web analytics
The Standard

The big issues: GCSB, Dotcom

Written By: - Date published: 11:00 am, July 5th, 2013 - 60 comments
Categories: accountability, capitalism, john key, slippery, Spying, telecommunications, trade, us politics - Tags:

In Question Time, yesterday, Bill English, speaking for PM John Key, responded to questions about Key’s knowledge of the big German, by saying that Key was more focused on “the big issues”.

What bigger issue is there than the the role of the GCSB in spying on NZ citizens and the continual undermining of democracy by John Key and his government?

Dotcom, while politically being more or an entrepreneurial capitalist than a left winger, has managed to focus public attention on issues that John Key would most likely have let slide by with little media attention.

The mere presence of Dotcom at the public hearing on Wednesday ensured far closer media and public scrutiny than would otherwise have happened.  With 2 TV channels live streaming Wednesday’s proceedings, the PM made an effort to engage, and some of his participation was quite telling.

And as a result, we now have videos of all Wednesday’s oral submissions  online.  Thomas Beagle from Tech liberty made an important point about why people want to keep some of their (perfectly legal) activities private.  They may not want people close to them to know they have been having an affair.  A closeted gay person may not want people at work to know they are gay.

Compare this with the comments by Penny Bright at Tuesday’s hearing, in which she highlights John Key’s preference for secrecy in his own dealings.  Audrey Young reports that,

Bright started with a lecture about how Key does deals like the Sky City convention centre – “your deals over dinner, deals over the phone – that might be customary practice in how you do things as a foreign exchange dealer or the head of derivatives for Merrill Lynch but that is no way to run a country”.

On the spy bill, she wanted him to open up all his trust accounts, bank accounts, Swiss bank accounts, tax havens. “Nothing to hide, nothing to fear, come on Prime Minister; you show me yours and I’ll show you mine.”

And consider how the TPP negotiations are being kept secret from New Zealanders, giving priority to the secrecy of foreign corporate power.

Jordan Carter, from Internet New Zealand, highlighted the way the GCSB’s role is being extended so that commercially sensitive cyber security is becoming increasingly integrated with national security matters.   Internet NZ makes a very good recommendation that these two security roles be separated. In point 7 of their written submission they state (link accompanying their video):

As to the first principle, InternetNZ supports the spirit of those provisions of the Bill
that address information assurance and cybersecurity. New Zealand’s information
infrastructure must remain secure. The information assurance and cybersecurity
functions however, need not necessarily be housed alongside intelligence gathering
and analysis operations, foreign or domestic. InternetNZ has long called for a
Computer Emergency Response Team or “CERT” for New Zealand and invites the
Committee to consider this option in lieu of expanding the Bureau’s role as
proposed.

Such a separation of activities would ensure more democratic processes.

The submission from nuclear disarmament and peace activists, Kate Dewes and Rob Green provided dramatic and worrying evidence of the way state surveillance of citizens can be used to suppress dissent and subvert democracy.

They argue that, in view of the kind of harassment via surveillance that they have experienced, the Bill needs to provide much greater oversight of the GCSB by a committee that includes a diverse group of independent New Zealanders. Over the last few decades, law abiding Dewes has been collecting evidence that her communications via phone, letter and email have been interfered with by surveillance services in NZ and internationally, as well as having evidence of stakeouts by people in cars watching her house.  She says:

We don’t know if it is the GCSB that has been illegally monitoring our family and sharing information with foreign powers. Or whether it is another foreign power gathering information – either with permission from this government or not but it continues to this day.

Some of the PMs responses at Wednesday’s hearings sounded like a school boy’s response to challenges to his self-esteem.  Some (like his questions about submitters’ views on a neighbour possibly looking at bomb-making instructions online) seemed like prepared questions, unrelated to any specific submission.

Underlying Dotcom’s media-savvy theatre, there are big issues: the trustworthiness of the PM, and the role the PM has had in over riding the GCSB law in order to collaborate with foreign (US) agencies in support of US (Hollywood) corporate interests.

The PM seems worried enough that there may be a smoking gun somewhere, to have all relevant material looked at carefully to ensure that there is no documentary evidence of him lying about his prior knowledge of Kim Dotcom.

Last night on TV3 News, Key said:

We’ve gone extensively through every record my office holds.  There is no evidence that we can point to that we heard of the guy prior to the 19th of January 2012.

