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You know you’re in trouble when: The bookies open a contract on you

Written By: - Date published: 10:28 am, March 29th, 2012 - 162 comments
Categories: ACC, Judith Collins, police - Tags: ,

One of the amusing things in my mailbox this morning was a link with new contracts at iPredict looking at the possible political casualties from the ACC/Pullar leaks. Looks like the contracts opened yesterday and have had minimal trading when I wrote this post.

You know that bookies sense when there is blood in the water and they’ll create contracts.

I don’t gamble (especially on insider micromarkets like iPredict) but the interesting ones in my mind are:-

  • Judith Collins to cease being a Minister before 1 June 2012
  • An ACC official (excluding Judge, McCliskie or Beehive secondees) to be found to have leaked Boag email
  • Beehive staffer to be found to have leaked Boag email
  • Police to launch investigation into ACC scandal

These also happen to be the highest probability ones on the current trading.

And in other news of the “You know you’re in trouble when..”, Judith Collins reckons that she is going to start defamation proceedings

ACC Minister Judith Collins says she is starting defamation proceedings against two Labour Party MPs and a news media organisation.

Collins alleged on Radio Live this morning that defamatory statements about her had been made outside of Parliament.

“I take my reputation very seriously and when I’ve been defamed I have to take action,” she told host Marcus Lush.

Ah yes.. The relevant comment about that would have to be this one in comments this morning by Frida.

Typical reaction of a NACT bully. When the pressure comes on, squeal to the Police or run and consult a lawyer.

Nothing to worry about here as far as I can see Mickey (I’m a lawyer too). Defamation wouldn’t stick – too many defences available here

Crusher is just trying to shut down debate because she is quaking in her boots as her time is up and her leadership aspirations thwarted

Yep, the results and judgements of the Lange vs Atkinson case pretty much killed the ability of politicians to use defamation as a anti-criticism weapon. That is why recently the political attacks against critics have been launched using spurious police investigations.

The teagate taping results are pretty typical of that approach. In the end it is never judged by the police as being worth while to actually test in court.

162 comments on “You know you’re in trouble when: The bookies open a contract on you”

  1. Deb 1

    “The teagate taping results are pretty typical of that approach. In the end it is never judged by the police as being worth while to actually test in court.”

    However defamation is a civil matter and does not rely on prior police evaluation.
    There are precedents where defamation against politicians was successful.

    • lprent 1.1

      Yep. But this a politicians threatening a news organisation and what are effectively two members of the public when they are out of the house.

      But since the re-judgement in the Court of Appeal on Lange vs Atkinson in 2000 (?) (after it’d come back from the Privy Council), I don’t think I have seen a case by a politician get anywhere near a court. There is a reason for that. There is no real defence against deliberately misusing or inventing “facts”, but there is a defence if you inadvertently get them incorrect.

      It is in the public interest that we expose politicians to scrutiny. Prior to that case there had been a rash of litigation by politicians against critics. After that case the public interest outweighed the politicians outrage and/or attempts to shut down debate.

      Another thing to thank MMP for. The change in voting system was a factor in causing the Court of Appeal to shift the defences when it comes to politicians.

      My point about the police was that since politicians were limited in what they could do with defamation, we have seen a curious rise in political complaints to the police. Few of those politically motivated complaints appear to actually make it to court.

      • Inventory2 1.1.1

        lprent; it’s pretty naive to suggest that MP’s are “effectively two members of the public” when they are out of the House. In fact MP’s do far more of their work away from the House than they do in it.

        • lprent 1.1.1.1

          In legal terms they are – if a politician is suing them for defamation. The qualified defence of political speech in Lange vs Atkinson applies just as much to them as any other citizen. Note that it is a “defence”. There is nothing that prevents a politicians being sued by another politician from relying on that defence.

          Perhaps you should read and think about some recent NZ law rather than guesswork and instinct?

          • Tom Gould 1.1.1.1.1

            The defamation action is simply a stunt, and I hope the MSM realise it before getting too carried away. A politician suing a politican for defamation over a political matter? The judge will throw it out.

            • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.1.1.1

              The problem isn’t that the MSM don’t realise that but rather that they won’t inform people that it’s a stunt to divert attention.

  2. alex 2

    Great news for Parata then, or will Collins be more effective from the backbench?

    • Te Reo Putake 2.1

      If Collins can be proved to have leaked this document, then the only bench she’ll be sitting on is the one provided for defendants in court.

      • Jim Nald 2.1.1

        Threatening defamation? Hope that is not sleepwalking to demotion. Oh well, go ahead …

        “Out, damned spot! out, I say!
        One: two: why, then, ’tis time to do’t.
        Hell is murky!
        … What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to
        account?”

        Yet who would have thought [this unravelling mess] to have had so much blood …

        • Lanthanide 2.1.1.1

          Especially compared to something like Bill English’s double dipping. Slap with a wet bus ticket.

          Write two letters, as a case of bad judgement, and lose your ministerial position. Leak someone’s name and lose your ministerial position (but then Bennett hasn’t been punished for her privacy breaching either?).

  3. DavidW 3

    If Collins is successful will David Shearer insist that the two MP’s concerned resign their seats? Now that would be acting with integrity.

    • Pascal's bookie 3.1

      And by the same token, Key should demand Collins resign her seat if she drops the case.

  4. Deb 4

    Sorry lprent, I cannot accept your definition of politicians out of the house an “two private citizens” – not remotely – their comments were entirely politically motivated.

    As for suing of MPs, the former PM Helen Clarke was sued for defamation twice that I know of – reaching out of court settlements in the instances of Yelash and Brownlee. Perhaps MP v MP is slightly different, but the suggestions outside the house that she has abused her ministerial warrant, without substance thus far, are highly defamatory.

    • Te Reo Putake 4.1

      What were the defamatory comments, Deb?

    • Re the Lange v Atkinson comparison:

      …the courts affirmed a new qualified privilege for the media to discuss politicians when expressing the criticisms as the “honest opinion” of the author. (wiki)

      Atkinson wasn’t a politician. MP v MP might (or might not) make a difference. “Honest opnion” may clash with “political attack”?

      • mickysavage 4.2.1

        Pete you are such a hoot.

        The principle applies to comments made about politicians.  Robust debate is and should be permitted in a democracy.

        It is not a political attack.  FFS someone in Government has leaked private information to the media.  One Minister has already resigned.  Of course there is a proper public interest in what has happened. 

        • Pete George 4.2.1.1

          There could also be public interest in whether you and Mallard and Little are expressing ‘honest opinions” as robust debate or deliberately making accusations you have no evidence for.

          I think you are confusing “robust debate” with deliberate unsubstantiated statements designed to inflict political damage.

          Do you think “honest opinion” covers making accusations you know are unsubstantiated?

          • mickysavage 4.2.1.1.1

            Petey like I said before put up or shut up.
             
            Go on cite comments that I have made which are defamatory.  Knock yourself out.
             
            FYI it sounds like the Herald may be the one in the gun, presumably because of the Fran O’Sullivan article on the issue.
             
            Point out somewhere where I have got even close to what O’Sullivan said.
             

            • Inventory2 4.2.1.1.1.1

              So you have the proof that “someone in Government has leaked private information to the media” micky? To use your own words; put up or shut up ;-)

              • Sure I2
                 
                A private email between erstwhile National party friends finds its way into the Herald on Sunday.  Unless the journalist concerned has mystical powers someone leaked it.

            • Pete George 4.2.1.1.1.2

              You’re choosing to ignore the question again.

              Do you think “honest opinion” covers making accusations you know are unsubstantiated?

              • Te Reo Putake

                Well done, Pete. You have identified that ‘opinion’ and ‘fact’ are two different things. Do you have anything to say that adds value to the debate here?

            • lprent 4.2.1.1.1.3

              FYI it sounds like the Herald may be the one in the gun, presumably because of the Fran O’Sullivan article on the issue.

              It’d be hilarious if that was the case bearing in mind that Fran was defending Collins. When I saw that article I was half-expecting that Boag would be tearing legal avenues to have a go at Fran.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 4.2.1.1.2

            Good grief man , Lange lost when a journalist said he was ‘lazy’. All that has swirled around Collins is on a far higher plane that that and directly related her actions as a minister. Shes admitted printing the email which seems to have had legs of its own from then on.

          • deuto 4.2.1.1.3

            PG

            What is your evidence for making the following claims:

            “deliberately making accusations you have no evidence for.”

            “accusations you know are unsubstantiated?”

            Where is your evidence for “you have no evidence for” and “you know are unsubstantiated” ?

            If you have no evidence for these claims, then they are unsubstantiated.

            Pot calling the kettle ……

            • Pete George 4.2.1.1.3.1

              I don’t have any evidence – and your partial quotes are missing some key aspects of those statements. I didn’t claim those as anything other than queried possibilities.

              Which notably savagemicky won’t answer.

              • felix

                “Which notably savagemicky won’t answer.”

                Ahem. You have started several threads this week which have led to straight questions being put to you which you have left unanswered.

                Perhaps you ought to resolve these before you get too high on your horse.

              • Aw Petey not true.
                 
                I refused to give you details.
                 
                If you read my comments you will see quite a bit of content.  You will have to be patient.

          • Pascal's bookie 4.2.1.1.4

            You just claimed, as matter of fact, that you know what other people know. That you know whether or not they are being honest about their beliefs.

            Are you Jesus?

            • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 4.2.1.1.4.1

              No.

              I am Jesus.

            • Pete George 4.2.1.1.4.2

              “You just claimed, as matter of fact, that you know what other people know.”

              I didn’t. I gave him the option of clarifying and he has so far chosen not to.

              Are you Exodus 20:16?

              • Pascal's bookie

                “I think you are confusing “robust debate” with deliberate unsubstantiated statements designed to inflict political damage.”

                That seems to me to be saying that you think you know when someone is making “deliberate unsubstantiated statements “.

                In other words, you are claiming to know, as a matter of fact, what other people know. Unless you know what they know, it’s impossible to say whether or not it’s deliberate.

                • “I think” and “claiming to know, as a matter of fact, ” are quite different things. I think I’m allowed to express “honest opinion”.

                  I’ll clarify for you by explaining in a different way – I don’t think making “deliberate unsubstantiated statements“ can be claimed to be”robust debate”.

                  And I’d wager that there’s a fair few “deliberate unsubstantiated statements“ that make no attempt to engage in debate, robust or otherwise, but try to inflict political damage.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Pete.

                    In that quote you say you ‘think’ he is confused.

                    You may think they are making unsubstantiated claims. That’s fine. Think what you want.

                    You seem to be claiming they are making ‘deliberate unsubstantiated’ claims.

                    At the least, you are saying that people can make judgements about whether or not someone else in making an unsubstantiated claim deliberately or not.

                    How do you know if it is deliberate or not?

                    You might have an opinion on their state of mind, and that’s cool. But it will be an unsubstantiated opinion unless you actually know what they know.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    And while I hesitate to get into a discussion about epistemology with you, perhaps it would help my confusion if you could define ‘substantiated’ for me, in the sense that you are using the idea here.

                    thanks.

