Alfred Ngaro reprimanded for being “naïve”

Written By: - Date published: 7:54 am, May 15th, 2017 - 52 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, censorship, community democracy, democracy under attack, national, Politics, same old national, spin, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: ,

Was Alfred Ngaro’s statement to the Auckland Regional Conference of the National Party evidence of naivety or evidence that National wants to suppress all opposition?

From the Herald:

Associate Housing Minister Alfred Ngaro has been reprimanded and apologised to Prime Minister Bill English for “naïve” comments which appeared to warn Labour candidate Willie Jackson of consequences if he attacked National on its housing policies.

Ngaro’s comments at National’s northern regional conference were reported by Newsroom, which said Ngaro appeared to suggest Willie Jackson could lose Government support for his organisation’s bid for a second charter school and Whanau Ora contracts should Jackson criticise National on the campaign trail.

“We are not happy about people taking with one hand and throwing with the other,” Ngaro reportedly said.

Newsroom reported he had issued a warning “not to play politics with us:” “If you get up on the campaign trail and start bagging us then all the things you are doing are off the table.

Jackson was the head of the Manukau Urban Maori Authority which runs a charter school in Mangere and has a Government contract to deliver the Whanau Ora social programme.

Naive? Is this the best they can come up with? He threatened everyone who criticises the Government with having the prospects of contracts with the Government being removed. This is third world banana republic stuff.

But this is the defence that National is running.

Finance Minister Steven Joyce said the comments were inappropriate and Ngaro had apologised to English, deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett and Joyce.

“He got a bit carried away. It’s not the way we operate. We work all the time with providers who have different political views. It’s important you do that and we certainly don’t look to take an approach where a provider would get penalised for their political views. It’s fine to disagree with people politically but to make any suggestion it might impact on your relationship with government, that’s where it’s overstepping the mark.”

He put Ngaro’s comments down to a rookie mistake and frustration with the way National’s policies were being portrayed.

“But he realises what he said was over stepping the mark. He’s very disappointed in himself.”

I’m sorry but it is the way that National operates.  If you need evidence then look here and here.  As an early example these women who criticised government benefit policy had their personal details released by Paula Bennett.  Or the Problem Gambling Foundation whose contracts were not renewed for apparently opposing Government policy?

And if you want more detailed information on what is happening then this report prepared on the democratic reality for New Zealand’s community and voluntary sector provides chilling reading. The report’s conclusion is captured in this paragraph:

While New Zealand’s community and voluntary sector organisations have in the past been a strong and necessary voice for the most marginalised of our society, since the 1980s their place in democratic conversations has come under challenge, almost to the point where for some groups the only option is to remain silent. Responses to our survey demonstrate that the community and voluntary sector in New Zealand is not simply silenced by disapproving governments, they have been constrained by the very mode of governance that has come to dominate in the early part of the 21st century. The silencing is achieved by disciplining the sector through state funded contracts which encompass strong managerial requirements for accountability, auditing, measuring, and evaluating outputs. The move from a welfare state to a neo-liberal contract state constrained the conditions that underpin a healthy relationship between the state and the community and voluntary sector. There is a lack of trust between these two sectors; reduced space for experimentation in programme delivery or innovation as new “social issues” arose; and, there was little in the way of a longer term vision for those areas of policy response in which the community and voluntary sector was seen to be responsible (outcomes needed to be achieved with one-off projects in short time frames). The result is a community and voluntary sector that almost continually must check itself to ensure that it does not “bite the hand that feeds it”.

And how naive do we expect our Cabinet Ministers to be?  Don’t they know about the Cabinet Manual and in particular clause 3.16(c) which requires Ministers to take care to ensure that their actions could not be construed as improper intervention in operational or contractual decisions that are the responsibility of the chief executive.  In more healthy democracies this type of event results in Ministers losing their warrant.

To my mind the most upsetting aspect was Ngaro’s threat to Radio New Zealand.  RNZ is a beacon of professional journalistic independence.  Without it the media coverage of this Government would be severely weakened.

Willie Jackson will be complaining to the Prime Minister.  As he should.  Government contracts should not be dependant on the docility of the organisation applying.

Ngaro is an interesting person.  He is part of National’s christian conservative brigade and clearly holds rather authoritarian views.  Views that are clearly out of place in a properly functioning democracy.

52 comments on “Alfred Ngaro reprimanded for being “naïve””

  1. rob 1

    Naivety or just a bully boy? smacks of that Collins and blubber boy attack double those that attack them. just more proof of how nasty and vile these rwnj are.

