ede?...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Labour’s Din of Inequity
    Watching Labour’s leadership candidates on Q+A on Sunday, I noticed the ongoing use of terms like “opportunity” and “aspiration”, and “party of the workers”. What do these mean? We glean much from Labour, and from the media about Labour, but not...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • “Blue-Greenwash” fails the test when it comes to endangered dolphins
    National’s pre-election promises saw some wins for the environment – perhaps as the party sought to appease its “Blue-Green” voters and broaden its popular appeal. Some of the ecological gains were a long time in the making, overdue even– such...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
    Why don’t you get back into bed? The next few years — the rest of this century — are not going to be pretty. There is an obvious disconnect between any remaining political ambition to fix climate change and the...
    The Daily Blog | 21-10
  • OIA protocols and official advice ignored to hide Child Poverty
    It might not seem so now, but child poverty was a major election issue. What a pity we did not have the full debate. In that debate it would have been very helpful to have seen the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 20-10
  • Previewing the 4 candidates for Leader of the Labour Party
    The extraordinary outbursts by Shearer last week highlights just how toxic that Caucus is. Shearer was on every major media platform as the ABC attack dog tearing into Cunliffe in the hope of diminishing Cunliffe’s support of Little by tearing...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Kate Davis – the sudden explosion of ‘left’ blogs
    Time to Teach or more people will suffer from P.A.I.D. Political And Intellectual Dysmorphia.I was on the Twitter and a guy followed me so of course I did the polite thing and followed him back. He wrote a blog so...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Ego vs Eco
    Ego vs Eco...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • We can’t let the Roastbuster case slip away
    Those of us (like me) left with hope that the police would aggressively follow through on the large amount of evidence on offer to them (let’s not forget they forgot they even had some at one point) in the Roastbusters...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Food, shelter and medicine instead of bombs and bullets
    The on-going conflict across the Middle East – due in large part to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq – has created another humanitarian crisis of biblical proportion. The essentials of life are desperately needed in Iraq and Syria...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • The politics of electorate accommodations
    National’s electorate accommodations with ACT and United Future were a big factor in it winning re-election. Interestingly, there is another electorate accommodation scenario whereby the centre-left could have come out on top, even with the same distribution of party votes....
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Why you should join the TPPA Action on 8 November
    On 8 November 2014, thousands of Kiwis will take part in the International Day of Action to protest the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA). The rally cry for us is TPPA – Corporate Trap, Kiwis Fight Back. Why should you join...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • GUEST BLOG – Patrick O’Dea: no new coal mines
    Green Party and Mana Party policy is “NO NEW COAL MINES!” Auckland Coal Action is trying to put this policy into action on the ground. ACA after a hard fought two year campaign waged alongside local residents and Iwi, in...
    The Daily Blog | 19-10
  • Comparing Police action – Hager raid vs Roast Buster case
    This satire had the NZ Police contact TDB and threaten us with 6months in prison for using their logo.   The plight of Nicky Hager and the draconian Police actions against him has generated over  $53 000 in donations so...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Malala Yousafzai, White Saviour Complexes and Local Resistance
    Last week, Malala Yousafzai was the co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Since her exposure to the worldwide spotlight, her spirit, wisdom and strength have touched the hearts of people everywhere. However, there have been cynics who have argued that...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • Jason Ede is back – but no media can interview him?
    Well, well, well. Jason Ede, the main figure connected to John Key’s office and the Dirty Politics black ops is back with a company with deep ties to the National Party. One thing you can say about the right –...
    The Daily Blog | 18-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Leadership Transitions In Other Parties: A ...
    As cannot have escaped anyone’s attention by now, the country is presently in the grips of an election and campaign that will help determine the fate of the nation for years to come. It’s gripping stuff – with clear divides...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • SkyCity worker says she faces losing her house
    SkyCity worker Carolyn Alpine told the company annual shareholder’s meeting today that she faced the prospect of losing her house because the company had cut her shifts from two a week to one without consultation. The solo mother, has worked...
    The Daily Blog | 17-10
  • Greg O’Connor’s latest push to arm cops & 5 reasons not to
    I was wondering at what point within a 3rd term of National that Police Cheerleader Greg O’Connor would start trying to demand cops be armed. O’Connor must have thought to himself, ‘if bloody Key can get us and the GCSB vast new...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • You can’t have crisis without ISIS
    So the new scary bogeyman ISIS might have chemical weapons that the US secretly found in Iraq, but America didn’t want to expose this find because the WMDs were actually built and made by the US and Europe, the two powers...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • NZ WINS UN SPIN THE BOTTLE! Privately sucking up to America for a decade me...