              • alex

                Ooh good, a biblical lesson from the moral and spiritual conscience of the blogosphere.

                • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                  Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

                  • felix

                    Thank you Father.

                  • Kevin Welsh

                    Hmm, part Ghandi, part Yoda?

                    • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell

                      The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

      • lprent 4.2.2

        MP v MP might (or might not) make a difference

        Unlikely to be any different. It is a defence available to anyone when accused of defamation by a politician.

    • lprent 4.3

      As I have said elsewhere. A legal defence doesn’t care what their motivations are or even who they are. What it cares about is the relevant tests.

      And once again, a non-politician suing a politician for defamation is completely different legal beast to politician suing anyone else (including a politician).

  5. tsmithfield 5

    A lot of hope here seems pinned on Lange v Atkinson.

    An analysis of that ruling is given here.

    Lange v Atkinson [2000] 3 NZLR 385 reaffirms that there is a qualified privilege for the media to discuss politicians. However, the 2000 decision tempers to some extent the generosity of the earlier 1998 judgement.

    • Not every statement about a politician is privileged. The statement must be one which is made on a privileged occasion. That depends on the circumstances and context in which it is made, including the identity of the publisher, the audience, the content, etc.

    • Privilege is lost if “improper advantage is taken of the occasion of publication”. This can be constituted by reckless or irresponsible journalism.

    Notice that priviledge can be lost in the case of reckless or irresponsible journalism.

    Would any of the commentary on this site with respect to Collins qualify as reckless or irresponsible journalism? I am not qualified to give an opinion on that. However, it does seem to demonstrate that there are limits on what can be published about politicians.

    • lprent 5.1

      You’re relying on a source that was talking about media law to a audience of media. That is a wee bit silly.

      It is arguable if we are media or journalists. In fact the Law Commission has been looking at this right now – a debate that I have found to be technically ridiculous considering the rate that barriers to entry are dropping. Are they going to claim that people on twitter are journalists? We don’t claim to be and have never claimed to be the type of media that journalists frequent or that we are journalists (whatever that means).

      If you read the actual judgement then you will discover that the defence is potentially available to anyone. The test about loss of privilege had nothing to do with “reckless or irresponsible journalism” – that was just a framing given to it for that audience. It had to do with the deliberate and knowing misstatement of fact.

      Try reading the several judgements on the L vs A case.

      • Jim Nald 5.1.1

        The Minister responsible for the Law Commission should be in touch with her former Cabinet colleague she appointed, thanks to the special she used that involved ignoring recommendations and not consulting her ministry or other interest groups, to look some more into revising defamation law.

  6. Sanctuary 6

    It is worth bearing in the mind the strongly corporate authoritarian flavour of this government when considering Collin’s actions. Bullying corporate authoritarians – Joyce, Key, Bennett, Collins – dominate this government’s cabinet, along with just plain vanilla bullies like Brownlee.

    As John Key showed over the teapot tapes, corporate authoritarians will show no hesitation in subordinating the levers of power to their personal ends when they are challenged. In the private sector, this takes the form of assuming that the will of the leadership elite can be expressed by manipulating the system via threatening and bullying letters from the corporate legal division and drawn out litigation. In government, it takes the form of an assumption the organs of state power exist entirely to serve the will of the executive branch of government.

    From that mindset, using your access to unlimited taxpayers money to sue in order to try and shutdown a growing public and internal internecine scandal is an entirely predictable course of action.

    • Anne 6.1

      Well said Sanctuary.

      I see some of the dumb pixies from the bottom of the tory garden have been sent here to raise fear and trepidation among the Standard troops. They should know by now that bully boy and girl tactics only serve to whet our appetite…

      Question Time should be interesting this afternoon. Will Collins refuse to answer any questions on the grounds of a pending court hearing? If so, we’ll have proof of the real reason she has embarked on this process. Scared of implicating herself over her role in the scandal!

      • Frida 6.1.1

        Anne, she can’t claim something is sub judice over THREATENED proceedings. So I don’t see how she can use that excuse in response to this afternoon’s questions for oral answer? Maybe after she’s filed proceedings (if she does) but not before surely?

        • Jim Nald 6.1.1.1

          Maybe John Key’s numerous plans, eg cycleway, 170,000 jobs and closing the gap with Oz, will now materialise quickly before her plan for defamation action starts to take shape.

        • Anne 6.1.1.2

          Frida, I’m sure you are right. I have no legal background, but if there is some way she can use the threatened proceedings to get out of answering a question she doesn’t want to answer I’m sure she will – even if it is a trumped up consideration with no substance to it.

      • deuto 6.1.2

        I also found Sanctuary’s analysis excellent – and would add that such people also appear to feel affronted when questioned with Collins’ being a good example in my “honest opinion”. IMO she tends to talk down to the questioner and/or give the impression that they have no right to question her.

        Question time will be interesting – she may well try the “cannot answer as before the courts”. IIRC she tried that one yesterday using the Privacy Commissioner’s expanded investigation as the reason.

        • Colonial Viper 6.1.2.1

          IMO she tends to talk down to the questioner and/or give the impression that they have no right to question her.

          Indeed, the tiresome serfs are revolting.

      • felix 6.1.3

        “I see some of the dumb pixies from the bottom of the tory garden have been sent here to raise fear and trepidation”

        Always a good sign.

        In this instance I note that the Parliamentary wing of the party, AND their public activists & stirrers, AND their internet sockpuppet teams are all in as much of a panic as each other.

        Very good sign.

  7. HelensYourAunty 7

    From EDDIE’s whinge on 26th March:

    “Collins has imitated her fellow ministers by leaking Pullar’s private details in revenge.”

    I hope this works out badly for EDDIE too.

  8. Pascal's bookie 8

    The PM has said he supports the defamation case. Good on him.

    I remember when Worth reassured him that he would sue anyone who repeated something that was said about him. He never did sue, even when all sorts of people repeated the allegations.

    I trust that should Collins drop the case, Key will respond in a similar fashion.

    Perhaps the PMs confidence in his minister is somehow dependent on the case going forward.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 8.1

      The taxpayer is paying for her legal machinations so Key has to be in on the loop.

      • Deb 8.1.1

        GWWNZ – the taxpayer also pays for every utterance the members of parliament have.

        While I wish that the entire lot of them would give up their gotcha politicking and invest their time multi-party brainstorming for the good of the nation rather than brainfarting – that’s not about to happen either. We’re stuck with the worst of adversarial politics and, imho, it’s nigh on time some of the worst MP offenders and zealots in the media and blogosphere were held accountable for unsubstantiated claims.

        • Pete George 8.1.1.1

          I agree with you there Deb, but don’t expect many zealots of the blogosphere to take much notice, they seem addicted to the worst of adversarial politics.

        • muzza 8.1.1.2

          Agree on the comments about the MPs, however as I have stated many times, until a mass is reached which demands better of government, then we will see the continued degredation of parliament. It is already below bad joke level currently, and one can speculate as to where the real influences come from externally.

          Media – No chance, the reasons are obivous

          Blogsphere – doesn’t run the country does it..keep the focus on the MP’s

  9. outofbed 9

    So what did radio NZ say, that Collins is pissed about?

  10. tsmithfield 10

    I don’t pretend to be qualified to give an opinion on whether a statement is defamatory or not. However, I think it is fair to say that some statements published on this site come closer to the defamatory end of the spectrum than if they had been stated slightly differently.

    For instance, Eddies statement from the other day:

    “Collins has imitated her fellow ministers by leaking Pullar’s private details in revenge.”

    could have been more carefully worded as:

    “Perhaps Collins has imitated her fellow ministers by leaking Pullar’s private details in revenge”

    or:

    “Did Collins imitate her fellow ministers by leaking Pullar’s private details in revenge?”

    As I pointed out above, priveledge can be lost if publications are consdered as “reckless or irresponsible journalism”. Given that, as I have demonstrated, there are more considered and careful ways of phrasing the statement above, I do wonder if some statements here could be pushing into that “reckless and irresponsible” arena.

    I wonder if the boiling frog analogy could apply here, where unwittingly statements could gradually become more and more extreme, until the boundary is crossed without it even being realised. In this respect, I do wonder if too much faith is being placed in Lange v Atkinson.

    Another point is, that even if a suit for defamation was unsuccessful, the judge may consider the behaviour of the defendant in awarding costs. If the judge feels the defendant has been pushing the boundaries, then the judge may not award very much in the way of costs to the defendant, leaving the defendanat to bear a lot of their own costs. So, winning can be losing.

    Far be it from me to tell the owners here how to run there own site. However, if I were running my own blog, I know I would be using language in the least prejudicial sense possible to get my point across but minimising my potential for liability.

    • bbfloyd 10.1

      weak gerry brownlee impersonation…..

    • lprent 10.2

      I had a careful look at the post when it went up and decided that it was carefully written in a speculative mode rather than

      It is an interesting question if we could be considered to be journalists, and therefore if we are either protected by the rules and laws governing journalists or if we have their obligations in the legal system. An alternative view is that we’re no different from people speculating in a pub or other social club settings which would probably be the case if you were considering income and other characteristics of media.

      We do have a readership that probably exceeds many provincial newspapers and local radio stations. And readership appears to have been the criteria that the Court of Appeals was using. But of course the costs of reaching that audience have reduced to the point that this site was and still is well within my personal budget. We put the advertising in when it hit $150 per month for server costs and it is currently about $400 (and about to fall again).

      But if anyone wants to sue The Standard Trust to find out, then it’d be an interesting exercise in proving a legal point.

      And by the way, the actual test of reckless or irresponsible would be if you published it knowing it was wrong in fact. The problem for Collins is that no-one really knows, but the number of people who had access and position to leak the documents is quite a small set. Leakage from ministerial offices appears to have become rife and it is a practice that I think needs stamping out in the public interest.

      • Lanthanide 10.2.1

        “But if anyone wants to sue The Standard Trust to find out, then it’d be an interesting exercise in proving a legal point.”

        Be careful what you wish for. Defending against legal action can be quite expensive.

        • lprent 10.2.1.1

          Not as expensive as trying to show that there is a case to answer in the first place. And it’d play in public because we aren’t Radio NZ or the Herald.

      • tsmithfield 10.2.2

        1prent, at the risk of being accused of “concern trolling”, I wonder if it might be wise to consider potential liability, regardless of how small, in the way in which articles are constructed.

        As I pointed out above, it is quite easy to say pretty much the same thing, and probably reduce the liability risk considerably, simply by being more careful in the way that sentences are constructed. I realise you are quite confident the risk of litigation is minimal. However, the costs can be quite high, even for the winner. If that risk can be eliminated by simply slightly changing the way points are made, then would it be worth doing so?

        I am reminded of the story of the queen selecting a new carriage driver. Candidates bidded up their skill by claiming how close they could go to the edge of the cliff without falling off, with each candidate claiming they could get progressively closer. The candidate who won the contract was the one who advocated staying as far away from the edge as possible. Food for thought.