    • Johan 1.1

      “Naivety”, not really! This type of filth is all part of the National Party culture. Collins, the dirty politics coming out of the prime minister’s second office, Paula, and liar John Key all dropping and trying to pick-off individuals. This is typical behaviour of Tory ratbags.

      • In Vino 1.1.1

        Hypocritical too. Truly stupid people do not know that they are stupid. In the same way, I would suggest that truly naïve people do not know that they are naïve. An escape-word from a bunch of spinners. And he apologised to the wrong people… Total idiot, unlikely to go far in politics.
        Maybe Martyn Bradbury has an interesting point – why are Labour not calling for his resignation (Cunliffe’s resignation was called for over a far lesser and totally fictitious matter)? If Blinglish sacks him before Labour has even called for it, is that not a win for National?

  2. lprent 2

    I suspect that the naive part was stating National’s active policy in public. It was too honest for even hypocrites to swallow.

  3. Ad 3

    That distinction between “advocate” and “charitable” when an NGO seeks charitable status is also pretty mean in this country.

    I am particularly looking forward to the Supreme Court decision in the Ruataniwha Dam decision. Forest and Bird is an advocacy organisation that attracts pretty big donors and plenty of pro bono legal grunt. I like supporting them.

    If anyone is considering selling out of Auckland or semi-retiring, worth considering which NGO they could contribute to, to give our remaining nodes of opposition as strong a voice as possible.

  4. That was a great scoop by newsroom. What a dickhead Ngaro is.

    • Johan 4.1

      Darien, how could you say that about one of our minister? After all he is a man of the cloth and knows best;-))))))

  5. ianmac 5

    Wonder if Ngaro’s comments were deliberate. Make a threat, then withdraw it but leave the sense of the message just the same. By getting Ngaro to make the threat on behalf of the big names, that leaves them in the clear. No?

  6. Karen 6

    Toby Manhire on the The Spinoff has written a brilliant analysis of Ngaro” apology and what he is really saying.

    https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/14-05-2017/alfred-ngaros-heartfelt-apology-what-he-said-and-what-he-meant/

    • RedLogix 6.1

      Exactly. I’ve history with being willing to give people a second chance. We all fuck up; I’m an expert. But this simply does not cut mustard.

      When you look at the Ngaro’s presentation … ‘naive’ does not apply. He knew precisely what he was saying.

      • tc 6.1.1

        Exactly. Calculated threats delivered in an unambiguous manner by a national supercity based througher.

  7. The decrypter 7

    Round one to Jackson. Ngaro is dazed, walked into corner post, Fox is in his corner frantically fanning him with a Maori party towel .

    • mickysavage 7.1

      Heh

    • “Mr Jackson told Morning Report Mr Ngaro’s comments were “unprecedented” and “very disappointing”.

      “I’ve never heard of a minister threatening a community organisation like this.

      “It’s a direct threat and its a worry for me.

      “I’ve got over 100 people who work for me and we serve thousands in our community and we have contracts right across the state sector.”

      He said it was not just about him, it was about the rights of the community.”

      Bill English says he would “go back and check through the decisions Mr Ngaro had made to ensure they were not based on the political views of his opponents”.

      Ngaro has handed this to Jackson on a plate, given him a cudgel with which Jackson can gently beat him, wide-eyed and naively, to a pulp (politically).

  8. North 8

    Don’t believe a shred of this shit – ‘I was naive and wrong and I’ve apologised to the PM (and whichever minister)….’ Smacks of so many past apologies made to Key by his underlings. They’ve still got the message out there – ‘Quit bagging us or we’ll use our power against you….’ Scum they are.

  9. Rosemary McDonald 9

    The Grey/Sedgewick report “Fears, constraints and contracts” linked to in the post is an in depth report on the relationship between NGOs and respective governments.

    While National has taken bullying to a whole new level, under Labour the relationship between NGOs and their associated Ministries was less than perfect and it behooves Those Who Aspire to Lead Us to read the report entire, and take note.

    The enthusiastic embrace of neo liberalism by both Labour and National has ensured that the provision of taxpayer funded services and supports are almost totally dependent on NGOs….in fact…it lends a great deal of credibility for a government to be able to broadcast the fact that relationships have been formed with respected ‘charities’….exploiting the public’s existing trust of such organisations.

    To some of us over the past decade or so….it has become the measure of an organisation’s effectiveness as advocates if the organisation’s government funding is reduced or removed.

    Perhaps the Labour/Green alliance could have a wee(but urgent) think about this issue and come up with a policy toot sweet? 🙂

  10. james 10

    If you need evidence then look here and here.

    There are no hyperlinks in that sentence.

