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The Key-Fletcher trail

Written By: - Date published: 11:36 am, April 11th, 2013 - 76 comments
Categories: accountability, democracy under attack, Ethics, film, grant robertson, International, internet, john key, slippery, Spying, telecommunications, trade - Tags: , , ,

I have been doing some digging to try to find answers to some questions raised by John Key’s role in the appointment of Ian Fletcher as chief of the GCSB.

Why did Key try to cover up the fact that he had intervened in the appointment process?

Why is he vague about when and where he had met up with Fletcher since their school days?

Why was Fletcher, lacking the usual military/intelligence background, appointed to the GCSB as a “change manager”?

Intellectual Property and Commerce

The evidence indicates that Key was interested in Fletcher’s background in intellectual property, and international trade and economics.

Any more recent suggestions that Key wanted Fletcher to give the GCSB a “shake up” are not supported as Key seems to have only recently been aware of illegal operations at the GCSB.  Further more, Key’s lax oversight of the GCSB indicates that he was not concerned about disorganisation or disarray at the department. (See also Selwyn Manning on the GCSB problems and the Kitteridge Report)

Fletcher’s management of his department in Queensland has come in for some criticism (as in my post last week), indicating that he was not appointed for having exceptionally good managerial skills.  The evidence seems to confirm Trotter’s claim that it is Fletcher’s background in intellectual copyright and commercial information that Key was most interested in.  John Key’s announcement of Fletcher’s appointment in 2011 do not mention his generic change management skills.  Key focuses on Fletcher’s expertise in international trade and commerce, explicitly mentioning his background in intellectual property.  Key then summarises Fletcher’s expertise:

“Mr Fletcher has extensive policy and operational experience particularly in relation to international economic and trade matters. ….”  says Mr Key.

An interview of Fletcher conducted for his alumni at the INSEAD: “The Business School For the World”  (a kind of post grad school for experienced high flying business execs, where Fletcher did a course in 2005) provides some confirmation of Fletcher’s relevant experience in the operational and management of intellectual property and copyright piracy.   In the interview, Fletcher stress the growing importance intellectual property in relation to business in a globalised world.  He cites an example of a case in which his team worked closely with the police and local authories:

INSEAD: Have you encountered many counterfeit or piracy cases?

IF: Yes, we actually have an enforcement team in our office which includes a police officer. This team coordinates police work and works with the Serious Organised Crime Agency and with local authorities. One case that highlights their work involved a famous singer whose name I cannot mention for confidentiality reasons. Just before the singer was about to release a new recording, a physical copy was stolen. Due to the enforcement team’s diligent work, we found out where the recording was being kept whilst the thief was intending to sell it on the internet. The police officer in our enforcement team drove half-way across the country to recover the recording before it was sold and arrested the thief. We believe that the singer in question was saved from a substantial financial loss.

INSEAD: Are there standard IP regulations/procedures that exist on a global level?

IF: … The creation of an efficient global system for patent and trade mark protection, and improving the copyright system is a major challenge as ideas move very quickly in a globalised world. IP rights are territorial and can be extremely long to administer. One of the roles of the WIPO is to establish a forum for the development of new global intellectual property rules to comprehensively address the challenges of globalisation.

The Key-Fletcher Trail

I have not been able to establish when Key (and/or Iain Rennie) became aware of Fletcher’s interest in this area.  Key and Fletcher were working in London at the same time (Key for Merrill Lynch 1995-2001: Fletcher for various organisations).  By the end of 2001, Key had decided to return to NZ, and he was the successful candidate for Helensville in 2002.

When Grant Robertson recently asked in the House (of parliament) whether Key met with Fletcher while in London, Key’s answer was, not unusual for him, was vague and, suspiciously, immediately followed by a deflection (Question Time 27 March 2013):

Grant Robertson: … can he enlighten the House as to whether he has had further contact with Mr Fletcher since their school days, perhaps in London?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Well, I cannot recall particular occasions; I am sure I may well have done so. What I can say, if the member wants to know, is that my mother was best friends with Ian Fletcher’s mother. If that makes a conspiracy, fair enough.

The next day he was reported in the Dominion Post as having flatly denied any such meetings:

Key denies the pair were friends when they both worked in London. “From the best of my memory, from the age of about 18 to the age of about 48, so for 30 years, or three decades, I didn’t have any dinners or lunches or breakfasts with Ian Fletcher, nor do I actually recall actually seeing him in that time. So, I’m not a great and close friend of him.”

In recent years Key has shared “breakfasts” with Fletcher, in his previous role as director-general and chief executive of the Queensland State’s Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, he said.

Fletcher, on Campbell live on 9 April, is also vague about when he “cross paths” with Key in more recent years. The timing of the alleged renewal of their acquaintanceship is a little strange because it seems very condensed into a short period.  John Key (born Sept 1961) turned 48 in Sept 2009.  Fletcher left his job in England to work in the Queensland Department of Employment, Development and Innovation  in 2009).  There were opportunities for Key and Fletcher to “cross paths” in 2009.  Key visited Australia in August 2009.  Curiously, Rennie and Key claim Fletcher was on their radar for a possible NZ “public sector chief executive” role.

The most likely time for Key and Fletcher to meet up for some “dinners, lunches or breakfasts” would have been in the period including 10-11 March 2010, when it seems Fletcher attended a conference in Auckland.  Key was also in Auckland during those days, as listed in his diary which included an official visit to Counties-Manukau.

Fletcher was given funding to attend a convention on international investment in NZ in March 2010. The Annual Report 2009-2010, for Fletcher’s Queensland Department  on the bottom of page 207, lists Fletcher as having incurred a cost of $ 3592

To accompany the Minister for Natural Resources, Mines and Energy and Minister for Trade to the “Open for Business” New Zealand—Australia Forum and key trade and investment meetings in New Zealand.

The “Open Business” conference was held in Auckland on 10 and 11 March 2010. The NZ Trade and Enterprise Press Release for it states:

Investment specialists from the United States, China and Singapore are among the international speakers featuring at next month’s New Zealand-Australia Investment Forum in Auckland.International Investment Experts to Provide Insights at Auckland Forum

Investment specialists from the United States, China and Singapore are among the international speakers featuring at next month’s New Zealand-Australia Investment Forum in Auckland.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE), in partnership with the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), is hosting the forum from March 10-11. The event aims to bring together New Zealand and Australian companies seeking investment, corporate leaders from around the world, global investors, senior government officials, and academic opinion leaders.

The Programme for conference lists Bill English as first speaker. Gerry Brownlee also was a speaker, plus speakers and panelists from various NZ and Australian government departments plus some from relevant areas in the business/corporate world including IBM, NZ and Dell, Australia, and Phil O’Reilly.

So, it is Fletcher’s intellectual property and international trade experience that seems to have been his attraction for Key.  They may or may not have renewed there acquaintanceship before 2009, but, as Key knew of his background, they probably were moving through inter-connected networks prior to 2009.

Intellectual Property, the Hobbit and Dotcom

This is where the Fletcher issue links in with the Dotcom case. Yesterday, in the House, NZ First’s Andrew Williams raised questions about John Key’s meetings since 2010 with Kevin Tsujihara, president of Warner Bros and a director of the Motion Picture Association of America.  Tsujihara was photographed as being part of the Warners’-NZ government Hobbit talks in NZ as reported in the NZ Herald on 27 October in 2010.  As Andrew Williams states, it’s intriguing that Tsujihara has specific interests and expertise in relation to intellectual copyright, and that,

 on 28 October 2010 – a day after Mr Key met with Mr Tsujihara – the SIS lifted a hold on Kim Dotcom’s residency application.”

There is some evidence that it would be worth doing some further digging around the intersecting networks between Warners, Dotcom, Key, Fletcher etc, in relation to the moves by the elites to take control of the globalised world of intellectual property, and corporate and financial interests.  For instance, Tsujihara was appointed as one of the non-executive directors for the SCi Entertainment group plc, at the same time as Aaron Brown in June 2008.