        • lprent 10.2.2.1

          We could tone posts well well down to having zero risk. But we could do all sorts of things including requiring logins to leave comments so that we can eliminate anyone who might leave a defamatory remark (our liability is just as high on comments remember). We could require that every post is vetted by a legal team or even a editor before release.

          But basically the site would involve a hell of a lot more work, some very high expenses (lawyers like to be paid), and the site would be completely dull and boring.

          We chose instead to set a policy that places the responsibility directly on the authors and commentators, where we clued up on the legal risks, and where a terrible retribution (ie me and the other moderators) is called on people who transgress. For the most part this has worked pretty well. We keep the site in a standard that would almost certainly pass the legal defence tests if someone was daft enough to sue us rather than pointing what they consider are problems to us.

          In the 4 and half years we have been running we have had a handful of actual complaints (I tend to ignore the thousands of ‘concern’ comments) almost entirely about comments we missed, only one of which we did not remove. There has been one post complained about but I looked at it and found the person was complaining about something being repeated that he’d said elsewhere. There have been several posts where people requested that the post was modified for clarity or fact (because they were showing up on google searches), and I think most of those were done.

          If someone sues for defamation without contacting us with the specifics via e-mail and let us deal with it first, then my presumption will be that they don’t really have an issue, or a real case, and is just indulging in a exercise motivated by factors other than the actual offence. In other words nuisance cases. My general response would be to give them a nuisance response and make them run around..

          Incidentally the costs are far far higher for the person trying to make a case than they are for the defence.

          • tsmithfield 10.2.2.1.1

            1prent: “Incidentally the costs are far far higher for the person trying to make a case than they are for the defence.”

            That wouldn’t surprise me. Except, in this case those making the case would likely be the government who tend to have rather deep pockets, and have already shown a tendency to take legal action to make a point.

            • Colonial Viper 10.2.2.1.1.1

              Using someone else’s money to make a point. How typical ;)

            • lprent 10.2.2.1.1.2

              Yep and you can just imagine how it will play if the government takes a political blog to court for criticizing and speculating…. *smile*

              I’d have a few choices of countries to place the site in, and I suspect it’d open the floodgates to aussie for the resistance movement.

              That is why politicians usually defend their reputation using their own funds. Does anyone have actual confirmation that she has applied for government funds to defend her ‘reputation”? On reflection I’d rather surprised if she has. I have a post working in my head about why it’d be a really bad idea and pretty damn bad for her reputation..

              …have already shown a tendency to take legal action to make a point.

              Not exactly on their own dime. They have mostly gotten the police to do it.

  11. Politicians are employed by the tax payers, tax payers demand a higher standard by those
    employees and if those standards are found to be wanting then those employees loose
    their jobs,end of.
    Tax payers also have a right to demand actual facts and knowledge of corrupt practices,
    within tax payer owned corporations or companies,any denial of producing facts or
    evidence of corrupt practices should be viewed as guilt.
    Tax payers will not and should not turn a blind eye or turn their back on wanting to
    discuss or assess any dubious dealings by any politician.

    • burt 11.1

      So much has changed from the good old days of “The business of government is whatever government say it is” and “move on”… Now we want accountability….

      Love this change – what was it again… Oh that’s right – it’s not your team needing your apologist protection.

  12. Johnny 12

    Owen Jennings MP of ACT got taken down for 50K in 2001. http://tvnz.co.nz/content/35410/2556418/article.html

    Nick Smith had to settle in 2010.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/3793354/Minister-pays-and-apologises.

    Mallard has form when Tuku initiated defamation proceedings against Mallard for comments about Tuku’s spending on underpants.

    • Johnny Jennings and Smith said things about a private individual and a private company.  Not applicable at all.

    • lprent 12.2

      Only one of those is vaguely relevant – the last one (and you notice that it went nowhere?). The first two were non-politicians suing a politician and winning either in court or out of it. Politicians are not particularly protected against defamation cases against them except when speaking in the house.

      If you’d read the post and engaged your brain, you would have realized that it was about politicians suing others for defamation that have a reduced ability to win.

      • Johnny 12.2.1

        I suppose it will come down to whether Mallard behaved “responsibily” in making the allegations and whoever it was in publishing them. Peters has spent years and 1000s trying to sue TVNZ for defamation over that scampi issue and failed at every corner. I agree that’s its wrong for politicians to use defamation to try and shut down questions or debate. If Crusher backdown no mercy should be shown.

  13. SHG 13

    I’m actually surprised Mallard said anything actionable outside the House, he usually cowers behind parliamentary privilege.

    • Dean 13.1

      he didn’t say anything actionable. This is just an effort by Collins to intimidate and distract.

  14. vto 14

    Ahaa!

    Finally, confirmation that much of the shit spoken in Parliament is just that – shit. And defamatory.

    It is clear from this thread and Collins’ statement that defamatory statements inside Parliament are ok. That, if the statements had been inside Parliament then those statements get some sort of legitimacy. What this actually means is that the standards for Parliament are criminally low. They are certainly far lower standards than those to which the public comply.

    And there was Pete George trying yesterday to claim that those who make it Parliament are the cream of the crop. Ha ha ha ha ha ha. It is in fact the opposite.

    Liars and bullshitters.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 14.1

      Most of what is said in court is defamatory as well. But the proceedings and reports are privledged like parliament.

      Your point is ?

      • vto 14.1.1

        I thought the point was pretty clear from the implications of what has been said by Collins and others – that the accepted standards for debate in Parliament are at such a low level that anything said aint worth shit. Not worth listening to. Has no value.

        I understand the reasons for privilege, in the various places it occurs in our society, but that privilege has effects and this particular effect is that the value of debate in Parliament is low.

    • And there was Pete George trying yesterday to claim that those who make it Parliament are the cream of the crop.

      I said they should be, not that they are.

      I agree with you that parliamentary standards are low – but I think we shouldn’t just accept that, we should pressure MPs to do better. Much better.

    • Dean 14.3

      it’s important that nothing MPs say in Parliament can be subject to legal action, or else our sovereign Parliament can be constrained by deep-pocketed litigious persons.

      • vto 14.3.1

        I understand that Dean, but that completely unconstrained debate devalues it at the same time and to such a level that it is impossible to assign a level of truth to anything that is said.

        Don’t ask me what the answer is, I only knows the issue which is unreliable debate.

  15. NickS 15

    /smirk

    Like Collins will actually be able to prove those statements are defamatory with out incriminating herself to some extent, or trying to make a scapegoat out of one her minions and not have it backfire on her.

    • Deb 15.1

      Nick, that is entire conjecture. You can have no knowledge of how things will pan out in a judicial context.

      If only some would confine themselves to the evidence, rather than rely on crystal ball gazing. Fortunately, I am reliably told that the courts work this way :)

      • Colonial Viper 15.1.1

        If only some would confine themselves to the evidence, rather than rely on crystal ball gazing. Fortunately, I am reliably told that the courts work this way :)

        Which was why the PM was relieved to see the Ambrose thing sorted out of court.

        • Deb 15.1.1.1

          Was he? I wasn’t privy to his “relief”. Many Kiwis, left and right, would rather have had a judicial ruling i am convinced. Court action come at considerable personal cost, and it could as well have been Ambrose’s as Keys

          • Pascal's bookie 15.1.1.1.1

            The PM was reported as telling prosecutors that he’d like it to go away, and that a letter of regret would do the trick. the letter was written, which expressed regret for the circus but denied that the taping was deliberate, and that the meeting could be construed as private.

            Key told police that that letter was good enough for him, and the police took that as reason not to prosecute.

            Did you really miss all that?

  16. Copra 16

    I keep having this recurring nightmare of a woman with grossly deyed hair going around and crushing things.

  17. Pascal's bookie 17

    Felix Marwick saying that Labour says nothing has been served yet. No official word on anything, other than the press release.

    MPs can’t be served on Parliamentary grounds, question time starts in about 40 mins.

    Andrew Little has one question to the Minister of ACC about when she printed out the Boag Email.

    Gosh.

    • felix 17.1

      What what what?

      I hope you’re not suggesting that Collins and Brownlee are going to try to hide behind court proceedings that don’t even exist. That wouldn’t be kosher would it old boy?

      See also Q1 and Q10. Time to get the popcorn ready. By which I mean beer.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 17.1.1

        Shes refused to answer the questions !

        Thats what its all about now. No more answers – except what they leak

  18. ianmac 18

    I suppose that should the Defamation Case be brought, it would take years to be actioned wouldn’t it? Like such a long time would pass that the relevance would be lost?
    “Who was that Minister? Wonder what that was all about? Colin who?”

    • Anne 18.1

      Yes. I nearly commented on that earlier after one of the tory pixies tried to intimidate us. If a case was brought against those of us on The Standard who have expressed our true feelings about J Collins, we would be dead and buried before it even came to court. :)

  19. Bonn 19

    Collins is a hardwoman. She looks like she eats cement. Like one of those rock eaters in the never ending story.

    • Deb 19.1

      The old “hardwoman” huh – if all reasonable argument escapes one, TG there’s always good old misogyny to fall back on

      • Colonial Viper 19.1.1

        The term hard man often applies so using it equally to women seems fair enough. or would you prefer the term “soft woman” to apply to women?

        Or perhaps you would prefer that Minister Collins not to be referred to as a woman at all?

        • Deb 19.1.1.1

          Your support for this commentator – “eats cement” “rock eater” “hardwoman” is admirable on some level I’m sure, but for my part I see a theme of misogyny in this three sentence post.

  20. Kevin 20

    Privacy Commissioner Marie Shroff has been appointed to investigate the leaks which could include the forensic examination of computers and other devices.
    Now that the Privacy Commission is involved the affair has become ramped up to the extent that it may cost heads at the highest level.

    • And Collins is using this to justify not answering questions in Parliament.  Incredible …

    • ghostwhowalksnz 20.2

      The Minister responsible for the Privacy Commissioner ??

      Why, that would be the the Hon Judith Collins.

      Good luck on expecting her to pull the Minister down, especially Collins

  21. Anne 21

    Her stock answer to all questions today has been:

    since this matter is before the Privacy Commissioner, it is not in the public interest for me to answer the question.

    Despite the fact she was talking publicly about it only this morning – and not all of the questions came under the auspices of the privacy section anyway – our supposedly impartial Speaker has aided and abetted her by letting her get away with it.

    • Pascal's bookie 21.1

      And in spite of the fact that she has served papers to have the whole thing discussed in open court.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 21.1.1

        No no . The result is that it goes away, for years, till it gets to court or dropped at the ‘steps of the court’

        Labour deputy leader Grant Robertson says the MPs involved in Ms Collins’ legal bid are Mallard and Little, and they had received papers.

        So far only solicitors letters I presume.

