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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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    Kia ora, Mr Assistant Speaker. He mihi nui ki te Whare Paremata. Welcome to the glorious 19th century, dressed up in the not-so-new flexibility-speak. At the final moment of this bill, let us drop the charade. The Government has a...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Ruataniwha Feds refuse to present a balanced view
    A bid to sell the Ruataniwha water project to Hawkes Bay farmers has turned in to an incredibly one sided affair, says Labours spokesperson on Water Meka Whaitiri.  “It’s being promoted as ‘Ruataniwha it’s now or never’ and it promises...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Worker’s rights dealt severe blow with Bill’s passing
    The passing of the Employment Relations Amendment Bill is another blow to workers' rights in New Zealand, the Green Party said today.This afternoon, National's Employment Relations Amendment Bill passed with the support of Act and United Future."This bill will force...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Barriers to reporting sex crimes must go
    Both the Government and police need to take action to ensure that, in future, sexual abuse victims know they will be taken seriously, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. “The young women involved in the Roast Busters case, and...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Te Wakaputanga – What we did not learn at school
    This week saw the 179th anniversary of the signing of Te Wakaputanga, the Declaration of Independence of the United Tribes of Niu Tireni. Most of us did not learn about this fundamentally critical document at school, we barely learned about...
    Greens | 30-10
  • NZ goes backwards on gender equality
    It is no coincidence that in the same week New Zealand is singled out for going backwards on child poverty under National,  we’ve also dropped in global rankings for gender equality. In one year New Zealand has dropped from 7th...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Kevin Hague questions the Minister of Health on management of Katherine Ric...
    Is he satisfied that all conflicts of interest that arose by the head of Food and Grocery Council Katherine Rich being a member of the Health Promotion Agency were managed in accordance with the provisions of the Crown Entities Act...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Bennett parks numbers on social housing
    Social Housing Minister Paula Bennett admitted today that well over 1000 families have been subsidised through the accommodation supplement to stay in the Ranui campground, somewhere she has previously described as not the right place for children to be growing...
    Labour | 30-10
  • 50,000 sign petition against anti-worker law
    More than 50,000 Kiwis have signed Labour’s petition against the Government’s scrapping of tea break entitlements, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “That’s the equivalent of five people signing our petition every minute for a week. It shows the...
    Labour | 30-10
  • Address in Reply Debate – Dr Kennedy Graham on UN Security Council- 2...
    In the Speech from the Throne last week the Prime Minister identified the usual domestic goals for his Government. I counted 17. They are not my subject today. I wish instead to focus on matters beyond our shores. In the...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Climate change harming ocean health
    New Zealand is responsible for one of the largest areas of sea in the world – an area 14 times the size of our land area. The National Government is promising new marine protected areas legislation with a discussion document...
    Greens | 30-10
  • Key misled public over Jason Ede
    Information contained in a new chapter of the book Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister, that Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the night the book Dirty Politics was released, shows Mr Key and senior ministers hid...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Greenpeace report highlights better path for NZ agriculture
    A Greenpeace International report highlights a better way forward for New Zealand agriculture than the GE and chemical mutation technologies supported by Federated Farmers, and the National Government through its research funding packages, the Green Party said today. "This report...
    Greens | 29-10
  • BNZ post record profits while leaving savers vulnerable
    A small part of the $850 million record profit posted by the Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) today needs to be set aside to protect savers' deposits in the future, said Green Party Co-leader Dr Russel Norman today.Dr Norman was...
    Greens | 29-10
  • RBNZ U-turn shows monetary settings were wrong
    The Reserve Bank's U-turn on interest rates today shows monetary policy settings were wrong and New Zealanders have suffered unnecessarily through the loss of jobs and having to pay higher interest rates, the Green Party said today.Reserve Bank Governor Graeme...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Ports must take responsibility for shameful death toll
    Port companies must step up and take responsibility for a shameful toll of seven deaths and 133 serious accidents in the past three years, Labour MP Iain Lees-Galloway says. The frightening figures – released by the Rail, Maritime and Transport...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Please help me get my Feed the Kids Bill to Select Committee
    Last week I took over the Feed the Kids Bill that Hone Harawira had introduced to Parliament. If passed, my Bill will provide government-funded breakfast and lunch in all decile 1 and 2 schools. Hungry kids can’t learn and are...
