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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?

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    RedlineBy Admin
    22 hours ago
  • We shouldn’t just forgive, but pay back odious debt
    Over 9,000 people have signed Action Station's petition calling on the government to forgive odious emergency housing debt. The government's response? Nope:Wiping the debt of people who have been staying in motels for emergency accommodation would not be fair to… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    22 hours ago
  • Opening up NLTF to all modes
    The Green Party released a new freight policy yesterday. They’re looking at ways to invest to increase safety and reduce carbon emissions: The Safer, Cleaner Freight policy sets a target for moving half of freight on rail… ...
    22 hours ago
  • The American Black Movement in the Sixties: Victories and Lost Opportunities
    The Black Power slogan of the 1960s was replaced with empowerment for the black American middle class and burgeoning capitalist layers The reign of the first black president in the United States is coming to an end.  Obama, or O’Bomber… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    23 hours ago
  • Hard News: Three Dreams
    I have three dreams. One is characteristic, one is recurring and one is singular.The characteristic one is simple in concept: it's me and my friends going places and doing things. In the last one I can recall, there was a… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Did you know this about tigers?
    Next in our series, we turn to the king (and queen) of the jungle - the tiger. Here are 10 incredible tiger facts from forests campaigner Richard George:10. Tigers have better short-term memories than humansTigers’ have one of the best… ...
    23 hours ago
  • How well do you know the Polar Bear?
    Since the very beginning of Greenpeace, our movement has been fighting to protect some of the world’s most vulnerable animals. And over the years, we’ve learnt some truly incredible things about the magnificent creatures we share this planet with. So… ...
    23 hours ago
  • How well do you know the orangutan?
    Next in the series, forests campaigner Richard George shares his 10 favourite facts about one of of our closest living relatives - the orangutan:10. Orangutans are ticklishThere are two kinds of ticklish. There’s the gentle kind that feels itchy and… ...
    23 hours ago
  • Income inequality is one of the defining issues of our time
    “Income inequality is one of the defining issues of our time.”  This is one of the opening statements made by “John Doe” in his “manifesto” on the Mossack Fonseca trust arrangements. The article continues: “The debate over its sudden acceleration… ...
    Closing the GapBy Ben Smith
    1 day ago
  • Dying For Latvia?
    Preparing For War: Nato forces in the former Soviet republic of Latvia as part of the 2014 "Silver Arrow" military exercises in the Baltic states. Such naked demonstrations of Nato's extended reach - right up to the borders of the… ...
    1 day ago
  • How much do you really know about turtles?
    I’m Willie and I’m an oceans campaigner here at Greenpeace.Over the years I’ve had the privilege of watching turtles from the bow of Greenpeace ships, and many of my colleagues have encountered these peaceful ocean wanderers far out at sea… ...
    1 day ago
  • How much do you know about whales?
    I’m Willie and I’m an oceans campaigner here at Greenpeace.Over the years I’ve had the privilege of seeing lots of whales, both from the deck of Greenpeace ships, and also on whale-watching trips. I’ve been lucky enough to see massive… ...
    1 day ago
  • Are noisy oceans to blame for beached whales?
    Noise is the most invisible of all the man-made threats to the ocean, but to whales who ‘see’ by hearing, they simply cannot escape it.Water is an excellent medium for relaying sound, enabling some species of whale to communicate across… ...
    1 day ago
  • Sylvia Park growth plans
    Sylvia Park is already Auckland’s largest shopping centre, but it’s likely to get even bigger in the next few years. Kiwi Property, who own the centre, have plans to expand the retail offering, as well as adding office buildings. In… ...
    Transport BlogBy John Polkinghorne
    1 day ago
  • PrintNZ Forum Speakers Enlighten Delegates
    Press Release – PrintNZ New Zealand captains of industry Mike Hutcheson, Mike Pero and Kim Campbell shared significant business insight and interesting personal life experience during the PrintNZ Forum at SkyCity on May 13.PRINTNZ FORUM SPEAKERS ENLIGHTEN DELEGATES New Zealand… ...
