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The Standard

The Golfball and Sickle

Written By: - Date published: 12:38 pm, April 30th, 2008 - 55 comments
Categories: activism - Tags: , ,

Personally, I think it’s hilarious.

A brilliant piece of activism that got the public’s attention and raised the issue of why we have American spy equipment on our soil. All without any real harm done and no violence.

The wannabe semiotician in me loves that you’ve got a rag-tag bunch of ordinary people attacking a huge, featureless tool of secret State power. And with sickles!

Also, who knew those were just inflated covers? I thought they were some kind of far-out communications spheres

55 comments on “The Golfball and Sickle”

  1. insider 1

    Brilliant stunt. They are just weather shields for satellite dishes. You often see them over radar arrays as well.

  2. Matthew Pilott 2

    Insider – they also prevent people from seeing exactly where they’re pointed, which is an operational benefit. I’m not sure which is the primary and which is the secondary purpose, off the top’o’me noggin.

  3. roger nome 3

    Cool piece of activism. One comforting thing is that the echelon program that these structures are part of is becoming more and more irrelevant. i.e. they only intercept air-borne communications, whereas more and more information is being passed through fiber-optics, which a would be eavesdropper needs to physically tap into in order to monitor.

    It’s all in James Bamford’s most recent book:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Pretext_for_War

  4. Only someone from the left would find vandalism funny. I wonder what Nandor would say if a Anti Cannabis group, went on his property and pulled out his plants, or what would the left say if a group of Americans, did something similar to protest North Korea.

    This has totally blown up in the left’s face. Here was this huge spy base, they have been telling us, the big bad Americans are doing all sorts of bad things, but yet they were still able to climb the wall and get in.

    Don’t you think, if this was important to the USA, these guys would of got no where near it. Basically these protesters have proved that the States were right all along, they are doing legitimate activity.

    This is just the typical, chip on your shoulder, Anti American BS that the left gets off on.

    You guys need to grow up.

  5. Santi 5

    Steve Pierson, Professor of English, said “A brilliant piece of activism…. All without any real harm done and no violence.”

    Don’t you know the meaning of private property?

    Would you condone animal-right activists entering farms to set animals free? Where do you stop in your support of “activism”?

    Shame on you.

  6. Cool piece of activism or outright criminality? I guess that the Courts will be the judge of that.

  7. Felix 7

    Santi:

    “private property”

    Please expand.

  8. roger nome 8

    “Cool piece of activism or outright criminality?”

    Yes look at all the destroyed property, littering the surround ground. And the massacred bodies of the spy-base staff splayed throughout the grizzly scene. Won’t someone think of the US empire? Someone must bring these barbarians to justice!

  9. MikeE 9

    Criminal act of Vandalism.

    I don’t agree in certain governmnet departments existing, and you don’t see me letting off bombs under them (though I did find that scene in V for Vendetta particularily heart warming).

    Then again, it is a foreign government essentially spying on us…

    I’m of two minds on this one.

  10. Ben R 10

    I would have thought that following the bomb attacks in London, Madrid & Bali and threatened attacks in Australia, people would appreciate efforts to intercept terrorist communications?

    Having the spy base doesn’t mean we endorse every aspect of US foreign policy. Personally, I agree that the invasion of Iraq was a disaster, but I still think we need to try and prevent terrorist attacks. As Salman Rushdie says:

    It’s one thing to criticise the way in which the American government is behaving, or the British government, and I have a lot of criticisms of that in fact, nothing but criticisms,’ he says now. “But it’s another thing to fail to see that an enemy actually exists and is extremely serious about what he wishes to do.’ http://www.johannhari.com/archive/article.php?id=1002

    [yeah because these spy bases and all those American fighter jets have been so useful against backpack bombers. No-one denies there are terrorists, that doesn’t automatically mean Waihopai is needed. SP]

  11. Steve Pierson 11

    To state the obivous for our rightwing friends – not all vandalism is good, it depends on the reason, and breaking the law is not good but sometimes it is worth it in a just cause.

    santi. This is a side point but private property is not invoilable, ownership is not an absolute right of use. I do support the release of animals held in inhuman conditions. As to where I stop supporting activism – well, i don’t support people coming and peeing on the wall of your house becuase they don’t like you – so I guess the point is somewhere between that: freeing animals that are being treated inhumanely= good, peeing on your house because you’re not liked = bad.