    Greens | 29-10
  • TVNZ Outsourcing Pasifika and Maori Programmes
    I’ve always been a big fan of our state broadcaster and I’ve particularly liked their range of current events programmes. But after Friday’s announcement that TVNZ will be sacking up to 40 staff by contracting out the Pacific and Maori...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Labour urges iwi leaders to meet with National
    Labour’s Māori Caucus has called on iwi leaders and national Māori organisations to seek urgent meetings with the National Government to directly express their concerns about employment law changes which will harm Māori workers. In an open letter sent today...
    Labour | 29-10
  • ACC’s reputation needs fix, not glitz
    Restoring public trust and confidence in ACC will take a lot more than a new communications strategy or social media blitz, says Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Under National, ACC has come to be perceived as insensitive, difficult to deal...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Lessons to be learned from police investigation
    The outcome of the so-called Roast Busters case should not put victims off reporting sexual crimes, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “This case has been mishandled from the start. Within days of police initially saying no charges had...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Anti-worker legislation is anti-Pacifica
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga, will go down in history as being part of a Government that harmed his own people through anti-worker legislation, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.  “Pacific people are among...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Five-year tax holiday for overseas tax dodgers
    National has just gifted a five-year tax holiday for foreign companies dodging their tax payments, says Revenue spokesperson David Clark. “Todd McClay has pretended he is doing something about overseas companies dodging their tax duties by joining an international initiative...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Traffic Jam Tax must be given the red light
    Auckland Council’s proposed Traffic Jam Tax could cost some households thousands of dollars a year just to use roads they had already paid for with their taxes and must be rejected, says Labour’s transport and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford....
    Labour | 29-10
  • National has chance to show leadership on limos
    The National Party has the opportunity to show leadership by transitioning our vehicle fleet towards renewable electricity when a new contract to supply Government limousines for VIPs goes to tender next month, the Green Party said today. "This is a...
    Greens | 29-10
  • The Māori Party can’t have it both ways over labour laws
    The Māori Party has to fess up over its voting record on the Employment Relations Amendment Bill, says Labour’s Māori Caucus.  “It’s simply not good enough to oppose the bill at the same time  as they helped speed up its progress through...
    Labour | 29-10
  • Equal pay and the aged care sector
    Today the High Court upheld the historic ruling by the Employment Court that our Equal Pay Act could be used to consider work of equal value cases; the government has been telling the UN and ILO that it could for...
    Greens | 29-10
  • Court case perfect opportunity for Government to improve gender pay gap
    If the Government wants to halt New Zealand’s slump in international rankings on the gender pay gap it should act on the court finding that women deserve equal wages, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The World Economic Forum’s...
    Labour | 28-10
  • All Auckland transport options should be considered
    All options for meeting Auckland's transport needs should be considered, including reprioritising the transport budget away from wasteful spending on motorways, the Green Party said today.Auckland mayor Len Brown is today releasing a transport report by the Independent Advisory Board,...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Another report highlights Govt failure on child poverty
    An international report measuring the impact of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) on child poverty rates, showing children in New Zealand have done worse than children in other countries, is further proof the Government needs to urgently take additional steps...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Address and Reply Debate Part 55: Inequality and Disability
    I rise on behalf of the Green Party to talk about inequality and disability.The recent census showed that nearly one in four New Zealanders lives with a disability—up from one in five in the previous census. These figures include some...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Child poverty: No more wake-up calls
    A new report which shows the National Government has made no inroads whatsoever into child poverty should do more than just set alarm bells ringing, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “UNICEF’s  latest Innocenti Report Card highlights the fact...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Eugenie Sage speaks in the 2014 Address in Reply Debate
    I congratulate you, Assistant Speaker Mallard, as Assistant Speaker and look forward to your knowledge, your fairness, and your light touch in being a referee of proceedings in this House. I congratulate also the other Assistant Speaker, Lindsay Tisch; the...
