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The 3D printer peril!

Written By: - Date published: 10:47 am, April 12th, 2013 - 108 comments
Categories: you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , , ,

From RNZ:

3D printers a border security threat – minister

Customs Minister Maurice Williamson says he is extremely worried about what 3D printers will do to border security …

He says household printers will soon be able to produce drugs and weapons, and the country’s borders are extremely vulnerable.

“If people could print off … sheets of Ecstasy tablets at the party they’re at at that time that just completely takes away our border protection role in its known sense.”

Who can save us from this peril?

108 comments on “The 3D printer peril!”

  1. TheContrarian 1

    Yeah not sure about printing ecstasy.
    It’s a printer not a teleporter you klutz

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      Invasion of the Star Trek matter replicators….

      WTF is Williamson on about? And National Radio was going on this morning about the coming threat posed by ordinary home printers. I mean, WTF?

      • TheContrarian 1.1.1

        You would still need to raw ingredient to fill the printer with so effectively the printer would just be a pill press.

        (Though there is the threat of people printing off weapons – that is a real issue)

        • lprent 1.1.1.1

          No more so than anyone with access to the internet and a few tools. Plastic spring loaded weapons aren’t exactly hard to make (ie plastic slug guns) and nor are large magazines.

          It will be some time before the 3D printers are able to make barrels, locks, or automatic reloading mechanisms capable of handling the gas discharges on an explosive weapon.

          • chris73 1.1.1.1.1

            Yes but human endeavor being what it is I think Williamson is right to be concerned (about the guns anyway)

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1.1.1.1.1

              What, you think bad people have trouble getting access to weapons in NZ?

              Don’t want people printing their own paracetamol now, do we? What would that do to profits?

              • Populuxe1

                They don’t find it easy to acquire semi-automatics or high power sniper rifles, no. Silly.

              • chris73

                I’m a firm believer in gun ownership, I like the fact I can go and buy a machine gun, sniper rifle, battle rifle etc etc

                As long as I get my licence and endorsements, printing of firearms for yourself is something I’m not keen on especially as the technology improves

                If people can print off drugs well good on them, I think all personal drug use should be decriminilized, maybe do what Portugal is doing

            • lprent 1.1.1.1.1.2

              There is a whole different level of problem involved in sintering metal to produce the kind of bonded strengths required.

              Of course it is quite feasible to rebuild an existing semi-automatic weapon to become fully automatic. But personally I’d just ban the import of semi-automatics because they serve no useful functional purpose apart from pleasuring people who like wasting ammo.

              • chris73

                I think the gun rules we have now are working just fine, theres no need to ban something just because you don’t like them.

                I would take a look at the 3d printing seriously though.

                • Jackal

                  In 2011, around 7000 prohibited and regulated weapons offenses were reported in New Zealand… Clearly further firearm law reforms are required.

                  I would take a look at the 3d printing seriously though.

                  For making weapons? That says more about your lack of knowledge concerning simple manufacturing principles than anything else chris73.

                • lprent

                  Silly diversion. I guess you just didn’t want to deal with the question…

                  I do like weapons and have done so ever since I was in the army. My sole proactive reason to go to Invercargill is because Lyn’s father is a gunsmith and has some interesting ones to play with.

                  However that wasn’t what I said. What I said was there was no functional purpose in NZ for semi-automatic weapons. If there was a problem with conversions from semi-automatics to automatic with 3D printers or CNC lathes or whatever, then just remove the semi-automatics. The materials, mechanisms and tolerances on those are going to be impossible to produce with a melted sinter technique. It effectively gets rid of the weapons side of Maurice’s foolish fears.

                  Seems like a simple enough thing to me.

                  • chris73

                    “What I said was there was no functional purpose in NZ for semi-automatic weapons.”

                    – I don’t have a problem with semi-auto rifles and shot guns for hunting purposes and if someone wants to buy a machine gun and blat away on the range and waste some rounds I don’t see an issue with that either

                    – I think a bigger problem would be banning things because we don’t see a need for them *insert slippery slope reference here*

            • Rogue Trooper 1.1.1.1.1.3

              ahhh, a “snale” trail. . . . . . . . . .

  2. BM 2

    Google 3d printing drugs

  3. One Anonymous Knucklehead 3

    This.

    “The ‘chemputer’ that could print out any drug”.

    • TheContrarian 3.1

      Yeah but you need the raw ingredients.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1

        Sure, they just sell the machine, not the print cartridges.

        Oh, and by the way, Wikipedia informs me that Ecstasy, for example, is made of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen.

        • TheContrarian 3.1.1.1

          As well as Safrole
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safrole

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1.1.1.1

            You use “reactionware” to make it. Google it.

            • TheContrarian 3.1.1.1.1.1

              So all you are doing is replacing one method of doing chemistry for another.
              It still isn’t the equivalent of printing sheets of ecstasy at a party

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                The major concern is for the profits from legal pharmaceuticals once anyone who knows what the molecule looks like can make it locally.

                Has the penny started to drop?

                The current manufacturers are looking at a new distribution paradigm with horror.

                • Jackal

                  You can’t manufacture the “molecules” required to produce ecstasy (or any other drug for that matter) out of thin air One Anonymous Knucklehead… You still need the raw ingredients, which cannot be downloaded off the internet. Such a fantasy is quite simply ridiculous! Why would you use a 3D printer when a pill press is cheaper and faster anyway?

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    You still need the raw ingredients, which cannot be downloaded off the internet.