Down the Rabbit Hole: Global Maze

Aaron Brown worked at Merrill Lynch in London and New York (1996-2002), at the same time as John Key worked for Merrill lynch in London.  Brown has been implicated, but not found guilty of dodgy dealings in relation to his partnership with  Robert and Vincent Tchenguiz, “billionaire property moguls”.  The brothers were arrest in 2011 in relation to investigations by the US Serious Fraud Office and the collapse of an Icelandic bank in 2008.   Brown’s interests are more in interactive gaming than property. The Simon Watkins’ article says:

Robert Tchenguiz’s two right-hand men, Aaron Brown and Tim Smalley, were also questioned. Brown has declined to comment, but Smalley denied that he was formally arrested.

American-born Brown began his career as a corporate lawyer and later worked at investment bank Merrill Lynch. He first teamed up with Robert Tchenguiz in 2004 to buy 200 pubs  -  long since sold.

At this point I felt like I had disappeared down a rabbit hole into the global money maze, of ethically dodgy, sometimes illegal, wheelings-and-dealings that favour the wealthy and powerful.

Such networks may or may not be inter-related to the Key-Fletcher-Dotcom-Hobbit complex – hard to tell at this stage.  however, if Key didn’t ac so suspiciously with his memory lapses, diversions and questionable dealings, there wouldn’t be an incentive to dig further.

TO BE CONTINUED…..

76 comments on “The Key-Fletcher trail”

  1. r0b 1

    You’ve written recently in praise of investigative journalism, and now you’ve started out on a project of your own! I look forward to the next installment…

    • lprent 1.1

      Likewise – wow!

      • karol 1.1.1

        Thanks, guys. I thought it was a bit info-intensive and long for a post, and ended with a further line of enquiry to follow. But I thought it was already long enough, and included stuff that needed to be out there, as part of the bigger picture, so it can be referred to in future – possibly in less dense and shorter posts.

        • McFlock 1.1.1.1

          Quite spectacular!

        • AmaKiwi 1.1.1.2

          Karol, I am pleased to inform you that you are a candidate for the Nicky Hager Investigative Journalism award.

          • Tigger 1.1.1.2.1

            More praise, Karol this is not just fascinating, it is utterly invaluable. Info heavy yes but that is a compliment, full of facts yet easy to read and digest.

            I hold hope that this may finally be the issue that sinks our PM. So much smoke here. If and when the fire is uncovered our leader may find himself burning.

        • Chris 1.1.1.3

          Please keep digging.Where there’s a key theirs a lie.

    • veutoviper 1.2

      And also my thanks, Karol, for an excellent piece of investigative journalism – better than most of the MSM.

      I had on my to do list to delve further into the Key/Fletcher timelines etc, but other commitments haven’t allowed this – so you have done this for me and provided a lot of very good links to boot.

      The waters just keep getting murkier and murkier. Next week could be very interesting with Dotcom back in the Auckland High Court on Monday at 10am and his mentions of his “White Paper” on his Twitter site.

      But need to get ready to watch another intriguing Question Time in the House. Robertson’s question on the Ministerial warrant signed by English last August should be interesting if English is again answering on Key’s behalf!

  2. ianmac 2

    Impressive stuff Karol. Read it all with interest. The Questions is the Answer, and Connectivity is the glue in Investigative Journalism.
    Anyway good stuff.

    • karol 2.1

      ianmac, I think in the relevant issues, it’s as important to attend to the networks (Connectivity as you say) as much as to one-to-one meet-ups. Some of us have been trying to work out when, in recent years, Key and Fletcher regained contact.

      Key’s answer to Robertson as to whether he had met with Fletcher in London was vague and suggested evasion and not wanting to commit himself on the record. The next day Key is reported in the media as being certain they hadn’t had formal meet-ups (dinners etc), but, he doesn’t “recall” ever seeing him at that time.

      It’s possible they had mutual acquaintances who mentioned each other, or that they attended the same events where they exchanged a few words. Ditto with Key’s other connections within some significant networks.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1

        It’s also possible that they met frequently but unofficially, and knowing there’s no record, Key feels no need to provide details.

  3. joe90 3

    Great post Karol, shake the tree – see who falls out.

  4. TheContrarian 4

    Good summary of facts. Looking forward to seeing how far down the rabbit hole this goes.

  5. One Anonymous Knucklehead 5

    There are no coincidences, only patterns. Whether this is a pattern of design, or incompetence and stupidity, remains to be seen. Great post Karol. I seem to be saying that a lot lately.

    • karol 5.1

      I think some of the “neoliberal” elite “patterns” are the evidence of loose networks of planned and unplanned interactions between people with similar values and aims.

  6. Treetop 6

    What is the difference between Dotcom and the 88?

    1. GCSB did not think that Dotcom was a permanent resident.
    2. Dotcom was arrested.
    3. There was footage of the raid.
    4. Dotcom is accused of copyright violations.
    5. Dotcom is to be extradited.

    I have come to the conclusion that even if the GCSB knew about Dotcom’s permanent residency status the GCSB still would have spied on Dotcom like they did for the SIS and police concerning the other 88 people.

    So I draw the conclusion that Key knew about the botch up in July 2012 re the GCSB spying on 88 people and he did nothing to remedy this at the time and the minute Key becomes aware of Dotcom being illegally spied on (two months later than the 88) Key reprimands GCSB and publicly apologises.

    • Tim 6.1

      “I have come to the conclusion that even if the GCSB knew about Dotcom’s permanent residency status the GCSB still would have spied on Dotcom like they did for the SIS and police concerning the other 88 people.”
      You’re not wrong TT.
      Buchanan summed it up beautifully when he remarked somewhere on the MSM (sorry for the lack of link – I can;t actually be bothered with most of it), when he described how the overseers (I mean in general) can get held ‘CAPTIVE’ .
      I have a relative – actually plural – that were/are/have been spooks. Intermittent though our meetings were – the most pertinent utterance from him/her was that ‘blood is thicker than water”
      Of the 80 something…… there are the obvious candidates.
      It’ll be interesting to see how the likes of the Murry Party vote though when shush comes to pufff and Wonder Boy’s legislation to ‘RECTIFY’ things hit the debating chanber.

  7. Anne 7

    Great post Karol. I seem to be saying that a lot lately.

    Me too. Incredible work karol.

    There are no coincidences, only patterns.

    There may be the odd coincidence intermixed, but the overall pattern is one of a planned conspiracy on a major scale. Key, Joyce, Fletcher and co. are just the local cogs in the global corporate machine.

    (Now watch the RWNJ’s swoop in at the mention of the unmentionable word beginning with c.)

    Edit: FOLLOW THE MONEY.

  8. JonL 8

    “….I look forward to the next installment…” as do I.
    Interesting stuff

  9. Mark 9

    Desperately digging but failing to find any evidence of anything fishy.
    Don’t give up your day job.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.1

      As the Auditor General says, Key has considerable latitude when making the appointment. It’s just that doesn’t explain why he perjured himself over it, lying to Parliament and the public.

      In light of the Prime Minister’s lies, there is bound to be speculation of this nature.

      PS: I feel for Fletcher: Key stains are very hard to get off.

    • Murray Olsen 9.2

      Mark: get a day job. Preferably one without internet access. I see plenty there that’s far more than fishy. Karol is doing great work, particularly bringing to light just how important intellectual property and copyright are to our “masters”, and the lengths of illegality they’ll go to to protect them.
      Anyone not worried is far more interested in property than anything intellectual. In good English, a pig rolling in shit.

  10. It would be interesting to know just how Kim Dot Com came to think of NZ as a place to live?

  11. Mark 11

    DotCon had heard about Shane Jones & Co, and how he could buy citizenship. He also heard he could get cheap tiling done. Mainly he heard there were a bunch of left wing fuckwits (as evidenced by The Standard) who would swallow all his bullshit. While the vast majority of Kiwis are starting to enjoy the fruits of good governance, sensible policy, economic & personal freedom etc, the serial failures remain consumed by hypocracy, envy & impotence, and desperately grasp at strawmen & hockeysticks. Hilarious.

    [lprent: Yep it is "hilarious". The only thing you have done since the amnesty is troll. I can't find one comment you have made that has any content worth reading. Obviously too stupid to learn and not worth wasting my time on. Banned again. ]

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 11.1

      Temper temper, sweety.