    Greens | 28-10
  • James Shaw’s Maiden Speech
    Tena Koe, Mr Speaker. I would like to take this opportunity to speak a little of the past, the present and the future. The privilege to serve in this Parliament was given to me by all those who gave their...
    Greens | 28-10
  • Govt airs real views on public broadcasting
    An admission by the Government that it is happy to experiment with Pacific and Maori audiences shows just how weak its vision for public broadcasting in New Zealand is, Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. “National today admitted it doesn’t...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Does Judith Collins have a get out of jail card?
    Former justice minister Judith Collins appears to have been gifted a get out of jail free card based on the Prime Minister’s answers in Parliament today, Labour’s Acting Deputy Leader Annette King says. “Judith Collins claimed in an Official Information...
    Labour | 28-10
  • Solid Energy decision delay sensible
    Today’s announcement by the Board of Solid Energy that it will delay making a final decision on re-entering the Pike River mine is a sensible move, Labour’s MP for  West Coast-Tasman Damien O’Connor says. “It has been clear for some...
    Labour | 28-10
  • New York Green Bank off to a $1B start
    New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced late last week the New York Green Bank’s first NZD$1 billion tranche of green energy investments. The projects, which are difficult for the private sector to finance, are now possible by New York Green...
    Greens | 28-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Blockade the Budget
    The ‘Independent’ Police Conduct Authority’s report into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash The report released by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is a whitewash riddled with inaccuracies....
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • When National claim new anti worker laws provide ‘flexibility’ they mea...
    And so it comes to pass. The first law National ram through as part of their victory march are new anti worker laws they pretend will generate ‘flexibility’. The new law denigrate the unions ability to protect workers and provide...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • City Transport: A Taxing Matter
    This week the prospect of paying tolls on Auckland motorways became a hot topic. (See Mathew Dearnaley:Motorway tolling could hit some hard, NZ Herald, 30 Oct 2014.) As we might expect, the kneejerk response has been quite negative. But, as with...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Open Letter to Amy Adams: Please Reopen The Review Into Sexual Violence Cou...
    Ms Amy Adams, Justice and Courts Minister, Right now in this country it seems that although rape is illegal, it is not being prevented by the agents who uphold the law. It almost feels like rape is only illegal on paper,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Things That Make You Go Hmmmmmmm
    Every so often in politics, a public figure comes out with something so absurd and so outlandish … that it really does just make you go “Hmmmmmmmmmm”. We’re accustomed to this from certain quarters – by mid point through the...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Poverty & inequality don’t need protest marches – they need a riot:...
    The global level of inequality continues to skyrocket… Number of billionaires doubled since financial crisis The number of billionaires has doubled since the start of the financial crisis, according to a major new report from anti-poverty campaigners. According to Oxfam,...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • If Key knows who Rawshark is…
    I’m sorry, what? John Key ‘given Rawshark’s name’The Prime Minister believes he knows who hacked Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computer and produced the source material for Nicky Hager’s Dirty Politics, according to a new edition of a recently published...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Child Poverty stats in NZ
    Child Poverty stats in NZ...
    The Daily Blog | 30-10
  • Crimes Act + Police Investigation = WTF
    Just to frame the farce that is the Roastbuster’s investigation and conclusion – here are the parts of the Crime Act http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1961/0043/latest/whole.html#DLM329057  the Roastbusters are proven to have violated – that the police (and some suspects!) themselves acknowledge occurred: Crimes...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Publishing Journalists’ Home Addresses Is A Tactic Of The Right, Not The ...
    I think I’m starting to get rather annoyed with the conduct of some pro-MANA people over this ongoing Parliamentary Services crew complement issue. Yes, we get that there are legitimate issues to be raised with how some political reporters in...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Aucklanders caught between a tarseal-addicted government and a weak mayor
    Len Brown’s proposal for motorway tolls to reduce congestion and provide funding for better public transport is a weak response to a critical issue. The $12 billion dollar shortfall on transport funding he talks about is mainly for projected new...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • A Very Weird Story: Deconstructing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah.
