A really crappy day

Written By: - Date published: 5:00 am, August 18th, 2009 - 37 comments
Categories: activism, police - Tags:

I hadn’t been to a protest in months. After everything I’ve been through, activist stuff tends to make me more than a little angry, which is part of the reason I’ve kept away from the front line for a while. Of course, being as assertive as I am, whenever there is trouble, it seems to be me who ends up bearing the brunt of it. Not so today.

I went to a midday lecture, with the intent of meeting with an old friend for lunch afterwards. As it turned out, the friend had been in court supporting the Operation Eight defendants. So lunch was a meeting of many old friends eating a nice vegan Hare Krishna meal on campus in Auckland. Naturally one thing led to another, and the rest of the day was spent at the High Court watching the shambles of a hearing into the validity of surveillance used as evidence. While I still make no judgment (now that terrorism is ruled out) as to the overall validity of the minor cases’ against the majority of defendants I know very little about, there are a couple of good friends involved whom I do have faith in. One of the defendants was a friend of my fathers a couple of decades ago, and with him, for me the jury is still out.

Anyhow, I watched in court for a while, listening to police witnesses being cross-examined, and photographic evidence being questioned over and over as to whether the places in question were private or public land (both legally contentious then, but perhaps not once the new Search and Surveillance Bill which I will write more about later is passed into law). Eventually, not being familiar with the places in question, I left courtroom 12.

There had been a policeman standing in the common area outside the courtroom since I had first arrived. At various times, I had seen him looking through photograph sheets of activists, trying to match everyone up. Seemingly, he had had problems fitting me into the story. Perhaps my absence from anything exciting in a few months had resulted in my removal from the “wanted lists’. Fairly unlikely given my knowledge of the people on those lists (including people involved in protests for at most a month or two some years ago). More likely they were using that really old original mugshot of me from when I was 16. Various people were telling me that every time I walked past, he would again pull out the photo sheet and attempt to identify me. Perhaps, seven years on I look a little different?

On my way out of the High Court building, I approached this policeman and asked: “So, have you managed to find a picture of me on your photo-sheet yet?”, to which I got the simple response “No”. The “No” seemed to be a bit defensive though, more like he was denying looking at any photo-sheets in the first place rather than my position on them. So off I went on my merry way.

Outside the court I saw the same policeman looking at “us” with interest while talking on a cellphone. Attempting some sort of “counter-surveillance”, a friend of mine who happens to be a photography student with a flash camera tried to take a photograph him. I was standing with another friend a little way down the road, and saw the policeman grab the photographer, looking like he was attempting an arrest. We immediately ran up to the action to see what was going on. The policeman had the photographer with his hands behind his back, camera still in one hand. I asked the policeman if he was planning to arrest the photographer, to which the response was “no”. I then informed the policeman that if he was not placing the man under arrest, he had no lawful right to detain him. Meanwhile, the 18 year old female friend I had with me (also the brother of the photographer) took the camera out of the photographers hand in an attempt to prevent any damage. The policeman continued his hold on the photographer for a further 30 seconds or so, before finally conceding and letting him go. I then informed the policeman that if he were to apologise then and there, I would not take the matter further. He refused.

I wrote down the policeman’s badge number, evident on his uniform, and requested his name and rank. He refused to give me those details. I then requested that he radio his superiors with a request for them to review the situation and to take note of a complaint of assault. Initially that was refused, however under sustained pressure he appeared to give in. I could not hear what conversation went on, but the conclusion seemed to be that no action would be taken. At that point I made a decision to phone 111 and report that I had been a witness to an assault, and to request the presence of a uniform incident car to deal with the situation. The 111 callcentre informed me that they would take note of the complaint, but that any further response would be decided by someone higher up the chain of command. I supplied my personal details, and the badge number (AY40) of the policeman involved.