      There’s no need to throw your toys, all I’m asking is why it’s necessary for your Prime Minister to lie and lie and lie about his lies about it.

    • karol 11.2

      Tell that to the homeless, and people struggling to decide whether to pay the power bill, buy food, or necessary clothes for the kids.

    • McFlock 11.3

      Ah.
      Obviously you have no problem with the multitude of facts and linked sources that Karol provided. Otherwise you would have provided some fact-based rebuttals and counter-arguments rather than a delusional spittle-flecked rant.

    • georgecom 11.4

      “While the vast majority of Kiwis are starting to enjoy the fruits of good governance, sensible policy, economic & personal freedom etc”

      Roftl. Mark, please, no more, my sides are starting to hurt from laughter.

      The way you stated that with such a straight face would suggest you might be serious. But then you can’t be serious about such a load of BS, eh.

    • framu 11.5

      “While the vast majority of Kiwis are starting to enjoy the fruits of good governance, sensible policy, economic & personal freedom etc”

      i said this to walter the other day, but ill say it again to you mark

      Strange then that you support a govt that is centralising power, dismantling democratic representation (chch), bullying local govt, picking winners in the private sector, giving favours to foreign corporates, and running one of the most fiscally irresponsible economic platforms in recent history (remember debt has skyrocketed, new taxs, gst increases, unaffordable tax cuts, dodgy bailouts, dodgy financial rumors in CHCH)

      i know we like to call righties a bit thick, but you dont have to go and prove it now do you?

      Your shouting slogans from the kids table while the cousin you stick by is giving you a wedgie – its tragic and pathetic

  12. Huginn 12

    Thanks for this, Karol. Key has brought this on himself.

    The notion that the PM has subverted NZ law to spy on a NZ resident at the behest of a foreign interest is chilling. I would be interested to hear what Sir Geoffrey Palmer has to say about this, and also to hear what he might have to say about the role of the GCSB and its relationship with the Prime Minister in general.

  13. jim 13

    It is at the end of the day the P.M!s right to sanction the appointment.That said,the more important point “did he mislead the house! when questioned about “how well does he know Mr Fletcher,his response, my Mother was friends with their family, and i went to school with his brother.

  14. vto 14

    Why would Key go down this seemingly long path?

    • McFlock 14.1

      There is no assumption that he had this particular destination in mind when he started.

      • vto 14.1.1

        That’s right. So why would Key go down this seemingly long path?

        • McFlock 14.1.1.1

          Because he puts one foot in front of the other in whichever direction seems to be the easiest to go at the time, and this is how the chips fell.

          Easier to circulate with school friends in london rather than the colleagues you’re happily firing.
          Easier to do whatever the studio exec wants, rather than let the process handle itself
          Easier to hire a mate who you know is on the same page, rather than follow an unbiased recruitment process in the public service.
          Easier to lie about it and deflect when someone in parliament says it looks dodge.
          Easier to pretend he hired a “change manager” than admit he hired an IP gun to keep the corporations happy.

          • vto 14.1.1.1.1

            “Because he puts one foot in front of the other in whichever direction seems to be the easiest to go at the time, and this is how the chips fell.”

            Except that he doesn’t. One of the things about his own described childhood is how he runs long long term plans. He himself says that he learnt how to play golf because of the place it has in the networks world and in his aim of becoming PM.

            He is surely many things but an egg, in this context, he is not. The wheels have fallen off his carefully crafted long term plan (as they do with duplicity). Methinks he is more pissed off now than he has ever been.

          • Murray Olsen 14.1.1.1.2

            People are nothing if not contradictory. I think it could be entirely plausible that Key had a long term plan to get himself to the top, but once there, suffered from such an overblown ego that he thinks his farts are perfume.
            As PM, his planning seems to involve threatening something way over the top, and then retreating a little to make the previously unthinkable look like compromise. His carelessness and lack of planning shows up in the details, where the devil hides. Once he’s finished with Thatcher, let’s hope he comes and takes a few bites out of Key’s bum. I’ll lend him a knife and fork.
            I don’t see a total contradiction between what McFlock and vto are saying.

            • Colonial Viper 14.1.1.1.2.1

              People are nothing if not contradictory. I think it could be entirely plausible that Key had a long term plan to get himself to the top, but once there,

              it may very well be that Key had a long term plan to get power but none around what to do with it.

              So he ad libs, tries on a few larks (royal weddings etc), and goes back to what he does know from the habits of a life time – cutting sweetheart deals with monied mates and corporates.

            • McFlock 14.1.1.1.2.2

              I’ll go along with that, murray.

              I think it’s highly likely that as a young man key had fairly clear objectives and achieved them over twenty years. Now he just seems to muddle from half-arsed response to half-arsed response, while taking every available opportunity to tick items off his bucket list.

    • BLiP 14.2

      Brand maintenance. GCSB is his personal ministerial responsibility. Look at all the other National Ltd™ fuck ups – ACC, Education, Police, Health, Conservation, inter alia – and there’s John Key backing up his ministers, issuing soothing statements that its all under control and he maintains confidence that while there have been some hiccups caused by the churn of change, keep calm and carry on. Then, when its his area where the fuck up is . . . where’s John? Gone. Look at how the BMW saga was spun . . . suddenly is not Ministerial Services ,its Internal Affairs, its not John Key backing down, its the government.

      Thing is – damage John Key and you damage National Ltd™ because he’s the only thing they got going for it. As it happens, IMHO, John Key’s value is actually quite flimsy because its emotional rather than rational. Get the public to fear or distrust or dislike the man and National Ltd™ is shot.

      EDIT: Ooops – meant to be reply to vto.

      • karol 14.2.1

        Actually, I think Key’s role goes deeper than that. We underestimate him at our peril. See Trotter’s analysis of the Kitteridge Report and it’s implications, just up.

        Under Key, various sections of the “intelligence community” have been organisationally integrated, with him being in sole control. It’s a scary picture.

        I disagree with Trotter, only on the matter of pursuing information the likes of Fletcher. It’s all part of the weft and weave of the bigger picture – pull one or two threads and see how much unravels. However, it’s also important to not lose sight of the bigger picture – and many of us already feel that Key’s hurried plans for changing the laws around the GCSB and SIS are a big concern.

        • BLiP 14.2.1.1

          Ahhhh . . . classic National Ltd™: what its up to is never as it frst appears and its always worse than you think. I’d better see if I can get past that review’s Executive Summary. Good to see Trotter ringing the alarm bells. Thanks for the link.

        • ianmac 14.2.1.2

          Another crikey moment for me this time from Mr Trotter! We thought the concern was just the GCSB and the SIS but there is a whole huge iceberg under water at the behest of the one and only John Key and is it mandated by Parliament, or not?

  15. BLiP 15

    Great work, thanks karol. This whole John Key/Fletcher/GCSB/DotCom caper definitely fails the smell test. Keep digging.

    I think what we are looking at here is something of collision between real public service, as per the protection of the state by the military and its intelligence gathering operations, on the one hand, and Planet Key and the other where there is no government, only benevolent corporations.

    Hamish Cardwell over at Scoop has compiled a time-line based on the affadvits presented at the Kim DotCom trial. According to Detective Inspector Grant Womald, a GCSB representative told him at a meeting on 14 December 2011 that it was illegal for GCSB to intercept the communications of New Zealand citizens and permanent residents. The meeting is discussed in detail starting from paragraph 18 of Wormwald’s affadavit.. The difficulty here, though, is that it is Grant Wormald’s word and the affadavit was written *after* the shit hit the fan. Wormwald didn’t exactly demonstrate a firm commitment to truth when testifying in the Kim DotCom case earlier, and nor does his previous track record indicate much adherence to veracity or the sanctity of the courts, let alone professionalism.