    NOAH is a curious movie. Conceived as a biblical epic, it’s target audience was originally the millions of Americans who regard the Bible as God’s inerrant word. With the sin-filled works of Hollywood forbidden to these true-believers, Christian movie-makers have developed...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • You Can Get Away With Rape In New Zealand
    Jessie Hume with last years petition against rape     The police have sent a strong message today.  In fact they’ve been sending a strong message for a while; a message that our government supports. “You can literally get away...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Roast Buster case – no charges. In the immortal words of NWA…
    Roast Busters case: No prosecutions Police are to make an announcement this afternoon on Operation Clover, the investigation into the “Roast Busters” allegations. The Herald understands the victim has been told that the alleged offenders will not be prosecuted due...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Key’s flag change distraction to cost $26million!
    No. Way. Bid to change NZ flag to cost millions The cost of holding two referendums and consulting on a change of flag has been estimated to be just under $26 million. Look. We all appreciate that the sleepy hobbits...
    The Daily Blog | 29-10
  • Why NZ Herald’s Labour Party crocodile tears are so audacious
    The front page the NZ Herald would use if they thought they could get away with it No one can take the recent columns by NZ Herald seriously… John Armstrong: Shadow lingers on National John Roughan: Labour’s leadership vote matters...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • The beginning of the end of Cameron Slater?
    Slater postings on man bizarre, court told A businessman has changed his appearance and had to install extra security at his home after Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater posted his business and personal documents online, he says. Mr Slater has...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • We are a milk power republic and Fonterra our unelected senate
    Wow. Just wow… Deputy mayor says he’ll be sacked South Taranaki deputy mayor Alex Ballantyne says he expects to be sacked because he has spoken out about the impact gasses coming from dumped Fonterra dairy products have had on his...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: “…But *actually* this is about ethics in political-game jo...
    Yesterday, a piece of mine on the recent revelations about Hone Harawira employing several gentlemen either accused or convicted of sex offences was published on The Daily Blog. Predictably, given the fierce loyalty which Hone inspires in his party faithful and...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Privilege cheque
    There was no race problem in my childhood. Living in central Wellington I was well-insulated from what was going on not so far away. This was the 60s and 70s, where the teachers enjoyed free love in the staff room...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • A brief word on Key’s claim that it will be raining carnage
    Isis will ‘rain carnage on the world’ – John Key Left unchecked Isis would “rain carnage on the world”, Prime Minister John Key says, but he has yet to make a decision on whether New Zealand troops will join a...
    The Daily Blog | 28-10
  • Meanwhile…
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • How does Andrew Little win Labour Leadership and unify the caucus?
    Audrey Young’s excellent column on how the Caucus vote  is shaping up shows how Andrew Little becomes the next leader of the Labour Party. She identifies the factions as the following… Andrew Little 6: Andrew Little, David Cunliffe, Iain Lees Galloway,...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Joe Trinder – Right of response to Curwen
    You have asked that Hone Harawira deserves to explain what happened, how would he explain when his next door neighbour is an alleged sex offender. What explanation can Hone offer he wasn’t involved, Hone had no idea this offending was...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • MEDIA WATCH: That Hella-Weird Feeling When You Defend Tova O’Brien
    Oh dear. Yesterday morning I blogged that Hone deserved a chance to explain what exactly had happened as applies his office’s Parliamentary Services crew complement – and, importantly, that we deserve to be able to judge him on the strength of...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Canadian Green MP warns against harsh anti-terror measures
    Canada’s Green Party has provided a welcome counterpoint to Prime Minister Harper’s call for tougher anti-terrorism laws in the wake of a soldier outside the Canadian Parliament. On October 22, while she was still locked in her parliamentary office, Green...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • When is an asset sale not an asset sale? When it robs from the poor and ste...
    National have turned state housing on its head. At no time during the 2014 election did the Key Government even hint that they were going to privatise 30% of the Housing NZ stock of state homes. Not once. Key even...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part To...