    Its our futureBy ScoopBlogPush
    1 day ago
  • Nick Smith: There is NO crisis
    MyThinks has been fielding many questions about Nick Smith. “What’s happening with housing?” “Does Nick Smith know anything about any of his policy areas?” “Why does he look so shifty when he’s telling us what we should think?” These are… ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    2 days ago
  • Tracking the 2°C Limit – April 2016
    April is starting to come down off the shockingly high anomalies of the first couple of months of this year. GISS is clocking in a still strong warm anomaly of 1.11°C. This is by far the hottest April in the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Fanshawe St Bus Stop improvements
    Occasionally it is small projects that can have a lot of impact on people’s PT experience. With the ever growing number of people working near Victoria Park, an upgrade to the bus stops on Fanshawe St along with improvements to the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Fanshawe St Bus Stop improvements
    Occasionally it is small projects that can have a lot of impact on people’s PT experience. With the ever growing number of people working near Victoria Park, an upgrade to the bus stops on Fanshawe St along with improvements to the… ...
    2 days ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
    Last week NewsHub revealed leaked MPI reports which showed that MPI had been turning a blind eye to widespread criminal behaviour in the fishing industry. Today was the first day of Parliament since those revelations, and given their seriousness, it… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • An abuse of the Speaker’s chair
    Last week NewsHub revealed leaked MPI reports which showed that MPI had been turning a blind eye to widespread criminal behaviour in the fishing industry. Today was the first day of Parliament since those revelations, and given their seriousness, it… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Punakaiki Fund invests in Populate
    Crosspost from Punakaiki Fund. New Investment: Populate One of our core motivations at Punakaiki Fund is being able to help and watch companies create a large number of sustainable new jobs. And one of the best people around at hiring… ...
    Lance WiggsBy Lance Wiggs
    2 days ago
  • A piece of gratis media advice for Hilary Clinton
      Here’s some free media advice for Hilary Clinton now just trailing Donald Trump in the polls: Stop smiling and waving to “people you recognise” in the crowd. It’s insulting to everyone else, looks (and may well be) dishonest… ...
    2 days ago
  • A piece of gratis media advice for Hilary Clinton
      Here’s some free media advice for Hilary Clinton now just trailing Donald Trump in the polls: Stop smiling and waving to “people you recognise” in the crowd. It’s insulting to everyone else, looks (and may well be) dishonest… ...
    2 days ago
  • The Nuit Debout revolt in France: let the gems sparkle. . .
    by Denis Godard The movement of occupation of squares in France is [over] two weeks old. [1] Its evolution is difficult to predict, because it is open to many unforeseen events, even though its roots are deep. At this point… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Open Government: Unilateral
    Back in April, State Services Minister Paula Bennett announced in an answer to a Parlaimentary written question that we were consulting the Open Government Secretariat about an extension to the deadline for submitting our action plan:While New Zealand's second Open… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Open Government: Unilateral
    Back in April, State Services Minister Paula Bennett announced in an answer to a Parlaimentary written question that we were consulting the Open Government Secretariat about an extension to the deadline for submitting our action plan:While New Zealand's second Open… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    frogblogBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • Free the Wicklow 2
    Protests around the imprisonment of these two activists are taking place around Ireland and also in Britain.  Anyone fancy organising something at the Irish embassy in Wellington  There is also an Irish consulate in Auckland. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • DIY Touring The World: New Zealand
    New Zealand has a small population, few places to play and not much money for touring bands - but you can’t beat the beautiful landscapes, hidden gem venues and fantastic audiences. Music impresario Ian Jorgensen has been touring bands… ...
    2 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    A mass government house-building programme is a favourite policy of the left for solving the Auckland housing crisis. Use cheap government capital, build affordable, energy-efficient homes, mass produce them to get efficiencies of scale, and get people back into owning… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    A mass government house-building programme is a favourite policy of the left for solving the Auckland housing crisis. Use cheap government capital, build affordable, energy-efficient homes, mass produce them to get efficiencies of scale, and get people back into owning… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Protected: Tributes to Dame Margaret Sparrow
    This post is password protected. You must visit the website and enter the password to continue reading.Filed under: Uncategorized ...
    ALRANZBy ALRANZ
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and New Zealand
    There’s a 2009 sci-fi novel by China Miéville called The City and the City. The action takes place in two separate cities which overlap each other geographically, but the denizens of each city is compelled to ‘Unsee’ things they see happening in… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and New Zealand
    There’s a 2009 sci-fi novel by China Miéville called The City and the City. The action takes place in two separate cities which overlap each other geographically, but the denizens of each city is compelled to ‘Unsee’ things they see happening in… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • Breaking free from fossil fuels – the risk we take is not taking action
    Last week, #BreakFree2016 wrapped up across the globe. Greenpeace joined with many inspiring organisations in a global wave of peaceful actions that lasted for 12 days and took place across six continents to target the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects.In places… ...