    If, however, what Wormald said is true, the application of Occams Razor might lead to the conclusion that the illegal spying on New Zealanders by GCSB has been a “dirty little secret” for years. Provided the illegal spying remained secret, there was no need to have the law changed. To do so would alert possible targets and mean having to endure the fuss and palava such a change would undoubtably raise, as well as run the risk of having effective oversight being put in place. Can’t have that. The know-best, patriachal mandarins could quietly give each other the wink and get the job done without having to startle or otherwise worry the somnambulant proles, who wouldn’t understand anyway. How the spies must have chuckled at telling John Key everything and watching as the details sailed over his blithe head. Show off some gadgets, give him a cup tea, a chance to show the staff what a “nice man” he is, and then send him back across the road to the Beehive none the wiser.

    Still, while smiling and waving at the GCSB, John Key would have been thinking about what he considers the real game. Shortly after coming into power, National Ltd™ queitly seeded the entire public service with lots of “little” Fletchers. Their job was to identify the ways and means by which the functioning of the state could be shifted to the private sector. MoBIE is Stage II of that process. The GCSB, though, is a slightly different public service in that it is a small, albeit important, outpost of western imperialism and capitalism. Its functions are, ostensibly to look after New Zealand, but, by far, the bulk of its product goes directly to serve US and UK interests. Fletcher proved he could keep a secret when he was on the inside of the UK government’s manufacturing of consent to join the US in Iraq, proved he had no qualms about lying to the public in Queensland, and is undoubtably a lifelong aquantance, if not mate, of John Key. How unlikely is it that shortly after getting the GCSB job, Fletcher tipped John Key off that the illegal spying was about to be raised in the courts and now would be a good time to go watch a baseball game in the states?

    Heh! ‘Cept that Ministerial Certificate was trumped by our justice system. Or what’s left of it.

    • Anne 15.1

      How unlikely is it that shortly after getting the GCSB job, Fletcher tipped John Key off that the illegal spying was about to be raised in the courts and now would be a good time to go watch a baseball game in the states?

      And then those dammed soldiers went and got themselves killed in Afghanistan. That threw the cat among the pigeons didn’t it.

  16. ghostwhowalksnz 16

    Of course English had a previous ‘ministerial certificate’ , the one that said he didnt have a beneficial ownership of the house he lived in, so it was Ok for the taxpayers to pay him to live there.

    of course the auditor general- who was at the time , one of the old school say it like it is- threw that in the wastepaper basket of Englishs failed dreams.

    Would be interesting to know what the official ‘advice’ was from GCSB over that was.

  17. TruthSeeker 17

    An excellent post.

    The PM has chosen his words very carefully when talking about his knowledge of Kim Dotcom. Notice how he has always stressed the name ‘Dotcom’.

    See this for example: http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Business/QWA/2/0/d/QWA_09404_2012-9404-2012-Rt-Hon-Winston-Peters-to-the-Prime-Minister.htm

    Key basically admits that he knew of Dotcom before 19 Jan 2012 – just not as ‘Dotcom’ and not in his capacity as PM.

    In fact, Immigration NZ referred to Dotcom as ‘Kim Vestor’. This is almost certainly the name by which the SIS knew him. Key met the SIS on 12 October 2010. A day later, they put a hold on his residency application citing FBI interest.

    That’s the Key/Dotcom link which Labour seems to be overlooking. Maybe there is a good reason for that. But it seems pretty obvious to me – and it seems that is where Peters and NZF are going.

  18. Fletcher, on Campbell live on 9 April, is also vague about when he “cross paths” with Key in more recent years. The timing of the alleged renewal of their acquaintanceship is a little strange because it seems very condensed into a short period. John Key (born Sept 1961) turned 48 in Sept 2009. Fletcher left his job in England to work in the Queensland Department of Employment, Development and Innovation in 2009). There were opportunities for Key and Fletcher to “cross paths” in 2009. Key visited Australia in August 2009. Curiously, Rennie and Key claim Fletcher was on their radar for a possible NZ “public sector chief executive” role.

    This point in the saga has always bothered me – we need key to disclose the dates here because there is something not right about this bit and their supposed lack of contact. Key and Rennie were discussing Fletcher in 2009 for a job, any job at the top. That can’t have come out of nowhere.

    • karol 18.1

      Yes, marty, that’s one of the puzzles that spurred me to look further. It may be that Fletcher and Key did not have any significant contact before 2009, but that they were moving in some of the same circles, and Key had been hearing about him – also helped by the fact that Key would remember it because he knew him from his school days.

      Key maybe had him earmarked for an NZ public sector job, especially as Fetcher’s background involves intellectual property, commerce and globalisation – something that Key seems very interested in. Part of him getting his kind of people into key (can’t avoid the pun) jobs.

      In spite of all his other evasions and vagueness, Key has admitted to contacts with Fletcher specifically from about 2009, and said that this involved meals etc. And Key has explicitly said this was in some way connected with Fletcher’s job in Queensland. So, it is very likely that Key met up with Fletcher while he was in Aussie towards the end of 2009. I feel it is almost certain that Key would have met with Fletcher when he was in Auckland for the conference in March 2010.

      Then by the end of 2010, Key is linking up with a top Warner’s exec, also into intellectual property…. and on it goes… til some time near the Dotcom surveillance period, Key moves quickly to get Fletcher a job at the GCSB.

      I think Key is probably very much into networking with like-minded people (as indicated by the mention up thread of him learning to play golf to get in with the “right” people). So it just maybe that Fletcher was part of Key’s extended network of the wealthy and powerful, with similar interests.

  19. dumrse 19

    The AG (Helen’s appointment remember) has no interest in the appointment of Fletcher. However, what is significant is the determination that the PM is quite entitled to be involved in the appointment process. So, lets spend thousands of hours on this and see if we can establish if Key and Fletcher had spoken to each other in the last 2-3 decades. And, lets make sure if one or the other cant remember what they did 20 years ago, lets fucking hang them. If the Labour Party and its leadership take their leads and advice from this blog site then its state of disarray comes as no surprise.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      Who cares how well Key and Fletcher actually know each other.

      It’s the fact that Key and his associates saw fit to lie about it on record, several times, which is of the real interest now.

      If the Labour Party and its leadership take their leads and advice from this blog site then its state of disarray comes as no surprise.

      Stay up to date mate. The Labour Leadership has already said that it thinks blog sites and online commentators are completely irrelevant :twisted:

    • framu 19.2

      “lets spend thousands of hours on this and see if we can establish if Key and Fletcher had spoken to each other in the last 2-3 decades”

      theres no need to – key has already admitted they had breakfast together several times. (after claiming he didnt really know him of course)

    • felix 19.3

      “The AG (Helen’s appointment remember) has no interest in the appointment of Fletcher. However, what is significant is the determination that the PM is quite entitled to be involved in the appointment process. “

      Exactly dumrse, there’s nothing unusual about any of that.

      And that’s why it’s so weird for Key to lie about it.

    • Pascal's bookie 19.4

      Jeez dumrse.

      Read what the OAG said. Closely.

      Did the OAG say there no issues or questions to be answered? (HINT: The answer is “no”)

      Who did she say should be answering the questions (HINT: You will need to use your Brainz just a little bit, but the Greens talking about something called a ‘committee’ at the moment is a clue).

  20. Pete 20

    My question is whether we should have faith in the Governor General. Did he oversee illegal activity in his tenure at the GCSB?

  21. woodpecker 21

    Spies, Lies and Alibis. I wonder if PJ will direct it?

  22. Epping Road 22

    What a load of tenuous nonsense. Karol’s argument is “both Key and Fletcher were in London at the same time, even though they were doing very different things. They might have met. When Fletcher came to Auckland to attend a conference, Key, although he was not at the conference, might have met Fletcher then. When Fletcher was in Australia, Key also occasionally went to Australia. They might have met then.”

    You get an F for silly conspiracies Karol. For it to be at all persuasive you have to prove that 1) there were actual meetings 2) they discussed Fletcher taking over the spy agency 3) Key knew about dotcom in advance 4) Fletcher was installed to go after dotcom 5) Rennie, McKinnon, Quilter and Sir Maarten are all lying in unison to protect Key. And despite all those things, that Key would risk his whole political career by somehow forcing them to lie.

    • Colonial Viper 22.1

      Oh don’t be so pedantic, Karol’s still orientating the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle for fit and colour. It’s not quite time to put it together yet.