Clearly opposition MPs seem to think there is such evidence, as indicated in Question Time, yesterday. As well as being aware of English’s attempts at diversion and evasion, it is interesting to note Winston Peter’s final, and very specific supplementary question here.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Does the Prime Minister still stand by his statements—numerous statements—that none of his ministerial colleagues talked to him about Kim Dotcom before the raid?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: The Prime Minister stands by his statements.

It is worth keeping in mind bad12’s comments on the specificity of the question and the silent response in the House to this supplementary, while viewing the entire video for Question 2 (wrongly labelled in the video subtitle).

The following are among the relevant Big Issues:

  • the trustworthiness of our PM
  • the possibility John Key has colluded with US agencies to spy on Kiwis in the interests of US corporates
  • the blurring of boundaries between commercially sensitive cyber security and state and national security
  • the use of the GCSB to suppress democratic processes, including the democratic right of protest and dissent
  • the use of the extended GCSB powers to collaborate with foreign agencies to suppress democracy in NZ

 

 

60 comments on “The big issues: GCSB, Dotcom”

  1. Rogue Trooper 1

    pays to watch Parliament (including QT) closely.
    The spooks have just been really blatant in there harassment of Kate Dewes and Rob Green

    • Anne 1.1

      It’s overt intimidation Rogue Trooper – an attempt to frighten them so that they fear for their safety, and stop their investigations into the death of Rob Green’s aunt. It will be coming from a non NZ agency. I can’t believe our intelligence gathering agencies would behave in such a thuggish way.

      Having said that, it looks like someone in the GCSB has been providing a foreign operative with information. It suggests a rogue element within the agency that needs to be fully investigated, but it won’t happen under the proposed legislation.

  2. Sable 2

    Yes, they used to have a word for people who betrayed their country, they called them traitors. Now we call them the National Party.

  3. Steve 3

    Re the quote: “We’ve gone extensively through every record my office holds. There is no evidence that we can point to that we heard of the guy prior to the 19th of January 2012.”

    Clearly, the evidence has been deleted.

    • James N 3.1

      I agree…

      “We’ve gone extensively through every record my office holds, there is no evidence we can point to that we’ve heard of the guy prior to January 19, 2012.”

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/8881342/Key-to-Dotcom-Make-my-day

      Does anybody else find the way this is framed intriguing? First of all, the first person plural – the we – as if there were some collective responsibility involved; but more significantly the implication that if there’s “no evidence” then somehow there’s no case. It’s something of a playground argument: you can’t prove it, so there!

      • AmaKiwi 3.1.1

        It’s an old lawyer’s trick. “We can find no evidence that . . . . (because we shredded it).

    • aj 3.2

      His office records have been cleaned but that doesn’t mean that dotcom hasn’t got evidence

    • georgecom 3.3

      But, ‘you know I know…Why are you turning red Prime Minister’.

    • Murray Olsen 3.4

      This could mean that the records are held by another office. Or that it’s been deleted. Or that Key is telling the truth. 2 outta 3 ain’t bad.

  4. Veutoviper 4

    Good post, Karol.

    Re Peters’ question yesterday, this appeared to me to be a follow-on from the very specific questions he asked of Key in Q1 of Tuesday’s Question Time. In my response to bad12’s comment, I said that I thought Peters was very careful to stick to his script, not make any asides or other comments or raise any matters following each of the PM’s answers. Most unlike Peters, normally.

    IMO. Peters was very much in ‘barrister’ mode that day – setting out to get answers for use later on. For example, his use of “was he telling the truth …”

    http://inthehouse.co.nz/node/19552

    Well worth reading is Gordon Campbell’s blog this morning where he sets out three reasons for questioning Key’s ignorance response

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2013/07/05/gordon-campbell-on-john-keys-proud-claim-to-being-the-village-idiot/

    Re Key’s attempt to get KDC to put up or shut up, KDC has now tweeted

    “Part of our extradition hearing: Political interference. Legal team: No release of key evidence until we’re in court.”

    KDC has tweeted on several past occasions that he would love to release details, but his legal team is adamant that details come out in court.

  5. AmaKiwi 5

    “The following are among the relevant Big Issues:

    – the trustworthiness of our PM

    – the possibility John Key has colluded with US agencies to spy on Kiwis in the interests of US corporates

    – the blurring of boundaries between commercially sensitive cyber security and state and national security

    – the use of the GCSB to suppress democratic processes, including the democratic right of protest and dissent

    – the use of the extended GCSB powers to collaborate with foreign agencies to suppress democracy in NZ”

    EXCELLENT! SUPERIOR! OUTSTANDING!