    Oh, we are loved! Little old NZ, the 53rd state of America after Israel and Australia, gets to sit at the adults table for the special dinner party that is the UN Security Council. How delightful, a decade of privately...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • MEDIA BLOG – Myles Thomas – A World Without Advertising
    Non-commercial broadcasting and media. It’s a solution for all manner of problems ailing our tender nation… voter engagement, unaccountable governance, apathy, stupefaction, public education, science in schools, arts appreciation, cultural cringe… But no-one could’ve guessed that non-commercial media might solve...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October
    March against war – 2pm Saturday 25th October...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • Whack a mole as US govt foreign policy
    Whack-A-Mole was a popular arcade game from my youth.  It consisted of a waist high cabinet with holes in the top. Plastic moles seemingly randomly pop out of these holes. The purpose of the game was to hit as many...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • In Paean of Debt
    This week is ‘Money Week’. It’s an opportunity to promote to the middle classes, and anyone else who will listen, the virtues of wise ‘investment’. The aims are to promote the mystical (and indeed mythical) virtues of saving for the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • The last 48 hours – Poverty denial, war denial and unapologetic abuse of ...
    The bewildering speed of events that simply end in Key shrugging and proclaiming he doesn’t really give a shit is coming think and fast as the Government suddenly appreciate the full spectrum dominance they now enjoy. Here is Radio NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Pat O’Dea – Mana 2.0 Rebooted
    Internationally the news is that Evo Morales of Bolivia won big with Left Wing policies But what are the chances that the Left will make a resurgence in this country? As the internecine struggles between the Left and the Right...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • The Blomfield IPCA letter – Has Dirty Politics leaked into the NZ Police ...
    It’s difficult to know what to make of the IPCA letter to Matthew Blomfield over Slater’s continued insistence that the hard drive taken from Matthew wasn’t stolen.  Slater has selectively cherry picked the Police referring back to his claim that Blomfeild perjured...
    The Daily Blog | 15-10
  • Pike River Families Group Press Release
    The Families can now but hope that Solid Energy will consider closely the response of the Families’ expert mining advisers, Bob Stevenson and Dave Creedy, and the independent legal advice by Hugh Rennie QC as to why re-entry to the...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • On The Nation this weekend
    This weekend on The Nation… with dairy prices falling, China growing its agriculture sector, and the environmental costs piling up, we ask the Fonterra chief executive Theo Spierings if New Zealand is too dependent on milk powder and if we’ve...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • NZ Government Urged to Do More to Fight Ebola
    As Ebola continues to tear through West Africa, Save the Children NZ is urging the government to do more in the fight against the deadly virus....
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Korero Mai Ki Ahau – Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 October 2014
    Broadcast on Waatea 603AM Saturday 12.00 - 12.30pm Sunday 12.00 - 12.30pm Both shows repeated 5.00pm – 6.00pm On Sunday...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Putting whānau foremost in Family Dispute Resolution
    Dispute resolution company, FairWay Resolution, has developed a uniquely New Zealand approach to family dispute resolution (FDR) that is underpinned by the cultural needs and values of the parties to a family dispute. In support of its role as a...
    Scoop politics | 24-10
  • Anglican Family Care staff to rally industrial action rises
    Public Service Association (PSA) members working at Anglican Family Care (AFC) in Dunedin will hold two rallies in Dunedin next week as they seek a fair pay offer, following a week of low-key industrial action....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Flying Visit for Adventuring Kiwi Socialpreneur
    12 Months on, this former Alexandra barista is changing lives in Buenos Aires Slums with free lunches, music, art, drama and toothbrushes...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • March in Solidarity with Kurdistan Against ISIS Attacks
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan in light of the heinous genocidal attacks in Kobanê by ISIS. We will begin with silent demonstrations then commence marching. We will start from Britomart, Queen Street (outside Dick...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • No Problem for Henare & Jones, But “No Way” for Harawira
    “Just before the election I broke the story about the gutting of Maori Television’s News and Current Affairs department by MTS’ new CEO Paora Maxwell. I pointed out that Carol Hirschfeld and Julian Wilcox, two of the country’s most experienced...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Corruption: Positive developments for NZ but more to be done
    Global anti-corruption group Transparency International today released a report on OECD Anti-Bribery Convention enforcement and called for New Zealand to implement draft legislation to ratify the United Nations Convention against Corruption....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Government to Blame as Much as Council for Marryatt Payout
    The Taxpayers' Union is calling on the Government to fix the employment law regime that has forced Christchurch ratepayers to fork out $800,000 to former Council boss Tony Marryatt....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Unanimously Call for Commissioner to Arm Police Full Time
    In the wake of a series of recent armed offender incidents, delegates to the Police Association Annual Conference today called unanimously on the Commissioner to arm Police full time....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Bank gets behind NZ wildlife icon with sizable donation
    It will be easier than ever this summer for holiday-markers to dip into their pockets to support the yellow-eyed penguin....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • WorkSafe report raises concerns about asbestos
    The union representing construction workers in the Canterbury rebuild is surprised at WorkSafe’s conclusion that no action needs to be taken against EQC and Fletcher EQR over asbestos exposure in Canterbury homes. “This report was an opportunity...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Union accuses SkyCity CEO of misleading public
    Unite Union has accused SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison of misleading the public over the cut in hours for a staff member who raised the issue at the company's AGM....