  22. Johnny 22

    Crusher’s defamation action has the potential to cost us ordinary taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars. She needs a harder, tougher skin. The Government tells us its time for austerity, then we are subjected to an outrageous charade where a Government Minister threatens to sue opposition members for raising issues of public interest. The taxpayer forked out $270,000 for one of Nick Smith’s defamation cases. This time round we could be funding both sides. Jennings costs were $200,000. With three MPs involved, that could mean $600,000 plus. How many staff salaries, operations or school resources would that be better spent on.

    • Deb 22.1

      Johnny, why do you leave out Clark’s two out of court settlements for her defamatory remarks out of your reckonings – both of which we forked out for.

      Mallard has a history of shooting his mouth off, the consequences of this hallmark being personally and politically devastating in some instances. I think it is about time someone called him on it, and if there are legs to this it should be allowed to proceed.

      • lprent 22.1.1

        Probably because they weren’t relevant?

        The post is about a politician taking a defamation case against someone. It isn’t about a member of the public taking a defamation case against a politician. Quite quite different levels of difficulty.

        Basically Judith Collins has about as much chance in court as a snowball has in hell. But I guess it isn’t going to be her money that she will be wasting. It will be ours.

        • Deb 22.1.1.1

          ” Judith Collins has about as much chance in court as a snowball has in hell. But I guess it isn’t going to be her money that she will be wasting. It will be ours”

          It always is when anyone sues a politician.

          The ultimate abuse is attacking anyone’s integrity and honesty, and such an orchestrated, disdainful and repetitive attack on one’s character would make anyone irate. Personally I hope to hell she takes it to them all the way and that as a consequence we may see MP’s behaviour improve in this area.

          • Pete George 22.1.1.1.1

            Another possibility is that David Shearer will start to exert his leadership and instead of just talking about “no gotcha” principles he will convince his MPs to follow his lead and change their practices.

            Leader of the Opposition is often seen as a powerless thankless position waiting for an opportunity, but regarding MP behaviour and party tactics Shearer is in the best position of anyone to make a real difference – to MP behaviour and to Labour’s electoral chances.

            Now is an ideal time to make a mark on this.

            • Inventory2 22.1.1.1.1.1

              Speaking of David Shearer, where is he? Since getting his head shaved on Monday he seems to have disappeared. He hasn’t been in the House all week, but he was able to appear on The Farming Show on Radio Sport yesterday. I thought he was the Leader of the Opposition…

      • Johnny 22.1.2

        I wasn’t writing an essay on MPs legal costs, though I note Gerry Brownlee asked the taxpayer for $48,000 to defend himself against shoving a senior citizen in 1999. He was refused and lost the case. The rules were changed in 2001 to make it easier for MPs to draw on taxpayer funds and seems to favour opposition MPs who are more likely to make critical remarks. But this brings us back to the question? What is the point of MPs. It’s to provide government and to hold government to account. That is what Mallard is doing. So why is a Government Minister suing him using taxpayer funding. The state is displaying fascist tendences.

        • Pete George 22.1.2.1

          It’s to provide government and to hold government to account.

          Yes.

          That is what Mallard is doing.

          Is it? Possibly.

          Or is it to maliciously try to damage Government? Possibly, in which case a Minister must have some right of response.

          And it’s quite possible Mallard thinks he’s doing what he should, and Collins doesn’t think he should. Hence the action to test that.

          We should wait and see if Mallard (and Little and Radio NZ) respond by 5pm, that may give an indication of what they think their degree of rightness is.

  23. Treetop 23

    Assume that there was no Boag email to Collins, Pullar’s identity would still have come out as the person recieving 6752 privacy breaches.

    Slater has put two and two together and probably Lusk knew something from Boag about the December 1 2011 meeting. The two of them (Slater/Lusk) combining what they knew would have come up with Pullars name. Put the spotlight on Slater and Lusk, both had the info, but until they combined the info there was no confirmation and until the ACC client made the comment of an ACC client getting special attention there would not have been a story. Slater and Lusk definitely have sources out there who feed them titbits.

  24. vto 24

    This drama has now turned into a beltway drama. I don’t think people out here in the weather and the work and the earthquakes and the hills and the dales and the shopping malls and the beaches and in bed have even the faintest idea of this nor any care. Not that it isn’t important. Which reminds me, I should get back to the work and earthquakes and weather and hills and bed myself. I waste so much time reading you lot.

  25. Pascal's bookie 25

    Kevin Hague asked Collins to express confidence in ACC chair, John Judge; she declined the oppurtunity.

    • Ross 25.1

      A reporter hould ask Judge if he has confidence in his Minister. I suspect we all know what he’d like to say in response. :)

  26. Kotahi Tane Huna 26

    Judith Collins: “I take my reputation very seriously.”
    QC: “May I remind the court that the plaintiff is a National Party MP.”
    Judge: “Case dismissed.”

    • yeshe 26.1

      best comment all day, thank you !!! loved it. ( are you really Tom Scott ?)

      • Colonial Viper 26.1.1

        hmmmm identity speculation bad

        • yeshe 26.1.1.1

          sorry .. it was intended as a compliment, not a fishing expedition. for me, it was right up there with
          Tom ‘s brilliance. apologies offered.

  27. Johnny 27

    Crusher’s behaviour in the House today was outrageous as she hid from answering parliamentary questions about the Pullar leak. She claimed that it was not in the public interest to answer because of the PC inquiry. What a load of rubbish. The Speaker supported this behaviour, even after Labour MPs reminded him of the Ingram inquiry. The Police investigated Field from 31 August 2006 to 24 May 2007 when he was charged. Throughout that time the responsible Minister answered all of Lockwood Smith’s detailed questions on the issue in the House. None of this, “it’s not in the public interest and you can’t make me” cry baby carry on. If she can tell Radio Live listeners the details in the morning, she can tell the nation’s Parliament the details in the afternoon.
    http://www.parliament.nz/en-NZ/PB/Debates/Debates/7/d/3/48HansD_20070227_00000001-Questions-for-Oral-Answer-Questions-to-Ministers.htm

    • Deb 27.1

      We can see the line she’s pursuing. The normal defence Mallard and Little would probably argue is the “public interest” angle. Collin’s every utterance is designed to display the lack of it due to the PC’s involvement prior to their alleged defamation.

      Let the game begin.

      • Pete George 27.1.1

        Didn’t the Mallard and Little alleged allegations occur after Colins clearly stated she was not responsible?

        I don’t know about legally, but that’s different to just stating an ‘honest opinion’, even if it’s plucked out of the air fishing. It’s stating contrary to a publicly expressed position, so to honestly speak against that they must have some evidence to back it up?

        Mallard and Little appear to have not retracted by the deadline. It’s familiar territory for Mallard, Little may be a bit more apprehensive. Interesting to see him so openly defying Shearer’s “no gotcha” position.

        • lprent 27.1.1.1

          a. It depends what they said.

          b. It depends what Collins said. Her statement was slippery because it was full of interesting qualifiers because she concentrated on how she didn’t leak the e-mail rather than simply stating that she didn’t leak the information. You have to watch for what is not said rather than hearing what you expect to hear.

          c. And yes I suspect that she is likely to be lying because of what she avoided saying. There are more ways of shifting information around than e-mails.

          d. I think that hiding behind a defamation suit that is unlikely to even get in front of a hearing is a hell of a convenient way to avoid answering questions in the house or anywhere else. Since there is no particular reason why she cannot answer questions in the house for a civil case, it just looks like a way to stifle speculation.

          e. And because of that, speculation is going to be rife and loud… Very stupid move.

          f. If I am wrong, I am prepared to make a simple apology – in a few years after the case goes to trial and a judgement is made (and never if it does not)

        • Pascal's bookie 27.1.1.2

          Yes Pete, she denied it a couple of days ago.That doesn’t mean people can’t honestly believe she was being slippery, or even flat out lying.

          She also said that people “can speculate all they like”

          “People can speculate all they like but I’m also aware that it didn’t come from my office and it didn’t come from me – I’m 100% certain.”

          http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/acc-denies-leaking-information-4801207

          • Colonial Viper 27.1.1.2.1

            Only way to be 100% certain is to already know who it did come from.

          • Carol 27.1.1.2.2

            “Yes, I did print out the email, but I never inhaled…. and once it was printed out, it wasn’t an email, so I never shared that woman’s email with anyone…. in the privacy of my office or anywhere else.”

      • Pascal's bookie 27.1.2

        Not sure what you’re getting at here Deb.

        No defence is necessary for anything said in the house. The opposition can ask the minister any question they like relating to the portfolio.

        The minister can refuse to answer on the grounds that to do so is not in the public interest. that’s all that’s happening here.

        Given she has said she’ll sue, (so far it’s only lawyers letters), evrything will come out in the open anyway. this makes her ‘not in the public interest’ line look somewhat disengenuous, but she is still free to do that of course, if she doesn’t want to answer the questions.

        I can’t really see why it isn’t in the public interest to answer the particular questions asked, but that’s by the by.

  28. marsman 28

    Is the Privacy Commissioner the same one who has taken how many years and still has not made public whether Paula Bennett breached privacy rules when she made public private information about beneficiaries? Is that commissioner a NAct appointment? Can ‘Urgency’ be invoked?

  29. toad 29

    Seems that John Key himself may be donkey deep in this.

    Not exactly sure what Close Up have tonight, but definitely worth a watch.

    • Anne 29.1

      toad beat me to it.

      Close Up has explosive new evidence, involving Bronwyn Pullar, John Key and an insurance company

      Oh dear… it’s turning into ultra-turgid syrup!

      • Pascal's bookie 29.1.1

        PMs office has denied any involvement or knowledge by Key of this, to Paddy Gower

        • mickysavage 29.1.1.1

          Gower just tweeted:

          “John Key named as part of support group for Bronwyn Pullar in 2007 insurance claim. PM office says this is wrong; nothing to do with it.”

          This really is a case of getting the pop corn out … 

        • rosy 29.1.1.2

          The words he used about his contact with Pullar are similar to those outlining his contact with the MediaWorks head, aren’t they? – just ran into him at a social function…

  30. Anne 30

    I wanna buy shares in a popcorn-making company.

    • Colonial Viper 30.1

      My guess is staff in the PM’s office will be working late tonight.

      • Frida 30.1.1

        Yep CV lots of lights on in the Beehive when I drove past just now. Loving this!!! Pullargate.

        Also keen to contribute to Little’s and Mallard’s defense fund

  31. Carol 31

    We’re getting an insight into the world of the wealthy and the powerful

    – the Lombard 4 escape jail and show no remorse for misleading investors.

    – National Party people calling of their crony networks to support and $million insurance claim.

    I thought Bryce Edwards misinterpretted one of the Walrus’s questions. He asked about people saying “this doesn’t feel right” – I interpreted that to mean they thought the leaked claims against the Nats seemed contrived. Edwards interpreted it as meaning that people were critical of the Nat ethics, and felt the goings on were out of keeping with mainstream Kiwi ethics.

  32. Anne 32

    I took Edward’s interpretation – and before he answered the Walrus.

