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The stealthy dismantling of democracy

Written By: - Date published: 9:44 am, April 12th, 2013 - 27 comments
Categories: accountability, activism, class war, Conservation, democracy under attack, Ethics, john key, Mining, paula bennett, slippery, Spying, unemployment - Tags: , , ,

I have mentioned before how John Key’s government having been bringing in a range of seemingly small law changes that add up to a major shift.  I particularly mentioned it in relation to the Crown Minerals (Permitting and Crown Land) Bill.  This has been debated in the House this week, and is part of a range of things happening and/or revealed this week, that amount to a frightening shift in values and (un)democratic processes: and much of it has been happening in such a stealthy way that many New Zealanders are unaware of the extent of they way many things they hold dear are being whittled away.

In my post on the Crown Mineral Bill, I quoted from Catherine Delahunty’s speech during the second reading, on the unacceptable features buried in the Bill :

It is also the Government’s response to the 30,000 people who marched down Queen Street and the more than 30,000, the 39,000, who made submissions against the mining of schedule 4. So the Government lost the media war. It was seen to have to back down on the issue, but, like any strategist, it had another plan. That plan was amendments to the Crown Minerals Act, and here we see them.

On Wednesday, Parliament Today reported on some of the debates this week.  It reports that:

Labour MP Moana Mackey said the Energy and Resources Minister Simon Bridge’s last minute plans to bring in tougher penalties for those who protested near offshore oil rigs were an “utter dog’’.

Mackey said it was a sop to encourage more international exploration companies to come here as National had put all its eggs in one basket when it came to economic policy and had run out of ideas.

PT then reports what looks like Chris Finlayson’s attempt to emulate his slippery leader:

Attorney General Chris Finlayson said he was concerned at allegations that the changes were a breach of international law and then ripped into critics such as Geoffrey Palmer who he described as a “ranting Jehovah’’.

The plain meaning of the law was not about protest but about interference of operations on the high sea, he said.

Yesterday Catherine Delahunty issued a press release on the government’s stealthy moves towards mining Schedule 4 land, referring to the way the Bill will enable companies with exploratory permits, to proceed towards mining that land:

The Green Party has obtained legal advice that says an exploratory permit held by Hawkeswood Civil Limited to look for gold and silver in the Firth of Thames, a Schedule 4 area, cannot not be exercised under current law, but might be legal to utilise once the Government’s changes to the Crown Minerals Act are passed. …

“Worryingly, our legal advice also says the changes the Government is making to the Crown Minerals Act may now allow Hawkeswood to undertake their exploratory drilling programme.

Earlier this week I posted on some opposition speeches against current Bills, including Ardern’s on the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill, that was voted into law this week.  Jacinda Ardern posted a statement about this Bill Act later in the day.  She berates Bennett for repeating policies that have already been shown to be a failure int he UK.

“Paula Bennett can’t tell us how a sole parent or anyone on a benefit will be more likely to get a job under these reforms….

At Work and Income, staff face a ratio of 1 case worker to 155 clients  and 1 to 388 for non-work obligated clients. With another 84,000 clients projected to have extra work obligations, people will no longer get the help they need.

Adding to the above disturbing changes, yesterday Chris Trotter posted an analysis of the Kitteridge Report .  He explains that John Key has already made changes to bring the intelligence services into one “intelligence community” under his sole authority. These changes were begun by the Prime Minister and his Cabinet in 2009, and continued into 2012.

Trotter argues that the Dotcom case has exposed the way Key’s ad hoc changes have amalgamated, consolidated and extended the reach of the security services as part of one entity.  The separation of internal security services (SIS) and the GCSB (supposed to protect NZ against external threats), among other things, protects against one agency becoming too powerful and autocratic, and against them being used to curb Kiwis’ rights and democratic freedoms.

Trotter goes on to argue that Key’s rush to make GCSB illegal activities of spying on kiwis legal, is an attempt to ensure his existing changes stick before Kiwis become to aware of their significance:

Hence the mad rush towards a comprehensive legislative fix. The de facto unification of New Zealand’s security and intelligence work, under the rubric of ODESC [Officials Committee for Domestic and External Security Co-ordination] and the DPMC [Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet], needs to be given de jure protection – and fast!