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Last Hurrah on the Taxpayer
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Hone Harawira spent up $54,000 on the taxpayer in his last three months as an MP, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “It is absolutely disgraceful that an MP managed to rack...
    Scoop politics | 23-10
  • Press statement in relation to search of Nicky Hager’s home
    On 2 October 2014, Nicky Hager's home in Wellington was searched by police. Mr Hager asserted that documents kept at his house were protected by privilege, including because they contained information that might identify confidential sources....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • The Sam Simon arrives into Auckland for new campaign
    This morning Sea Shepherd ship, the Sam Simon, arrived into Auckland harbour after its journey from Melbourne. The ship and its 25 crew from around the globe have come to New Zealand to source supplies and prepare for the upcoming...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Low inflation – time for meaningful wage increases
    With inflation low, now is a good time for workers to negotiate for pay increases that outstrip price rises and deliver real increases in wages and salaries. “For too many people, real pay increases have been missing for several years...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Auckland Rates Rises Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald report that Auckland ratepayers will face an average of a 29 percent rates increase, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “These rate rises show that Len Brown's spending is out of control.”...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Protest at New Plymouth Oil and Gas Expo
    About 30 protesters from Climate Justice Taranaki, Frack-free Kapiti, Te Uru Pounamu Action Group, Oil Free Wellington, Frack-free Manawatu and the east coast protested yesterday outside New Plymouth's biennial Oil and Gas Expo at the TSB Stadium....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • FMA warns consumers about cold-calling investment offers
    The Financial Markets Authority (FMA) is warning New Zealand consumers and investors to be wary of cold-calls asking them to buy shares or put their money into offshore firms....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Comprehensive plan needed to end child poverty
    Child Poverty Action Group says it is vital the newly re-elected National government takes a planned and comprehensive approach to reducing child poverty in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Metiria Gets Feed the Kids
    Yesterday the Speaker of the House advised that he had accepted my request to transfer my Feed the Kids (Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment) Bill to Metiria Turei of the Green Party....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • DIA undercover investigation leads to jailing
    An undercover Internal Affairs investigation has led to a Hastings man being jailed for three and half years....
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of Balibo Five
    Media Information: Call on Minister McCully to pursue the case of journalist Gary Cunningham and the Balibo Five...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Australia and NZ actions on press freedoms alarming
    Global support for investigative journalism in Australia and New Zealand is a welcome response to law changes and a police raid, says the Pacific Freedom Forum...
    Scoop politics | 22-10
  • Call for release of French journalists in West Papua
    West Papua Action Auckland, the EPMU Print and Media Council and the NZ Media Freedom Network call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs to speak out in support of the two French TV journalists whose trial has just begun in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Court of Appeal: Dotcom v 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
    A The appeal is dismissed. B The 20 August 2014 order of the High Court dealing with confidentiality and the 29 August 2014 order of this Court dealing with confidentiality are set aside. C The confidentiality orders set out in...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Glassons Blasted For Glamourising Animal Cruelty
    Clothing brand Glassons have found themselves embroiled in another controversy after launching a new advert featuring a girl riding a bull. Animal advocacy organisation SAFE have asked them to remove the ad immediately as it glamourises animal cruelty....