                    No they can’t – but they can be purchased at the dairy.

                    Why would you use a 3D printer when a pill press is cheaper and faster anyway?

                    For now.

                    • TheContrarian

                      ” but they can be purchased at the dairy”

                      You can’t purchase Ecstasy catalysts and percusors at the dairy Draco

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      TC, what about Soliris? Or herceptin?

                    • TheContrarian

                      You going to make herceptin from ingredients at the dairy? Good luck with that

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, oxygen and sulphur.

                    • TheContrarian

                      You do know you can’t actually buy hydrogen from the dairy?

                      Secondly are you really suggesting that it is as easy as just combing those elements? Really?

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      You can’t purchase Ecstasy catalysts and percusors at the dairy Draco

                      And what happens when the 3D printer becomes the catalyst?

                      It’s coming. There was an article a few years ago (haven’t been able to find it since which is really irritating) about a Canterbury University team that had managed to perfect the manipulation of atoms by lasers. The next step, I believe, would be to give the atom the necessary energy state that it will form a molecule with another atom or series of atoms.

                      Time consuming? Sure, but when there’s millions or billions of these types of printers around who really cares?

                      And I’m sure that the time constraint will be addressed at some point to.

                    • TheContrarian

                      The key ingredient of ecstasy is a controlled substance which you’d need first

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      TC: yeah, I know it’s not that easy, but I doubt 3D printing is “that easy” either and yet there’s one right there.

                      And let’s face it, this is only version 2.0 or something.

                    • Jackal

                      Now correct me if I’m wrong, but the catalyst or active ingredient in ecstasy is usually 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine also known as piperonyl acetone, which as TC has noted is derived from Safrole, an organic compound. Also known as MDMA base, it’s a colourless oil insoluble in water.

                      Originally safrole was mixed with hydrobromic acid to form bromosafrole, which was converted to MDMA using methylamine, which is also an organic compound.

                      As far as I can tell, this is a reactive animation process, meaning that simply mixing these separate components together in a printing mechanism using printing cartridges wouldn’t work… You would need a chemical reactive and/or heat process first.

                      Here is a common biochemical sequence in the reactive process: HO2CC(O)R → HO2CC(=NCH2-X)R → HO2CCH(N=CH-X)R → HO2CCH(NH2)R. You can’t honestly be trying to tell me that a 3D “printer” can or will be able to do that?

                      Also, Safrole is derived from plants, meaning that without plants providing the complex active ingredient, synthesis of effective illicit drugs is unlikely to occur. The same can be said for cocaine, heroin and pretty much any illicit drug you can mention.

                      Some prescription and illicit drugs are entirely synthetic, but I would presume that adding the expense and difficulty of mixing various components in order to print them would make the process entirely prohibitive. It certainly won’t be the issue that Williamson and his defenders seem to envision.

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    Um yes. You have to have access to the raw materials. And the hardware, and the software “formula” and then you can make them anywhere. And it’s a new distribution paradigm, which pharmaceutical companies would doubtless like to control, to prevent someone like me, say, looking up the software for their latest creation on say, Megaupload, and making a batch without paying them a cent.

                    • TheContrarian

                      You have invented a conspiracy (of sorts) before such a conspiracy is even technologically viable.

                      That must be a record of some kind

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      What’s conspiratorial about an industry doing its best to protect profits?

          • Rogue Trooper 3.1.1.1.2

            love seasonings

      • NickS 3.1.2

        pfft.

        Feedstock is a piece of piss to get your hands on for most organic chemistry work, it’s reactants (attaching carbons to aromatic rings requires “fun”, and nitrogen groups…) and catalysts (ranging from iron oxide, to the esoteric) that’s another problem. Along with the usual low yield issues if the synthesis method hasn’t been or is very problematic to optimise.

        Although nano-scale surfaces have produced some interesting catalysts and the fluid physics of small reaction vessels and delivery tubes introduces some novel solutions (so. much. chemistry…).

        Either way more time and research be needed to make drug-bricks economical compared to current organic synthesis methods. But it’s sure as hell not a piece of pure fantasy, unlike grey-goo.

  4. lprent 4

    I heard this and spent the entire segment saying WTF!

    I couldn’t figure out who were the biggest fools, Maurice, or the gullible idiots that reported that as news.

    You could with the current technology produce plastic spring loaded weapons with a 3d printer. But anyone with access to the internet and a tool shop could produce both them and black powder weapons. Not to mention that it isn’t that hard to find out how to make bombs, poisons, and all manner of interesting weapons.

    And ecstasy? This guy used to be a science teacher right? I guess his time as a politician has just rotted his brain because I can’t conceive of a way that 3d printer can make chemicals.

    At the tag end of the segment somewhere, I finally heard what it was about when the woman from InternetNZ said that downloading copyrighted material is exactly the same as downloading a song. Just Maurice jerking off on intellectual property issues and getting prepped for more dumbass ineffective legislation

      • TheContrarian 4.1.1

        Yes but you still need the raw ingredients.

      • lprent 4.1.2

        Yeah. The tissue and prosthetics uses are well known.

        The production of agents is something that is possible (and is regardless of the type of technology) but you still have to provide the precursors and catalysts. Ask any street P or base producer. They produce quite sophisticated drugs using cookbook techniques. Hell, even producing rotgut alcohol is just cookbook (that my grandfather was pretty good at). Their main problem is and always has been on getting the precursors and equipment.