    2 days ago
  • More odious debt
    The media over the last few days has been full of stories about WINZ and odious debt. But the worst one is this:A woman with eight children living in emergency housing is facing a debt to Work and Income of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • More odious debt
    The media over the last few days has been full of stories about WINZ and odious debt. But the worst one is this:A woman with eight children living in emergency housing is facing a debt to Work and Income of… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Additional Harbour Crossing ill-considered and over-rushed.
    We are increasingly concerned that Auckland is in the middle of very poor process where by far the nation’s biggest ever infrastructure project is being forced along and at ill-considered speed without anything like the level of public participation nor detailed… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    2 days ago
  • Additional Harbour Crossing ill-considered and over-rushed.
    We are increasingly concerned that Auckland is in the middle of very poor process where by far the nation’s biggest ever infrastructure project is being forced along and at ill-considered speed without anything like the level of public participation nor detailed… ...
    Transport BlogBy Patrick Reynolds
    2 days ago
  • Tinder and 3nder are officially at war
    Your right to swipe for threesomes is under threat.    Some clean-cut millennials enjoying the 3nder afterglow. 1232RF Those for whom three is the magic sex-number should know that one's right to swipe one's way into a six-limb circus is… ...
    2 days ago
  • Weekly Listening: Die Antwoord, Joey Purp, King Kapisi and more
    A showcase of some of the best new music releases from the past week.   Joey Purp - GIRLS @ Feat. Chance The Rapper This track might be the catchiest three minutes and 32 seconds to hit your ears… ...
    2 days ago
  • Some big news, for me
    Two pieces of news that are kind of a big deal, for me. Firstly, I’m ditching my landline! I’m not a student and I’m not in a low income band, so make of that what you will. Secondly, after 10… ...
    GrumpollieBy Andrew
    2 days ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
    The GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • Start as you mean to go on
    The GCSB has a new director: His family tease him by calling him Johnny English. He has a 3000-strong record collection – not classical, but some “out there” 1980s indie rock. Andrew Hampton is also a government fix-it man –… ...
    DimPostBy danylmc
    2 days ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Polity: Mike’s minute: Mike’s maths!
    Today, media ubiquity Mike Hosking took to nzherald.co.nz to vent his frustration at Labour for suggesting that it would re-convene the same Tax Working Group first used by National. He was clearly very upset.For Mike, Auckland’s housing crisis is a… ...
    2 days ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    frogblogBy Denise Roche
    2 days ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    2 days ago
  • Helter smelter deja vu: Tiwai Point uncertainty stalls NZ renewables
    Simon Johnson looks at how New Zealand Aluminium Smelter Limited is behind the Meridian/Genesis deal keeping the Huntly Thermal Power Station burning coal as the threat of closing the Tiwai Point smelter is stalling the construction of consented renewable energy… ...
    Hot TopicBy Mr February
    2 days ago

  • Minister won’t fess up on wrong figures
    The Minister of Health was caught out telling porkies in Parliament today when he was asked about the number of people getting access to mental health and addiction services, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King. ...
    18 hours ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    18 hours ago
  • Budget 2016 and our LGBTQI communities
    LGBTI people make up about a tenth of our population, and our communities face a unique set of needs and challenges. These challenges are caused or exacerbated by discrimination, invisibility and barriers to appropriate support. We have a long way… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    18 hours ago
  • Scrambled announcement policy on the hoof
    Paula Bennett’s scrambled desperate announcement that she will pay homeless people to move to the regions is just the latest evidence of the disarray this Government’s housing policy is in, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. “This is policy… ...
    19 hours ago
  • Police Minister admits resolution rates fall short of expectation
    Police Minister Judith Collins has admitted in Parliament current burglary resolution rates are not meeting the expectations of our communities, says Labour’s Police spokesman Stuart Nash “Out of 284 police stations in New Zealand in 2015, 24 stations recorded zero… ...
    20 hours ago
  • Mojo Mathers: A better deal for animals in Budget 2016
    Currently we are failing animals in NZ. On the face of it farmed and domestic animals in this country have strong legal protection from abuse, cruelty and neglect. In reality it seems that only the very worst, most extreme cases… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    20 hours ago
  • Metiria Turei: What we need from Budget 2016
    Every family deserves a warm decent home.  Everyone believes that. This housing crisis is just the latest consequence of a Government who puts the interests of the few wealthy people above the needs of NZ families.  Families are doing it… ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    22 hours ago
  • Dairy exports fall of 11%: Budget action on diversification needed
    Dairy exports have fallen 11 per cent compared to this time last year, a fall of almost $1.5b, showing the Government must take clear action on diversifying the economy in tomorrow’s Budget, says Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David… ...