    Remember, it’s you who are the extremist, the absolutist here. To me, there can be circumstances when breaching the law is ok if the cause is good and the payoff with the damage caused. It depends on individual circumstances. You believe any violation of private property is automaitcally wrong.

  12. Scribe 12

    Steve,

    How about ransacking an abortion clinic?

    As you say: not all vandalism is good, it depends on the reason, and breaking the law is not good but sometimes it is worth it in a just cause.

    Who makes the decision on whether the vandalism or law-breaking is “good”?

  13. higherstandard 13

    Good on the Prime Minister for calling it like it is.

    “Obviously it’s just imposing a cost on the taxpayer having to rebuild. That’s why I describe it as a senseless act of criminal vandalism”.

  14. Steve Pierson 14

    Like all politics, Scribe, it’s a matter of debate. It should be based on principle and reasoned argument and obviously reasonable people can sometimes disagree.

    But you would agree that in some cases activism that breaks the law is OK – like when anti EFA marchers (all ten of them) march with placards that don’t carry name and address. You think that’s ok don’t you?

  15. higherstandard 15

    SP

    Is it against the law when anti EFA marchers (all ten of them) march with placards that don’t carry name and address ?

    If so the law’s more of an ass than I suspected. Regardless I don’t see how this relates to the vandalism and associated cost to the taxpayer as highlighted in this post.

  16. Steve:

    So what you are saying here is, Vandalism is good, just as long if you believe in the political statement they are making.

    I have to disagree with that. Protest all you want, but what they did was wrong.

  17. Benodic 17

    Don’t you know the meaning of private property?

    Quick, someone tell Rosa Parks.

  18. Matthew Pilott 18

    Brett Dale, since we’re into some ignorant stereotyping, do you get off on extraordinary rendition to countries that torture, CIA-endorsed waterboarding, or the overthrow of democratic governments for fascist pro-US dictators?

    Sorry, but who needs to grow up?

  19. Macky 19

    Brett

    should we always obey the law mindlessly?

    because you seem to have the second part of that down pat

    [Macky, play nice. SP]

  20. Ben R 20

    “yeah because these spy bases and all those American fighter jets have been so useful against backpack bombers. No-one denies there are terrorists, that doesn’t automatically mean Waihopai is needed. SP”

    That overlooks the number of plots that have been foiled in Europe through intelligence sharing & intercepting communications.

    I don’t know that you’d describe ‘The Ploughshares’ as ordinary people either? They said they carried out their attack in the name of the “Prince of Peace”. They sound more like religious zealots.

  21. vto 21

    It’s a fine line between stability and anarchy. Just as well we have the state with its big bovver boots to get stuck in and do some bashing with when they are needed to control people. Eh Mr Pierson.

  22. Matthew Pilott 22

    Hey vto – you alluded to this on another thread – so what’s the alternative to ‘da 5-0’s if you don’t like state influence, out of interest?

  23. vto 23

    Ha ha my Pilott, excuse my rough manner but I was just trying to expose some hypocrisy (that is larger than political parties). Namely, that it is ok for the state to put the boot into that state-person relationship but not so for the person in the person-person relationship.

    I don’t have a complete answer developed in my head, but together with my earlier postage, what I am getting at is that today the physical approach as a means of dispute resolution is forgotten. Which ignores the vast majority of human history (and surely we are not so arrogant to think we do things better today than in the past).

    Its a big topic, and off-topic so I’ll stop there (btw, I’m not for the bash). But that’s what I was getting at. Some hypocrisy, and some forgotten history. And some stirring.

  24. Felix 24

    Short memories indeed.

    The most serious terrorist attack we’ve had here in living memory, the bombing of the Rainbow Warrior claimed one innocent life and caused irreparable damage to private property.

    One of the creepier aspects of this horrible event was that the U.S. (and other) intelligence agencies had been forewarned and chose not to tell us.

    With friends like these…

  25. vto 25

    That should have been ‘mr pilott’ not ‘my pilott’

  26. Like I said, you can protest all you like, but if you are going to support this type of vandalism against one country, you have to support it against other countries also.