    . . Continued from: Housing; broken promises, families in cars, and ideological idiocy (Part Rua) . Bill English comes clean on National’s intentions for HNZ privatisation . On 14 October, in a report on The Daily Blog, I wrote, In...
    The Daily Blog | 27-10
  • The Questions Have Been Asked – They Deserve An Answer
    A few days ago, allegations that had been percolating for some time about Hone Harawira employing three either accused or convicted sex offenders on his Parliamentary pay-roll came to light. (one imprisoned before working for MANA; one who found himself convicted and...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • I have seen one future, and it is bleak
    . . Back in  March 2012, I wrote this story regarding a march to support striking workers at Ports of Auckland. It appears there was some prescience about some of my observations at the time… . | | 18 March...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • US air strike war Key wants us in has killed a civilian a day so far
      The US air strike war that John Key wants us to join has killed a civilian a day so far. From the Washington Post... The United States launched its first airstrikes on militants in Syria on Sept. 23, and has continued...
    The Daily Blog | 26-10
  • The instant Jihad syndrome
    My favourite new term is ‘self-radicalised’ – it suggests the reasons for terrorism are totally divorced from the actions of the West. This need to suddenly ramp up terror laws because of lone wolf, self-radicalised Jihadists seems convenient and counter-productive....
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • We have nothing to fear from Ebola but fear itself
    I suspect most Americans perceive Ebola like this   I can’t work out if the fear being spread within the media about Ebola is deliberate or just ignorance. Yes Ebola is a terrible plague that kills a large percentage of...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – “Meritocracy? I wish.”
    I’d like to start by linking to a post I had published at another site in support of Nanaia Mahuta for the Labour Party leadership election.  She has a reasonable chance, given that she already has the endorsement of Te...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Chocolate milk shortage and creepy Santa? Let’s talk about real news
    Child poverty is still a scarily serious problem in this country and house prices are soaring through the roof to the point where it is simply impossible for the average New Zealander to buy a home. There is also little...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • It’s time to celebrate Kiwi schools and teachers
    Some would have you believe that New Zealand’s schools are in a state of collapse, that your children are not being educated well and that things are going to hell in a hand basket.  That there is no innovation, no...
    The Daily Blog | 25-10
  • Ideological Blitzkrieg – Privatization of state housing, more charter sch...
    Pundits in pundit land will tell you that this Government is boring, that Key is the great pragmatist and that it is his ability to create elegant solutions that keeps him the firm favourite in many Kiwi eyes. This ability...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • Hegemony rules but resistance is fertile
    The Prime Minister is a puppet. Not just our current Prime Minister, but given the forces of multinational globalisation, the role of any head of state, is less as independent actor, and more as a puppet of international trends and...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • An open Letter to Sir Bob Jones: demanding a ‘liveable wage’ is not “...
    How out of touch with reality is Sir Bob Jones? You know, that white dude who invested in privatised SOEs after the selling off of our assets in the eighties and made a ludicrous and disgusting amount of money and is...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • My insecurity about the Security Council
    As I write this (on 24 October) it is international UN Day. Of course, you all knew that already, right? Well, the day celebrates the entry into force of the UN Charter in 1945. With the ratification of this founding...
    The Daily Blog | 24-10
  • GUEST BLOG: Catherine Delahunty – Back in That House
    Parliament opened this week and I still find it a very odd place. Most of the people are reasonably courteous and friendly, but the rituals are archaic and the rules around issues like the swearing in oath are oppressive and...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Marae Investigates No More
    TVNZ yesterday announced the closure of their Māori and Pacific programmes department. That means they’ve chosen to stop making Fresh, Tagata Pasifika, Waka Huia and Marae Investigates to let independent producers get their hands on these lucrative contracts. This is...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • BLOGWATCH: An Un-Civil War in Labour, eh?