    A succinct list of the big issues we must keep the MSM focused on.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      But just in in the nick of time Labour will come out with an appropriate diversion. Another corporate box? Another out of touch gender equality initiative?

      • AmaKiwi 5.1.1

        I despair at how poorly Labour does public relations these days.

        Elections are won and lost on perceptions, not policies.

        • Winston Smith 5.1.1.1

          How can that be? Wasn’t Claire Curran some sort of PR type? Surely with that kind of experience on board it should be smooth sailing for Labour :)

          • vto 5.1.1.1.1

            Winston Smith, why do you so happily support the politics that has driven so many New Zealanders to a worse positon over the last 30 years?

            Do you enjoy seeing people suffer? Does it give you a warm glow?

            • Winston Smith 5.1.1.1.1.1

              I think thats a few people on here who like having poor people to champion, whos lives would be meaningless without some down-trodden worker to look after

              • vto

                That doesn’t even remotely answer the question.

                But it is very revealing, thanks. You are clearly part of the other part of the population who just likes to get ahead no matter what. And if it is at other people’s expense then tough shit. If the poor go nowhere while you race ahead then that’s just life. Isn’t it. This is John Key’s approach to life too.

                … scrambling over ageing bones ….

                ugly
                ugly
                ugly

              • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                Whereas you aren’t happy unless you have someone to tread down?

                Assuming you are correct and the Left represents “downtrodden” workers, can you explain why the Right is always so keen to swell their ranks? It seems quite the low-intelligence thing to do if you ask me.

              • chrissy

                WS Do people fight NOT to sit next to you at dinners, social functions, on the bus, walking down the street, are you lonely, are you sad? If so why? Just wondering.

      • Rogue Trooper 5.1.2

        fill that glass box.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    Kim Dotcom is an actual libertarian, as opposed to the crony authoritarians in disguise that pretend to be libertarians in NZ, a la David Farrar.

  7. vto 7

    Listening to Key at that hearing, he comes across as a smart-arse schoolboy. Nothing more and nothing less. The way he speaks, the way he asked questions, the way he responded to Dotcom’s “why are you red”…… “I’m not, why are you sweating?” What a frikkin’ child.

    Key the smart-arse schoolboy.

    • karol 7.1

      Exactly how he seemed to me. And particularly with the bit you quoted, VTO. A case of arrested development? Never got past schoolboy competitiveness, where he can’t admit any weakness?

      Will be his downfall?

      • Rogue Trooper 7.1.1

        Downfall you say?

      • Winston Smith 7.1.2

        No and it won’t because the people of NZ like John Key so they see him through different eyes then yours.

        They see someone they’d like to be like, successful career, happy marriage and family, reasonably down to earth and running the country well

        This big fantasy the left have that one day the people of NZ will see John Key how the left see him is just that: a fantasy.

        • karol 7.1.2.1

          he people of NZ like John Key

          Which people of NZ? Of the 65%-ish that rate him as preferred PM, according to polls? Meaning there’s already a sizable number who don’t rate him. And there’s those that didn’t choose a preferred PM in the polls?

          Because I know quite a lot of people who don’t like him at all.

    • Huginn 7.2

      Key is so-o-o passive aggressive

  8. karol 8

    Frank Macskasy fronts the hearing (John key absent – hope he’s got a sick note)

    Earlier, another activist Frank Macskasy told the committee the existing oversight of intelligence agencies hadn’t worked.

    Mr Macskasy said he was concerned that within a few years the GCSB and other intelligence agencies would be seeking additional powers.

    He warned the expanding powers of intelligence agencies spy on New Zealanders was creating a society similar to those in Soviet era Eastern Europe.

    “There’s no just reason for spying on New Zealanders it should be taken off the books, it’s as simple as that.”

    He made an appeal to committee members Labour Leader David Shearer and Greens Co-leader Russel Norman to review the law and hold a wide ranging independent inquiry should they form the Government in 2014.

    Go, Frank!

  9. TruthSeeker 9

    Excellent post, Karol. This isn’t over by a long-shot. I can’t wait to see what evidence the extradition hearing brings up.

    I find it really fascinating how Key’s story has evolved from “I didn’t know the guy’s name was Kim Dotcom” (24 January 2012) to “I didn’t know about him” (3 July 2013).