  33. randal 33

    this whole government is starting to smell as badly as the last days of the Nixon administration in 1973 before he resigned in disgrace.
    I never thought New Zealand politics would sink this low but there ya go.
    the efforts of slater and his crew that geared up the ‘permanent campaign’ while Labour was in office are now turning into arrogance and sleaze that we ciould do without but it looks like the boil is going to be lanced soon.
    and it wont just be a changing of the guard but a general election and the s.o.b.s’ will get thrown out of office asap.

  34. randal 34

    so…
    where is he tonight?

    • Anne 34.1

      In Queenstown?

    • starlight 34.2

      key will be in queenstown because of the micheal hill golf classic,apparantley the govt
      supports the event and i am sure the tax payers have contributed to the event.
      at least that was in the paper a few days ago.
      At least key and boag can put their heads together on the 19th hole and decide
      how to dig themselves out of this,they may have got rid of the ladder though.
      Hill golf classic march 29th-1st april

      • ianmac 34.2.1

        Will Mr Key be in the House next week for the last 3 days of this session?
        Or will he have urgent business elsewhere? Watch this space!

      • starlight 34.2.2

        PM to tee off,The golf tournament got $500.000 of tax payers money,sthlnd times 26/3

  35. Pascal's bookie 35

    Mallard said he was “absolutely certain” that Collins is serious about taking action, but added: “We’ll see how she feels about that next week.”

    Labour says the ACC minister is using the defamation action and an investigation by the Privacy Commissioner into how the information was leaked as a way to fend off further questioning.

    Radio New Zealand said it is now talking to its lawyers, as are the Labour MPs who say they will pay for lawyers out of their own pocket.

    Collins is refusing to say if the taxpayer will be picking up her bill.

    http://tvnz.co.nz/national-news/mallard-little-ignore-collins-deadline-4805838

    Interesting.

    Collins was quite forthright in her press release that it was the insult to her name that was the issue, rather than a slur on ACC or the ministry.

    One would hope that will be reflected in a decision to pay for her own costs.

    • Jim Nald 35.1

      Out of concern for the public interest (thanks, Collins, for making that phrase reverberate), there are a few of us who would make anonymous donations to the parties defending the case. Would someone care to run the donation campaign online? Happy to walk into a bank and make a cash donation if the bank account number is provided.

  36. So tell me lprent; using your own title (You know you’re in trouble when: The bookies open a contract on you), does this mean that The Standard is is trouble?

    https://www.ipredict.co.nz/app.php?do=contract_detail&contract=COLLINS.STANDARD

    Just askin’ ;-)

    • Pascal's bookie 36.1

      Christ, If I found out that I’d been beaten to the punch on a joke by Pete George, I think I’d pretty much call it a day. ;)