    Earlier today, my attention was directed to an entry that’s just recently appeared on the Slightly Left of Centre blog. It purports to contain the ‘inside word’ from a highly placed NZF source – which is funny, because I’m pretty sure...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Santanomics 101
    Santanomics could mean a number of things. It could be the study and practice of giving. Or it could mean the study and practice of rampant end-of-year commercialism. However, for me today it is the economics of erectingAuckland’s giant Santa...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • SkyCity boss misleads public over workers lost shifts
    SkyCity CEO Nigel Morrison has defended the employment practices at his company in an “Opinion” piece entitled “Human Capital key to corporate success” in the NZ Herald on Thursday. A number of his claims are misleading, contain only partial truths...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • Review: Perfect Place
    I went to a Perfect Place on Tuesday night, and what a delight it was. The marshmallows sweetly (and forcefully) handed out pre-show, set the tone for the next hour. Walking up the stairs at The Basement was a complete...
    The Daily Blog | 23-10
  • 5AA Australia – NZ on UN Security Council + Dirty Politics Lingers On
    5AA Australia: Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey deliver their weekly bulletin Across The Ditch. General round up of over night talkback issues: Thongs, Jandals and flip-flops… ISSUE 1: New Zealand has been successful in its campaign to become a non...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • When I mean me, I mean my office & when I call whaleoil I mean not as m...
    This. Is. Ludicrous. Green Party co-leader Russel Norman put the first of what are likely to be many questions about Mr Key’s relationship with Slater, asking him how many times he had phoned or texted the blogger since 2008. “None...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • A brief word on describing the Government as ‘boring and bland’
    The narrative being sown is that this Government will be a boring and bland third term. Boring and bland. Since the election, Key has announced he is privatising 30% of state houses without reinvesting any of that money back into housing society’s most...
    The Daily Blog | 22-10
  • Roast Busters: Turn Indignation into Action
    People raged about the Roast Buster case. The indignation was justified – it was horrible. “Where were their parents!?” Fair question. I am sure the Roast Busters’ parents and the victims’ parents all wish they had been more proactive in...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Stats NZ only have themselves to blame for postponement
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says Statistics NZ only have themselves to blame for the indefinite postponement of the release of the Food Price Index: November 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • NZ Diversity Survey – benchmarking workplace diversity
    AUT University’s New Zealand Work Research Institute (NZWRI) has released a report on diversity in New Zealand workplaces....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Māori Language (Te Reo Māori) Bill
    Tutehounuku Korako, Chair of the Māori Affairs Committee, is inviting further public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 5 December 2014....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • ERA amendments a mixed bag
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act has the potential to put vulnerable workers in a more precarious position, says Equal Opportunities Commissioner, Dr Jackie Blue. However, the commissioner says the right for all to request flexible work hours is...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Sensible Sentencing calls for appeal of judicial activivism
    The Sensible Sentencing Trust is appalled that Justice Jill Mallon has today refused to apply the Life without Parole (LWOP) provisions of the Three Strikes law as enacted by Parliament....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Global Rally against ISIS – for Kobanê – for Humanity, Nov 1
    The New Zealand Kurdish Community will march in solidarity with Kurdistan as part of the “GLOBAL RALLY AGAINST ISIS – FOR KOBANÊ – FOR HUMANITY” on 1 November 2014, 2pm....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Does ‘No-Surprises’ Also Apply To TVNZ News?
    When you stand back and look at NZ media outlets, most of them have at least one or two people who attempt to hold the government to account: John Campbell on TV3, Guyon Espiner and others at Radio NZ, David...
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Safer roads are better for everyone
    Recent pedestrian versus vehicle incidents highlight the real issues being addressed by delegates as the 2Walk and Cycle conference concludes....