    See: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OHoHqZdZDLA

    He has already admitted to knowing about the presence of a “German resident” (i.e. Dotcom) living in the Chrisco mansion “some time in 2011″.

    See: http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QOA/6/6/e/50HansQ_20121024_00000007-7-Dotcom-Case-Prime-Minister-s-Awareness.htm

    As Key himself observes:

    “…when I was told in 2011 that there was a German living in the Chrisco mansion, that was well and truly before there was a raid on Kim Dotcom…”

    • Anne 9.1

      I find it really fascinating how Key’s story has evolved from “I didn’t know the guy’s name was Kim Dotcom” (24 January 2012) to “I didn’t know about him” (3 July 2013).

      It’s obvious what his line is going to be when KDC finally reveals the evidence he clearly has – at his extradition hearing next year?:

      I knew of him by his German name and didn’t know that the Kim Dotcom living in my electorate was the same person. Nobody told me.

      And the awful thing about it is the MSM will probably let him get away with it.

      • karol 9.1.1

        Grant Robertson did ask that specifically in Question Time yesterday, at the link in my post:

        Grant Robertson: By that answer, does he mean that it was simply the name Kim Dotcom that he had not heard but that he was aware of a person in New Zealand whom the FBI and other American authorities had an interest in pursuing over copyright-related issues?

        Hon BILL ENGLISH: I can only repeat that the Prime Minister stands by his statement. If the member wants to know what was in the Prime Minister’s mind, he would need to ask the Prime Minister directly.

        Will it be possible to put that question to John key, or will he dodge it?

        • chrissy 9.1.1.1

          John Key “I do not cut and run” Waitangi day, can’t remember the date.

    • Georgecom 9.2

      If Key has to do some dancing on a pin head to try explain away some lies, it will do him far more harm than good. If it is clear Key did not know, then people will support him. If it turns out Key has to rely on semantics, he’ll look like a shify liar. Key will be really really stupid to get himself into that position.

      • Anne 9.2.1

        He might have no choice Georgecom – if he’s already put himself in the position as he appears to have done. Serves him right. Sooner or later one of his many lies was going to come back and bite him.

      • Follow-the-money 9.2.2

        Are you suggesting he won’t, though?

      • tracey 9.2.3

        Hard to put it to him directly when he runs from question time where it can be put to him

  10. aerobubble 10

    So a very rich foriegner moves into the largest mansion
    in the PM’s own electorate and the representative of the
    richest people in NZ, always in donation drive, doesn’t
    know. Okay, let’s given him the benefit of the doubt
    that John Key is lazy and wants to send the message that
    he doesn’t listen to the richest in NZ.

    Now we find out that KimDotCom has funded Banks, that’s
    strange, why would he have done that, why wouldn’t have
    KimDotCom have funded the National party? Well someone
    must have informed him how helpful it would be to the National
    party to have funding given to Banks(and also distances
    the alledged copyright pirate from the National party).

    Now sure, Key may not have know, but also DotCom would
    have been atleast been led to believe his efforts for the
    National party were noted (and maybe just maybe have evidance
    Key did know, phone records maybe? with the PM office????).

    And when will Key be sending thanks to the US for bailing out
    the world economy through its QE policy, and applogize to
    Obama for calling his policy wacky.

  11. Huginn 11

    ‘the blurring of boundaries between commercially sensitive cyber security and state and national security’

    Eg the conflation of ‘national security’ with copyright protection.

    • UglyTruth 11.1

      The boundary merges with fair use. Both the copyright industry and govcorp act as if fair use does not exist, i.e. fair use of a creative work and fair use of a public resource like roads and radio spectrum. It is a national security issue because it is a case of organised injury of public rights.

  12. ropata 12

    Dotcom’s associate Bram van der Kolk proves Key lied about their time allocation
    https://twitter.com/bramosnl/status/352303475297755137

    • Huginn 12.1

      Yes, telling them that they had 25 minutes and then cutting that back to 15 minutes at short notice was petty.

  13. Yes 13

    Why are you supporting dot com..he is a capitalist and trying to rob artists that Helen Kelly was defending..you guys are seriously deluded.

    This is not about spying..this is about a guy who wants to steal off our artist.. I really challenge you to support Helen Kelly and say dot com is a rogue.

    Gscb stuffed up e all know that..let’s be honest and now you want him to continue to download all our artist work and make millions…swallow some pride and unit under left and right and say no to downloaders.