    You cant pick and choose because of your own political beliefs.

    Can you imagine if a American immigrant living in New Zealand did this to an Arab Embassy, you will all be up in arms.

  27. Felix 27

    Brett, I can support anything I like based on my political (or any other) beliefs.

    I believe the the damage to the echelon spy station was politically relevant, mostly harmless and a bit theatrically amusing.

    What I can’t do is expect you to support anything based on my beliefs. And that’s ok with me.

  28. Steve Pierson 28

    Um. I can and do pick which causes to support based on my political beliefs. that’s what having political beliefs is all about.

    Try and get this straight in your head – the principle I’m arguing is not ‘all vandalism is good’. It is ‘sometimes a breach of the law can be justified for political reasons’ – in this case a minor breach for what I see as a good cause.

  29. You cant pick and choose because of your own political beliefs.

    You fu**kn moron.

  30. Sam Dixon 30

    from stuff:

    “neighbours of the base woke up this morning to a different skyline. The odd passer-by stopped to stare, and one by one the base’s neighbours pulled blinds or wandered out on to their lawns to realise the landscape was slightly altered.

    Sarah Rolston did not hear anything last night and said the sight of the balls from her front lawn this morning was “hilarious”.

    One neighbour who asked not to be named said “Dolly Parton is a bit lopsided at the moment.”

    – seem like the righties are a bit at odds with the locals down there

  31. Steve

    In saying “sometimes a breach of the law can be justified for political reason”

    then you would totally support someone from the right doing something similar in a form protest.

  32. higherstandard 32

    SP

    Try and get this straight in your head … in this case a minor breach for what I see as a good cause.

    What is this good cause Steve, perhaps you’d like to inform me and the rest of NZ so we can share in your delight that the public will be footing the bill for the repairs of this vandalism.

  33. Occasional Observer 33

    Yeah, what a momentous, heroic achievement, by standing up against the State like this. A million dollars of taxpayers’ money down the tubes.

    I look forward to the Standard praising a bomb attack against the Greytown WINZ office. Hell, with falling property prices, that can’t be worth more than a million dollars. Or how about an arson attack against a school? Or let some prisoners take the axe to a few cell blocks.

    Yeah, that’s what we’d like to see.

    [lprent: I’m sure that it is harder on your brain to deal with individuals, try anyway. Address the gripe to the poster]

  34. Felix 34

    No Brett, but you possibly would.

    Why is this so hard for you?

  35. higherstandard 35

    That’s great Brett so you’ll be stumping up with the million dollars in repairs then !

  36. Santi 36

    “..in this case a minor breach for what I see as a good cause.”

    A pathetic admission by Steve Pierson.

    It can hardly be a minor breach? You appear to condone trespassing and damaging provate property.

    A good cause? What about the bombing of anti-abortion clinics by religious fundamentalists? The attacks by the anti-whaling campaigners? Anti-globalisation mobs attacking American businesses?

    What’s a good cause to you?

  37. Steve Pierson 37

    ” Brett Dale
    April 30, 2008 at 5:14 pm Edit
    Steve

    In saying “sometimes a breach of the law can be justified for political reason’

    then you would totally support someone from the right doing something similar in a form protest.”

    – you’re still confused Brett. It would always depend on what the protest was and what it was against. My position that this was a great piece of activism that achieved it’s purpose, a purpose I find laudable, does not mean that I support any action in any political cause.

    Honestly, it’s like you can’t read.

  38. Steve:

    My point being, is you have condone vandalism only because the people who committed this crime sit on the same fence as you, thats it in a nut shell.

    Like I said, you should have the right to protest all you like, but to commit a crime and cost the tax payer hundreds of thousands of dollars is wrong.

  39. Tane 39

    Brett, the idea that a protest is immoral if it damages property is absurd. It’s the same mentality that led Dick Cheney to label Nelson Mandela a terrorist.

    Do you think Nelson Mandela is a terrorist?

  40. Steve Pierson 40

    Brett. I condone direct action, even if it might break the law, if I think the cause is worthy and the damage done is proportionate and ethical.