    Scoop politics | 31-10
  • Law change creates more flexible labour market
    The Employment Relations Amendment Act, passed yesterday, will bring new flexibility to the labour market and will reduce the ability of unions to organise and to recruit....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Bumper ANZ profits mean no excuse for insecure hours
    A big rise in profits at New Zealand's largest bank needs to be reflected in a better pay offer and more security around hours of work, the bank workers’ union said today....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Count down to lowered alcohol limit
    With just a month to go until a new lower alcohol limit for adult drivers comes into effect, Police and road safety agencies are reminding drivers of the impending change....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • WorkSafe Supports Forestry Review Findings
    WorkSafe NZ says the Independent Forestry Safety Review has clearly identified the problems facing an industry in which ten workers were killed last year. “The Review’s analysis matches our own view and leaves no doubt about the need for comprehensive,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU welcomes forestry review recommendations
    The CTU is welcoming the today's release of the independent forestry safety review panel findings. "These recommendations must be implemented to ensure that everything possible is done to make forestry safer." CTU President, Helen Kelly said....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Activists will confront animal abusers
    Today animal rights activists will confront a group of wealth advisers who want to build the biggest egg factory-farm in New Zealand....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Turia: Women’s Refuge Conference 2014
    This is a milestone moment in my life. This will be my last official address as Co-leader of the Maori Party. On Saturday night at our Hui-a-Tau, I will be standing down from that role and enabling a new co-leader,...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rodeo Code of Welfare ‘Sick Joke’
    Animal advocacy organisation SAFE says the revised Code of Welfare for Rodeos just released is nothing but a sick joke. “Rodeo animals are goaded, tormented and forced to endure needless suffering and gross mistreatment, all for the sake of so-called...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Conservative Party applauds binding referenda on flag
    The Conservative Party are congratulating the Government on the decision to hold two binding referendums to decide the fate of New Zealand’s flag – and believes it will pave the way for binding referenda to form part of New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Walk the Talk – Opposing violence against women
    Soroptimist International of Auckland have organised a walk on 22 November from Silo Park at the Wynyard Quarter through the Viaduct and back to Silo Park, to show their opposition to violence against women. This event hopes to raise awareness...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Recommendations on the Design of Pecuniary Penalties
    The Law Commission has reviewed the use of pecuniary penalties as a regulatory tool. Pecuniary penalties are financial penalties that policymakers are increasingly opting to use in place of criminal sanctions in order to punish and deter misconduct in...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Every worker will be affected by employment law changes
    Every worker will feel the effects of the government’s new employment laws and should join a union if they want to maintain and increase their wages and conditions, says New Zealand’s largest private sector union, the EPMU....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Shameful attack on all workers
    The Government has passed the Employment Relations Amendment Act slashing the rights of all Kiwi workers. “These changes are shameful. New Zealand now has some of the worst employment protections in the OECD. It is embarrassing that a country which...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Unnecessary law changes more to do with ideology
    The government’s employment law changes are simply ideological and are at odds with its approach in the related areas of health and safety and immigration law, FIRST Union said tonight....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CTU Runanga calls on iwi leaders
    Maori workers are calling on iwi leaders to speak out against the employment law changes expected to go through today. “Iwi leaders have previously spoken out when workers in Aotearoa have been under attack, we believe they should do so...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Educating children not the best solution to alcohol harm
    Alcohol Healthwatch says we need to look beyond educating children and young people to address deeply embedded attitudes and behaviours concerning alcohol....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • New code of welfare for rodeos released
    New standards to strengthen the animal welfare requirements for rodeos have been issued today by the Minister for Primary Industries, Nathan Guy....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • IPCA report riddle with inaccuracies, say students
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority into the policing of student protests in 2012 is riddled with inaccuracies, say students who laid the original complaint with the IPCA....
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • CT v The Queen – indecency convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Rameka v The Queen – murder convictions quashed
    This summary is provided to assist in the understanding of the Court’s judgment. It does not comprise part of the reasons for that judgment. The full judgment with reasons is the only authoritative document. The full text of the judgment...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Auckland Council Out of Control
    Responding to the NZ Herald article that some Auckland households will face a rates rise of up to 9.6 per cent next year, Taxpayers’ Union Executive Director Jordan Williams says: “Len Brown’s pledge to cap rates rises at 2.5 per...