Having finished the emergency call, I then attempted to find out whether anyone had been witness to the assault. There was a truck parked on the road right next to where we were, so I asked both the truck driver and another man standing near whether they had witnessed the event. Both said they had not seen anything. I then asked a parking warden a few metres down the street whether she had witnessed anything. She told me that her back was turned and she also didn’t see anything. I got the feeling that the parking warden had actually seen the events unfold, but for perhaps fair enough reasons, didn’t want to get involved. Within a couple of minutes, a police paddy-wagon drove out of the carpark of the High Court and parked next to where we were all standing. Two policemen got out of the paddy-wagon and approached myself, the two other witnesses, and the policeman concerned. The only potential impartial witness left at the scene was the parking warden.

The two policemen who arrived split up, one interviewing us “activists”, while the other interviewed very briefly the policeman we had alleged committed an assault. Then, one policeman was left to interview us witnesses, while the other took aside the photographer who was assaulted. They took each of our personal details, in turn doing a QP (Query Person) on each of us to find out who was “known to the police” and who had “criminal convictions”.

As it turned out, the “senior constable”, Owen Arapai, badge number WS94 interviewed myself and the other witnesses. The “rookie constable” (4 months into the job), Nga Paratainga, badge number AL39 interviewed the photographer / victim of the alleged assault..

At first, things seemed to be going well. I felt surprised that despite my much suppressed pessimism in the police (everyone else told me it was a waste of time calling 111), they actually seemed to be taking the complaint somewhat seriously. The “perpetrator” was for a while left standing by himself looking very worried.

Next, despite my feeling that all was going well, I, the other witnesses, and the photographer / victim were warned for a “breach of the peace”. I told the Senior Constable that if he felt there had been some sort of breach of the peace, he should arrest us (after all, breach of the peace is supposed to mean “we could charge you, but have decided to be nice and let you off”). The Senior Constable backed off.

I then suggested to the Senior Constable that he go interview the parking warden as a potential witness, still standing a few metres down the road. I was told that I had no right to tell him how to do his job. I explained that I wasn’t “telling him” anything, but was simply making a suggestion. I then got a fairly lengthy lecture about how he was more than capable of doing his job without my help. Eventually though (after again speaking to the perpetrator who it must be said looked a little more relaxed after that talk), he did move down the road to it interview that potential witness.

All seemed to be finishing up, and I was expecting a summing up of the conclusions reached by the officers called to the scene. While the “senior constable” was finishing up with the parking warden, the “rookie constable” engaged in some friendly conversation. He also let slip that when they were finished, they had a “separate” incident they wished to speak with my 18 year old female friend about. When he said “separate incident”, I assumed that he was talking about an event on some previous day, clearly not the “incident” at hand.

When the “senior constable” was free, both officers approached my friend, and informed her she was under arrest for “assault on a police officer”, read her her rights, hand cuffed her, and put her in the back of the paddy-wagon. We were all struggling to think what this “separate incident” was about. The officers told us that the matter at hand had been dealt with, and that any formal complaint would have to be laid at the Auckland Central Police Station. We asked where our friend was being taken, and were told she would also be taken to the Auckland Central Police Station.

So, off the rest of went to the Auckland Central Police Station, both to lay that formal assault charge, and to wait for our friend to be released from custody. What a waste of time. We were informed that the “desk sergeant” was unavailable, and therefore we couldn’t be officially interviewed about the assault we wished to complain about. We were offered only an IPCA form to fill out, which we were advised upon a quick call to our lawyer, to leave for later.

We then wandered down to the “watch house” section of the police station. This is where you can inquire about prisoners and await their release. When we asked about our friend we were told that she wasn’t there. I then phoned our lawyer to request she inquire about our friend. Our lawyer called Auckland Central, where we were told our friend would be taken. They had no records of her. I then requested our lawyer phone and inquire at the Downtown Police Station. Downtown Police Station were told that she had been taken there, but would now be transferred to Auckland Central. So we waited for the next couple of hours at Auckland Central.

At one point while waiting, we were told by an officer leaving the station that the reason our friend was being delayed was because she was refusing to co-operate with standard processing, such as being fingerprinted and having her mugshot taken. I requested to speak with her, asserting that I may be able to change her mind. My request was refused. So I got back on the phone to our lawyer and requested that she phone and request to speak with our friend to make sure everything was okay, and to inform her of what she was and was not legally obliged to do.