  23. karol 23

    You’re kind of missing the point ER. This is just a small piece in a much bigger puzzle. Key was clearly covering up something. If he was more honest and less evasive and manipulative, and if our MSM were more vigilant, some of us wouldn’t feel motivated to go digging around to find some answers to significant questions.

    I don’t think there is evidence of a carefully orchestrated conspiracy. It’s more doing some mapping of the networks of influence and the common aims of some central players.

    It’s not so much that people have explicitly told lies. It’s often what they haven’t said that is puzzling. Some of the people you mention are practiced diplomats.

    • Epping Road 23.1

      Yes they are practised diplomats, with more than a century of public service between them. They have no reason to cover for a prime minister. Two of them are now retired, and don’t even owe the government of the day for their jobs.

      There is no evidence that “Key was covering up for something”. These are potentially issues of national security. No Prime Minister has ever gone into greater detail on issues of national security than was absolutely necessary. Key was asked a question in Parliament which he had no time to prepare for. It was an off the cuff response.

      Yes there are maps of influence, but that applies to all politicians everywhere. Do you think Helen Clark never knew any of the people she appointed to office? Do you think she was never in Australia when a significant subsequent government appointee was?

      There is no evidence of a significant relationship existing at any point between Key and Fletcher. That is a fact, and anything else is just grasping at straws.

      • Colonial Viper 23.1.1

        Yes there are maps of influence, but that applies to all politicians everywhere. Do you think Helen Clark never knew any of the people she appointed to office? Do you think she was never in Australia when a significant subsequent government appointee was?

        There is no evidence of a significant relationship existing at any point between Key and Fletcher. That is a fact, and anything else is just grasping at straws.

        First you suggest that like Clark, Key appointed someone he knew to the position. Someone he liked so much that all others on the short list were cut.

        Then you say there is no evidence of a significant relationship with Key.

        So, which is it?

        There is no evidence that “Key was covering up for something”. These are potentially issues of national security.

        National security issues in Fletcher’s recruitment process? What issues of national security might they be?

        Do tell more.

        • Epping Road 23.1.1.1

          Key told Rennie that he knew Fletcher. There is no evidence that it was a significant relationship. There is no evidence from anybody that Key rejected the shortlist with anybody else in mind. All the evidence says that the shortlist was cut before Fletcher was ever asked to consider the job. Keep making it up as you go along though viper.

          There are always national security issues involved with answering any questions on one of the security agencies in parliament. That is why Clark never answered any questions on any of the security agencies ever. If you want to know where the lack of oversight and accountability lies, then you only have to look at the Helen Clark government that set them up.

          • Colonial Viper 23.1.1.1.1

            Yes, I certainly am making it up as I go along.

            So is Key – and that is clear for all to observe.

            The problem you have is your assertion that there is “no evidence”. The thing is, we’ve barely scratched the surface. And I’m comfortable betting that where there is smoke, there is fire. How about you?

            There are always national security issues involved with answering any questions on one of the security agencies in parliament.

            I’m sorry, but this is not carte blanche for the illegal operations carried out and deterioration of standards and morale of the GCSB under Key’s Ministerial watch.

            The people responsible need to be identified, fired, and criminal investigations conducted.

            I hope you don’t give John Key an easy pass on this mate. That would be most unbecoming.

            • Epping Road 23.1.1.1.1.1

              If you want to make things up you should at least keep up with the news. The illegalities at GCSB have been happening for years. It was under Key’s watch that they were identified, investigated, admitted to and stopped. When did Helen Clark, the last minister responsible, show any interest in investigating whether GCSB’s activities were illegal? Oh that’s right, she didn’t. When did she last stand up in Parliament and talk about the GCSB? Oh that’s right every time she did stand up in Parliament it was to say no comment.

              I hope you’re not giving Helen Clark and her key advisors an easy pass on this mate. That would be unbecoming.

              • felix

                Simple question for you: Would you prefer that these questions stopped being asked? Or would you prefer that the questioning continue?

                Bear in mind that there’s nothing to see here, so the longer the questioning goes on the sillier and more unelectable the questioners look, and the better John Key comes out of it.

                Surely this is the outcome you’d like.

                • Epping Road

                  I think that the fact that the GCSB may have been acting unlawfully for so long is very disturbing indeed and along with the many other issues identified by Rebecca Kitteridge, shows an organisation that is deeply broken. Kitteridge’s report clearly vindicates Rennie’s view that an outsider was necessary to fix the GCSB’s many problems. The lack of political accountability for GCSB’s actions is a long standing one. The easy route for Key to take would have been what his predecessors did and refuse to answer any questions on it. Instead he showed a firm commitment to fixing the problems.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Who gives a fuck about “a commitment to fixing problems”

                    If you are serious about what you are spouting, let’s see some criminal investigations started and an assessment if charges need to be laid.

                    You reckon Helen Clark is just as responsible as John Key? Fine, both need to be asked questions by investigators.

                    Responsibility starts with accountability mate.

                  • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                    There’s a German elephant in the room. Key isn’t doing this because it’s the right thing to do. He’s doing it because the crown acted illegally and got caught.

                    Besides, as the Kitteridge report makes clear, the GCSB is the least of our worries. There have been significant changes made to the whole State Security apparatus under Key’s watch.

              • framu

                hold on a minute “It was under Key’s watch that they were identified,”

                your trying to claim that Key should get the credit for this being identified arent you

              • Pascal's bookie

                It was under Key’s watch that they were identified, investigated, admitted to and stopped.

                It was under Key’s watch that they were identified, ignored, batted away, covered up with spurious legal reasoning, attempted to be suppressed while the PM was overseas watching a game of rounders, exposed in court, investigated, partially admitted to while lying about some others, exposed again, covered in a thickly sickly blanket of ‘but but but but laaaaaabour’, and planning commenced to pass legislation to make it all legal going forward; more like.

      • framu 23.1.2

        “There is no evidence that “Key was covering up for something”

        Well – except for Keys repeated lying about the issue.

  24. marsman 24

    You are a treasure Karol, great work!