    I don’t think anyone on here have the balls to agree with me.

    • Murray Olsen 13.1

      When he’s appearing in front of Key to make a submission on the spying bill, it is about spying. Not even a good try. Maybe it’s about morbid obesity and diabetes instead? Say no to diabetes. Where are your balls?

    • Chris 13.2

      Bollocks…Dotcom supplied a place to store stuff (files) no different to the owner of a storage locker hiring it out or a landlord whose tenant uses the place as a p lab. Dotcom is no more responsible for what people stored than the landlord or locker owner.

  14. Follow-the-money 14

    Spot the other clanger.

    Kim Dotcom, the Arnold Schwarzenegger of the Helensville electorate. Huge in size and profile. Living in what must be on of the top houses in the electorate. Prepared to fork out cash to panhandling politicians. On the US spy agency’s watch list. etc etc

    Key, meanwhile, is the MP for the Helensville electorate.

    But Key hasn’t known Dotcom until 3.5 years after being elected PM.

    I know Key has memory loss challenges, but he must pay scant regard to the people in his electorate, if he really didn’t know Dotcom before.

  15. Shaz 15

    Karol,
    More excellent public interest research – thank you!

    The whole process is bizarre it would be comical if it were not so sinister.

    A point I haven’t seen made is that the function of the Bureau is to co-operate with, and provide advice and assistance to not only the police,defense force and SIS but also any government department covered by the Public Finance Act. This would potentially mean the outsourcing to the GCSB of WINZ and tax investigations, government employment security clearance work, in fact investigations related to the provision of any government service because the government department making the request are legally empowered to undertake whatever activity is in question.

    The Bill doesn’t take any steps to avoid unintended consequences. For example as it stands it massively increases the likelihood of corruption – both blackmail of employees or payments for intelligence gathering – of either public employees or the commercial third parties who supply and support the GCSB’s monitoring tools.

  16. BLiP 16

    The Prime Minister stands by his statements . . . lets have a look at some of those statements:

    Iain Rennie came to me and recommended Fletcher for the GCSB job

    I told Cabinet that I knew Ian Fletcher

    I forgot that after I scrapped the shortlist for GCSB job I phoned a life-long friend to tell him to apply for the position

    I told Iain Rennie I would contact Fletcher

    for 30 years, or three decades, I didn’t have any dinners or lunches or breakfasts with Ian Fletcher

    I did not mislead the House (9)

    I have no reason to doubt at this stage that Peter Dunne did not leak the GCSB report

    first I heard I heard about Kim Dotcom was on 19 January 2012

    first I heard about the illegal spying on Kim Dotcom was in September

    I did not mislead the House (6)

  17. clubconnecter 17

    Key is full of shit.

    JK knew of KDC when KDC attempted to purchase the Helensville mansion, ya know, it his own electorate?

    I really do hope that KDC does have evidence that Key did in fact know about KDC/Mega etc. If he does my bet is he’ll sit on it until closer to next years election – then the bullshit bombshell will be dropped.

  18. Martin 18

    I seem to remember a certain ship being bombed up in Auckland once. GCSB/SIS were certainly useless then. Some even said they knew ahead of the event. Are they worth the money we pay in taxes?