As it turned out, our friend was more than willing to comply with the “usual processing”, such as formal mugshots and fingerprinting, but had refused to dress up and stand particular ways for photographs in her cell, that had been requested by in her words “3 big men threatening me”. She was told she wouldn’t be released from custody unless she complied with the unreasonable requests. When she asked what law they were supposedly doing all this under, one supposedly said “under section… I’ll have to go find out”. Of course that officer never did find out what section of what act, because no such section of any such act exists. She refused the demands, and was eventually released without complying.

Before being released however, she was forced to sign a bail form agreeing not to enter the Auckland CBD, and not to go near the Auckland High Court. She alleges these conditions were added after she signed the form, and in any case when she was released, they did not give her a copy of the bail form as is usual practice. We got outside the police station when I finally asked to see the bail form, and it was then she told me she didn’t have a copy. I then marched us back up into the police station and asked her to request a copy. They found one for her, and I then requested that the Auckland CBD ban be amended to allow her to visit her lawyer who both lives and works inside the CBD. She was told she would have to arrange for her lawyer to meet her outside of the CBD.

Auckland CBD bans make life rather difficult if you rely on public transport – I had a similar stupid bail condition when I was 16, and it makes you realise fast how all Auckland public transport centres around the CBD. Fortunately, her bail condition only lasts until she appears in court on Friday, where hopefully the ridiculous condition will be chucked. On the upside, she has a great excuse for not attending the rest of the Operation Eight hearings this week 🙂

It turns out her charge for “assaulting a police officer” was for an offense today, so just as the police lied about taking her straight to the Auckland Central Police Station, they also lied about it being a “separate incident”. Personally, I think they wanted to get their mate out of the shit and picked out who they saw as the youngest, most vulnerable of us to arrest.

Incidentally, the photographer thought he recognised the policeman who assaulted him, and upon checking with our lawyer, it turns out he already has a case lodged against the very same officer for a separate incident which fortunately was caught on video camera, and hence not subject to any “he said she said” bullshit.

So all in all, my trying to help the situation and attempting to resolve an assault failed miserably, and only resulted in an innocent friend being charged. I guess the message is to let the police act above the law and hope for the best?

37 comments on “A really crappy day ”

  1. BLiP 1

    You’re right, Rocky – pigs really are far better behaved than that lot.

  2. ghostwhowalks 2

    Maybe dozens of people should turn up at court, since now under the Jackboot State, merely attending a trail makes you a person under suspicion.

  3. delusionalbob 3

    You wrestle with pigs…

    What do you expect my dear young things, warm scones and cups of tea?

    • BLiP 3.1

      No. But, seriously, since when is “kaupapa whai oranga mo te iti me te rahi” out of the question?

  4. outofbed 4

    ah takes me back..

  5. lprent 5

    Incidentally, the photographer thought he recognised the policeman who assaulted him, and upon checking with our lawyer, it turns out he already has a case lodged against the very same officer for a separate incident which fortunately was caught on video camera, and hence not subject to any “he said she said’ bullshit.

    So in effect this is a police man assaulting someone who has complaint/case against him. It is no wonder that

    I wrote down the policeman’s badge number, evident on his uniform, and requested his name and rank. He refused to give me those details.

    the officer didn’t want to give a name. That is a hell of a bad look for the police. From memory they are required to give those details when asked.

    The arrest sounds like the police are attempting to intimidate a complaint away. Probably explains the games with a female prisoner in booking as well. A few male cops getting their jollies? Or basic intimidation? Either way it all looks like bad news

    When is the operation 8 case on? Sounds like it is time to go down and start a wholesale photographing campaign on the police.

    • rocky 5.1

      If you want to be arrested sure, by all means come down to the High Court any day this week from 10am. They are all rather touchy about photographs being taken. Obviously you can’t take them inside the court, but if you see them outside… Just don’t expect to do so without repercussions, as they made abundantly clear yesterday.

    • rolla_fxgt 5.2

      lprent

      Cops have to give you there badge number if requested, but not there name or rank, though if they’re being a good sort they usually will.
      Usually the only reasons they won’t give it to you is if you’re being a bit annoying to them/threatening them (which in my opinion is fair enough), or if they think they’re in the wrong (which seems to be the case on this occasion).