        Having a printer assemble a catalysed product is just another cookbook technique requiring precursors. You could do the same thing without the printer.

        • TheContrarian 4.1.2.1

          Exactly what lprent sez

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1.2.2

          I don’t think the manufacture of illegal drugs is the issue here.

          I think the manufacture of legal ones is. Researchers are discussing decentralised manufacture, effectively a new distribution model. Pharmaceutical companies (not to mention the medical profession) will be concerned for their profit margins.

          • Jackal 4.1.2.2.1

            Large manufacturers of most legal drugs can undercut any smaller manufacturer by buying the raw ingredients in bulk. Also, the quantities and makeup of those ingredients are invariably not public knowledge, meaning that any generic replication isn’t usually as good as the patented original.

            With manufacturers having exclusive rights to the drugs they produce and a number of hurdles they must pass before those drugs are allowed to be sold, decentralised manufacturing of safe and effective drugs isn’t likely to be a growth industry.

            Besides, if it was as simple as you make out One Anonymous Knucklehead, why not just buy the raw ingredients and some gelatine capsules? Why the need for a 3D printer?

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1.2.2.1.1

              the quantities and makeup of those ingredients are invariably not public knowledge

              And with the right software, you don’t need any of that knowledge, and you could say, make your own paracetamol and pay the chemist nothing.

              Pharmaceutical companies will try and control this technology in the same way that Hollywood tries to control software piracy, and for the same reasons.

              • northshoredoc

                Even if you could why would you bother when PHARMAC currently buys it in for the NZ public at $9.38 per 1000 tabs ?

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  Because it might not be paracetamol you were after, and it might not be available through Pharmac.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Why pay $9.38 per 1000 when you can print 10,000 for the same price?

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      But anyone with access to the internet and a tool shop could produce both them and black powder weapons.

      And you don’t need black-powder either. A good workshop and air guns work fine.

  5. Wow seems to me that Williamson may have taken an Ecstasy tab before saying this, and not one of those 3D printer jobbies either …

    [posted also at dim post]

  6. gnomic 6

    What has Maurice been smoking? I think we should be told. I definitely don’t want any. Isn’t it about time this nitwit shuffled off into well-deserved obscurity? I was going to say, took his nose out of the trough, but of course we’ll be paying his bills until he bites the dust.

  7. Dv 7

    So – the 3 d printer could print food!!!!! from c h o and N
    Bugger that could stuff the economy

  8. Populuxe1 8

    I think you are willfully ignoring the asymptotic teleological evolution of any technology. It is entirely possible that, for example, it will become possible to “print” a high power assualt rifle or a machine gun, part by part, without the need for specialised tools. The actual material is somewhat irrelevant in contrast to the engineering specs. More to the point you would probably be making it froma non-ferrous material, so blammo – suddenly you are crawling with the equivalent of those ceramic Glocks that don’t get picked up by metal detectors.

    • TheContrarian 8.1

      yeah – the weapons part is right.
      Not so with complex chemicals. Ecstasy requires Safrole for example and unless you have a safrole cartridge you can’t make ecstasy

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.1.1

        You think bad people have a problem getting access to safrole in NZ?

        This is about profits, not crime.

        • TheContrarian 8.1.1.1

          Ecstasy manufacture in NZ is extremely rare and nearly all of the ecstasy in NZ is smuggled in.
          If you had all the ingredients all you are doing is using the 3D printer instead of using traditional chemistry methods which take much longer.

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 8.1.1.1.1

            …and this isn’t about illegal drugs it’s about the “right” to manufacture legal ones.

            • TheContrarian 8.1.1.1.1.1

              /facepalm

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                Cronin imagines a day when researchers and perhaps even consumers could download 3-D printing instructions as easily as downloading a smartphone app, use the program to print the desired reaction chamber at home or in the lab, and be able to have a customized, fully tested and characterized chemical reaction at their fingertips within just a few minutes. Think printable pharmaceuticals or other beneficial chemicals for consumers or the military, among other things.

                And if you download the software from Megaupload.com rather than Pfizer.com?

                Has the penny started to drop yet?

                • TheContrarian

                  You can do that now with a chemistry set you silly person.

                  The printer just speeds up the process but you still catalysts and chemicals.

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    Yes, you can do it know if you know a bit of chemistry.

                    The new process requires hardware, ingredients, and software. Where’s the $ for the guy who knows chemistry?

                    • TheContrarian

                      /facepalm

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      You don’t get it: the “clever chemist” does the job, and then the software gets stolen and mass manufacture goes ahead without the “clever chemist” earning a well-deserved cent.

                      Actually, the scenario is more like “open source” medicine competing with patent-based medicine.

                      You think the industry has a position on that much?

                    • northshoredoc

                      This is effectively what occurs in India where IP on pharmaceuticals is at variance with most other countries but I can assure you it is very much more difficult to formulate APIs, intermediates and finished products than is suggested on this blog even with the formulation.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Do you predict it’s going to get more difficult, or easier, with the advent of this new technology?

                    • northshoredoc

                      It’ll depend on the adaptability of this technology to deal with complex chemical reactions, I think the technology is certainly very exciting in relation to surgical intervention and implants down the track.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      Adaptability? My pick is this is the tip of the proverbial iceberg.