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  • Collins must admit misleading Parliament
    ACC Minister Judith Collins must front up and admit she has misled Parliament over ACC’s policy to stop paying compensation to clients who refused to fill in its privacy form, Labour’s ACC spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “Judith Collins claimed Labour...
    Labour | 16-04
  • English confirms he has no plan to raise wages
    Finance Minister Bill English has confirmed he has absolutely no plans to lift wages, Labour’s spokesperson on Labour Issues, Andrew Little says. “Bill English told the Chamber of Commerce yesterday that workers could expect a rise in average income of...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Govt careless and callous about threatened birds
    The National Government is increasing the threat to two of the world's most threatened and unique birds by opening up Victoria Forest Park to petroleum drilling, the Green Party said today.Scientists have recently published a ranking of the 100 most...
    Greens | 16-04
  • Genesis: The biggest fire sale of them all
    National has finished its asset sales with a massive bonfire of a fire sale, showing once and for all how much of a disaster this programme was, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “Just 68,000 Kiwis bought shares in Genesis,...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Interest rates rise but only smokes increasing
    Mortgage rate rises are making life harder for homeowners, and many of them will be surprised the latest CPI figures show inflation would be zero were it not for tobacco tax hikes, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “New Zealanders...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Term One Report Card for Hekia Parata
    Assignment Teacher’s Comments Grade      ...
    Labour | 16-04
  • Hekia Parata kept exam book errors from schools
    Schools will be appalled to learn Education Minister Hekia Parata knew since January that hundreds of exam booklets had been returned to the wrong students but said nothing about it, Labour’s Education Spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Exams are stressful enough...
    Labour | 15-04
  • What has ACC Minister been doing?
    The ACC Minister needs to front up and explain what, if any, changes she has made to the broken culture of ACC rather than denying that she has any part to play in the dysfunction of her Ministry, the Green...
    Greens | 15-04
  • Promise of jam tomorrow takes the cake
    A claim by Minister of Finance Bill English that average wages will climb by $7,500 over the next four years is a cynical promise of jam tomorrow by a government whose record on wage growth is atrocious, Labour spokesperson on...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Judith Collins has to fess up on ACC blunder
    ACC Minster Judith Collins must front up and tell New Zealand how many people who refused to hand over their private details to ACC have been denied cover, says Labour’s ACC Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “The legality of ACC’s privacy waver,...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Board of Inquiry conditions will save rivers in New Zealand
    The Ruataniwha dam decision released today has protected the Tukituki River and dashed the Government’s hope of the “one nutrient model” (TRIM) being adopted nationwide, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It is a massive victory for those in the...
    Labour | 15-04
  • Labour turns wheels for cycling safety
    With more than a million New Zealanders now using cycling as an attractive alternative means of transport it is past time their safety was taken seriously, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Darien Fenton says. Due to speak to a cycling rally at...
    Labour | 15-04
  • SPEECH: Institute of Directors
    LEADING AND MANAGING OUR ECONOMIC FUTURE David Cunliffe MP, Labour Leader Speech to the Institute of Directors 15 April 2014, Auckland It's a privilege to be speaking here. The Institute of Directors has a proud history of developing New Zealand's...
    Labour | 15-04
  • More Oravida endorsements from John Key
    The use of a picture of John Key in an advertisement for Oravida’s scampi products in a Chinese airline magazine is further evidence of an unhealthily cosy relationship between the National Party and this company, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says....
    Labour | 15-04
  • Workers at Canterbury Yarns need redundancy support
    Workers faced with redundancy at Canterbury Yarns need a redundancy support co-ordinator, Green Party industrial relations spokesperson Denise Roche said today.Last week, Canterbury Yarns was placed in receivership. Canterbury Yarns joins a long list of New Zealand manufacturers who have...
    Greens | 14-04
  • Making the holidays easier for Kiwi drivers
    The next Labour Government will make the holidays easier and journeys quicker for Kiwi families driving on the roads, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “There’s nothing Kiwis like more than getting on the road and going on holiday. But on...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Ae Marika! 15 April 2014
    Our MANA AGM down in Rotorua on the weekend was a sold-out affair – even the media were struggling to get in! Political conferences can be very dull, but not this one. We had a great line-up of speakers including...
    Mana | 14-04
  • Green light from Labour for cancer screening programme
    Labour Leader David Cunliffe has today committed to a national bowel screening programme, starting with extending the current service to the Southern and Waikato districts. “Around 3000 New Zealanders develop bowel cancer each year and about 1200, or 100 a month,...
    Labour | 14-04
  • Adequate resourcing needed for victims’ advocate
    The establishment of a victims’ commissioner role will only be meaningful if it is properly resourced to do the job of advocating for victims’ interests, Labour Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. Justice Minister Judith Collins has just recently indicated her...
    Labour | 13-04
  • IPCC report shows Government ignoring climate experts
    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC) report into climate mitigation, just released in Berlin, shows the National Government is ignoring the pleas of the world's best climate scientists.The report says deep and fast emission cuts are vital from all...
    Greens | 13-04
  • Japan’s quick turnaround on whaling disappointing
    News that Japan plans to recommence some form of “scientific” whaling programme so quickly after the International Court of Justice’s ruling against it is very disappointing, says David Shearer, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson. “New Zealanders expected the ICJ ruling -...
    Labour | 13-04
  • Reviewable tenancies will increase risks for vulnerable children
    Instead of kicking families out of their homes if they can pay their rent, parents with young children should have the opportunity to purchase equity in a state-built home over time, the Green Party said todayFrom July, Housing New Zealand...
    Greens | 13-04
  • 48,000 New Zealanders drinking faecally contaminated water
    Some 48,000 people were provided with water that had issues with faecal contamination, 18,000 of whom were from Canterbury, the Green Party said today. The Ministry of Health's Annual Report on Drinking-Water in New Zealand for 2012/13 shows that 48,000...
    Greens | 12-04
  • Labour will move to save the Kauri
    Labour will spend $20 million over the next 10 years to stop the spread of Kauri dieback disease, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “We are facing an ecological disaster with over 11 per cent of the Kauri trees in the...
    Labour | 12-04
  • SPEECH: Saving our Kauri
    Seech notes Good morning. Thank you for joining us here today. As a West Auckland MP I am very aware the kauri is an important part of this place. The Waitakere Ranges with their thousands of kauri, are a taonga....
    Labour | 12-04
  • MANA to continue negotiations with the Internet Party
    The MANA AGM has decided unanimously tonight to continue negotiaitions with the Internet Party. Within a month further negotiations, further consultation with MANA branches and a final decision on whether to proceed with a relationship is expected....
    Mana | 12-04
  • National’s tax dodge
      National’s insistence that it is cracking down on tax dodgers is little more than a bit of election year chest beating, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Revenue Minister Todd McClay surely doesn’t believe collecting $100 million of an estimated...
    Labour | 12-04
  • Housing prices go up – Gens X & Y give up
    Today’s REINZ report shows house prices continue skyward while first home buyers are dropping out of the market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “According to the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand the national median house price has risen...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Do Key and Adams support Chorus appeal?
    John Key and Amy Adams must tell New Zealanders whether they support Chorus’ appeal of the High Court’s ruling in favour of the Commerce Commission, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “Chorus’ appeal is a waste of time. The company is...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Is Judith Collins unapologising
    Judith Collins appears to have retracted her apology for failing to disclose her meeting with her husband’s fellow company directors and a senior Chinese border control official just weeks after being ticked off by John Key for not doing so, Labour...
    Labour | 11-04
  • Media Advisory
    There have been a few minor changes to the MANA AGM agenda. Moana Jackson is unable to attend due to family commitments. Speaking in his place on Saturday morning MANA is pleased to welcome Georgina Beyer and Willie Jackson. MANA...
    Mana | 10-04
  • Green Party requests inquiry into Peter Dunne and Trust
    Green Party MP Denise Roche today wrote to the Parliamentary Registrar of Pecuniary Interests requesting an inquiry into whether Peter Dunne should have included his involvement as chair of the Northern Wellington Festival Trust on the Register of Pecuniary Interests...
    Greens | 10-04
  • Veterans short-changed
    The Veterans’ Support Bill reported back to Parliament today rejects a key recommendation of the Law Commission Review on which it is based and ignores the submissions of veterans and the RNZRSA, says Labour’s Veterans’ Affairs Spokesperson, Phil Goff. “A...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Tribute for Maungaharuru- Tangitu settlement
    Labour Member of Parliament for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, Meka Whaitiri paid tribute to Maungaharuru-Tangitu today as their Treaty of Waitangi settlement became law. “The Bill acknowledges Treaty breaches that left Maungaharuru-Tangitu virtually landless. Today we were reminded of the history, mamae, loss...
    Labour | 10-04
  • Our government: still no idea
    Happy Easter everyone, bad weather aside. A previous post of mine was called “The Government with no ideas”.  Unsurprisingly, the theme of the piece was of a current government thoroughly absent of any creative ideas or solutions to assist more...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • 12 things Forbes has to say about NZs about to burst economic bubble
    Forbes is not known for their socialist or left wing activism, so when they predict a grim economic failure, we should should collectively poo ourselves a little. National often get given this perception that somehow they are better economic mangers....
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • That Sinking Feeling: Labour’s urgent need for persuasive words and coura...
    THE LATEST ROY MORGAN POLL has Labour on 28.5 percent (down 3.5 percent) and the Greens on 11.5 percent (down 1.5 percent). At 40 percent, the combined vote of the two main centre-left parties has fallen 5 percentage points since...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Why the Labour movement should support a Universal Basic Income