All this is enabled by an MSM that seem to think Fourth Estate is a new greenfield residential development. What will it take to for more Kiwis to become aware of the way their democracy is being stealthily dismantled away from the public glare?

27 comments on “The stealthy dismantling of democracy”

  1. aerobubble 1

    Shearer can deal with this, by promising to hold former politicians to account for their illegal activities. Oh, wait, but Labour would also be call to account.

    Death of Democracy because parliament REMOVED the upper chamber of individuals who would contain govt avarice for power, or worse, just ramming into law poor legislation.

    So Shearer should start by promising to bring back a upper Chamber, or if that’s to costly, apply some provision that piggybacks off Australian law and its courts. That would save money when we get rid of our supreme court, what’s the point of having it when the legislator doesn’t produce good law??? Effectively it becomes a very costly upper chamber.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      Death of Democracy because parliament REMOVED the upper chamber of individuals who would contain govt avarice for power, or worse, just ramming into law poor legislation.

      An upper chamber to parliament would do no such thing as it’d be populated by the same people.

      About the only thing that could constrain parliament is a constitution – one that the politicians couldn’t finagle at their leisure and that means one that needs a referendum to change. Put in place a need for referenda to change major policy as well and the politicians become effectively constrained to doing what the people want rather than what the rich people want.

      • Tim 1.1.1

        …. A constitution in which firstly the GG, then perhaps an elected President’s primary responsibility to uphold at the risk of self-impeachment.
        There definitely needs to be a way of enforcing a constitution since politicians of late seem so ready to ignore BORA, OIA requests and so on.
        … and maybe a smallish upper house based on regional representation duly elected – perhaps at local body election time.
        … still mulling the idea over though

      • aerobubble 1.1.2

        I accept you disagree. You are wrong. Society will continue to persist with people who you don’t like making decisions about your future, and just because you naively believe that letting them hide rather than have their words written down, their judgments pooled for all time, in a higher upper chamber, would be a bad thing does not make it so. Its simply your inability to realize that separation of powers, has the effect of delimiting the thought, the culture, the results and the oversight into silos where breaches of self-interest are easy to see. Cheaters love to have it all their own way, so a upper chamber provides a way to stop the current parliamentary practice of producing (or at least containing) bad law, and laughing at the people who argued for it, as
        now currently laws are written by lobbyists before elections and have binding agreements with
        politicians to implement their edicts.

        Its a joke, that Dunne this week held the government legislation to account, usually the government just rams through their thoughts without any contest.

        Its not a reason to argue that opening up democracy is bad because you won’t like the people who will fill those seats.

  2. DH 2

    Good stuff Karol. I was thinking along similar lines when I made a post in another thread about the outsourcing of hospital catering. There’s a clear intent to prevent future governments from reversing their actions, by signing up these private sector deals to long term contracts that can’t be repealed. That genuinely is attacking democracy itself.

    The Audit Office made it clear in their report on Papakura’s water privatisation that contracts with the private sector should not be longer than about 5years. These bastards are signing up PPPs for 20-25yrs and they look to be wanting to do outsourcing for hospitals on 15yr contracts. You can pretty much guarantee that any mining concessions they hand out will be made irreversible too.

    I agree the MSM are a waste of space.

  3. ianmac 3

    The majority of people are preoccupied with wages, exams, relationships, possessions, next cup of coffee and are not tuned into the machinations of the Government. Somehow Democracy desperately needs a wakeup call which penetrates the complacency. Wonder how that might be done?
    MSM? No sign so far.
    Political voices who capture the imagination? No sign so far.
    Karol getting wider audience? That might work. (Though Karol better check to see if he/she is On the List at GCSB or on the PM’s hit list.)

  4. Macro 4

    Opposition parties should be stating clearly now that any changes introduced by National with regards the undermining of the democratic process will be undone on their assuming office at the next election.

    • DH 4.1

      If only it were that easy. They can’t just be undone. The Government is the Government, it’s only the management that changes so any deal done by the Nats is still binding on the next lot in power. They can legislate to reverse commercail contracts but then we’d be sued under the WTO agreement that Labour signed us up to. I guess they could legislate to get us out of that too but then we’d run into other problems which would lead to more problems.