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Bike Rave – May 2015
    Last night the first official Auckland Bike Rave was held (the earlier one was just a trial). It had been delayed a week after rain the week before and thankfully the weather held out this time. Around 300 people young… ...
    1 hour ago
  • The Budget and the Benefit
    In the 2015 Budget the Māori Party negotiated and secured around $1 billion worth of funding directed toward Māori initiatives and the countries most vulnerable whānau.  The most significant gain being the increase in the core benefit rate of $25… ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 hours ago
  • Two Dollars A Day, is All They Pay, for Helping with Povertay
    This is based on a presentation to a Child Poverty Action Group Post-budget Breakfast. read more ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 hours ago
  • The productivity trap – heads they win, tails we lose
    The article below was written in 2006, so some of the stats are a bit dated.  However the fundamental argument remains.  For instance, NZ productivity growth continues to be poor and NZ capitalists remain behind most of the OECD in… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 hours ago
  • ‘Dirty Politics’ revisited: More evidence of deceit and covering tracks
    It’s funny how the brain works. Earlier this week, I passed a copy of Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics on to a new workmate after he’d expressed a harshly negative opinion of Hager — but when I asked him if he’d read… ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    4 hours ago
  • Budget 2015: A clever patch-up job, but stitched together by broken promise...
    A closer look at Budget 2015 shows a government making it up as it goes along. While it's a clever political document, it shows National is trying to plug a lot of political holes with a diminishing amount of capital… ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 hours ago
  • Funding the Basin Flyover Fight
    Yesterday the Architectural Centre in Wellington have launched a fund raising campaign to fight NZTA’s continued waste of our money on expensive lawyers for their hopelessly unimaginative and retrogressively conceived Basin flyover project. Here’s the Give-A-Little site with a recap of… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    8 hours ago
  • If The SIS Director Wants To Tell Us The Truth, She Should Commission Ficti...
    Memorable Presentation: Rebecca Kitteridge, the first woman Director of the SIS, laments the fact that the necessarily secret work of her agents cannot become the subject of a reality TV series - as it has for Police and Custom Officers. For… ...
    8 hours ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    frogblogBy Jan Logie
    8 hours ago
  • Let Them Eat Scraps: Bill English’s Budget Outflanks The Left By Moll...
    Never Mind The Quality, Feel The Love! Bill English's seventh Budget may be weak in terms of economic effectiveness, but politically it's a genuine sand-kicker. Labour's Andrew Little is still rubbing his eyes. IT’S BEEN 43 YEARS since a National… ...
    9 hours ago
  • Bloody marvelous
    For years now the comment sections of our nation’s online newspapers, Facebook pages and Twitter feeds have been packed with commentators declaring the ‘Campbell Live’ show and it’s watchers were ‘everything that was wrong with the country’ – somewhat ironically… ...
    Politically CorrectedBy sleepdepriveddiva
    11 hours ago
  • Congratulations #CanonMediaAwards 2015 winners…
    ...
    Politically CorrectedBy sleepdepriveddiva
    11 hours ago
  • National Minister refers to PM as “Wild Eyed” Right-Winger!
    . . It’s not often that Ministers of this increasingly desperate and inept government make a statement that is unerringly accurate – but on Friday 15 May, on Radio  NZ’s Morning Report, GCSB Minister, Chris Finlayson did just that. Minister… ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    11 hours ago
  • Truly Depressing
    Yesterday a thought crossed my mind that was so appalling that I decided not to mention it to anyone for at least 24 hours so I could b sure it was a real notion and not just an emanation from… ...
    11 hours ago
  • Document Shows Elizabeth Warren Is Right About TPP
    Article – Zaid Jilani As opponents and advocates of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) continue to battle it out, the debate over the agreement has largely focused on the issue of trade whether jobs will be lost or gained, what the… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    20 hours ago
  • Singing the Budget Blues
    Despite our 'rock star' economy over the past three years it has not increased Government income to the level expected and the Government has not been able to deliver its promised surplus. If income doesn't change, but priorities shift, then the… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Submit on Mill Rd
    Julie-Anne Genter, the Transport spokesperson of the Green Party has put out the following press release on the Mill Rd project that we have written about here, and here: Take 5 minutes and make a submission on Mill Road Auckland Transport is… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    1 day ago
  • Budget Blues
    Twenty five dollars a week can’t be bad, can it? For families on the breadline, it’s surely better than nothing and every little helps. And when the total spend is $790 million, that’s not peanuts, is it? – even if… ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 day ago
  • Punakaiki Fund and Snowball Effect
    22 May 2015 Punakaiki Fund will soon be presenting an offer through the Snowball Effect platform. We are pleased to announce that we have selected Snowball Effect to present our fund raising offer to members of the public. Equity crowdfunding… ...
    Lance WiggsBy Lance Wiggs
    1 day ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    frogblogBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 day ago
  • Game review: Republique
    Score: 6/10 Republique is an episodic stealth game set in a dystopian society. You play a hacker who is aiding the escape of Hope, a young woman trapped in this world. Though the games attempt to deal with heavy themes… ...
    1 day ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    frogblogBy Mojo Mathers
    1 day ago
  • Labour MPs are taking it to the Government in the House over their destruct...
    ...
    1 day ago
  • The price of rotten cops IV
    Remember the Nelson Red Devils case? Back in 2012, drugs and firearms charges against 28 alleged gang members were thrown out because police abused the court process by forging a search warrant and an arrest warrant to build the credibility… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Best and worst New Zealand flag designs
    Dan Taipua, Dave Bell and Lucy Zee review some of the designs submitted for the for the new New Zealand flag. Check out the full gallery of designs here. ...
    1 day ago
  • World News Brief, Friday May 22
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    1 day ago