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    Labour campaign | 16-09
  • One of the more populist catch phrases of the Left in this election has been to ‘feed the kids’. With both the Greens and Internet Mana backing the policy, it seems to be a vote winner for politicians. But is...
    Gareth’s World | 16-09
  • The difference between Traffic Engineers and Planners
    We often deride traffic engineers for the road dominant nature of Auckland. Sometimes this can be a bit unfair as we know not all engineers are bad and the term is often be a bit of a catch all phrase for those involved in...
    Transport Blog | 16-09
  • With enemies like these…
    An analysis of Kim Dotcom's big event....
    Imperator Fish | 16-09
  • NZ Inc: Frightening the invisible horses of the market
    Today’s anonymous Herald editorial is scathing of Labour’s NZ Inc policy, which defies all logic and reason by assuming that there are better ways to build our economy than flogging off profitable assets, built by New Zealanders, to foreign investors....
    Boots Theory | 16-09
  • Speaker: In Tribute: Peter Gutteridge and the Hypnotic Groove
    Peter Gutteridge changed my life. In December 1988 I came to Dunedin on holiday for a week from my hometown of Gisborne. I was eager to see some of the fabled Dunedin bands live and I couldn’t have timed it...
    Public Address | 16-09
  • Wendyl Nissen leaves NewstalkZB
    Despite the Prime Minister attempting to downplay the serious issues raised by Dirty Politics, a month on from Nicky Hager's book release and we're still learning more about those who were adversely effected by the numerous Whale Oil smear campaigns...
    The Jackal | 15-09
  • The big picture: Who precisely is monitoring us, and is the GCSB in cahoots...
    The destruction of Dotcom’s credibility last night is a real shame, not because I have any great sympathy for the man (I don’t), but because the wrecking ball that just swung back and collected him will now distract for the very important questions...
    Occasionally erudite | 15-09
  • Thumbs up for the Green Party’s water policy
    At the weekend the Green Party  announced a policy about irrigation – they would charge farmers for the water they use. They’re going to be criticised for saying it, but my word, we all owe them a word of thanks...
    Gareth’s World | 15-09
  • The Chewbacca defence
    People may remember this old South Park classic. Faced with a case he cannot win, a lawyer attempts to distract the jury by introducing irrelevant material and claiming it's a defence. That's pretty much what John Key has done over...
    No Right Turn | 15-09
  • Hard News: Vision and dumbassery
    Part way through last night, the Moment of Truth event at the Auckland Town Hall felt history-making. Journalist Glenn Greenwald had presented documentary evidence -- not a lot, and it was more blasted Powerpoint slides, but easily enough to be...
    Public Address | 15-09
  • The small picture: Dotcom blows it
    For what seems like the longest time, Kim Dotcom has sworn black and blue that he has documentary evidence that categorically proves John Key a liar. John Key has repeated time and again that he had no knowledge of Dotcom...
    Occasionally erudite | 15-09
  • The Moment of Truth
    ...
    The Jackal | 15-09
  • Key left holding the SPEARGUN
    What was by far the most important revelation to come out of the Moment of Truth was Edward Snowden's information about SPEARGUN, which was a project completed in mid 2013 to tap the Southern Cross cable. There is no doubt...
    The Jackal | 15-09
  • Arrest the NSA
    Last night's "Moment of Truth" produced only one big revelation: according to NSA leaker Edward Snowden, the NSA have two bases in New Zealand: one in Auckland and in the north. Lets be clear: if the NSA are intercepting communications...
    No Right Turn | 15-09
  • Allegations re mass surveillance by NZ’s GCSB
    Here are the articles published by Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden about mass surveillance of New Zealand citizens by spy agencies that form part of the FIVE EYES intelligence alliance. These were released in the lead up to the anyway-you-look-at-it...
    The Paepae | 15-09
  • The smoking SPEARGUN
    To me the big reveal yesterday wasn’t in the ‘Moment of Truth’ event, it was in Glen Greenwald’s column on The Intercept, and it was this excerpt from an NSA planning document: So during the huge, bitter debate about the new...
    DimPost | 15-09
  • The smoking SPEARGUN
    To me the big reveal yesterday wasn’t in the ‘Moment of Truth’ event, it was in Glen Greenwald’s column on The Intercept, and it was this excerpt from an NSA planning document: So during the huge, bitter debate about the new...
    DimPost | 15-09
  • The cost of a bowl of Weet-Bix
    One of the most dishonest arguments the right ever put forward on the subject of poverty is around one of the simplest things in life: a bowl of Weet-Bix. Yesterday Nikki Kaye approvingly re-posted a letter to the editor which...
    Boots Theory | 15-09
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: The OIA Gambit
    . . - Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules’ What appears to be an orchestrated  Beehive plot to dig dirt for throwing at Labour leader, David Cunliffe, ahead of a crucial parliamentary debate is revealed in a paper trail linking Immigration Minister,...
    Frankly Speaking | 15-09
  • The Donghua Liu Affair: The OIA Gambit
    . . - Frank Macskasy & ‘Hercules’ What appears to be an orchestrated  Beehive plot to dig dirt for throwing at Labour leader, David Cunliffe, ahead of a crucial parliamentary debate is revealed in a paper trail linking Immigration Minister,...
    Frankly Speaking | 15-09
  • Letter to the Editor – Key makes up any old sh*t, again
    . . From a Fairfax story on 13 September, about visiting investigative journalist, Glenn Greenwald, .   . It was time to take Key to task on his lying BS… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date:...
    Frankly Speaking | 15-09
  • Letter to the Editor – Key makes up any old sh*t, again
    . . From a Fairfax story on 13 September, about visiting investigative journalist, Glenn Greenwald, .   . It was time to take Key to task on his lying BS… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com> to: Dominion Post <letters@dompost.co.nz> date:...
    Frankly Speaking | 15-09
  • MAORI PARTY – DON’T COMPLAIN … WALK
    “If the Maori Party are serious about stopping government spying on NZ citizens then they should tell the Prime Minister to either stop doing it or they will walk away” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira, on...
    Mana | 16-09
  • JOHN KEY SUPPORTING LABOUR
    “There is something really sick about a National Party Prime Minister coming out in support of a Labour candidate” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira, after hearing that John Key is urging voters to back Labour in...
    Mana | 16-09
  • SHUT DOWN THIS GOVT NOT KAITI WINZ – Nikora
    “I’m going to make it as hard for you to get help as I can” is Paula Bennett’s message to the people of Kaiti  said MANA candidate Te Hāmua Nikora today in response to the news that National will close...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Winegums make for better polling – Harawira
    I wanted to laugh when I saw the Native Affairs poll the other night (Hone Harawira 38%, Kelvin Davis 37%) because it was almost the same as the one they did back in 2011”, said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau...
    Mana | 16-09
  • The Leadership of MTS Lied – Harawira
    “Normally I’m happy to tell people that I was right but when I received the news about the staff cuts at Maori Television, I had nothing but sympathy for the three Maori media leaders who are going to be made...
    Mana | 16-09
  • Privileges Complaint Laid against Prime Minister – Harawira
    MANA Movement Leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira has today lodged a Privileges Complaint with the Speaker regarding the Prime Ministers denials in parliament that he knew anything about Kim Dotcom before 2012. “Information made public today appears...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Sharples’ new appointments are out of order
    The new appointments to the Waitangi Tribunal announced by Dr Pita Sharples this morning are completely out of order given the election is just five days away, says Labour's State Services spokesperson, Maryan Street. “This Government continues to show disdain...
    Labour | 15-09
  • MANA Movement Housing Policy
    “When families are living in cars, garages, cockroach-infested caravans and three families to a house then we have a housing crisis”, said MANA leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira. “When you have a housing crisis for low-income...
    Mana | 15-09
  • Bigger than the Foreshore and Seabed – Sykes
    “Over the past week I have received some disturbing information that has led myself and a number of Maori lawyers to conclude that this National - Maori Party - ACT and United Future Government are going to put an end to both...
    Mana | 14-09
  • MANA wants Te Reo Māori petition fulfilled
    Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Annette Sykes, MANA candidate for Waiariki Te Hāmua Nikora, MANA candidate for Ikaroa Rāwhiti  “More than four decades have passed and the petition calling for Te Reo Māori in schools...
    Mana | 14-09
  • Primary focus on the critical issues
    A Labour Government will prioritise New Zealand’s agricultural sectors by recreating a Rural Affairs Minister and appointing a Primary Industry Council and a Chief Agricultural Adviser. Releasing Labour’s Primary Sector and Rural Affairs policies today, spokesperson Damien O’Connor says the...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Maori Television fears confirmed – Harawira
    ...
    Mana | 12-09
  • More ghost houses from National
    The Government’s desperate pre-election announcement of more ghost houses won’t fool Aucklanders wanting action on the housing crisis, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “These are ghost houses, to go with National’s ghost tax cut. Families cannot live in ghost...
    Labour | 12-09
  • National bows to union pressure over travel time
    National has reluctantly bowed to pressure from unions and adopted Labour’s fair and sensible policy to pay home support workers for the time they spend traveling between clients, Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway says. “This decision is long overdue...
    Labour | 12-09
  • Predators on Poverty – Harawira
    “As poverty has ballooned out of control, the Predators on Poverty have emerged to suck the lifeblood from whole families and communities” said MANA Movement leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira. “They are deliberately targeting low-income areas, particularly those...
    Mana | 11-09
  • MANA Movement Policy Launch
    Predators on Poverty (pokie machines, alcohol outlets and loan sharks) 1pm, Thursday 11th September Corner Great South Road and Criterion Street Otahuhu Shopping Centre...
    Mana | 10-09
  • Eliminating Poverty – Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate, Otara | Internet MAN...
    A campaign to Eliminate Poverty, Feed the Kids, build more houses, and create thousands of new jobs, was outlined by Internet MANA at a public meeting in Otara this evening. When MANA and the Internet Party first sat down to...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Housing in Waiariki – Sykes
    Fact:  Under this National-Maori Party-ACT-United Future Government 61% of Maori in Waiariki do not own their own home and nearly 70% of Maori rentals in Waiariki pay $200 or more per week. “Maori in Waiariki have low rates of home ownership...
    Mana | 09-09
  • Charter school crisis shows time to axe costly experiment
    Dysfunction from day one at a Northland charter school shows it is time to dump this costly and failed experiment by the National-ACT Government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Te Kura Hourua ki Whangaruru received $27,000 in government funding...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Labour will crack down on loan sharks
    A Labour Government will crack down on predatory loan sharks by making it illegal both to charge exorbitant interest rates and to exploit uninformed borrowers, Labour’s Consumer Affairs Spokesperson Carol Beaumont says. Labour today released its Consumer Affairs policy which...
    Labour | 08-09
  • Let’s do the FEED before the weed
    “Last week I put out a very strongly worded email to my colleagues about an online promotion about cannabis law reform” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP, Hone Harawira “and I stand by that criticism today.” My concern was...
    Mana | 08-09
  • TE KAEA and NATIVE AFFAIRS live to fight another day
    “I understand that both the chair of the Board of Maori Television, Georgina Te Heuheu, and new CEO, Paora Maxwell, are now saying that my comments this morning about their plans to cut Te Kaea and Native Affairs, were wrong, and that...
    Mana | 08-09
  • How come the PM only pays 2.8% of his income in tax – Harawira
    “Before John Key talks about the piddling tax cuts he plans for low and middle income families today he needs to explain why he only pays 2.8% of his income on tax while a minimum wage worker pays 28% tax,”...
    Mana | 07-09
  • THE DEATH OF INDEPENDENCE FOR MAORI TV
    “If what I’m hearing is true, tomorrow Maori Television Service (MTS) will dump its news programme, Te Kaea, and staff will lose their jobs” said MANA Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Hone Harawira “and the Minister of Maori...
    Mana | 07-09
  • Labour recommits to Pike River families
    An incoming Labour-led government will do everything possible to recover the bodies of the Pike River Miners and return them to their families, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “This tragedy and its aftermath has left the families of the 29...
    Labour | 06-09
  • Voting has started and still no tax plan or fiscal budget for voters to see
    "Even though voting for the election has already begun, National still refuses to provide any details of its proposed tax cuts. And Bill English admitted this morning that he won’t provide any specifics until after the election", Labour’s Finance spokesperson...
    Labour | 06-09
  • National’s partners’ tax plans cost at least $42 billion
    If National forms the next government its partners’ tax plans will cost the country at least $42 billion, and maybe as much as $50 billion, wreaking havoc with the books, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson David Parker. “National claims to be...
    Labour | 05-09
  • Labour: Providing more opportunities for young Kiwis
    A Labour Government will ensure every young Kiwi under the age of 20 is given the opportunity to be in work, education or training, and plans to develop a conservation apprenticeship scheme to help do that, Labour’s Youth Affairs spokesperson...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Candles out on teachers’ slice of birthday cake
    Today may be Novopay’s second birthday, but there’s little to celebrate, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Novopay has cost the taxpayer tens of millions of dollars already, and the cost is still climbing....
    Labour | 04-09
  • National’s blatant broadband pork barrelling misses the mark by a country...
    National’s blatant pork-barrelling ICT announcement today should reinforce a growing sceptical electorate’s view that they are all about the gift wrap and not the present, Labour’s ICT spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Instead of addressing the real issues - the woeful...
    Labour | 04-09
  • More evidence of the need to clean up the system
    The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says. "This new evidence confirms a near constant flow...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Labour commits to stable funding for voluntary sector
    A Labour Government will establish long-term funding and streamline contract accountability for community and voluntary groups, says Labour’s spokesperson for the sector Louisa Wall. Announcing Labour’s policy for the community and voluntary sector, she said this would give much greater...
    Labour | 04-09
  • Better trained and skilled workforce under Labour
    Labour is committed to a skilled workforce that benefits businesses as well as their workers, and will increase workplace training to improve productivity and drive innovation, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes the Government should support New Zealanders into...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will make renting a better option
    Labour will provide greater security of tenure for renters, and build more state and social housing, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Labour believes every kid deserves a decent start in life. That means a warm, dry and secure home....
    Labour | 03-09
  • At least 15 new taxes under National
    John Key is the last person to talk about creating taxes, presiding over a Government that has imposed at least 15 new taxes, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “John Key tried a novel line in the debate last night claiming...
    Labour | 03-09
  • Labour will strengthen New Zealand’s democracy
    A Labour Government will act quickly to protect and enhance New Zealand’s reputation as one of the most open and least corrupt countries in the world, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “The health of any democracy is improved by greater...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement says tax cut on GST must be first priority – Minto