    22 hours ago
  • Investors driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland
    Investors cashing in on skyrocketing Auckland house prices are driving families out of homes in South and West Auckland and causing homeownership rates in some of our poorest suburbs to plummet, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “New analysis shows… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget must deliver on paid parental leave
    Budget 2016 must deliver 26 weeks paid parental leave by April 2018 – anything less will be short-changing families, says Labour MP Sue Moroney. “My Bill which is before Parliament this afternoon has majority support and does just that. I… ...
    1 day ago
  • Key’s “brain fart” on tax cuts news to English
    John Key didn’t tell his own Finance Minister he was about to go on radio and announce he wanted $3b of tax cuts, just days after Bill English ruled them out, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “In Parliament today… ...
    2 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 – A better start for our tamariki
    Ensuring the best start for our tamariki is a priority for me in everything I do. And so in Budget 2016, my first budget as an MP, I looking for the Government to make a real investment in the wellbeing… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 days ago
  • Denise Roche: What I’m looking for in Budget 2016 Pt II
    Aotearoa’s new New Zealanders,  come to our country in vulnerable position: – often away from the culture, communities and families they know, sometimes in neighbourhoods without familiar faces and often encountering barriers to employment. With net migration at 50,000+ a… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • Equal Pay and Budget 2016
    The last few years we’ve seen equal pay for women flagged as an undefined risk in the budget. This year we should expect to see this, as well as budgeted money to deliver equal pay to caregivers and funding for,… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 days ago
  • A great Budget would
    A great Budget would embrace the challenge of our polluted rivers and move the money away from justifying the status quo water rules into cleaning up waterways. A great Budget would take the Ministry for the Environment freshwater budget and… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 days ago
  • Budget building materials policy backfires
    On the eve of this year’s Budget official figures show Nick Smith’s Budget 2014 centrepiece to reduce the cost of building materials has backfired, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment officials have spent the… ...
    2 days ago
  • Smarter, Better, Cleaner, Stronger
    This Thursday Bill English will deliver his eighth Budget. Will it continue the trend of previous National budgets, making tertiary education less affordable, putting only token funds into innovation, and subsidising polluters? Budgets aren’t what they used to be. Once… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 days ago
  • Govt must come clean on tax cuts in Budget
    National is making a mockery of the Budget process by dangling the promise of tax cuts but failing to include them in the Budget, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “National’s tax cut promises have turned into a farce. One… ...
    3 days ago
  • Grant Robertson Pre-Budget Speech
    Today I want to talk about success. As we know success can come in many different forms, from the fact you all made it here at such an early hour on a Monday, for which I am very grateful, to… ...
    3 days ago
  • Budget must deliver for middle New Zealand
    The Government must ensure next week’s Budget stops the squeeze on middle New Zealand and delivers shared prosperity for all New Zealanders, Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little says. The call follows new research commissioned by Labour that shows working… ...
    4 days ago
  • Our housing emergency – why we have to act
    Marama and Metiria at Homes Not Cars launch On Thursday, Metiria Turei announced the Green Party’s plan to start addressing the emergency housing crisis facing our country. Too many people are without homes right now – homeless. It is the… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    5 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Will funding boost for sexual violence services go to the right places?
    This week the Government announced $46million for sexual violence services. This announcement was a result of decades of work by advocates and everyone who submitted to the Select Committee inquiry into funding for sexual violence services that I initiated with… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    6 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 days ago
  • Denise Roche – What I’m looking for in this year’s Budget
    Two of the things I’ll be looking for in the Budget next week are more funding for refugees and for our arts and culture sector. More funding for refugees I’m a strong supporter of the #DoubleTheQuota campaign and its goals… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    6 days ago
  • Car rego victims must get a refund
    Motorists who have been overcharged for their car registration should get a refund, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “Minister Nikki Kaye’s ‘faulty risk’ rating scheme has blown up in her face with over 170 different models of car having… ...
    6 days ago
  • Council statement shows they just don’t get it
    The Auckland Council’s statement today shows they don’t understand the problems created by the urban growth boundary, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “I have been the first to defend the Auckland City Council when Bill English has been blaming… ...