  41. Matthew Pilott 41

    vto – you may have been in moderation, because I missed your reply yesterday. As for “my Pilott” I almost crashed a plane once so I wouldn’t suggest it :)

    Going off topic to yours – as I see it, we have gone past lynch mobs, vigilante justice and codified our laws, vesting power exclusively in the state to enact them. So yes, it is an unequal relationship between the state and the people – that does not make it unjust!

    In other news:

    I heard that the cost of repairing the cover may be up to $1m. Now this is very out of line with my normal thinking, but I have a solution – a Private-Public Partnership.

    Before you think I’ve gone all Tory, hear me out.

    The government contracts Durex to fashion a new cover for the receiver dish. With their expertise, a project such as this should be easy. Now, the domes are virtually a tourist attraction, and well photographed. So, to recoup the $1m it will cost Durex to make the ‘cover’, they get prime, white-background advertising space on the side of the new dome!

    Waihopai – brought to you by Durex – keeping NZ safe for over 50 years

  42. Tane 42

    MP – brilliant.

  43. “All without any real harm done….”

    Well lets see, all three will get a criminal conviction- which will follow them around ever time they apply for a job. I understand one of them had several already, so that’s certainly no help to him.
    But hey, who care’s about them? its “cool” right Roger?

    Then there is the cost to the taxpayer of just under million dollars to replace the cover as pointed out and to fix the fences.
    Then there is the extra security costs in staff time and the cost of an investigation into the events of that night, police time and court costs including legal aid.

    But hey, no real harm and its ‘cool’. Yeah, right.

  44. Matthew Pilott 44

    Richard Hurst – that’ve done NZ an invaluable service. What if they were terrorists trying to blow the facility up? These heroes have demonstrated security deficiencies that could have resulted in the loss of the entire facility. $1 million – peanuts compared to the whole facility, and the lives, that could have been lost.

    Without their courage, our sensitive GCSB facilities could all be at risk. I think you should be a little more thankful.

  45. Oh, it was a public service…oh well in that case free beer and medals all round I should think!
    Funny, the actual group of sad nutters behind the whole thing aren’t saying it was done to help improve security there. I also note they happily sent a 24 years old young man with a long list of past convictions
    ( sadly none politically inspired) instead of going themselves. Wow that shows a lot of courage doesn’t it? The word exploitation springs to mind

  46. Matthew Pilott 46

    ’twas a pisstake, Richard, but if you were being charitable you could call it a felix culpa

    This 24 year old – you’re saying he wasn’t part of the organisation? And that he was coerced somehow into going? And that there were presumably some evil puppet-masters pulling his strings?

    What’s the typical age for being an adult these days? I know it’s 30 for hobbits, but this was Waihopai, not Matamata.

  47. Occasional Observer 47

    lprent:

    I was addressing my comment to all of the people who lauded this piece of mindless vandalism.

    To date, not a single member of the Standard’s regular posters has condemned the action. Many of the Standard’s posters and left-wing commenters have applauded it.

    Yes, it is hard to see that this is the individual position of a single commenter when so many of the Standard’s supporters evidently support the view that attacking a state-owned facility is appropriate, and not a single Standard supporter opposes it.

    You’re acting like a pissant little net-bully, lprent. Could your attempt at censorship possibly be even more vacuous? Just because you have a point of view, doesn’t mean anybody is interested in reading it.

    [lprent: So? They comment on what they choose to. I haven’t seen a post on the crappy weather in Auckland today either. It is of concern to me – I have to drive through it]

  48. vto 48

    Hey Someone Else’s Pilott, who said anything about ‘lynch mobs and vigilante justice’?

  49. Matthew Pilott 49

    I was making a vague attempt to describe a time before civilisation had codified law and vested power of law to the state…

  50. Occasional Observer 50

    lprent:

    For some reason you fail to make a distinction between events of nature–i.e., the weather–and the Standard’s key supporters, backed by the Standard’s posters, supporting a wanton act of vandalism against a taxpayer-owned facility.

    Your argument is so stupid, yet again, you get zero for effort. Stick to the geeky stuff, Lynn, if you’re not going to step up to the plate and come up with a decent argument.

    The fact is that Steve Pierson crossed the line with this post. Even Helen Clark–former peace activist and anti-American par excellence–has condemned this vandalism.

    [lprent: So? I wasn’t commenting on the post (in fact I haven’t read it).

    I was gently noting that you addressed the site as if it had a mind of its own and wrote the post – it didn’t.