  • A hard rain is a’gonna fall.
    Although I am loathe to prognosticate on fluid situations and current events, I have been thinking about how the conflict in Iraq has been going. Although I do not believe that the Islamic State (IS) is anywhere close to being… ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 day ago
  • Got business out of town? Need a hire car?
    Whether you are heading of town for a conference or taking a break and need a hire car, your TEU Member Advantage program has you covered.  Use your member benefits to access either reduced car hire rates or excess on… ...
    1 day ago
  • An abuse of the OIA
    In the wake of revelations that Prime Minister John Key had systematically and repeatedly bullied, sexually harassed and assaulted a cafe waitress, the New Zealand Herald published a piece exposing the victim. It seemed like retribution, and the involvement of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    frogblogBy Eugenie Sage
    1 day ago
  • Calling Peak Car?
    There’s often a lot of discussion around the future of transport – particularly in cities. We’ve talked many times before about how transport trends are changing, how we’re seeing people drive less and catch PT more, how changing preferences amongst younger people in… ...
    1 day ago
  • Australia’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy on...
    The prohibition against torture is one of the cast-iron features of international law. You're not allowed to torture people, and you're not allowed to return or extradite people to a country where there are substantial grounds to believe they will… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Fiji: Removing the opposition
    Last year, Nauru's government abused its parliamentary majority to suspend the opposition from Parliament on a spurious privilege motion. Its a disease which is spreading: last night, Fiji's "democratic" regime did the same, suspending an opposition MP for making a… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: Don’t worry about the surplus, worry about this… Whiteboar...
    Bill’s budget put a bit of extra change in the pocket of poor families, but that came at the cost of the promised surplus. But should you be worried about it? With government debt still only at 25%… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Gareth Morgan
    1 day ago
  • The productivity trap – heads they win, tails we lose
    The article below was written in 2006, so some of the stats are a bit dated.  However the fundamental argument remains.  For instance, NZ productivity growth continues to be poor and NZ capitalists remain behind most of the OECD in… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • Attention leftie campaigners: Watch Lynton Crosby
    This is a video of Lynton Crosby, of Crosby/Textor fame and infamy, talking about how he approaches campaigns. It is well worth an hour of any serious campaigner's time - whether they're of the left or the right. I've… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Friday Music: Out there in the world
    Friday Music posts here don't generally have much to do with my day job helping make a media TV show, but next week's Media Take is an exception. We're putting together a New Zealand music month-themed programme and one of the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Government announces plan to grow Auckland housing bubble
    The key initiative in yesterday’s budget is a plan to grow Auckland’s housing bubble. Auckland’s housing bubble is projected to take over from dairy farming as the fastest-growing sector of the New Zealand economy. Consider a typical Mangere housewife. For… ...
    Can of wormsBy Can of Worms, Opened
    1 day ago
  • Paul F Tompkins: The undisputed king of podcasts
    When Paul F Tompkins got into comedy in the mid 1980s, the formats with which he’s achieved most renown and popularity didn’t actually exist. “None of them did!” he yells, laughing, into the phone during an interview about stage… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015: What does it mean?
    ...
    1 day ago
  • What next?
    It feels really, really surreal to nearly be done with my degree. And terrifying, mostly. Right now I have a single 2000 word essay remaining for Politics of Protest and then three exams mid-way through next month, and… that’s it.… ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    1 day ago
  • Solo parents forced to work; but where are the quality jobs?
    The Government is increasing the expectations of paid work from solo parents without any thought as to where the jobs will be, the Council of Trade Unions said today. “There are already 100,000 part time workers who are wanting more secure… ...
    CTUBy andrew.chick
    1 day ago
  • April-15 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • April-14 Patronage
    Another month and another good patronage result from Auckland Transport – particularly for rail. Patronage in April is naturally down on the madness that is March due to the combination of a 30 day month, ANZAC day, Easter and School Holidays/Uni holidays.… ...
    2 days ago
  • Children and steady-as-you-go – but how steady?
    There are three political dimensions to the budget’s star “children in hardship” item. One is John Key’s ownership. That fits his protestations of concern about disadvantaged children — though action has been slow coming. He made his pile in… ...
    Colin JamesBy Colin James
    2 days ago
  • Thoughts on budget 2015
    There’s a Herald summary here. I’ve been saying for a while that ‘neoliberalism’ – ie a belief in the efficacy of free markets, the distortionary evil of taxes and benefits and the minimalisation of the state – is dead. There… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • What if your MP was decided on the flip of a coin?
    The provincial election in the Canadian province of Prince Edward Island finally came to an end a couple of days ago when its last MLA was declared elected following a judicial recount.(What - you didn't know that Prince Edward Island… ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Budget 2015
    From the outset, the slogan for yesterday’s Budget – “The Plan Is Working” – begged to be mocked. There’s actually a plan for the national economy? Who knew? And its been working for whom, exactly? Not for families in poverty,… ...
    2 days ago
  • Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific
    Speech – New Zealand Government I am delighted to have the opportunity to speak at this International Conference on the Future of Asia.22 May 2015 Building better connections between Asia and the Pacific (speech delivered to 2015 Nikkei Forum, Tokyo,… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    2 days ago
  • Budget 2015: Media releases and tertiary education coverage
    We will update this page over the next few days with media releases and news stories on Budget 2015 and its effect on tertiary education and on employment. Radio NZ: Govt tightens education purse strings The Government is expecting fewer… ...
    2 days ago