      The only way the Govt can get out of commercial contracts is by paying out the foregone income on the remaining term of the contract. To annul a PPP we’d have to pay out 20years worth of profits. That’s why the commercial sector never enter into these types of contracts. They do 3-7yr contracts with right of renewal and right to terminate.

      • Macro 4.1.1

        I understand that!

        What I’m referring to is the loss of democratic voice…
        Laws denying peaceful protest at sea, “streamlining” the RMA, unrestricted permission to spy on NZ’s, etc.

        It is actually quite permissible for an incoming govt to signal the nationalisation of essential services etc in the interests of the security of the country. Buyers beware!

        • DH 4.1.1.1

          “What I’m referring to is the loss of democratic voice…
          Laws denying peaceful protest at sea, “streamlining” the RMA, unrestricted permission to spy on NZ’s, etc.”

          Ok, them’s fair points & they can be undone easy enough.

          “It is actually quite permissible for an incoming govt to signal the nationalisation of essential services etc in the interests of the security of the country. Buyers beware!”

          Yeah they can nationalise but they still have to compensate the party they take it back from. Even Venezuela paid compensation to the multinationals, wasn’t enough for them to like it but they’ve got oodles of oil so they could tell them to take it or leave it & got away with it. We don’t have that luxury.

          They do these long term contracts because the cost of compensation is too high to make nationalising a viable prospect. It’s no big deal paying out the remaining year or two of a contract but ten to thirty years worth would break the bank.

          • Macro 4.1.1.1.1

            Every country has many examples of Nationalisation. I suppose it might be considered “ethical” to compensate owners, but that depends upon ones viewpoint and the circumstances, in which the industry or service was acquired or developed, or has been managed after privatisation – if that has occurred.

            • DH 4.1.1.1.1.1

              I think you’ll find that compensation is a standard part of nationalisation pretty much everywhere throughout recent history. It’s not as if a country just takes an asset back & tells the owner to get lost. That’s theft, not nationalisation. Zimbabwe (I think) have done that with white-owned farms and look where it’s got them.

    • AmaKiwi 4.2

      “Opposition parties should be stating clearly now that any changes introduced by National with regards the undermining of the democratic process will be undone on their assuming office at the next election.”

      What about the Auckland Super City, which ended democracy for a third of the population?

      There WAS a law requiring the Super City to be approved by referendum, but the parliamentary dictators revoked it because it was inconvenient for THEM (not us).

      In a dictatorship, the whims of the dictators become the laws of the land.

      Binding citizen initiated referendums are the ONLY way to stop the vicious cycle of rotating dictatorships and their anti-democratic swings from one extreme to another.

  5. Wairua 5

    Welcome to colonized Aotearoa, and a docile kupapa ‘Maori Party’ conniving with all the above.

    It is doubtful that Key, with his short-term trading orientation, has the strategic heft and
    vision to be its mastermind. One should look deeper into his network for impetus and ideas.

    • marsman 5.1

      Hence, enter Ashcroft stage uber right. He seems to meddle in the democratic and political landscape of a number of countries. What were his visits to John Key shortly before the last two elections about?

  6. Rogue Trooper 6

    following ethnological study of the sub-species Finlayson, findings confirm that he is not to be trusted, at all. (original chicken farmer correlation still bears perches).

    • Murray Olsen 6.1

      Around 84 I thought they’d swapped over to pig farming, now it’s back to chickens again.

  7. This article comes up on Feedly as “The stealthy dismantling of democracy by karol”. :)

  8. This authoritarian centralisation you are onto Karol has been going on for a while – throughout the history of capitalism. Its the way the ruling class concentrates power so as to implement its solution to the crisis – i.e. force it down our throats.
    The idea that the “death of democracy” in a capitalist system in crisis can be reversed is utopian since its “bourgeois democracy”, by definition the “freedom” of the property owning bourgeoisie to exploit the vast majority of people, the working class.
    On the other hand, our defence of those bourgeois rights is a necessary starting point for getting rid of the system that denies them to the majority.
    Here’s an attempt to put the ‘end of democracy’ in an historical perspective at the time of the last election.
    http://redrave.blogspot.co.nz/2011/11/aotearoanz-end-of-parliamentary.html

    • AmaKiwi 8.1

      Wider vision, please.