    The Mana movement’s support of the idea of a universal basic income is a welcome development. It could become one of the litmus issues that define the party and prove extremely popular. If Mana are in a position to do...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Legal high and cannabis regulation
    I marched through Henderson last month with my fellow Westies to express our concern about the impact of so called “legal highs” on our community. Some people chanted loudly calling for banning, some expressing anger at the parliamentarians who voted...
    The Daily Blog | 18-04
  • Know your Tory fellow travellers and ideologues: John Bishop, Taxpayers Uni...
    . . On 19 March, I reported on the Board members of the so-called “Taxpayers Union”. With one exception, every single member of the Taxpayers Union Board was a current (or recent) card-carrying member or supporter of the National and/or...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • GUEST BLOG: Daniel Bruce – Internet Party: What Seems Ridiculous To The O...
    Imagine you’re a 18-21 year old, from a working class family. You’ve never had a landline phone at home, because your parents can’t afford the fixed monthly bills, so everyone in your familiy has a pre-pay mobile phone. Because of the same tight...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Greens to push for housing standards in MOU with Government Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release We don’t need any more official reports. We know the problem and we have the plans....
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Mighty River squanders $3.8m preparing for sale Tuesday, 28 Aug 2012 | Press Release New Zealanders do not want asset sales and they do not want the Government wasting millions of dollars on...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government’s economic agenda on shaky ground Monday, 27 Aug 2012 | Press Release Instead of betting on a boom and bust industry and selling off assets the government needs to invest in a...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: National’s tax cuts haven’t cut tax avoidance Sunday, 26 Aug 2012 | Press Release It is not fair that many rich New Zealanders are cheating on their tax. National’s 2010 tax cuts, that...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Waitangi Tribunal report adds to crisis in asset sales agenda Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release In its rush to sell our assets, National has found itself in a crisis of its...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Privacy across all departments needs checking
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Privacy across all departments needs checking Friday, 24 Aug 2012 | Press Release “People don’t have a choice about giving their information to the state so the Government has an absolute duty to...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Reports show Government role in driving ACC dysfunction Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Restoring public trust and confidence is an essential goal and will require very major change starting from the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government must front up on full costs of asset sales
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government must front up on full costs of asset sales Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release It’s time for the Government to front up over just how much these asset sales are...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New report: middle NZ worse off, inequality grows Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release Our society has never been as unequal as it is today. New research from the Ministry of Social...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Government to delay addressing climate change indefinitely Thursday, 23 Aug 2012 | Press Release “It would be a shock for any other Government to introduce such a self-defeatist piece of legislation but unfortunately...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Time to deliver on 26 weeks Paid Parental Leave Today marks two years since Labour MP Sue Moroney’s Bill extending paid parental leave to 26 weeks was drawn from the members’ ballot. “It’s...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Taxpayers robbed of $130m in Genesis sale Kiwi taxpayers have been robbed of $130 million by the Government in its final failed asset sale, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove. “National set the...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Service for victims of sexual violence pushed out in cold Thursday, 17 Apr 2014 | Press Release Christchurch cannot afford to lose this agency The Green Party is calling on Housing New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Resignation rates among cops soar
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Resignation rates among cops soar The number of frontline officers quitting the police force is at a four-year high, with more than 350 walking off the job in the past year, Labour’s Police...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Work visa problems need monitoring
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Work visa problems need monitoring The Government is handing out temporary work visas to migrants to work in jobs that could easily be filled by unemployed Kiwi workers in the Christchurch rebuild, says...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Legal high ban worthy of wider pick-up Auckland Council’s ban on using legal highs in a public place is an excellent idea that should be replicated around New Zealand, says Labour’s Associate Health...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Smith sells state P-houses to first home buyers Nick Smith must reassure worried first home buyers that any Housing NZ houses sold under his First Home policy will be tested for P contamination...
    The Daily Blog | 17-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Brazil: Human rights under threat ahead of the World Cup     Protests in Brazil:Brazil Franciscan friar kneels in front of Brazilian riot police officers asking for calm during confrontation with Landless...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Libya: Trial of former al-Gaddafi officials by video link a farce     Saif al-Islam al-Gaddafi will face the courts on 14 April. © IMED LAMLOUM/AFP/Getty Images         Read...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights ...
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Algeria: Pre-election clampdown exposes ‘gaping holes’ in human rights record     Freedom of expression, association and assembly are under threat ahead of elections in Algeria. © FAROUK BATICHE/AFP/Getty Images    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed
    Source: Amnesty International NZ – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Viet Nam: Prisoners of conscience released but dozens remain jailed     Vietnamese activist Nguyen Tien Trung was one of the prisoners of conscience released this week. © Private      ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: PM’s China visit assisted Oravida, not Fonterra Questions must now be asked whether it was Fonterra or Oravida who really benefited from the Prime Minister’s recent visit to China, Labour’s Primary Industries spokesperson...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases
    Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: New Zealand’s use of ozone depleting gases increases A new Government report highlights that the amount of ozone depleting gases New Zealand is using is increasing, the Green Party said today. The report...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • The issues behind the possible MANA-Internet Party Alliance
      Last weekend Kim Dotcom spoke at MANAs AGM to discuss the possibility of the Internet Party and MANA Party working together to defeat John Key this election. As someone who knows both Hone and Kim, I have a unique...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Manufacturing Upgrade
    Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement: Headline: Manufacturing Upgrade   Labour is determined to support and grow our manufacturing sector. These policies grew out of the findings of the 2013 Parliamentary Inquiry into Manufacturing.   – The claims and opinions...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Get work on 29th and the ANZAC spirit deserts the TPPA
      Groser and co would have been spitting tacks last week as the ANZAC spirit deserted the TPPA negotiations. Australia has done a deal directly with Japan which undercuts the demand for Japan to opening all agriculture in the TPPA....
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • No fracking solution to climate change
    Some British tabloids and oil lobbyists have jumped on comments made by an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author that fracking could play a role in addressing climate change as an argument for it here in Aotearoa, so is fracking...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
    Source: First Union – Press Release/Statement: Headline: At Last: A Manufacturing Policy Date of Release:  Thursday, April 17, 2014 Body:  FIRST Union congratulates Labour on the release of its Manufacturing policy today. The union represents workers in the wood, food and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Drone murder of New Zealander “justified” by Prime Minister
    Yesterday Prime Minister John Key justified the extrajudicial killing of a New Zealander in a US drone strike in Yemen with a few cynical, callous words at a stand-up press conference. Key said he’d been briefed by our spy agencies...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Secret Policeman’s Ball
      Amnesty International’s Secret Policeman’s Ball is back in New Zealand for one night of some of the best stand-up comedy from both national and international comics The freedom to provoke and in some cases offend is essential to the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • So the US has assassinated a NZ citizen – what did Key know?
    A non judicial assassination by the US on a NZ citizen raises questions. Key made the idea that NZers were training with terrorists part of his farcical defence for the GCSB mass surveillance legislation. I say farcical because even if...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Something Better Than Something Worse: Why John Key could become our longes...
    IN HIS MEMORABLE holiday-home encounter with the host of Campbell Live, the Prime Minister, John Key, did not rule out running for a fourth term. Were he to be successful, the long-standing record of Sir Keith Holyoake (11 years and 2...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • GUEST BLOG: RIO TINTO WINS 2013 ROGER AWARD
      Sky City Casino Second, Chorus Third  The seven finalists for the 2013 Roger Award for the Worst Transnational Corporation Operating in Aotearoa/New Zealand were: ANZ, Chorus, IAG Insurance Group, Imperial Tobacco, Rio Tinto, Sky City Casino and Talent 2. The criteria for judging are...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • National drowning in an ocean of poisoned milk
    It is becoming difficult to keep up with which National Party MP is bleeding the most at the moment. Simon Bridges is being crucified by Whaleoil almost as much as Greenpeace are attacking him, suggesting Cam is seizing the moment...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Want to get rid of synthetic cannabis? Legalize real cannabis
    Have we managed to appreciate the madness that synthetic cannabis is legal yet more harmful than organic cannabis which is illegal? I find the current moral panic over synthetic cannabis difficult to become concerned with when alcohol is FAR more...
    The Daily Blog | 16-04
  • Save our homes – stop the evictions!
    “We will keep on fighting because it frightens me to think my grandchildren could become homeless,” Tere Campbell told me. Tere is a member of Tamaki Housing Group. In September 2011, tenants in 156 state homes in Glen Innes received...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • The daily humiliation of women and the constant policing and shaming of our...