      • Populuxe1 8.1.2

        Until the point technology gets to where some kind of nano-process synthesises it straight out of the carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen and oxygen in the air…

        • TheContrarian 8.1.2.1

          Yeah of course but that is like Williamson getting all frightened that soon we might be able to teleport drugs from one place to another using a teleporter. Sure we don’t have one yet but one day…

        • lprent 8.1.2.2

          If that happens then I suspect that keeping a planet intact would be more of an issue. If you can do that then there is nothing apart from hackable software to stop it happening to water or rocks.

        • NickS 8.1.2.3

          We already have a means of doing that, it’s called “plants” 😛

    • NickS 8.2

      Meh, ultimately it’s just a materials science issue, if the funding is there, some group will make the right kind of plastic feedstock that is a suitable metal replacement, but it’ll probably be more economical to make guns from metals. Knives on the other hand…

  9. Dv 9

    So why doesnt Ryall talk to Williamson

    3 d printer is a solution to hospital meals.

    • Tigger 9.1

      This.

      In fact, these magical machines could solve a whole bunch of problems. Just had to renew my passport. Pity I didn’t have a 3D printer so I could save myself the hassle. And had to go to chemist to get some medication refilled but hey, the 3D printer can handle an inhaler, right? Also, need a new car. I’ll just spit the parts out of my 3D printer.

  10. Saccharomyces 10

    Oh my god….. words fail me. Wasn’t Maurice Williamson minister of technology at some point?

    And besides, everyone knows that ecstasy pills don’t come in sheets, they come in little plastic bags!

  11. vto 11

    Printed weapons?

    A war of paper-cuts sounds much better than a war of thermo-nuclear exchange. Bring it on I say.

  12. Pascal's bookie 12

    brb, just downloading some water to print out for the front paddock

  13. DH 13

    It must be true, only someone who can print (and ingest) their own drugs on a 3D printer could come up with anything this stupid.

    The weapons argument is a bit daft. You can already build most of the firearm with a home CNC machine and they’re cheaper than 3D printers.

  14. Plan B 14

    Printing guns is basically already upon us. 3D printers can use titanium oxide so key gun parts gun can be made from titanium
    The plans are sort of available and the completely gun is no different from any other gun- a whole bunch of pieces that are then put together. some plastic some titanium
    I say it is almost there. The US are mad on guns, the idea that you can make your own gun is very appealing to a large number of people in the US. Once it is all on the net it will be everywhere.
    It will mean a major change in thinking
    Not sure where it will end up

  15. Descendant Of Sssmith 15

    Of course you can also print heaps of stuff with a 3d printer, including the 90% of the printer itself.

    That was part of the original idea – buy one, first job is to print another one and sell it to get your money back.

    These have been around for quite a few years now but get better all the time. The make your own gun thing has been around a while as well.

    There must be an equilibrium point where idiots get worried about people getting away from the private sector selling them stuff.

    Getting an ouya – you can make your own case – plans are free on the net
    Make you own clothes pegs, clothes hooks, plastic sandals, cups, fruit bowls………

    You might have to inhale a few plastic fumes but what the hell.

    Banning the technology would be stupid.

    It is interesting how it is developing though.

    • DH 15.1

      “It is interesting how it is developing though.”

      They are interesting. I was going to buy one of the Stratasys printers but fortunately I decided to do some research first & ended up giving it away until the market develops more. There’s a whole bunch of different technologies at varying prices and heaps of caveat emptor traps like cost of consumables, print quality and length of time they take to do a print.

      I want one but can’t justify the cost for the type that I want.

      • Descendant Of Sssmith 15.1.1

        I’m in the same boat. The geek in me wants to play though and has done for a few years.

        They are getting better and more sophisticated with each new iteration and it’s cool watching the progression.

        Settled for an Ouya to play with as a compromise.

  16. billbrowne 16

    Why print drugs? – print gold bars and cut out the middle-man

  17. joe90 17

    3-D printed gun fires 6 shots – then falls to pieces.

    • Draco T Bastard 17.1

      And how long before it shoots 12? 24? Unlimited?

      That’s the thing about new technologies – they’re not very good at the beginning but they get better over time.

  18. Murray Olsen 18

    The fact that the average IQ is 100 and half the population are under this sometimes scares me when I think about it. This brain fart by Williamson places him squarely in about the bottom 10%. I’m not even going to insult the intelligence of anyone here by commenting on why what Williamson says is stupid beyond belief. The RWNJs can just believe what he says anyway, on the basis that he’s a Tory minister and therefore godlike.

  19. vto 19

    Are these like those machines where you place some grass and water in and the molecules and atoms get rearranged to make milk?

    Wouldn’t that be grand. Bye bye moo cows.

    Don’t even need to go to the dairy for those ingredients, just step out into the back lawn.

  20. Arto 20

    Nah, I don’t think that 3D printers will be able to fashion gun barrels anytime soon!

  21. NickS 21

    Who can save us from this peril?

    Stupid-Legislation-Twit can!

    Watch as they submit utterly braindead legislation with financial and brain support from copy-right lobbyists, which shall flounder on the reefs of teh law and generally be either utterly ineffectual and/or draconian.

    Watch as they hinge a good degree of their political career to it, only to quickly change tack when the shit hits the fan and flip-flop like crazy!

    And more seriously – the main threat from 3d printers is pirate printing of copyrighted/patented replacement parts + open source or small-fee licensing plans that could replace a lot of smaller household items. Need more pegs? Print ’em! Need some more plates? Print em! Need a replacement plastic buckle? Print it! Missing a bit of lego? Print it!. The list pretty much overs any non-clear plastic item that can fit within a current printer.

    For a insight into the potential impacts – Cory Doctorow book “Makers” or “Rule 34″ by Charles Stross.