    You then tried to tell the posters what they should write about. Hey, you are a guest on the site, normally valued, but not if you try to act as if you own the place. We’ve all seen adolescents acting up before (it is dreadfully boring). Act like one and you’ll be treated like one.

    If you want to control what is written on a blog – then start your own one and do it there.

    If you want to comment here, address the person – not the damn machine. Suggest to the posters what they should write about – don’t tell them. Tear holes in their thesis and assumptions, but don’t tear into them personally. It really isn’t that hard, and it is more effective. Do the negatives and I will as well and I’ve a much better toolkit.

    When you address the site, you address me and will get replied to by me. I’m perfectly willing to stick to the “geeky stuff”, and thats what I’d like to do. However I run the outside bounds of the site as one of my geeky roles. I could simply express some of my more nasty geek traits. It is a liberating experience, but takes time away from the important things in life – like code. So I prefer to just eliminate the problem.

    Would you like me to start on you? This is your last mild warning]

  51. Matthew Pilott 51

    I thought it was a funny gesture, when the costs were announced as minimal. Like patching up a bike tyre, I thought. I like to see things with enough ‘grey’ to allow a sense of proportionality to colour my judgement of an event. When I heard that it was $1m damage my thoughts changed rather dramatically and to the negative, but perhaps it was naive of me to expect something like that to cost bugger-all.

    This was, of course, the story at the time Steve posted the entry, OO, and why people generally supported it as a funny thing, or effective activim. If you’re being honest, you’ll note that Steve actually said “… All without any real harm done and no violence.

    This is no longer the case, but you have come in to this thread a day or two late.

    I suppose you could demand a retraction or update, but that’s just being a touch precious in my books. As is “steve pierson crossed the line“. You came in a bit late to make that call.

  52. lprent 52

    Ummm I just read the post and the comments.

    I’m with Helen on this, it is a very expensive prank. I can think of better things to spend the money on than providing a story for the news media to feed on.

    I’m not happy with people breaking into sites that probably have armed guards either. There is just too high a probability of someone getting hurt.

    As was commented above, it was useful for showing up a security hole. As was also commented, there is nothing to stop people from carrying out illegal acts – it is a matter for their own judgement.

    However they have to accept the consequences. In this case I hope that the book is thrown at them -they deliberately caused damage.

  53. higherstandard 53

    Gosh Matthew

    Very considered took you 12 hours to conclude it was costly vandalism enough time to mull it over.

    Guess that’s the difference between the profession I’m in having to make sometimes fairly rapid decisions on the merits of something and your own good profession.

    While I support anyone and everyones right to peaceful protest can I politely ask on behalf of the NZ taxpayer that Steve admits that protests such as this and the associated cost of the vandalism is unacceptable.

  54. Matthew Pilott 54

    Sorry HS, I didn’t realise I was on a stopwatch, or I would have posted that coment far earlier. I didn’t actually ‘conclude’ as suc, I went with what I read in the media. I’ll let you in on a little secret – as soon as I heard that it wasn’t a small repair bill (and more like a mil), I decided that they’d gone too far – but here’s the rub – I didn’t rush straight to this thread to post the comment!

    Somewhat less-than-sincere apologies,

    Matthew

  55. Tane:

    Actually technically Nelson Mandela was a Terrorist, he supported bombing government departments.

    Ghandai use to make adolescent girls sleep with him to see if he would be tempted, so he was a bit of a sicko.

    The Dali Lama follows a belief, that Slavery is okay.

    But I bet the severe liberal education system wont teach this. Still they all did so much good for the world, I guess we can forgive them.

    I just find it, nuts that you can compare what these protesters did to what Ghandai did and his battle against the British.