      There ARE democratic capitalist countries just as there are authoritarian socialist countries.

  9. karol 9

    The irony: 11 March 2013: Ian Fletcher Lectures business in Hamilton, on how to keep their information and intellectual property safe from “intrusions”.

    Speech given by the GCSB Director Ian Fletcher at the Gallagher Security conference held in Hamilton on 11 March 2013…

    What can we do about it? Firstly, we need to raise risk awareness in company boards and senior management teams, in the management of academic institutions, and in the community more generally. Aware, engaged management teams will influence organizational behaviour, set the right example, and determine the behavioural expectations for the organizations they manage. …

    Interestingly, it’s not that hard: our Australian counterparts have published research showing that they are just 4 steps that can reduce your risk by between 80 and 85%:

    White listing: that means only running the software your organisation has approved

    Keeping your systems patched.

    Keeping applications patched.

    Minimizing the number of users with administrator privileges.

    As you can see, these are organisational behavioural steps, not technical ones.

    These are all steps which each of us needs to take in our respective company
    or government organization

    • AmaKiwi 9.1

      Ian Fletcher’s appointment is NOT the primary reason Key should resign his security portfolio.

      Unending government data leaks prove beyond a doubt Key has utterly failed to protect confidential cyber data, which is a primary function of GCSB.

      Key has botched his portfolio beyond anything anyone could have imagined. He must resign.

      • AmaKiwi 9.1.1

        One of the three responsibilities of of the GCSB is “ensuring the integrity, availability and confidentiality of official information through information systems security services to Government.”

        As Minister for GCSB, John Key is the worst performing minister in living memory.

  10. JonL 10

    “In a dictatorship, the whims of the dictators become the laws of the land. “……and as such should become non binding on the population due to lack of mandate.
    They become non-laws to me and the people I know…………
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible, make violent revolution inevitable – JFK

    • AmaKiwi 10.1

      @ JonL

      Fantastic quote, Jon.

      Here’s one from another Bostonian (Theodore Parker), a phrase made famous by Lincoln:

      “Government of the people, by the people, for the people.”