      Ask any guy under 30 that drives what is considered to be a ‘boy racer car’, how often you get picked on & how often you’ll only get a badge number. I’d suggest it’d be about as often as you guys. Usually its not even when you’re doing anything wrong, you could just be on the way to burger king or even uni, and you’ll get pulled over & given the thorough once over, to try & find something wrong with your car or driving, even if it is trumped up.

  6. That sucks rocky, sorry to hear about your troubles.

  7. lprent 7

    As far as I’m aware I have exactly the same rights to take them as they do in a public place.

  8. ieuan 8

    Simple question Rocky, is it illegal to photograph a police officer especially if that police officer asks you not to?

    • bobbity 8.1

      Irrelevant – it is however pretty dumb.

      In many countries around the world you’d be endangering your life baiting police anywhere in the world is a past time for fools or those who are suicidally ideological.

      • felix 8.1.1

        That’s right bobbity, people should tolerate abuses of power by the state because other states are even more abusive.

        Everyone listen up: if you get hassled, harassed, assaulted, beaten, falsely arrested, illegally searched or otherwise violated by the branch of the state which is supposed to protect you, you’re just going to have to suck it up and thank them for not shooting you in the face.

        If you were standing up for your rights at the time, you got what you deserved. Don’t stand up for your rights again.

        This stuff always brings the nasty authoritarians out of the woodwork.

        • bobbity 8.1.1.1

          Read what I said dickwad – baiting the police is a game for fools.

          There’s far more effective ways to take grievances for being hassled, harassed, assaulted, beaten, falsely arrested, illegally searched or otherwise violated than to play the silly games that these smart arse teens seem to involve themselves in.

    • BLiP 8.2

      Simple answer: no.

  9. mike 9

    Hey rocky here’s a tip to avoid this sort of stuff happening – get a real job, you know one that occupies a good chunk of the day and keeps you from loitering in courthouses – there’s a good girl.

    • lprent 9.1

      Hey mike – don’t be a dipshit.

      She has been doing ‘real’ jobs since she was 17 – working as a programmer (and she is pretty good in my estimation – makes me feel old and slow sometimes). It has taken considerable convincing to get her to stop and get some training at uni. Don’t try to disrupt it..

      Besides she’d make you look like the pathetic old bugger that you are if you ever had to work with her.

      lprent, as the uncle

      • roger nome 9.1.1

        “Hey mike don’t be a dipshit.”

        That’s like asking a rabid dog to stop biting its arse – ain’t gonna happen unfortunately.

        • lprent 9.1.1.1

          mike is one of the more effective proponents of the more extreme right here. Surprised the hell out of me when I realized a while ago that my alter-ego sysop personality hadn’t had a reason to ban him virtually forever (last time was when the moderators were running under very little tolerance while cleaning up the comments section). He has earned enough credibility with the moderators generally (from my perspective), that it is hard to think of when I wouldn’t simply reprimand rather than boot.

          He generally concentrates on playing the policy rather than the people. When he does play the person, he tends to do it with a deliberate point.

          It often seems strange to run across those on the far right who operate with some intelligence on the net rather than the usual supercilious pretense at it that most of that political persuasion affect. However they do exist

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      Translation: Stay out of trouble and do as you’re told.

      mike, your authoritarian streak is showing.

  10. John 10

    Thanks Rochelle for the detailed writeup.

    As the photographer involved I just want to stress that this kind of incident is normal when it comes to police and protests. I am regularly threatened with arrest and have been searched numerous times (under liquor bans) after taking photos of police. As protesters we have to video everything to prevent this kind of thing happening, unfortunately my video camera is getting repaired or else it would have probably been there yesterday.

    The idea that we have a right to protest free from state intervention in Aotearoa is laughable. In New Zealand protesters have to deal with constant surveillance and a constant stream of arrests for things such as breach of the police – disorderly conduct and the occasional assault on police. Convictions almost never result but by the time its gone to trial you have already lost 4 or more working days and the hassle of finding a lawyer preparing a defence etc.