  • How many victims missing out on protection?
    Hundreds of domestic abuse victims could be missing out on getting protection orders because they are unable to get legal aid, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says.“In the last two years some 351 people who applied for legal aid for… ...
    1 hour ago
  • Government kicks hardworking whanau
    A major incentive to help young Kiwis and people on low incomes to start saving has been kicked out from under them with the National-led Government ramming through short-sighted legislation under Urgency today, Labour’s Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta says.… ...
    1 hour ago
  • Speculator tax political stunt gone wrong
    Bill English’s admission he doesn’t know whether National’s new speculator tax will have any effect shows last weekend’s announcement by the Prime Minister was a desperate political stunt, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “This Government is so desperate to… ...
    5 hours ago
  • The value of parenting
    This week, as part of the Budget, the government introduced a bill to address child poverty. This bill will require parents receiving income support to look for part-time work once their youngest child is three years of age rather than… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    8 hours ago
  • Another new tax, another broken promise
    National has unveiled yet another new tax in this budget – a rural broadband levy that will almost certainly result in an immediate price hike for internet and telephone connections across New Zealand, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran said “The… ...
    1 day ago
  • Anniversary of Sri Lankan Tamil Massacre
    This is not going to be a happy story but if the Green Party of Aotearoa doesn’t want to know who else will? May 18th marks the anniversary of what is known as the ‘Mullivaikal massacre’ of Tamils in 2009 at… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 day ago
  • Labour MPs join youth to take part in 40 hour famine
    A team of Labour MPs took part in the 2015 World Vision 40 hour famine and we were told by World Vision and the young people, that it was the first time MPs had joined them and how appreciative they… ...
    1 day ago
  • Rodeo: ‘Family entertainment’ or animal abuse?
    Recently  TVNZ ran a story with confronting footage showing rodeo animals being punched, repeatedly shocked with electronic prods and having their tails violently twisted over their backs. It was clear that significant force was being used behind the scenes to make… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers MP
    1 day ago
  • Budget puts the squeeze on police
    The Government has cut funding to the New Zealand police force in the latest Budget, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “The reduction is a whopping $15.3 million that could put front line officers at risk. ...
    1 day ago
  • Crucial social services take another hit
    The Government looks set to slash half a million dollars of funding for critical social services, including Women’s Refuge and Barnados, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni “Taking $500,000 from organisations aimed at improving the lives of vulnerable families… ...
    1 day ago
  • Saying it Loud on Climate in Christchurch
    The Government’s Christchurch consultation meeting on New Zealand’s emission targets was inspiring – not for what was in the Ministry for the Environment’s (MFE’s) defeatist video about the obstacles to changing to a low carbon future, but for what the… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 day ago
  • Budget silent on small business
    The Government has completely ignored one of the most important sectors of the economy – small and medium-sized enterprises – in Budget 2015, Labour’s Small Business spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. "A stunning 41 per cent of jobs were created by… ...
    1 day ago
  • Thank you John, it’s been bloody marvellous
    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    1 day ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    1 day ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    2 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    3 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    3 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    4 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    5 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    5 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    5 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    1 week ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago

Public service advertisements by The Standard

Current CO2 level in the atmosphere