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    It's been nine years since Rod's tragic death. I'd like to start out by talking about what Rod achieved. Then I want to talk about the things that I think he might want us to achieve in his absence. We...
    Greens
  • Hard road ahead for thousands more Kiwi kids
    News that there will be 8000 more students in low decile schools next year reinforces the absolute failure of the National Government’s economic approach, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The gap between the haves and the have-nots is increasing....
    Labour
  • Hard road ahead for thousands more Kiwi kids
    News that there will be 8000 more students in low decile schools next year reinforces the absolute failure of the National Government’s economic approach, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “The gap between the haves and the have-nots is increasing....
    Labour
  • Free your voices
    Last week Victoria University of Wellington lecturer’s Dr. Sandra Grey and Dr. Charles Sedgwick released some figures from the 2013/14 update of the 2008/9 survey of the community and voluntary sector. Their research question was: ‘How is democracy – as...
    Greens
  • The facts of power price rises
    Everyone knows power prices are increasing and it feels like it is eating more and more of their weekly pay check. This morning I released census data showing this common feeling is in fact borne in the data. The data...
    Greens
  • Slavery was cheap too…Pay equity fight back to court
    Today the NZ Aged Care Association announced they will appeal the decisions of the Employment Court and Court of Appeal in favour of Kristine Bartlett, to the Supreme Court. They say they have no choice but to appeal because many...
    Greens
  • Why Pakeha are so offended by John Key’s idea of a peaceful settlement
    The statements by the Prime Minister on the Waitangi Tribunal ruling that Maori never ceded sovereignty in 1840 are enough to make any student of history choke. First was the denial that the ruling means anything significant. And then there...
    Greens
  • Restoration of the Christchurch Arts Centre well underway
    It was inspiring to be shown some of the major restoration and rebuilding work underway at the Christchurch Arts Centre recently. With 22 of 23 Arts Centre buildings damaged by the earthquakes, this is one of the largest heritage restoration...
    Greens
  • Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
    The report into Judith Collins’ involvement in undermining the former Serious Fraud Office boss leaves major questions unanswered about the smear machine run out of John Key’s office, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “This report has deliberately narrow terms of...
    Labour
  • Key’s vile smear machine questions left unanswered
    The report into Judith Collins’ involvement in undermining the former Serious Fraud Office boss leaves major questions unanswered about the smear machine run out of John Key’s office, Labour MP Megan Woods says. “This report has deliberately narrow terms of...
    Labour
  • Govt must make up lost time on sexual violence law reform
    The Government must prioritise any recommendations from the Law Commission to improve criminal process for sexual violence cases after it stalled reform work for two years, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour is pleased Justice Minister Amy Adams has...
    Labour
  • Govt must make up lost time on sexual violence law reform
    The Government must prioritise any recommendations from the Law Commission to improve criminal process for sexual violence cases after it stalled reform work for two years, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Labour is pleased Justice Minister Amy Adams has...
    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • White Ribbon day should last all year
    White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for all men to stand up and affirm to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards women, says Labour’s Associate Justice Spokesperson Kelvin Davis.  “Violence towards women is rampant across all sectors...
    Labour
  • Report confirms John Key abused power of PM’s Office
    Today's Inspector General of Intelligence and Security's (IGIS) report confirms that the Prime Minister's office engaged in a serious abuse of power, says the Green Party.The IGIS report looked at the release of an Official Information Act request to disgraced...
    Greens
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • IGIS report a damning indictment on former spy boss
    The report by Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security into the release of classified documents is a sad and damning indictment on former spy boss Warren Tucker, Labour’s MP for Mount Roskill and former leader Phil Goff says.  “This report upholds...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • South Auckland disadvantaged by new decile rankings
    New decile rankings have South Auckland schools at scores that show they are much more disadvantaged than the national average, says Labour’s Associate Auckland  Issues spokesperson Louisa Wall.  “As a measurement of disadvantage it is alarming that the average score...
    Labour
  • Sexism, rape culture and power
    Our discourse around sexual violence is complicated. All too often perpetrators are described as ‘monsters’, so when someone you know tells you the lovely man that you really like sexually abused them it’s hard to believe, because they’re not a...
    Greens
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • Time for an economy that works for all New Zealanders
    New Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says the challenge for the National Government is to support an economy that delivers good, sustainable jobs paying decent wages. “It’s time the economy delivered for all New Zealanders, not just the fortunate few....
    Labour
  • New faces, wise heads in bold Labour line up
    Labour Leader Andrew Little today announced a bold new caucus line up which brings forward new talent and draws on the party’s depth of experience....
    Labour