    • lprent 10.1

      I remember that the Police had more possession of Rochelles video camera for the two years after I helped her buy it than she did. It was held for ‘evidence’ and never put in front of the court.

      Effectively the police were using the evidence laws to cover for their theft.

      Ummm I should ask the IPCA for a ruling on the policy of the police seizing video gear. After all there is effectively nothing on a digital system that would allow the tracking of a digital record to the equipment that took it.

      The police have this interesting phobia about being filmed in their work. The Rodney King effect?

  11. Pete 11

    It’s really hard to reconcile the police’s position on this one – maybe they are doing the whole ‘profiling’ approach whereby if you look like a young trouble-maker you get the full wrath that comes from the ‘law’.

    I’ve never heard of something so ridiculous – the police involved should be ashamed – not least because they give the rest a bad name.

    And Rochelle – ignore the comments from the likes of mike and delusionalbob – they are probably a bit ‘lacking’ and will never get it.

    Good luck to your friend and yourself – keep safe (a bit strange when cops are supposed to fulfill that role).

  12. roger nome 12

    “fathers” in second para should be: fathers’

    And cases’ should be: cases.

  13. It never ceases to amaze me how the Police waste their own time, arresting people for the slightest reason while real crimes go un-investigated.

    • felix 13.1

      They’re not “wasting time”. They’re teaching people not to fuck with them and punishing those who dare, simple as that.

  14. Rex Widerstrom 14

    I too am sorry to hear of your troubles rocky, but supremely unsurprised. If I could be at the High Court with you I would. But I must admit I’m also pleased, in a way, to see this happening but being documented and reported like this because it makes my accounts of my experience with Police — which few people who haven’t directly witnessed completely believe — more credible.

    Interesting how the increased availability and portability of electronics, and the net, have the potential to change the game — and Mr Plod knows it.

    Twenty years ago, when I started being subject to the same sort of harassment and intimidation, a video camera was the size of a 4-slot toaster and was accompanied by a recorder the size of a stove, onto which you had to hand-wind tape and which needed mains electricity. You could of course take film photographs, but if you wanted them “widely” seen you’d have to stand at the photocopier.

    I’m a little surprised that you all seem to rely on one person’s video camera, though, when nowadays virtually every cellphone has one built in.

    Kia kaha. I only wish there was more I could do to help.

  15. Armchair Critic 15

    Rocky
    The police seem quite happy to use video surveillance from all sorts of sources, public, commericial, private, whatever. Do you know if the incident was caught on anyone else’s camera, I figure there must be quite a few around the high court area. Even if you don’t know now, a simple walk down the street might find some cameras for you. Do it as soon as possible because sometimes the images are only kept for a short time.

  16. George D 16

    I know this kind of situation all too well – not personally, but it occurs to people I know on a fairly regular basis.

    You really need two photographers these days – one to video the police behaviour, and another to video the police arresting the photographer (to prove that they weren’t assaulting the officer, or whatever charge they decide to make up post facto).

  17. Helo 17

    God your a joke!

    You deserved everything you got. How many people where robbed, beaten, otherwise while you wasted police time on your trivial nonsense.

    You should be arrested for wasting police time and mine (i read the whole sordid tale)

    In saying that please update on friday.

    Thanks xx

    • lprent 17.1

      Ummm perhaps you should point to a single thing that rocky or john or the young woman who was arrested did that was illegal or even wrong?

      Then list the things that the police were doing that was wrong. There is a extensive list.

      Don’t you think that police should be accountable for their actions?

      One of the interesting things is that it is surprising that the judges haven’t shut down the police doing photo lookups at court, even in the corridors. It implies that the police are looking for something and have permission to do it.

      If that had been a gang member then someone would have been all over it for intimidation of witnesses. Bearing in mind the circumstances of the operation 8 and the behaviour of the police in it, they obviously have a vested interest in the outcome.

      They shouldn’t be doing photo-ids of people attending a trial unless they have a bloody good reason – presumably explained to the judge.

      I wonder what that reason is

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    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    4 days ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    5 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    5 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    5 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    6 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    1 week ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago

  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
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