    6 days ago
  • Inspecting electronic devices a potential privacy threat
    Labour is expressing concern for New Zealanders’ privacy rights as the Government signals Customs will have the power to inspect electronic devices coming across the border, says Labour’s Customs Spokesperson Rino Tirikatene. “We agree that customs officers should have the… ...
    6 days ago
  • The Price of Water
    This week I hosted a public meeting at EIT in Hawkes Bay to discuss how we might put a price on the commercial use of water, so that water may be valued and treated more sustainably. I invited a… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Caption It NZ!
    Today I received a petition from the NZ Captioning Working Group urging the government to legislate for accessibility via closed captioning for deaf and hard of hearing New Zealanders. It was timely because today is the fifth Global Accessibility Awareness… ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    7 days ago
  • Older Kiwis to miss out on electives
    The Government is not doing enough elective surgery to keep up with New Zealand’s ageing population, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “It’s damning that the targeted national intervention rate for cataract and knee and hip surgery is the same… ...
    7 days ago
  • Most principals say their college is underfunded
    The Government must substantially increase funding for secondary schools in next week’s Budget after a new survey found 86 per cent of principals consider their college under-resourced, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Just 14 per cent of secondary principals… ...
    7 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    7 days ago
  • Bill English and Nick Smith on different pages
    The Government’s support for Labour’s policy to remove the Auckland urban growth boundary is good news, but National needs to clarify its position, Labour’s Housing and Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Acting Prime Minister has acknowledged our position… ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour calls for independent inquiry into illegal fish dumping
    The Labour Party is reiterating its call for an independent inquiry into New Zealand’s fishing industry after two reports revealed the Ministry for Primary Industries turned a blind eye to widespread fish dumping in New Zealand waters, says Labour’s Fisheries… ...
    1 week ago
  • Mt Karangahake and Newcrest Mining
    On Wednesday and Sunday of last week the local residents of the Karangahake mountain in the Karangahake gorge of Hauraki/Coromandel peacefully protested against a gold mining drill rig on private land adjacent to the DOC land. The drilling rig was… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Robbing Aucklanders to pay Rio Tinto
    New Zealand’s national electricity grid stretches the length of the country and contains some 11,803 kilometres of high-voltage lines and 178 substations. It wouldn’t make sense for competing power companies to duplicate and build their own expensive electricity transmission system… ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Government should abolish Auckland urban growth boundary
    The Government should rule out any possibility of an urban growth boundary in Auckland Council’s Unitary Plan if it is serious about fixing the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Over 25 years the urban growth boundary hasn’t… ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwis don’t want iPads for Land deals
     It is outrageous that schools are relying on money and iPads from foreign land investors to meet the learning needs of their students, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Several OIO land applications by offshore investors have claimed that without… ...
    1 week ago
  • Homelessness – National has failed all of us
    A young South Auckland Māori woman recently tried to get hold of me around midnight. I missed her call. The woman wanted me to know the sharp reality facing too many families looking for a stable place to live. Things… ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Moko case should never have been manslaughter deal
    Confirmation again yesterday that the manslaughter charge in the Moko Rangitoheriri case was a deal done by the Crown Prosecution Service is justifiably the cause of outrage, says Labour’s Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern.“This should never have been a case where… ...
    1 week ago
  • Overseas investor funds school’s digital devices
    The Government must address the inequality laptops and tablets in classrooms are causing after a Queenstown school was forced to use a donation from an overseas investor to get their students digital devices, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “Documents obtained… ...
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Child Youth and Family Review and Domestic Violence
    This Government has consistently failed to recognise the links between Child Youth and Family Services (CYFS) and intimate partner violence. For me, the recent review of CYFS has highlighted this misunderstanding of the dynamics of domestic violence and its impacts… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Canterbury rebuild: How wood is a better choice for the new city
    It was interesting to attend the ForestWood Conference in Auckland recently and learn about the extent of innovation in the wood processing and manufacturing sector. The forestry sector may be New Zealand’s third largest export earner, but raw logs make… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • Key plucks $3b out of thin air – reckless and irresponsible
    John Key refuses to give up on his dream of tax cuts to the wealthy, despite being shot down by Bill English, and is resorting to plucking numbers out of thin air, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “On radio… ...
    1 week ago
  • John Key woefully out of touch on homelessness
    John Key is completely out of touch if he thinks desperate South Auckland families forced to live in cars can simply go to Work and Income for help, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “Many of these families are working and… ...
    1 week ago

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