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet
    Smuggling honey into New Zealand isn’t sweet Federated Farmers Bee Industry Group applauds the tough line taken by Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) Border Staff at Auckland Airport. In deporting the couple found trying to smuggle bee products...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Taxpayers’ Union Responds to Joyce on Corporate Welfare
    Responding to Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce’s defence of corporate welfare , Jim Rose, the author of Monopoly Money , a Taxpayers Union report on corporate welfare since 2008, says:...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech from the Throne brings welcome focus on children
    Today’s speech from the Throne confirms the Government’s focus on children, youth and their families in the areas of health, education, youth employment, poverty alleviation and Whānau Ora; now the challenge is to ensure every child in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • John’s Job Fairs no fix for unemployment and poverty
    “John Key has clearly been looking to the US for his latest bright idea on dealing with employment issues,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty coordinator Sue Bradford. “Job fairs where the desperately unemployed queue in their corporate best to compete...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Speech From the Throne Foreshadows More Corporate Welfare
    Responding to the Governor General’s Speech from the Throne, which outlined that the Government’s intentions for the next Parliamentary term would include further Business Growth Agenda initiatives, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan...
    Scoop politics | 21-10
  • Green MP to speak at panel on Rainbow Mental Health
    Hamilton, New Zealand: Recently re-elected Green Party MP Jan Logie will be a guest speaker at a panel on the mental health of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Trangender, Takataapui and Intersex people taking place on November 1st as part of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Evidence Supports GE Moratorium
    Federated Farmers spokesman Graham Smith's call for a 'rethink' on release of GeneticallyEngineered organisms is misguided, and instead it is time for a formal moratorium on GMOs in the environment.(1)...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Chatham Rise mining could have impact on whales and dolphins
    Wellington, 21 October 2014--Mining phosphate on the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand’s south island, could potentially have many impacts on marine mammals like whales and dolphins, the Environmental Protection Agency was told today....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Council endorses Nanaia Mahuta as the next Labour leader
    Te Kaunihera Māori, the Māori Council of the New Zealand Labour Party, have passed a resolution to endorse the Hon Nanaia Mahuta as the next leader of the Labour Party...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Kaumatua to organise petition to end Maori seats
    Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin has announced that he will be organising a nationwide petition to seek support from Maori voters to end the Maori seats. “These seats are patronising”, he says. “They imply we need a special status, and that...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Announcing a New Voice for The Left
    Josh Forman is pleased to announce the creation of a new force on the Left of politics in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Public services held back by poor workplace culture
    A new report by Victoria University’s Centre for Labour, Employment and Work shows that public servants are working significant unpaid overtime to ensure the public services New Zealanders value are able to continue....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • iPredict New Zealand Weekly Economic & Political Update
    Andrew Little’s probability of being the next leader of the Labour Party has reached 70% and Jacinda Ardern is favourite to become his deputy, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Prison Drug Treatment Unit marks a milestone
    Christchurch Men’s Prison’s Drug Treatment Unit (DTU) celebrated the completion of its 50th six month Drug and Alcohol Programme today, with the graduation of a further twelve offenders....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Security Council seat a chance for NZ to empower women
    The UN Women National Committee Aotearoa New Zealand (UN Women NCANZ) welcomes New Zealand winning a seat on the United Nations Security Council and is calling on New Zealand to use its position to proactively promote effective implementation of the...
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Waipareira and ACC sign Partnership
    Waipareira and The Accident Compensation Corporation (ACC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Whanau Centre, Henderson – marking a special day for the West Auckland Urban Maori organisation....
    Scoop politics | 20-10
  • Humanitarian aid desperately needed in Iraq and Syria
    Global Peace and Justice Auckland is calling on the government to provide humanitarian funding for non-aligned NGOs (non-governmental organisations) in the Middle East rather than give any support whatever for the US-led military campaign in the area....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Court Judicial Decision: Dotcom v The USA: 17 October 2014
    The United States of America is seeking the extradition of Messrs Dotcom, Batato, Ortmann and Van Der Kolk. The matter has been before the Courts on numerous occasions, and no further recitation of the facts is needed....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Marshall Island poet speaks at UN climate summit
    “The fossil fuel industry is the biggest threat to our very existence as Pacific Islanders. We stand to lose our homes, our communities and our culture. But we are fighting back. This coming Friday thirty Pacific Climate Warriors, joined by...
    Scoop politics | 19-10
  • Many tourist car accidents preventable
    Simple steps could dramatically reduce the number of accidents involving tourists, says the car review website dogandlemon.com ....
    Scoop politics | 19-10
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