  • Plan for mega factory farm ruffles feathers
    Not long ago I wrote about the proposal to build a mega factory farm in the small township of Patumahoe that would confine over 300, 000 hens to colony cages. This week the resource consent hearing for the proposed factory...
    Greens
  • National opens door further to Chinese property speculators
    National has further opened the door to Chinese property speculators with the registration of a third Chinese bank here that will make it easier for Chinese investors to invest in New Zealand properties, the Green Party said today."As well, former...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • National restarts logging in West Coast forests
    “Dead wood also contributes by providing nutrients to soils, supporting the agents of wood decay such as fungi and invertebrates and it is a key habitat for the regeneration of some trees.” Annual Report 2013/14, page 29. The National Government has...
    Greens
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • Lab plan the beginning of slippery slope?
    It’s time for new Health Minister Jonathan Coleman to show his hand on plans to privatise lab services which doctors are warning could put patients’ lives at risk, Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King says. “Clinicians have sent the Government some...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • A-G called on to look into flagship ‘cost-saving’ programme
    New health Minister Jonathan Coleman has some serious questions to answer following a decision to wind up the Government’s flagship health savings provider HBL just a fortnight after giving it the green light to implement its plans, Labour’s Health spokesperson...
    Labour
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Prime Minister’s warped view of history
    Students who sat NCEA level 3 history exams last week might be very worried to hear the Prime Minister tell a Radio Station that New Zealand was one of the few countries that was settled peacefully by Europeans. Those students who wrote...
    Greens
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Climate of fear needs addressing
    It is hugely concerning that community and volunteer groups feel they are being gagged from speaking out against the Government, Labour’s Community and Voluntary Sector Spokesperson Louisa Wall says.  A Victoria University survey of 93 sector groups has found 50...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • Mandatory code of conduct needed for supermarkets
    Labour has drafted legislation to establish a mandatory code of conduct for supermarkets to ensure New Zealand suppliers are not affected by anti-competitive behaviour. “Even though the Commerce Commission found no technical breaches of the law through some of Countdown’s...
    Labour
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National softening public up for 7th successive deficit
    Finance Minister Bill English is softening the public up for an announcement that National is going to fail in even its very limited goal of achieving a budget surplus, the Green Party said today."No finance minister in a generation has...
    Greens
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour
  • National caught out on state house porkies
    Housing NZ’s annual report out today directly contradicts the Government’s claim that one-third of its houses are in the wrong place and are the wrong size, said Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “The annual report states 96 per cent of...
    Labour
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as a failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of...
    Greens
  • Damning report on Department of Conservation restructure
    The restructuring of the Department of Conservation (DOC) following National's severe funding cuts has been revealed as a failure, the Green Party said today.The Taribon report has reviewed the new structure of DOC after 12 months. The restructuring, one of...
    Greens
  • FiveAA Australia: Is NZ’s PM a Liar? + Kim Dotcom Says He’s Broke
    5AA’s Peter Godfrey and Selwyn Manning.In this week’s Across The Ditch bulletin on FiveAA.com.au Selwyn Manning and Peter Godfrey discuss how allegations of dirty politics continue to dog the Prime Minister John Key’s third term in government. Also, internet tycoon...
    The Daily Blog
  • Cam’s ‘Slightly Left of Centre’ sock puppet threatens Key in public
    What did Judith Collins say about payback? Looks like Slater has taken that lesson to heart as he uses his sock puppet over at Slightly Left of Centre to drop threats and hints that he has recorded conversations with Key that has...
    The Daily Blog
  • Justice System Changes Must Ensure No More Roastings In Court
    On Monday there was good news for rape survivors and this blog was supposed to be about the success of our advocacy, and it is about that success, but today’s events have brought into stark focus the real-world importance of...
    The Daily Blog
  • Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Electio...
    Jeremy Wells’ Mike Hosking rant on Radio Hauraki: Today, Key Post Election...
    The Daily Blog
  • Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key
    So Cam texted Key before the report came out despite Key claiming no contact? Top 5 Texts from Cam to Key 5 – I still have all the photos 4 – Yes my shapeshifting Lizard Master Overlord 3 – Max isn’t talking to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Hold on – did NZ just have a coup?
    Ummmmm. Wait a minute here. Just so that we all understand what’s been revealed. The Prime Minister’s Office used the Secret Intelligence Service to falsify classified information to smear the Leader of the Opposition via a far right hate blogger...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Sue Bradford speaking tour
          With the generous support of the Hobgoblin Network and several other donors, I’m going to be speaking soon at four meetings around the country: ‘A major left wing think tank?  Is it time for a transformational left...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why Key must resign