    “If Prime Minister John Key has money available for tax cuts then cutting GST must be the first priority”,  said MANA Movement Economic Justice Spokesperson John Minto. GST is a nasty tax on low-income families”, said Minto. “People in the...
    Mana | 02-09
  • The Maori Party’s Mana-Enhancing Relationship with National – Minto
    “First we had Cameron Slater and David Farrar backing Labour’s Kelvin Davis bid to unseat MANA Movement Leader and MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira.  Now we have Slater writing a pro-Te Ururoa Flavell article on his website, Whale...
    Mana | 02-09
  • There’s Only One Poll That Counts
    “One of the oldest sayings in politics is that there is only one poll that counts – the one on Election Day – and that’s the one that I am focusing on” remarked the MANA Movement candidate for Waiariki, Annette...
    Mana | 02-09
  • Local communities critical to Civil Defence
    Labour will focus on empowering New Zealand communities to be resilient in Civil Defence disasters, says Labour’s Civil Defence spokesperson Clare Curran. Announcing Labour’s Civil Defence policy, she says that Labour will work with schools, voluntary agencies and community groups...
    Labour | 02-09
  • Labour looks to long-life passports, gambling harm review
    A return to 10 year passports and a review of gambling laws are highlights of Labour’s Internal Affairs policy released today. “More than 15,000 New Zealanders signed a petition calling on the Government to revert to the 10 year system...
    Labour | 02-09
  • MANA Movement Leadership stands strong behind Internet MANA relationship
    “There is now, and always will be, a range of views about many issues within our movement and members are free to express them, but Georgina’s views on Kim Dotcom are not shared by the MANA Movement leadership or the vast majority...
    Mana | 01-09
  • Rebuilding the New Zealand Defence Force
    A Labour Government will make it a priority to rebuild the capacity of the Defence Force to carry out the tasks expected of it, says Labour’s Defence Spokesperson Phil Goff. Releasing Labour’s Defence Policy today he said the NZDF has...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Speech to Canterbury Chamber of Commerce
    Today I'm going to talk about our policy package to upgrade and grow our economy and how we turn that growth into a foundation for a decent and fair society. But first I want to address the issue of our...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Commission of Inquiry must have bipartisan support
    The Labour Party is drafting terms of reference for a Commission of Inquiry, Labour’s Shadow Attorney-General David Parker says. “It is abundantly clear there is a need for an independent Commission of Inquiry, chaired by a High Court Judge, into...
    Labour | 01-09
  • Rapid Transit to unclog Christchurch
    Labour will build a 21st century Rapid Transit system for Christchurch, says Labour Leader David Cunliffe. “The long delayed recovery of Christchurch hinges on a modern commuter system for the city. “We will invest $100 million in a modern rail plan...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s commitment to public broadcasting
    A Labour Government will set up a working group to re-establish a public service television station as part of our commitment to ensuring New Zealand has high quality free-to-air local content. “We will set up a working group to report...
    Labour | 31-08
  • A new deal for the conservation estate
    The health of our economy depends on New Zealand preserving and restoring our land, air, water and indigenous wildlife, says Labour’s Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. Announcing Labours Conservation policy, she said that there will be a comprehensive plan to restore...
    Labour | 31-08
  • Labour’s plan to end homelessness
    Labour has a comprehensive approach to end homelessness starting with the provision of emergency housing for 1000 people each year and putting an end to slum conditions in boarding houses, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. “Labour believes that homelessness is not...
    Labour | 30-08
  • Labour: A smarter approach to justice
    A Labour Government will improve the justice system to ensure it achieves real public safety, provides equal access to justice and protects human rights, Labour’s Justice spokesperson Andrew Little says. “Our approach is about tackling the root causes of crime, recognising...
    Labour | 29-08
  • Bad luck National
    ...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • The incredible changing John Key story on mass spying – why the Moment of...
    While the mainstream media continue to try and make the Moment of Truth about Kim’s last minute decision to prolong his battle against John Key past the election into the Privileges Committee, the reality is that the Moment of Truth...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Curwen Rolinson – Themes of the Campaign
    There’s one area of a political campaign that just about everyone, at some point, falls afoul of. The campaign song. I’m not sure quite why it is, but it seems to be almost impossible for political parties to come up...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • GUEST BLOG – Denis Tegg – The NSA slides that prove mass surveillance
    The evidence presented by Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden on The Intercept of mass surveillance of New Zealanders by the GCSB is undeniable, and can stand on its own. But when you place this fresh evidence in the context of...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Ukraine, United Kingdom, Ireland, Scotland
    The Ukrainian civil war discomforts me. It seems to me the most dangerous political crisis since the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. And it’s because of our unwillingness to examine the issues in a holistic way. We innately prefer to...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man – the relationship intensifies
    John Key’s love affair with the straw man is now a fully-committed relationship. It’s now the first love of his life. Sorry Bronagh. Yesterday I pointed to Key’s constant assurances that there is no mass surveillance of New Zealanders by...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • A brief word on why Wendyl Nissen is a hero
    Wendyl Nissen is a hero. The sleazy black ops attack on her by Slater and Odgers on behalf of Grocery Council chief executive Katherine Rich is sick. All Nissen is doing in her column is point out the filth and...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • She saw John Key on TV and decided to vote!
    . . NZ, Wellington, 15 September – ‘Tina’* is 50, a close friend,  and one of the “Missing Million” from the last election. In fact, ‘Tina’ has never voted in her life.  Not once. In ‘Tina’s’ own words, politics has...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Eminem sues National Party for unlawful use of ‘Lose yourself’ bhahahah...
    …ahahahahahahahaha. Oh Christ this is hilarious… National Party sued over Eminem copyright infringment US rapper Eminem is suing the National Party for allegedly breaching copyright by using his song Lose Yourself in its campaign advertisements. The Detroit-based publishers of Eminem’s...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • Are the Greens about to be snookered by a Labour-NZ First Government?
    I wrote last week that it was smart politics that the Greens pointed out they could work with National, the soft blue vote that’s looking for a home in the wake of Dirty Politics isn’t going to Labour, so the...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • BLOGWATCH: Fonterra join 2Degrees and boycott Whaleoil
    In the wake of Dirty Politics, advertisers are pulling their advertising out of Whaleoil. PaknSave, Evo Cycles Pukekohe, Localist, 2 Degrees, Fertility Associates, iSentia, NZ Breast Cancer Foundation, Maori TV, Bookme.co.nz, Dobetter.co.nz and the Sound are now joined by Fonterra...
    The Daily Blog | 16-09
  • PM Key accused of allowing secret ‘spook’ cable sensors to spy on citiz...
    Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Glenn Greenwald (left) and Kim Dotcom at the “moment of truth” political surveillance meeting in Auckland last night. Image: PMW By ANNA MAJAVU of Pacific Media Watch NEW ZEALAND Prime Minister John Key has been accused of...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Fiji pre-election ‘politics’ blackout stirs media protests, frustration
    BLACKOUT DAY – Monday, day one of the “silence window” in Fiji leading up to the close of polling in the general election at 6pm on Wednesday. And this is under the draconian threat of a $10,000 fine or five...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • “Now the work of movements begins”: government corruption, media bias, ...
    I am so tired of the dirty politics of the National government, aren’t you? I am tired of John Key and his pathetic attacks on award-winning journalists who have spent their careers fighting and digging for truth and good. The...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Moment of Truth review, smoking guns and the awful coverage by the NZ msm
      There were queues unlike any the Town Hall has seen, 1000 were turned away once it became full…     …full to the rafters. The energy and atmosphere within the room was extraordinary, and it begun…   …Glenn Greenwald...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Why Maori TV’s Te Tai Tokeraou Poll will be proved wrong
    If Hone Harawira had a dollar every time the media wrote off his chance of winning Te Tai Tokeraou, he would have more money than Kim Dotcom. Remember the by-election? Hone was 1 point ahead of Kelvin in an exact...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • September 15 RNZ interviews – and then the Moment of Truth
    . Acknowledgement: Emmerson . 15 September – Leading up to the Moment of Truth public meeting this evening, these Radio NZ interviews are worth listening to; . Alt link . Alt link . Alt link . Alt link . Alt...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Live Stream: Moment of Truth Tonight 7pm
    Live Video Stream by eCast: The Daily Blog will Live Stream the Moment of Trust public meeting from 7pm. The meeting will feature Glenn Greenwald, Kim Dotcom, Robert Amsterdam, and a very special guest…...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • The proof Key lied about GCSB mass surveillance
    And we start getting to the evidence that proves Key has lied about mass surveillance. The article by Glenn Greenwald is out and it is beyond damning… Documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden show that the government worked in...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • A brief word on the Ede-Slater emails
    Every day I have rushed to read the paper to see if a breaking story on the Ede-Slater emails had broken yet. They haven’t. Day after day, where are these emails? We know Rawshark sent the emails to David Fisher...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • The email that proves Key is a liar
    This is the Email proving Key knew about Kim Dotcom before he claims he did… “We had a really good meeting with the Prime Minister. He’s a fan and we’re getting what we came for. Your groundwork in New Zealand...
    The Daily Blog | 15-09
  • Henchmen
    Henchmen...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why it simply isn’t credible that Key stepped in and shut down the mass s...
    Key’s staggering admission that yes there was a year long business model by the GCSB to mass spy on all of NZ but  that he stepped in and shut it down after Cabinet had signed it off just sounds like make...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Key’s love affair with a straw man
    Politicians like putting up straw men for the purpose of self-righteously knocking them over. Prime Minister John Key has a particular straw man he loves to punch over. He raises it whenever he’s asked about mass surveillance of New Zealanders...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • John Armstrong turns on Glenn Greenwald
    Where does a mediocre journalist like John Armstrong get off attacking a journalist with the credibility of Glenn Greenwald as he has in his ridiculous column today? Armstrong has the audacity to try and play the terrorism card to justify why...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Denis Tegg – Which of John Key’s many statements on the GC...
    We already have Glenn Greenwald’s assertion on The Nation that John Key has misled New Zealanders as to whether the GCSB has engaged in mass surveillance of Kiwis. But Key has made many other statements about the GCSB’s powers and...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Election 2014: Numbers and Faces
    Democratic politics is a game of numbers and faces. How can we translate the numbers into the 120 or more faces that will be in the next Parliament? Below is my prediction of a likely result: 120 people, divided by...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Scotland the brave
    The possibility that Scotland will vote for independence this Thursday has panicked the British establishment. An unholy alliance of Tory, Labour, Liberal and corporate leaders has resorted to fear-mongering and bullying on grand scale in a last ditch effort to...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Why Key’s denials sound so off and why Dotcom’s fight is all our fight
    The shrillness of Key is the issue. His denials just too forced and rehearsed. Key has gone from Hollow Man to Shallow Man with his lashing out at Pulitzer Price winning Journalist Glenn Greenwald by calling him a ‘henchman’. This...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a S...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • Letters to the Editor – Spies, Lies, Five Eyes, and other matters on a Su...
    . . Sharing a few thoughts and observations with newspaper editors around the country… . from: Frank Macskasy <fmacskasy@gmail.com>to: Sunday Star Times <letters@star-times.co.nz>date: Sun, Sep 14, 2014 subject: Letter to the Editor . The Editor Sunday Star Times . Our...
    The Daily Blog | 14-09
  • As TDB predicted, Labour to use universal super fund to buy back assets and...
    Greens about to be snookered again?   As The Daily Blog has pointed out several times now, Labour will use a universal super fund to buy back NZs assets in a bid to offer Winston a legacy project… Labour plans...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • A lesson in caring for our most vulnerable
    Some of the comments on this article make me sick. Because I am so very much over people who think they are better than others because things have gone their way in life and think those who aren’t as functional...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • GUEST BLOG: Anjum Rahman – Please vote positive
    One of the features of campaigning is the meet-the-candidates event.  As an opportunity to present policies to the voter, they aren’t the best vehicle but still serve a useful purpose.  The problem is that there are too many candidates and...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • For this who don’t vote this election
    For this who don’t vote this election...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Where does Key get off abusing a Pulitzer prize winning Journalist like Gle...
    We are seeing the Dirty Politics PM today when Key decided the best way to counter the Glenn Greenwald claims of GCSB mass surveillance was to denigrate Greenwald… Prime Minister John Key says he will prove Glenn Greenwald’s claims by the...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Teflon Man No More
    . .   On 26 August, as Nicky Hager’s expose on New Zealand’s right wing politics hit public consciousness and confirmed our worst fears, I wrote, “Dirty Politics” has achieved more than simply revealing  unwholesome machinations between National party apparatchiks,...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • Dear mainstream media – regarding Key’s promise to resign if GCSB expos...
    Dear Mainstream media. How’s it all going? I would like to acknowledge the deep depression many members of the Press Gallery are going through as their boy Key looks less and less likely to win. I appreciate how a loss...
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • It’s official: ACT’s Jamie Whyte is several-sandwiches-and-a-salad sho...
    .   . There aren’t very many times I agree wholeheartedly with our Dear Leader – but on this occassion I believe he spoke for those 99% of New Zealanders for whom common sense is as natural as breathing air....
    The Daily Blog | 13-09
  • ‘I’ll not be intimidated … by cowards’, says Fiji death threat jour...
    Fiji Sun’s Jyoti Pratibha … death threats via fake Facebook profiles. Image: Pacific Scoop THE PARIS-based media freedom advocacy organisation Reporters Sans Frontières and the Pacific Media Centre have condemned threats and intimidation against political reporters this week covering Fiji’s...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Glenn Greenwald on TV3s ‘The Nation’ – Everyone remember when Key pro...
    Glenn Greenwald has just given his first NZ interview on TV3s ‘The Nation’ and what he had to say was incredibly damaging. Glenn is here for Kim Dotcom’s Moment of Truth on Monday and what he has just had to...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • What will soft National vote do, why Colin Craig will be a focus in final w...
    In what has been the most unpredictable elections of our time, the final week promises more shocks and bombshells than World War One trench warfare. We have the media who still have the Rawshark emails that detail the Ede-Slater exchanges....