    • Descendant Of Sssmith 21.1

      A few people have already duped Lego bricks just cause they can – not that it was cost effective.

      Prototype testing seems to be one of the places where there is already a cost effective use for these printers though. The easy ability to move from 3d image to testing to modification to test again without leaving the building is working well for quite a few people.

  22. the pigman 22

    Well, this is going to put Walter White out of a job…

  23. kiwi_prometheus 23

    “If people could print off … sheets of Ecstasy tablets at the party they’re at at that time”

    Cool, dependable high quality E, it might clear out the current bloated commercial electronic dance music and revive the double speed break beats and screeching cartoon voice loops of the early 1990s underground rave scene: “I’LL TAKE YOUR BRAIN TO ANOTHER DIMENSION!!!”

  24. millsy 24

    You are all missing a very important point (like Williamson).

    You cannot just simply go down to Dick Smiths or Harvey Norman and buy a 3D printer. They are a quite expensive. Just did a google now, and a basic one would cost just under $1000. Not including consumables.

    The idea of some homey printing himself off guns for himself and his mates is actually quite laughable.

    • kiwi_prometheus 24.1

      What’s $1000 when you can print off unlimited Es, A grade Colombian cocaine and weaponry to have a better armed gang than the state forces?

    • Populuxe1 24.2

      So? $1000 isn’t exactly that hard to get – it’s the exact amount of the annual study costs payment on a New Zealand student loan, and would be fairly easy to get from a loan shark. Then you print off the parts needed to upgrade the printer, or even print a whole new top of the range one – perhaps not quite yet, but most of you seem to be stuck in a very 20th century paradigm of technological progression.