    • Whadda ya think about Ngaro’s threatening behaviour, James? Dirty politics? Unethical? Typical of right-wing politicians? Revealing of National Party thinking?

      • James 10.1.1

        I think the word I would use is disgusting. He should be held to account – an apology is not good enough.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 10.1.1.1

          Guilty of telling the truth about existing policy.

          Guilty of letting the mask slip, of exposing the National Party for what it is.

          No wonder he regrets it.

        • The decrypter 10.1.1.2

          Spot on james,

        • Robert Guyton 10.1.1.3

          Well said, James. Little’s selection of Willie Jackson has turned out to be an excellent one, hasn’t it, given the opportunity that’s been presented to him now by Ngaro.

        • mac1 10.1.1.4

          Absolutely, James, and the Prime Minister on Radio NZ this morning had to have the interviewer, Guyon Espiner, point out the relevant Cabinet Manual section pertaining to conduct such as that shown by Ngaro- conduct that English said was ‘wrong’.

          I suspect John Key might have been more proactive, eckshully, on this type of conduct for a Minister.

          • keepcalmcarryon 10.1.1.4.1

            Nah Key would have been relaxed about it.
            Anyone got Ngaros number? Theres a restaurant in Hanmer he’d enjoy.

        • North 10.1.1.5

          Respect for your frankness James.

  11. It’s a Sicilian message
    by Andrew Geddis
    Alfred Ngaro appears to think the Government can stop its critics taking part in government programmes. That’s not just wrong from a political morality standpoint, it’s flat out illegal.”

    “Furthermore, I can’t help but wonder if Ngaro has actually all but guaranteed the Manukau Urban Māori Authority’s success in its future applications to participate in government programmes. Because if it does get turned down, there’s a good chance that it would head off to court to challenge that refusal on the basis that it was motivated by unlawful discrimination.”

    Read more @Pundit

    • Rosemary McDonald 11.1

      “Read more @Pundit” Here…http://www.pundit.co.nz/content/its-a-sicilian-message

      Classic Geddis!

      >>”So if the Government ever were to retaliate against some critical individual or group by refusing it access to a government programme, or blackballing it from future contracts, it would be acting not just wrongly but unlawfully too. Which rather saps the venom from Ngaro’s threat, because I think that there’s no way it could be carried out in the open way needed to send the necessary message.

      Furthermore, I can’t help but wonder if Ngaro has actually all but guaranteed the Manukau Urban Māori Authority’s success in its future applications to participate in government programmes. Because if it does get turned down, there’s a good chance that it would head off to court to challenge that refusal on the basis that it was motivated by unlawful discrimination. “<<

      Hoist by their own petard, no?

      • Jilly Bee 11.1.1

        Just read the Pundit blog by Andrew Geddis – nearly spat my coffee over my keyboard when I read this gem of a reply from Wayne Mapp – copy and paste with all the errors intact! ‘Anyway a rather sharp poltical lesson for Alfred, who is actually a decent person with a guenuie sense of social justice. Not surprising given his role as a Pastor in a relatively poor community.’ Really Wayne, really – I’ve read a few snippets about what a bullying person he was regarding an incident at Tamaki College (?), hardly the actions of a decent person with a genuine sense of social justice.

  12. Just heard English on rnznews – what a useless dick seriously the gnats must be cramping themselves over the tick from dipton.

    • tc 12.1

      They dont care after 3 terms of plunder. Bills there to provide a false sense of authority and control, as he has none over the preset course.

      He will get the last legislative changes rammed through and then park his butt by the band on the stern of their 3rd term ship as it sails towards the GE.

  13. Keith 13

    What a loathsome creep Alfred is but honestly, he is simply the real face of the National Party, one we rarely get to see with such honesty and without all the smoke and mirrors.

    He simply fronted these arseholes true agenda but got snapped in the process. It is without doubt that have been taking away and rewarding dependent on the agencies loyalty to National first and New Zealand a distant last, since they got in, in 2008!

  14. Keith 14

    “it’s not the way we operate”, so says Stephen Joyce. Never a truer word spoken.

    No its not Steve, you have other bover boys doing your dirty work like this so your slimy ministers can pretend their hands are clean. That’s the only difference.

    • tc 14.1

      Yes its an out and out ‘screw you’ and alfred made the mistake of not having somone else do the dirty work.

      probably because he enjoys this type of work himself.

  15. Bill 15

    Is Ngaro’s nonsense going to be the beginning and the end of this? Or used as ‘an in’ to expose the root problem of business priorities being imposed on and wrapped around social issues?