    Scoop politics | 30-10
  • Stats NZ staff escalate action with ‘no more meetings’ rule
    Statistics NZ staff have voted to escalate their ongoing industrial action in an effort to get Stats NZ back to the bargaining table with a reasonable offer. The staff, who are members of the Public Service Association (PSA), have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Rape Crisis calls for changes to criminal justice system
    Wellington Rape Crisis has added its voice to the public outcry following the announcement that there will be no charges in the teen rape gang case. Butterworth says the decision not to lay charges will not have been a surprise...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Police action justified in Blockade the Budget demonstration
    Police actions in dealing with a demonstration in Central Auckland known as Blockade the Budget on 1 June 2012 were justified and appropriate, an Independent Police Conduct Authority report released today found....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • NZDF Joins with Australia to Commemorate WWI Centenary
    A contingent of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel will join their Australian counterparts at Australia’s first major commemoration of the First World War centenary in Albany, Western Australia this weekend....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Reserve Bank should reduce interest rate
    “The Reserve Bank should be reducing its policy interest rate, the OCR”, says CTU Economist Bill Rosenberg in response to the Bank’s announcement today that it is not increasing it....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • 2015 Stout Fellow will write about Māori & Criminal Justice
    Kim Workman, founder and advocate for the Robson Hanan Trust, which administers the Rethinking Crime and Punishment and Justspeak initiatives, has been awarded the 2015 John David Stout Fellowship at Victoria University....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • What John Key thought about ‘dirty politics’
    On September 20, John Key swept to victory to become one of New Zealand’s most successful and popular Prime Ministers. Rocked by scandal, the 2014 election campaign was one of the most brutal – and riveting – in recent history....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Trade Deal Threatens Farmers and Food Businesses
    The secret Trans Pacific Partnership negotiations are a direct threat to food businesses and farmers, and a moratorium on the release of GE crops must be enshrined in law before the TPP is signed....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • CTU announces election of new Secretary
    The contested election for the position of CTU Secretary has been won by Sam Huggard. Sam officially takes office on Monday 1 December 2014. Sam has worked in the union movement and brings a wealth of experience and a commitment...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kim Workman awarded 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship
    The Victoria University of Wellington 2015 J.D. Stout Fellowship, funded by the Stout Trust, has been awarded to justice reform advocate Kim Workman. Mr Workman (Ngati Kahungungu ki Wairarapa, Rangitaane) is well known for his work on criminal justice,...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • TPPA causing concern
    Concern over the secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations is being expressed in two public meetings over the next week; one at a presentation on 5th November by former councillor Robin Gwynn to the Napier City Council, the...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Kiwis rally to demand justice for ‘Roast Buster’ survivors
    Over 1,500 kiwis have rallied to demand justice after the announcement of the NZ Police decision not to lay charges in the ‘Roast Busters’ saga....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • New employment law will hurt the most vulnerable NZers
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says changes to the Employment Relations Act, expected to be passed in Parliament tonight, will hurt vulnerable workers and their families more than anyone....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Consultation to close on proposed place names
    The New Zealand Geographic Board (NZGB) Ngā Pou Taunaha o Aotearoa today advised that only one month remains before public consultation closes for 18 name proposals for geographic features and places around Te Ika ā Māui (the North Island)....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Operation Clover – Statement from Police Commissioner
    I have taken a close interest in this investigation and I am confident police have conducted a thorough and professional enquiry in what has been a challenging and complex case. The Operation Clover team has ensured that victims have been...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Better policy would have protected children from recession
    Child Poverty Action Group says an international report released by UNICEF today shows good policy can protect and improve child well-being, even during a recession....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Outcome of Operation Clover investigation
    Police have completed a multi-agency investigation, Operation Clover, into the activities of a group calling themselves “The Roast Busters”. The 12 month enquiry focused on incidents involving allegations of sexual offending against a number of girls...
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • False birth registration brings home detention
    A Whangarei woman who attempted to register the birth of a fictitious child to claim a sole parent benefit was sentenced to six months home detention in the Whangarei District Court today....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Family of Robert Ellis demand a proper investigation
    The family of a New Zealander killed in Indonesia are growing increasingly concerned at the lack of information they’ve received, and the handling of the investigation into his murder....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
  • Minister of Health must account for aged care workers’ pay
    The New Zealand Federation of Business and Professional Women (BPW NZ) congratulates rest-home worker Kristine Bartlett on her landmark claim for equal pay from her employer and successfully pursuing this to the Court of Appeal....
    Scoop politics | 29-10
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