    Remember when John Armstrong from the NZ Herald called for the resignation of David Cunliffe because Cunliffe couldn’t remember an 11 year old letter in reference to a $100 000 bottle of wine that never existed? Why isn’t the Herald now...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Why the Judith Collins report is a whitewash
    “I am not a Monster”, hissed Judith Collins The report into Collins is a whitewash. The difference between an independent inquiry like the IGIS report that connected the PMs Office with using edited Secret Intelligence Service information to smear a...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Seasons Greetings from Ferguson
    Seasons Greetings from Ferguson...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Using State Spies to attack political opponents – why the SIS are gaining...
    National will only be able to get away with what is being revealed by the IGIS report into the Secret Intelligence Service if we, the people of NZ, let them. And. We. Should. Not. Let. Them. State spies editing intelligence to...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Anti-Choice Myth-Busting
    Voice for Life issued a press release last week claiming that those of us campaigning for the decriminalisation of abortion in NZ are, among other things, using Nazi propaganda tactics (sigh…) to lie to you about the illegal status of abortion...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Judith Collins – the Gift that keeps Giving to the Opposition?
    . . From a news report; Ms Collins resigned before the election after being accused of working with the Whale Oil blog after emails were released suggesting she was “gunning” for former director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley,...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • Annette King? Annette King?? Surely not Annette King!
    I’m not often surprised at the goings on in the Labour Party but I was gobsmacked to see Andrew Little has appointed Annette King as Deputy Leader of the parliamentary Labour Party. I had idly assumed the role would go to Adhern...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • New Shadow Cabinet – Little does more in 6 days than Goff, Shearer & ...
    New Zealanders do not respect intelligence, they respect confidence. Cunliffe beat Key in the debates, but it didn’t matter because NZers don’t respect the debate, they respect the tone. Our anti-intellecuatlism runs deeper than most with our reverse-egalitarianism. The chip...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves
      This weeks Waatea news column – The myths white people tell themselves...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • The irony of backlash to petrol stations charging workers for stolen petrol
    You have to laugh at NZers sometimes. you really do. The outrage that has been sparked by news that workers at petrol stations are charged for stolen petrol is one of those perfect examples of a delicious irony most NZers...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • A Dishonest “Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill”
    Wouldn’t you think a Countering Terrorist Fighters Bill would actually mention “terrorist fighters” in its text? The Bill, as released yesterday, does not. It’s simply another generalised counter-terrorism exercise giving extra surveillance powers to the Security Intelligence Service and enabling...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • How biased are the media? A Patrick Gower case study
    . . . Isn’t it interesting that Patrick Gower – who made his partisan feelings crystal clear on Twitter on 29 May with this extraordinary outburst;  “Lalia Harré – you make me feel sick by how you are rorting MMP...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • The C Word
    It isn’t even December but the decorations are up and the ads are on the telly. I am a genuine Grinch come this time of year, so when the conversation at work turned to everyone’s holidays plans I may have...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2009. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • Honouring the Ampatuan massacre victims as fight for justice goes on
    A grim reminder of the Maguindanao, or Ampatuan, massacre on 23 November 2009. Photo: DanRogayan A TOP Filipino investigative journalist will be speaking about the “worst attack” on journalists in history and her country’s culture of impunity in a keynote...
    The Daily Blog
  • Police pursuit results in serious injury of innocent man
    A report released today by the Independent Police Conduct Authority has found Police failed to comply with policy during a pursuit in Auckland in 2013 which left an innocent man with serious injuries....
    Scoop politics
  • US Warning against GMO threat
    An international warning about the impact of GMOs has been released. It comes just as Parliament's Primary Production Committee is to hear the response of the Ministry of Primary Industries to the 1700 signature "Freeze on GMO" petition that...
    Scoop politics
  • Fish & Game wants more than lip service from agriculture
    Fish & Game wants to know how the government will ensure the agriculture sector protects the environment after the Primary Industries Minister warned primary sector leaders that environmental sustainability is no longer a “nice to have.”...
    Scoop politics
  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 27 November 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Countering Terrorist Fighters Legislation Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Thursday, 27 November 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
    Television New Zealand (TVNZ) recently announced that internal production of its iconic Māori programmes ‘Waka Huia’ and ‘Marae Investigates’ would cease and that it would outsource the production of these programmes for the duration of...
    Scoop politics
  • Ngā Aho Whakaari Questions TMP Handling of TVNZ Contract
    Television New Zealand (TVNZ) recently announced that internal production of its iconic Māori programmes ‘Waka Huia’ and ‘Marae Investigates’ would cease and that it would outsource the production of these programmes for the duration of...
    Scoop politics