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    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    22 hours ago
  • The end of the unarmed police force
    Since forever, the New Zealand police have been arguing for more and better weapons with which to intimidate the public. And once again, they've got what they want:New Zealand police will now routinely carry Tasers, it has been announced. Police… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • Music Will Save The World: Anna & Elizabeth
      ADAM WHITE, long-time anarchist and music aficionado, alerted me to Anna & Elizabeth – and I’m so pleased that he did. These two, superb, 25-year-old folk-singers, Elizabeth LaPrelle, from Virginia, and New Englander, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, have carved out an enviable reputation… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Music Will Save The World: Anna & Elizabeth
      ADAM WHITE, long-time anarchist and music aficionado, alerted me to Anna & Elizabeth – and I’m so pleased that he did. These two, superb, 25-year-old folk-singers, Elizabeth LaPrelle, from Virginia, and New Englander, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, have carved out an enviable reputation… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Music Will Save The World: Anna & Elizabeth
      ADAM WHITE, long-time anarchist and music aficionado, alerted me to Anna & Elizabeth – and I’m so pleased that he did. These two, superb, 25-year-old folk-singers, Elizabeth LaPrelle, from Virginia, and New Englander, Anna Roberts-Gevalt, have carved out an enviable reputation… ...
    23 hours ago
  • A bad deal
    For the past seven years the government has been negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership. All along they've told us that this would be the road to economic nirvana, that the negotiations would deliver a "high quality" free trade agreement which would… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • A bad deal
    For the past seven years the government has been negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership. All along they've told us that this would be the road to economic nirvana, that the negotiations would deliver a "high quality" free trade agreement which would… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • A bad deal
    For the past seven years the government has been negotiating the Trans-Pacific Partnership. All along they've told us that this would be the road to economic nirvana, that the negotiations would deliver a "high quality" free trade agreement which would… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • Navel Gazing with Toni Street – a lesson in trust.
    They should rename this cross: Navel Gazing with Toni Street A diet requires a variety of food groups.  Yet whenever healthy eating is discussed in the context of legislating for better food sources in our supermarkets, or a new study… ...
    Politically CorrectedBy sleepdepriveddiva
    24 hours ago
  • The Impotence Of Purity
    "Certainly, The Impotent Are Pure": Gough Whitlam struggled to make the left of his party understand that purity at the expense of power is a poor bargain. “It is true that some parties can exist only as pressure groups… ...
    1 day ago
  • Target Tokyo – Docs Show NSA Targets Japan Over Trade Deal
    Press Release – Wikileaks Today, Friday 31 July 2015, 9am CEST, WikiLeaks publishes “Target Tokyo”, 35 Top Secret NSA targets in Japan including the Japanese cabinet and Japanese companies such as Mitsubishi, together with intercepts relating to US-Japan relations, trade… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • K-pop’s loyal New Zealand fanbase
    Ahead of the Wellington K-Pop World Festival competition we talk to some of the stand out contestants.   K-pop is music at its pop-iest with ultra polished dance sequences, catchy melodies, and elaborate outfits. While it may be some… ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Not just consumers, but patrons too
    Lydia Jenkin's New Zealand Herald feature on the paltry earnings of New Zealand musical artists in the age of streaming services is a story you should read if you care about having music made here. To say it's sobering is an… ...
    1 day ago
  • Ban junk food marketing to kids
    One in three Kiwi kids are overweight or obese. They face a life where they are 3-10 times more likely to be obese, and this weight will be harder for them to shift than it is for others. Long term,… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    1 day ago
  • Tauranga Eastern Link complete
    Yesterday the Prime Minister John Key and Minister of Transport Simon Bridges officially opened just the second Roads of National Significance to be completed – the $455 million Tauranga Eastern Link. All up the project is 21km long from Te Maunga… ...
    1 day ago
  • Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court
    Press Release – Association of Salaried Medical Specialists A legal challenge to the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations will be launched in the High Court next week.31 July 2015 Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court A… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Guild interested to learn more about TPPA details
    Press Release – Pharmacy Guild The Pharmacy Guild of New Zealand (the Guild) is keen to learn more about how the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) will impact New Zealands health sector if it is accepted by the Government.Guild interested to… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court
    Press Release – Professor Jane Kelsey Secrecy of TPPA documents heads to court A legal challenge to the secrecy of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPPA) negotiations will be launched in the High Court next week. An urgent application for… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Achieving Patient-Centred Care Or Floccinaucinihipilfication
    Press Release – ASMS Thank you for the opportunity to address you again. As always my comments are personal observations, although in broad terms at least I believe they are consistent with the Associations view on the matters discussed. In… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • A Free Trade Deal must include Free Trade
    Press Release – Federated Farmers Federated Farmers says the Government must hold firm on a deal for agriculture at the Trans Pacific Partnership talks in Hawaii.31 July 2015 A Free Trade Deal must include Free Trade Federated Farmers says the… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling our homes?
    Press Release – New Zealand Labour Party After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses its clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labours Trade and… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • More Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands
    Press Release – New Zealand First Party More Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands, Despite English Saying Only Kiwi Farmers Can Make a ProfitMore Farmland Falling into Foreign Hands, Despite English Saying Only Kiwi Farmers Can Make a Profit Finance… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Government Tilts the Playing Fields
    The most shocking example of Government bias can be seen when comparing the treatment of the Problem Gambling Foundation and Relationships Aotearoa with how they bail out failing private and Charter Schools.Wanganui Collegiate is an elite Private School of around… ...
    1 day ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Tim Groser missing in action on the TPP
    While rapid change is always possible in trade talks as they approach the deadline, lets assume that the offers on the table for dairy at the TPP talks in Maui won’t improve much beyond the “appallingly bad” level currently being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Tim Groser missing in action on the TPP
    Column – Gordon Campbell While rapid change is always possibl e in trade talks as they approach the deadline, lets assume that the offers on the table for dairy at the TPP talks in Maui wont improve much beyond… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Tim Groser missing in action on the TPP
    Column – Gordon Campbell While rapid change is always possibl e in trade talks as they approach the deadline, lets assume that the offers on the table for dairy at the TPP talks in Maui wont improve much beyond… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Hone Harawira’s Open Letter to Barack Obama
    Press Release – Hone Harawira Heard you were able to get back to your dads turangawaewae last week. Mean hope you had a good catch up with the whanau. I also hear youre getting ready to endorse the Trans-Pacific Partnership… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • The Old Man’s Back Again (Dedicated To The Neo-Stalinist Regime)
    Read into this what you will. ...
    2 days ago
  • Top 10 stories of the month – July 2015
    In case you missed something, here are our most read stories for the month.   1 - THE PENCILSWORD: WHO'S AFRAID OF THE TPPA? Laws are made to serve people, not profits, says Toby Morris. So what does… ...
    2 days ago
  • Wynyard Quarter’s fourth birthday
    Given how successful it’s been and how cherished it already is by Aucklanders, we often forget Wynyard Quarter is only four years old. After years of planning and construction it opened to the public in August 2011 just before the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Wynyard Quarter’s fourth birthday
    Given how successful it’s been and how cherished it already is by Aucklanders, we often forget Wynyard Quarter is only four years old. After years of planning and construction it opened to the public in August 2011 just before the… ...
    2 days ago
  • National ignores fraud at charter school
    So, in addition to ignoring poor attendance, bullying, drug use and management infighting at charter schools, National is also ignoring apparent fraud by staff:Staff who withdrew $4000 in cash from a school's account and failed to explain what they spent… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • National ignores fraud at charter school
    So, in addition to ignoring poor attendance, bullying, drug use and management infighting at charter schools, National is also ignoring apparent fraud by staff:Staff who withdrew $4000 in cash from a school's account and failed to explain what they spent… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Kick Out The Jams: Beatcomber
    Beatcomber are “a crazy, noisy, psychedelic, super-delayed, saturated, gear orientated, band from Wellington.” That’s how guitarist/vocalist Trent Williams describes them anyway. He says that he modelled his sound off surf music, which he was listening to a lot of when… ...
    2 days ago
  • Weekly Reading: Best longreads on the web
    Our weekly recap highlighting the best feature stories from around the internet.   She's So Rad. The true cost of streaming: Spotify paid Kiwi band with five-star reviews and 90,000 streams just $130 – by Lydia Jenkin,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Honouring Erima Henare – a lasting legacy
    Tamāki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare is proud to have been the “first Te Kōhanga Reo baby” elected to Parliament. All who follow in his footsteps and all Kōhanga Reo students and their families, past and present owe a debt… ...
    2 days ago
  • Honouring Erima Henare – a lasting legacy
    Tamāki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare is proud to have been the “first Te Kōhanga Reo baby” elected to Parliament. All who follow in his footsteps and all Kōhanga Reo students and their families, past and present owe a debt… ...
    2 days ago