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    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
    15 hours 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.… ...
    16 hours 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.… ...
    16 hours 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
    18 hours 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
    18 hours 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
    1 day 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,… ...
    1 day 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
    1 day 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… ...
    1 day ago
  • Helping Our Heritage Come Alive – Mt Eden Rd
    This is an image from Mark Bishop. Here are the previous posts: Queen and Wellesley, Newton Rd, Kingsland These images were developed by merging together various historic black and white photographs (all from the “Sir George Grey Special Collection” –… ...
    1 day ago
  • Budget 2015 shows no plans for public sector wages
    The Public Service Association (PSA) says this budget does not address the wage rises needed across the public sector. ...
    1 day ago
  • Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
    I keep coming across this very naive form of chemophobic scare-mongering – the use of safety data sheets to frighten consumers about trace chemicals in their environment, food and drink. Here is an example anti-fluoridation propagandists continually use – safety data… ...
    1 day ago
  • World News Brief, Thursday May 21
    PunditBy Daily Digest
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Mediaworks: The only horizon they see
    When it emerged last month that Campbell Live was facing the axe, I ventured that Mediaworks had become far more Julie Christie's company than it was John Campbell's. And I think that's the reality behind the news that Campbell Live… ...
    1 day ago
  • Andrew’s little Poem
    by Don Franks Twas the night before Budget When just for a change Andrew Little’s thought’s did more widely range Labour’s leader cast round in his mind for an angle On which a publicity moment might dangle Some little device… ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 day ago
  • One good thing
    Today's budget is a dismal affair, as the government shuffles money around and announces new spending while conveniently forgetting to mention that its a sub-inflation rise and that health and education are going backwards - as they have every year… ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Budget tougher for students – NZUSA and TEU media release
    Lowering the annual fee increases for students from 4 percent to 3 percent means universities, polytechnics and wānanga will have less money, say national student and staff unions NZUSA and TEU. Slightly slower fee rises are no good if the… ...
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Lala-land forecasts on housing investment
    Some of the forecasts in the Budget beggar belief, and when they almost inevitably turn out wrong they spell disaster for New Zealand families. Here’s the clearest example. In the last year, investment in residential property ballooned by 16%. In… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Cynical bribery on the horizon
    Bill English has said time and again that new spending initiatives of around $1 billion each year are the responsible thing to do, and are the new normal. And, in the next two years, he is as good as… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Share of the economy going to workers continues to fall
    The BEFU documents today have unwelcome news for workers. Over the next four years, the share of the economy that ends up in the hands of workers through their wages will fall by around 1.3%. That 1.3% of GDP,… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Bill English’s Budget illustrates complexity in welfare system
    Budget 2015 has been touted as a package for the poor. And it certainly delivers them more money. However, it gives with one hand and takes away with the other, revealing the confusing and perverse nature of our welfare system.… ...
    Gareth’s WorldBy Geoff Simmons
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Pathetic half-measure on housing
    Yesterday, Paddy Gower thought he had a big scoop. He had leaked Budget docs alluding to a big government-lead house-building programme in Auckland. Today, the pathetic truth is revealed. The Budget puts only $52.2m – as a one off –… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Good idea on child poverty. Pity about the tinkering package.
    I can only speak personally, but I am genuinely pleased that the government is following through on its promise to focus on child poverty. New Zealand’s rates of child poverty are appalling, and anything that helps to bring them down… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day ago
  • Blah Budget: Why there won’t be a surplus next year, either.
    Having failed to reach surplus in this, his promised year, Bill English looks set to fail next year, too. Having been over-optimistic this year to the tune of almost $1.2b – comparing BEFU 2014 to BEFU 2015 - Treasury has… ...
    PolityBy Rob Salmond
    1 day 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… ...
    7 hours 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
    7 hours 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… ...
    8 hours 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
    8 hours 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. ...
    8 hours 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… ...
    8 hours 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
    11 hours 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… ...
    11 hours 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… ...
    11 hours 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… ...
    13 hours 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… ...
    1 day 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… ...
    1 day 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… ...
    3 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… ...
    3 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… ...
    3 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
    3 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… ...
    3 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
    3 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
    3 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… ...
    4 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
    4 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… ...
    4 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… ...
    5 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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… ...
    1 week 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
  • US state joins NZ with GE food labelling
    New Zealand has a similar law making the labelling of many GE foods compulsory, but the Government seems to let it slide.  Because the government has not monitored or enforced our GE food labelling laws since 2003, it seems the… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour Pays Tribute to Erima Henare
    “E ua e te ua tata rahi ana, Ko te hua i te kamo taheke i runga raa. No reira e te rangatira Erima takoto mai I roto I te ringa o Ihowa o nga Mano e moe e.” ...
    2 weeks ago

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