    The last few months have been particularly bad for the shaming and policing of women’s bodies in the media, both in New Zealand and globally. First we had NZ Newstalk ZB presenter Rachel Smalley referring to women weighing over 70kgs...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • A case study of racism by Police at Auckland Airport
    A couple of days ago I returned from Samoa after attending a family matter and some contract work. Spending a few days in the warmth of our homeland was welcome relief from the cold weather starting to make its presence...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • An acute shortage of emergency youth housing
    The housing crisis is effecting everyone in Christchurch but some are more vulnerable than others. Recently I attended a workshop on emergency youth housing hosted by the 298 Youth Health Centre, who I worked for from 2001-2003. Over fifty people...
    The Daily Blog | 15-04
  • Manufacturing Matters to New Zealand – 17 April
    The Labour Party announcement today recognises the simple truth that the manufacturing sector really matters to New Zealand’s economy as a whole, based on the part manufacturing plays in the growth of the added value element in the tradable sector,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum
    Young Kiwi to Represent New Zealand at Premier Youth Forum FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Commonwealth Youth New Zealand Executive Director, Aaron Hape, has been selected to represent New Zealand at 33Fifty, the Commonwealth Youth Leadership Programme,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei
    Greens propose new ministerial disclosure regime based on British rules, requiring quarterly declarations of ministers' meetings, travel and hospitality....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Politicians Should Maintain Workers’ Easter Break
    Family First NZ is rejecting calls for any liberalisation of Easter trading laws and says that workers deserve a break to spend time with their families. “This is not an issue about choice as has been argued. For many workers,...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Lisa Owen interviews experts on Antacrtica
    Lisa Owen interviews Chuck Kennicutt and Gary Wilson on Antarctica Headlines: Top Antarctic scientists warns New Zealand "not ready" for worst as ice shelves and sea ice in Antarctica retreat and the climate changes Gary Wilson: "Can...
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Beyond the State – NZ State Houses from Modest to Modern
    As part of the our 'Active Hand of Government' series for 2014, we present Bill McKay, Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, speaking to his new publication....
    Scoop politics | 19-04
  • Global unions applaud NZ ‘slave ships’ progress
    Global unions the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) and IUF (International Union of Food, Agricultural and Hospitality Workers) today applauded the steps forward made in preventing often shocking abuse of crews on fishing vessels in New Zealand...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Families before commerce at Easter
    Families before commerce at Easter The retail workers’ union has hit back at critics of New Zealand's modest Easter trading restrictions. "Some things are more important than going to the mall, and for just three and a half days each...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Easter trading laws archaic, in need of overhaul
    Press release: ACT New Zealand Easter trading laws are outdated and in need of a major overhaul, said ACT leader Jamie Whyte today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • ALCP welcomes Campbell Live poll result
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party welcomes last night's Campbell Live poll, saying it is an overdue reality check for public opinion on personal cannabis use....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Q+A This Week 20/4/14
    Q+A This Week SUNDAY 20 APRIL, 9AM ON TV ONE The latest on the US-NZ relationship from the US military’s top man in the Pacific, Admiral Samuel J. Locklear . Deputy Political Editor Michael Parkin asks him whether we’re allies,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Community detention for pokie theft
    A 67-year-old former company director, convicted of stealing pokie machine profits, was today sentenced to six months community detention, 160 hours of community work and ordered to make reparation of $6,000....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Waitangi National Trust Board Amendment Bill
    The Māori Affairs Committee is inviting public submissions on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Wednesday, 14 May 2014....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Collaboration stops drugs from crossing borders
    Collaboration between Hong Kong and New Zealand Customs has stopped millions of dollars worth of drugs coming into New Zealand this year, with a number of seizures and arrests in both countries....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Call for public enquiry into the future of farming
    Fish & Game NZ is calling for a public enquiry “to examine the future of agriculture in New Zealand”....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Comment on Labour Policy Announcement by NZMEA President
    “This policy release from the Labour Party is so important that if it becomes government policy it would define a shift in New Zealand’s culture,” says Brian Willoughby President of the NZMEA and Managing Director of Plinius Audio and Contex...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Manufacturing policy makes sense but….
    On the surface much of Labour's prescription for manufacturing is sound though questions remain over some of the detail not yet announced, the Employers and Manufacturers Association says....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Where Are The 15,000 Jobs?
    “Paula Bennett is today proudly telling New Zealand that beneficiary numbers have decreased by 15,000 in the past year. There is no proud declaration that 15,000 jobs have been created in the same period,” says Auckland Action Against Poverty spokesperson,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Change of approach to government procurement needed
    The rail engineering industry has been totally let down by National’s lack of manufacturing policy, and Labour’s measures outlined today represent a marked shift in approach to supporting domestic industries, the RMTU said today....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Depreciation Policy Shouldn’t Be Just for Pet Industries
    The Taxpayers’ Union is welcoming Labour’s announcement to beef up rates of depreciation in the manufacturing sector, but is questioning why David Cunliffe is picking winners rather than applying the policy across all sectors. Jordan Williams,...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • FIFA U-20 World Cup NZ 2015 Kick Off Times Announced
    An array of kick-off times to suit football fans of all ages has been confirmed for the FIFA U-20 World Cup New Zealand 2015. With 52 matches spread across the nation, the public will be able to enjoy a collection...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • “Legitimate purpose” provides no protection under 167 form
    On Radio New Zealand today, the Privacy Commissioner indicated that ACC could only request information that was "relevant" for a "legitimate purpose". His view was therefore that the ACC167 form is not a "blank cheque" or...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • State: still keeping you safe on the road this Easter
    The long-awaited Easter/ Anzac break is nearly upon us while the weather may have taken a turn for the worse in several parts of the country, many Kiwis will still be packing up their cars to take a road trip....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Govt plan for community input into residential red zone
    Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel has welcomed Prime Minister John Key’s announcement today of a community participation process for the public to have a say on the future use of the residential red zone....
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Governor-General to visit Turkey
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    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Actions of Police prior to death in custody were justified
    A report by the Independent Police Conduct Authority on the death of Adam Palmer while in Police custody found the actions of Police were justified during the arrest. The report also found that Police took all possible steps to try...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • New Electorate Boundaries Finalised
    New boundaries for the country’s 64 General and seven Māori electorates have been finalised – with an additional electorate created in Auckland. The 2014 Representation Commission has completed its statutory role of reviewing and redrawing electorate...
    Scoop politics | 17-04
  • Save The Children Welcomes Strengthening Children’s Rights
    Save the Children New Zealand welcomes a new treaty which allows children to complain directly to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child about alleged violations of their rights....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour takes manufacturing seriously
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Manufacturing policy welcomed
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Operation Unite – a Blitz on Drunken Violence
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Dunne Speaks
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Research announcement welcomed
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • At Last: A Manufacturing Policy
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Republic campaigners still positive after royal visit
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Selling homes to foreigners benefits New Zealanders
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Taxpayers’ Union Welcomes Key’s Rejection of ‘Fat Tax’
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Law Commission Paper on a New Crown Civil Proceedings Act
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Focus must now go on fishing industry jobs for NZ workers
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Make the choice to stay safe on the road
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Students Welcome Engagement with StudyLink
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Deaf And Hard of Hearing New Zealanders Marginalised
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Public lose interest in this council, 2016 to be a watershed
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Labour and National join forces in new Maori confiscations
    Chris McKenzie, former-treaty negotiator and Te Tai Hauauru Maori party candidate, says that the Minister of Primary Industries’ plans to remove temporary exemptions for vessel operators derived from settlement negotiations is akin to confiscation...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • The FCV Bill – Flagging 30 years of failures?
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014
    Oxfam’s Morning Tea 2014 Kiwis across the country are getting together over a cuppa to make a difference in the lives of people living in poverty in the developing world. They’re getting involved in Oxfam’s Morning Tea, a fun and...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • 1 in 4 Want to Improve Financial Literacy But Don’t Know How
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Rio Tinto Wins 2013 Roger Award
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    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • ACC’s Strategy to stop compensation using ACC 167 Form
    On Radio NZ national’s morning report on 15 April 2014, ACC’s spokesperson Sid Miller denied the non-compliance was just a way for ACC to refuse people....
    Scoop politics | 16-04
  • Workers support plain packaging of tobacco
    The CTU have today presented to the health select committee in support of plain packaging of tobacco. “Any steps that can be taken to lower smoking rates will result in New Zealand workers and their families having healthier and better...
    Scoop politics | 16-04
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