  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
    Statements from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (x2) 1. In response to questions about particular contents of the report: Ms Gwyn said that - as she had said yesterday when releasing the report - the report, including the factual...
    Scoop politics
  • Office of the Inspector-General of Intelligence And Security
    Statements from the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security (x2) 1. In response to questions about particular contents of the report: Ms Gwyn said that - as she had said yesterday when releasing the report - the report, including the factual...
    Scoop politics
  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 February 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • Health (Protection) Amendment Bill
    Public submissions are being invited on this bill. The closing date for submissions is Friday, 13 February 2014....
    Scoop politics
  • SIS Scandal Leaves Key Unscathed
    Prime Minister John Key has been almost entirely unscathed by the SIS scandal, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. The probability Mr Key will remain leader of the National Party...
    Scoop politics
  • SIS Scandal Leaves Key Unscathed
    Prime Minister John Key has been almost entirely unscathed by the SIS scandal, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. The probability Mr Key will remain leader of the National Party...
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • Lawyer jailed for fraud against loyal clients
    John David Milne (79) has been sentenced to eight years and one month of imprisonment today in the Christchurch District Court following a Serious Fraud Office (SFO) prosecution....
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • MFaT CEO To Announce Resignation
    NZ's leading Political publication Trans Tasman can reveal Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Trade chief executive John Allen will announce his resignation on Monday. Allen, who was controversially recruited to head up the Ministry in 2009 after a stellar...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Rotorua White Ribbon Ride urges stand against violence
    Dave Donaldson will never forget the story of a woman who escaped her violent partner by going to jail. Some years ago while the Rotorua deputy mayor was still a police officer, he escorted a woman to Auckland to serve...
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Air Line Pilots’ Association on proposed rules for Drones
    The New Zealand Air Line Pilots’ Association is welcoming calls by the Civil Aviation Authority to have industry and the public have their say on proposed rules for unmanned aircraft operations....
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Report on Gender Bias Welcomed
    Family First NZ is welcoming a report which says that blaming men for domestic violence is ‘gender bias’....
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Report on Gender Bias Welcomed
    Family First NZ is welcoming a report which says that blaming men for domestic violence is ‘gender bias’....
    Scoop politics
  • Family Violence Report on Gender Bias Welcomed
    Family First NZ is welcoming a report which says that blaming men for domestic violence is ‘gender bias’....
    Scoop politics
  • Terrorism bill fraught with risk for academics
    Academics studying terrorism, or other topics that the SIS considers not to be in the national interest, could be among those who lose civil rights if an ‘anti-terrorism’ bill becomes law....
    Scoop politics
  • Terrorism bill fraught with risk for academics
    Academics studying terrorism, or other topics that the SIS considers not to be in the national interest, could be among those who lose civil rights if an ‘anti-terrorism’ bill becomes law....
    Scoop politics
  • Terrorism bill fraught with risk for academics
    Academics studying terrorism, or other topics that the SIS considers not to be in the national interest, could be among those who lose civil rights if an ‘anti-terrorism’ bill becomes law....
    Scoop politics
  • Iwi score badly on Māori language report card
    Māori language group Umere has given 'iwi corporates' a "Not achieved" for not standing up for te reo....
    Scoop politics
  • Iwi score badly on Māori language report card
    Māori language group Umere has given 'iwi corporates' a "Not achieved" for not standing up for te reo....
    Scoop politics
  • Iwi score badly on Māori language report card
    Māori language group Umere has given 'iwi corporates' a "Not achieved" for not standing up for te reo....
    Scoop politics
  • Men need to play leadership role
    White Ribbon Day is the international day for the elimination of violence against women and occurs each year on 25 November....
    Scoop politics
  • Men need to play leadership role
    White Ribbon Day is the international day for the elimination of violence against women and occurs each year on 25 November....
    Scoop politics
  • Men need to play leadership role
    White Ribbon Day is the international day for the elimination of violence against women and occurs each year on 25 November....
    Scoop politics
  • NZ-HK Customs heads meet to strengthen ties
    A meeting between New Zealand Customs and Hong Kong Customs officials in Auckland today has strengthened the close partnership between the two agencies that continue to work together, especially to combat drug smuggling and organised crime....
    Scoop politics
  • NZ-HK Customs heads meet to strengthen ties
    A meeting between New Zealand Customs and Hong Kong Customs officials in Auckland today has strengthened the close partnership between the two agencies that continue to work together, especially to combat drug smuggling and organised crime....
    Scoop politics
  • NZ-HK Customs heads meet to strengthen ties
    A meeting between New Zealand Customs and Hong Kong Customs officials in Auckland today has strengthened the close partnership between the two agencies that continue to work together, especially to combat drug smuggling and organised crime....
    Scoop politics
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