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Would a National-Conservative Party reduce rights to an abortion? Legalise ...
    With the possibility of a Conservative-National Party coalition looming, let’s consider the impact of this new hard right religious Government on social policy. We know Conservative Party candidate Edward Saafi, believes the inability to legally bash your kids is responsible for teenage prostitution, teenage pregnancy and...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • ACTs solution to crime – more guns?
    How insane are the ACT Party? Honestly? Their solution to crime is to arm every shop keeper with a sawn off shotgun??? “Criminals are well aware that shopkeepers are defenceless and are taking advantage of this in brutal robberies. What...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • John Key’s gift to teenage girls…
    Yesterday I was at the MANA Movement policy release on “Predators on Poverty” in the Otahuhu Shopping Centre. Successive Labour and National governments have left vulnerable communities on their own to face these merciless thieves who prey on the poor...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Poverty denial – Where does National get its advice from?
    National is displaying a quite inadequate understanding of their own policies and worrying inability to respond to criticism. When John Key trots out his old, tired example of how ‘work pays’ on Morning Report this week to justify leaving 260,000...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Education reformers mean well, so what’s the problem?
    The thing about education reformers is that, mostly, they mean well. Whether it’s charter schools, National Standards, Teach First, or another reform, many people involved have good intentions.  They want to improve things, try something new and innovate, they say. The thing...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • My brain hurts
    My brain hurts.  This election year has been a really long nine months.  The lies, the headlines, the spin, the policy, the chat, I am literally overloaded with information.  At times it’s been exhausting trying to keep up.  However I...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Slater loses Blomfield defamation case – has to pays costs & must dis...
    Great victory for Journalism today. The Defamation case Matt Blomfield took against Slater has jumped its first hurdle, Slater has been told he might be a ‘Journalist’, but he has no right to journalistic protection of his sources because there was no...
    The Daily Blog | 12-09
  • Seeing an Economic Vision
    It has been some time since my last post to TDB. I was fortunate to recently come back to NZ briefly for a bit of a break from my work in Pakistan. While my visit was super short, I took...
    The Daily Blog | 11-09
  • The MANA Plan for Beneficiaries and Income in Waiariki
    Median Personal Income for Waiariki is $21,700. Over 13,000 Maori who live in Waiariki rely upon a form of government benefit including the Unemployment Benefit, Sickness Benefit, Domestic Purpose Benefit and the Invalids Benefit....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • IGIS: No Indiscriminate Interception of NZers’ Data Found
    “As part of my role as Inspector-General, I review whether the GCSB complies with the restrictions upon interception of New Zealanders’ communications and with the requirement to intercept communications only for authorised purposes. That review...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Conservatives Break through 5% Threshold
    Reports in today’s Dominion Post that the Conservative Party is polling at 6% in Nationals internal polling are not surprising says the Conservative Napier candidate Garth McVicar....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Hundreds of Students Turn Out for Political Debate
    With only a few days left before the general election, over 500 Victoria students packed the central Hub space on campus today to listen to a political debate on student issues organised by the Students’ Association. Victoria University of Wellington...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Ex-prisoners make most of mentoring to make most of life
    It’s not every day that an organisation triples a programme in size, but PARS Inc (formerly known as the Prisoners’ Aid and Rehabilitation Society of the Auckland District Inc) has managed to do just that with their Community Mentoring Scheme,...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Unscrupulous worker highlights why 90-days works
    Federated Farmers believes the experience of a husband and wife farming team in Taranaki underscores why the 90-days provision is so important to small businesses. “Yesterday a member called 0800 FARMING to alert us to a guy doing the rounds...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Eye to Eye Uploaded
    Leading Maori broadcaster and political commentator Willie Jackson previews Eye to Eye Uploaded, a multi-platform series of interviews that he’s aiming to put in front of media radars next year....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Party Rankings against Inequality
    Revealed: which party will do the most to reduce New Zealand’s growing inequality crisis...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Maritime Union backs change of Government
    The Maritime Union says a change of Government is required to deliver secure jobs and decent wages for New Zealand workers....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Green Party package for newborns welcomed
    16 September 2014 Media Release The New Zealand College of Midwives has welcomed a policy announced today by the Green Party which would provide a package of essential items for every newborn baby. The College is a non partisan organisation...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • ALCP Release Election Manifesto
    The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party has released its manifesto in the lead up to the election on Saturday....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Election Daily Update #9
    John Key’s National Party appears to have received a major boost from last night’s “Moment of Truth” event, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. Despite no major changes...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Eminem Publishers Sue New Zealand National Party
    Detroit-based music publishing companies sue National Party for damages for unauthorised use of song in election campaign advertising...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Parties Back Rethink of WINZ Shared Care Parenting Laws
    Overwhelming Majority of Parties Back Rethink of WINZ Shared Care Parenting Laws. Press release- Fifty Fifty Campaign, 16 September 2014 National is the only political party willing to defend the way WINZ treats separated parents who share their kids...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Parents Smacking Down Prime Minister
    "John Keys failure to deliver on his promise to change the anti-smacking law is costing National votes, and helping the Conservative Party," says Colin Craig....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Political Debate on Family Violence – Video & Audio
    The Dunedin Collaboration Against Family Violence was happy to host a political debate on Family Violence chaired by Professor Nicola Atwool of the University of Otago. Family Violence is a huge problem in our community and we invited representatives...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Greens Take Nanny State To A New Level
    Family First NZ is labelling the Green’s ‘welcome package’ for newborns policy as wasteful and misdirected. “This policy is taking ‘nanny state’ to a new level but indicates just how much the Greens want to intervene in family life,”...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • 2,100 people send message about dirty politics
    2,100 people have signed their name to a full-page open letter featuring in the New Zealand Herald this Wednesday. The letter is designed to send a message to politicians that dirty politics is an important election issue....
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Are DoC manipulating Rat Numbers?
    Ban 1080 Political Party co-leader Bill Wallace says there are serious rumours DoC has changed their rat counting technique to cover up the lack of the mythical “Rat Plague” claimed by the Department in Kahurangi National Park, and also that...
    Scoop politics | 16-09
  • Average Full time Student Is in Financial Distress
    A new survey has found that nearly half of all full time students are in significant financial distress....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Key and Cunliffe, research revealed by Ancestry.com.au
    Contrasting family histories of John Key and David Cunliffe, revealed by research from Ancestry.com.au....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Revelations a Damning Indictment of Key’s Honesty
    The Prime Minister’s honesty is now central to the election, says Internet Party Leader Laila Harré, following the revelations of whistleblower Edward Snowden that there is mass surveillance of New Zealand citizens by the GCSB....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Organisations Have ‘Duty of Care’ for Players says Law Firm
    Concussion injuries in amateur and professional sporting arenas are currently highly topical. Concussion potentially appears to have been implicit in the recent death of a young player in Northland....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Media Release from Closing the Gap on Health and Housing
    “Inequality is the biggest problem facing New Zealand at the present time” says Peter Malcolm National Secretary of Closing the Gap. It underlies many of our social ills, poverty, lack of trust, an economy that could do much better, and...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Expanding Whānau Ora – a bottom line for Māori Party
    Leaving the best to last, the Māori Party has launched its Whānau Ora policy today following a fun family event at Te Ore Ore Marae in Masterton last night. “When we change what happens in our homes, we change what...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Colin Craig’s Incredible Claims Continue
    Hot on the heels of a Conservative Party candidate proposing to double the price of a bottle of wine, Colin Craig has come up with an even more fantastic idea to buttress his uncosted tax policy....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • The Letter: Jamie Whyte is going to Parliament
    Friday night’s TVNZ Colmar Brunton poll puts Jamie Whyte in Parliament. TVNZ rounded down the poll result (ACT was on 1.2%). With the high wasted Conservative vote, just 1.2% makes Jamie an MP. It is ACT, not NZ First that...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Why are we letting Dotcom steal our election?
    Why are we letting a convicted German fraudster and his American polemicists steal our election?...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ACT’s five point plan
    ACT has a five point plan to grow the economy by a third. To lift economic growth from the Treasury's long term forecast of just two percent to three....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Christchurch rebuild cost sharing plan must be improved
    “The agreement between the government and the Christchurch City Council about sharing costs of the rebuild is due to be revised in December, as some costs are more accurately known now than they were originally,“ says Warren Voight, Local...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ‘Key vs. Cunliffe’ Final Live NZ Election Reactor
    ohn Key and David Cunliffe go head to head for the final time on TV One on Wednesday as Election Day looms. Roy Morgan wants to know what you think about their performance as the leaders try one last time...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Chamber welcomes Business Growth Agenda priorities
    Wellington Employers’ Chamber of Commerce welcomes the National Government’s 10 highest priorities for its Business Growth Agenda as essential to continuing strong business performance and economic growth....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • #SafeSource NZ – A secure way to share the truth
    Dirty politics and a dirty environment go hand in hand. Our country’s future as a fairer, cleaner, more prosperous place is being threatened by backroom deals, corporate cronyism and a lack of transparency....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Last vid to encourage youth vote
    Here's the third and final in our series to boost the youth vote. It's called CINDER and it's a play on the popular dating app....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Fee hikes restrict student choices
    A survey of 5000 students from across the tertiary sector shows that tuition fees have increased at the maximum level permitted. Fees are constraining students’ choices more than ever before. Although tuition fees are only permitted to increase...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • ACT’s five point plan to grow the economy
    ACT has a five point plan to double the rate of economic growth. The Treasury long term forecast for growth is 2% a year. We can lift it to 4%....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • iPredict Daily Election Update
    National’s forecast party vote has risen to 45.3% over the last day, at the expense of Labour and the Greens, according to the combined wisdom of the 8000+ registered traders on New Zealand’s predictions market, iPredict. A National/Act/UnitedFuture/Maori...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • National’s economic strategy attack workers’ rights
    The National Party’s ‘Workplaces’ policy confirms that their economic growth strategy relies on attacks on workers rights, according to FIRST Union....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Questions Raised Over Cow Deaths
    The death of 200 cows after eating a new variety of PGG Wrightsons HT swedes [1] is a disaster for New Zealand farmers....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Final decision on Ruakura Development Plan Change
    The independent Board of Inquiry considering the Ruakura Development Plan Change has released its final report and decision. The Board has approved the plan change request but with amendments....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Confirmed – Smacking Law Needs Correction
    Family First NZ says that the ONE News Vote Compass survey showing only 23% support the anti-smacking law is no surprise, and confirms that it’s time the politicians listened to New Zealand families....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Kiwi voters urged to heed warnings
    Kiwi voters would do well to note the advice given this week to Queensland people by retired judge and renowned corruption fighter Tony Fitzgerald, according to Democrats for Social Credit health spokesman David Tranter....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Fisheries policy analysis produces surprising results
    Nine political party policies were analysed to determine which party had the most public friendly fisheries policy and the results surprised LegaSea, an apolitical fisheries lobby group. “For the first time, recreational fishers have been offered...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • $3m to help keep Hutt families healthy
    National Party candidate for Hutt South, Chris Bishop, welcomes news Hutt City Council has been selected to lead a $3 million anti-obesity initiative in Lower Hutt which will help families improve their health. “Healthy Families NZ is National’s new...
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • Community organisations struggling
    The survey, conducted by community sector network ComVoices, highlights the high level of frustration and urgency being felt by those who deliver services, says group Chairperson, Peter Glensor. 311 organisations completed the survey....
    Scoop politics | 15-09
  • NZ 2014 Election Index – 6-11 September
    Below is iSentia’s weekly Election Index for the period 6 to 11 September, showing the relative amount of coverage of nine Party Leaders in the lead up to the National Election across news media and social media. We will publish...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Workers despair at Nationals lack of fairness
    “Nationals Workplaces policy, released today, fails to articulate any vison about how life for working New Zealanders can be improved.” CTU President Helen Kelly said. “Again if this policy focusses on removing work rights, its own documents...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • National tries to dodge the discussion on workers’ rights
    New Zealanders deserve a proper conversation about National’s plans to keep undermining the real value of their wages and conditions at work. “Today National has released a ‘workplace policy’ which will further widen the imbalance of power between...
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Didn’t Get Your Easyvote Pack? You Need to Enrol Now.
    If you didn’t get an EasyVote pack in the mail last week, you need to check your enrolment now as you may not be enrolled....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
  • Survey shows television without adverts could be vote winner
    Survey shows television without adverts could be a vote winner Television news focuses too much on politicians' personalities and not enough on the real issues, according to a UMR survey commissioned by the Coalition for Better Broadcasting....
    Scoop politics | 14-09
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