  • Will poor TPP dairy outcome stop National selling out our homes?
    After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses it’s clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labour’s Trade and Export spokesperson David Parker says. “Labour has… ...
    21 hours ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    22 hours ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    22 hours ago
  • Feeling aspirational
    Yesterday the Rich List showed the number of people who have over 50 million of wealth had increased by another 15 people since last year. Collectively this group are now worth 55 billion, an increase of over 7% since last… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    22 hours ago
  • Bennett’s legacy a test for Tolley
    Former Social Development Minister Paula Bennett has been thrown under the bus by her successor after its been suggested that Ms Bennett gave the green light to an ‘unethical’ observational study of high-risk children, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Submission to Greater Christchurch Earthquake Recovery: Transition to Rege...
    Thank you for the opportunity to contribute to the Draft Transition Recovery Plan on behalf of the New Zealand Labour Party.  It is important that the citizens of Canterbury have a voice in the governance of the next step of… ...
    1 day ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Troubled school wanted $25,000 dollars to fence farm
    The troubled Whangaruru charter school asked Hekia Parata for $25,000 to fence the school farm at the expense of spending on teaching, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “This unbelievable revelation comes hard on the heels of Hekia Parata’s decision to… ...
    2 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Government report on sexual & family violence a good first step
    Yesterday the Government released the cabinet paper on progress on the work programme of the Ministerial Group on Family Violence and Sexual Violence. Along with the Human Rights Commissioner and Women’s Refuge, I really welcome the report. I’m relieved that… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    2 days ago
  • Prisoner voting disqualification and the Bill of Rights Act
    In 2010, National rammed the Electoral (Disqualification of Sentenced Prisoners) Amendment Bill through Parliament. Paul Quinn’s Member’s Bill existed because Paul Quinn thought anyone who’d been imprisoned was a serious offender, and serious offenders had ‘forfeited’ their right to vote.… ...
    GreensBy David Clendon MP
    2 days ago
  • Mainfreight ‘appalled’ by Government’s rail madness
    The Government has been given a serve by New Zealand-based international trucking and logistics firm Mainfreight which says it lacks a national transport strategy, and has treated rail badly, Labour's Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. The company has told shareholders it… ...
    3 days ago
  • National’s Health and Safety Reform Bill: less safety and fewer rights at...
    The New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is embarking on a campaign to fight the changes that weaken the Health and Safety Reform bill. As part of the campaign the CTU has organised vigils with the display of 291 crosses… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    3 days ago
  • All options need to be put on meat sector table
    Farmers must be given every assurance that all potential risks have been considered before Silver Fern Farms opens its door to foreign equity, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson Damien O’Connor says. “The ongoing saga involving the meat sector and amalgamation has… ...
    3 days ago
  • Flag the referendum if 50% or more don’t vote
    Labour has moved to have the second flag referendum canned if the first attracts fewer than half the eligible number of voters, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “John Key has already wasted more than $8 million on his vanity project… ...
    3 days ago
  • 90,000 cars reclassified in botched ACC ratings
    New figures obtained by Labour show the ACC Minister’s botched motor vehicle levy system has resulted in 90,000 vehicles having to be reclassified so far – at a cost of $6 million, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “Nikki Kaye’s… ...
    3 days ago
  • Brutal health cuts confirmed, crucial services suffer
    Chronic under-funding by National has seen the health budget slashed by $1.7 billion in just five years, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. A report by Infometrics, commissioned by Labour, shows health funding has been cut in four of the… ...
    4 days ago
  • Meth ring under Serco’s nose
    The news that two Serco inmates have been arrested for helping to run a methamphetamine ring from prison should be the final straw and see their contract cancelled, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “National has stood by Serco despite… ...
    4 days ago
  • Ministers failing women and their own targets
    New figures showing just five Ministers have met the Government’s own reduced targets for appointing women to state sector boards is evidence National is failing Kiwi women, Labour’s Women’s Affairs spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “The Ministry for Women’s 2015 Gender… ...
    4 days ago
  • Charges up for some as funding up for grabs
    A proposal being considered by the Government would see some people having to pay more for health care and district health boards forced to fight amongst themselves to fund regional health services, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Information leaked… ...
    4 days ago
  • Stop experimenting on kids
    The trouble with the Charter school model is that it is a publicly funded experiment on children. The National Government has consistently put its desire to open charter schools ahead of the safety of the children in them, ignoring repeated… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    5 days ago
  • Bank puts the squeeze on mid Canterbury farmers
    News that an unnamed bank in Ashburton has put a receiver on notice over financially vulnerable farmers will send a chill through rural New Zealand, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government needs to work with  New Zealand’s banks… ...
    5 days ago
  • Key is trading away New Zealand land and homes
    John Key yesterday admitted what National dishonestly refused to confirm in Parliament last week – he is trading away New Zealand’s right to control who buys our homes and land, says Opposition leader Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister must now… ...
    5 days ago
  • Razor gang takes scalpel to health
    Plans by the Government to take a scalpel to democratically elected health boards are deceitful and underhand, coming just months after an election during which they were never signalled, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says “Leaked documents reveals a radical… ...
    5 days ago
  • Spin lines show a department in chaos
    Corrections Spin Doctors sending their place holder lines to journalists instead of responding to serious allegations shows the scale of chaos at the department over the Serco scandal, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “As more and more serious allegations… ...
    1 week ago
  • Court ruling shows law should never have been passed
    A High Court ruling that a law banning prisoners from voting is inconsistent with a properly functioning democracy should be a wake-up call for the Government, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. In an unprecedented ruling Justice Paul Heath has… ...
    1 week ago
  • Judicial Review Gamble Pays Off for Problem Gambling Foundation
    Congratulations are due to the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGFNZ) who have won their legal case around how the Ministry of Health decided to award their contracts for problem gambling services to another service provider. Congratulations are due not just for… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Environmental Protection Agency appoints GE advocate as new CEO
    This week, the Environmental Protection Authority Amendment Bill passed its first reading in Parliament. The Bill puts protection of the environment into the core purpose of the Environmental Protection Authority. This month, Dr Allan Freeth, the former Chief Executive of… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Charanpreet Dhaliwal death demands genuine health and safety reform
    The killing of a security guard on his first night on the job is exactly the kind of incident that National’s watered-down health and safety bill won’t prevent, says Te Atatu MP Phil Twyford. The coronial inquest into 22-year-old Charanpreet… ...
    1 week ago
  • Arbitrary sanctions hit children hardest
    Increasing numbers of single parents are being penalised under a regime that is overly focussed on sanctions rather than getting more people into work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Figures, obtained through Parliamentary questions show 3000 more sanctions,… ...
    1 week ago
  • Hekia just won’t face the facts
    Hekia Parata’s decision to keep troubled Whangaruru Charter school open despite being presented with a catalogue of failure defies belief, goes against official advice and breaks a Government promise to close these schools if they were failing, says Labour’s Education… ...
    1 week ago
  • No more silent witnesses
    Yesterday I attended the launch of a new initiative developed by and for Asian, Middle eastern and African youth to support young people to name and get support if there is domestic violence at home. The impact on children of… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Single Use Plastic Bags campaign – Some wins and some green-washing
    As we near the end of Plastic Free July I’m nearing the conclusion of my Say No To Plastic Bag tour when I will have completed all 30 of my public meetings. The campaign was designed to work with community… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Minister must take responsibility for problem gambling debacle
    The Government’s handling of the Problem Gambling Foundation’s axing in a cost-cutting exercise has been ham-fisted and harmful to some of the most vulnerable people in society, Associate Health Labour spokesperson David Clark says.“Today’s court ruling overturning the axing of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour will not support TPP if it undermines NZ sovereignty
    The Labour Party will not support the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement unless key protections for New Zealanders are met, Opposition leader Andrew Little says.“Labour supports free trade. However, we will not support a TPP agreement that undermines New Zealand’s sovereignty. ...
    1 week ago
  • Coleman can’t ignore latest warnings
    Resident doctors have advised that a severe staffing shortage at North Shore Hospital is putting patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “They say a mismatch between staffing levels and patient workloads at North Shore has… ...
    1 week ago
  • ACC must remove barriers to appeals
    The Government must prioritise removing barriers to justice for ACC claimants following a damning report by Acclaim Otago, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Sue Moroney says. “ACC Minister Nikki Kaye must urgently scrap her flawed plan to remove claimant’s right to redress… ...
    1 week ago
  • Six months’ paid parental leave back on the agenda
    Six months’ paid parental leave is back on the agenda and a step closer to reality for Kiwi parents after Labour’s new Member’s Bill was pulled from today’s ballot, the Bill’s sponsor and Labour MP Sue Moroney says. “My Bill… ...
    1 week ago
  • Sole parents at risk of having no income
    New requirements for sole parents to undertake a reapplication process after a year is likely to mean a large number will face benefit cancellations, but not because they have obtained work, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni says. “Increasing numbers… ...
    1 week ago
  • Juking the Welfare Stats Again
    Last week the government’s major initiative to combat child poverty (a paltry $25 increase) was exposed for what it is, a lie. The Government, through the Budget this year, claims to be engaging in the child poverty debate, but instead,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    1 week ago
  • OCR rate cut a result of flagging economy
    The Reserve Bank's decision to cut the Official Cash Rate to 3 per cent shows there is no encore for the so-called 'rock star' economy, says Labour's Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.   "Today's interest rate cut comes off the back… ...
    1 week ago
  • Reboot to an innovation economy, an Internet economy and a clean economy
    In my short 33 years on this planet we’ve seen phenomenal technological, economic and social change, and it’s realistic to expect the next 33 will see even more, even faster change. You can see it in the non-descript warehouse near… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes MP
    1 week ago
  • Bill that puts the environment into the EPA passes first hurdle
    A Bill that puts the environment squarely into legislation governing the Environmental Protection Authority passed its first reading today, says Meka Whaitiri.  “I introduced this member’s bill as the current law doesn’t actually make protecting the environment a goal of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s KiwiSaver deception exposed
    KiwiSaver statistics released today expose John Key's claim that the cutting of the kickstart payment "will not make a blind bit of difference to the number of people who join KiwiSaver” to be duplicitous, says Labour Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “Official… ...
    1 week ago
  • Minimum Wage Amendment Bill to protect contractors
    All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker. “The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Bill raises bar to protect Kiwi farmland
    The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says. “In the last term of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Costly flag referendum should be dumped
    John Key must ditch the flag referendum before any more taxpayer money is wasted, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Millions of dollars could be saved if the Prime Minister called a halt to this hugely expensive, and highly unpopular, vanity… ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats letting Serco off scot free
    Government members have prevented Parliament’s Law and Order select committee from getting answers out of a senior Serco director about the fight clubs being run at Mt Eden prisons, says Labour’s Corrections Spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “At today’s Law and Order… ...
    1 week ago
  • Charter school experiment turns into shambles
    The National Government’s charter school experiment has descended into chaos and it’s time for Hekia Parata to stop trying to cover up the full extent of the problems, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The Education Minister must release all… ...
    1 week ago

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