    The silencing is achieved by disciplining the sector through state funded contracts which encompass strong managerial requirements for accountability, auditing, measuring, and evaluating outputs. The move from a welfare state to a neo-liberal contract state constrained the conditions that underpin a healthy relationship between the state and the community and voluntary sector.

    I’m thinking that the use of “constrained” is a nice punch pull there 😉

    Yes, Ngaro was naive to overtly state what ‘everybody knows’.

    Bennet’s unconscionable reaction to Natasha Fuller and Jennifer Johnston is encouraged by the culture of that grows under the shift outlined in the linked “Fears, Constraints and Contracts” report.

    Severing funding for the Problem Gambling Foundation (and I’d pick there’s a fairly long list of others) is enabled by the same.

    Sadly, I’m picking that Ngaro will merely be a whipping boy for a few days and people will celebrate scoring a few hits against National, but that the focus won’t expand to encompass the insidious culture (liberalism) that informs his comments because…yup, that goes beyond just National.

    • Rosemary McDonald 15.1

      >>>”The silencing is achieved by disciplining the sector through state funded contracts…”<<>”When New Zealand’s oldest women’s rights organisation, the National Council of Women, lost their charitable status in 2010, their members fought back, eventually regaining it on appeal in 2013. However, their experience demonstrated the risk to charities in New Zealand who engage in activities that cause embarrassment to the Government and which could be defined as “political advocacy”.”<>>”Big charities are claiming income tax exemptions while small non-profits struggle to gain official charity status under the current rules, a new report says.

      The New Zealand Initiative’s latest report, titled Giving Charities a Helping Hand, calls for the Government to provide greater transparency in the charity sector, set clearer rules and processes, and remove the “unfair” tax advantages enjoyed by the for-profit arms of charity groups. “<<<<

      Total reliance on government funding and an agreement to have only 'official' DPOs (Disabled People's Organisations) collaborating with Ministries and Government has killed disability advocacy in New Zealand. Ditto for the umbrella organisation representing carers.

      The result being that for many of us there is simply no organisation we can approach for real support. We are on our own.

      Result for the Ministry and the Government.

      • Bill 15.1.1

        See, in a post about alleged naivety…shouldn’t a government and its departments be actively seeking out social orgs and finding ways (financial just being one tool in the box) to help them achieve their goals where those goals are deemed to be socially worthy?

        • Rosemary McDonald 15.1.1.1

          You’d have to properly define “social worth”.

          Apologies for how the comment at 15.1 came out…I’m having real issues with formatting at the moment. I’ve either been virussed, (new word, just made it up 🙂 ) or my geriatric lappy is in her death throes.

          • Bill 15.1.1.1.1

            Yup. That’d need defined or debated by society. But at the moment we’re operating under an imposed regime of market friendly measurable indicators that are – devoid of pretty much anything to do with humanity or society.

  16. Tricledrown 16

    Stephen Joyce making excuses for Ngaro when Joyce is the Dirtiest backroom bully doing exactly to any govt funded organization or govt funded research that puts National in a bad light.

    • The decrypter 16.1

      The finger prints of Joyce are all over this. Shows me he is in panic mode over the tactical appointment of Jackson. Maori seat losses spell real trouble for them.

  17. Red Blooded 17

    Wasn’t it Shane Reti threatening locals not to criticise National or they wouldn’t get their road sealed during the Northland By-election, wasn’t it Paula Bennett attacking people publicly who criticised their policy. Most certainly a pattern with this government. Bullies by nature.

  18. Sabine 18

    I will never forget Alfred Ngaro come in to my shop at the last election, demanding to speak to my husband!
    No hello, i am Alfred Ngaro blablablah, no only “is your husband available’.

    So i look at him like ….you are a weird man, and tell him i don’t have a husband. lol

    He was very confused asking me about Mr. XXX and says does he not work here? No, Mr. Ngaro, that man is not my husband, he is my boyfriend, this is my business and he does not work here.

    He literally turned on his heel and left. Mind having a Labour Candidate Rosette, next to the Internet Mana Candidate Rosette thingy on my wall did not help with his confusion.

    but yeah, that man needs to move into the 21st century. Not that i think he is able to, but he does come across as a very oldfashioned klutz.

  19. rhinocrates 19

    Ngaro, Smith, Coleman, Collins, Bennett, Bridges…

  20. Sacha 20

    Ngaro doubled down in a TV interview after delivering his speech and before Joyce got to him: http://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/05/lloyd-burr-alfred-ngaro-s-threat-to-willie-jackson-was-worse-than-just-a-brain-fart.html

  21. JustMe 21

    In the early 80s and referring to a National MP in Muldoon’s government he(this National MP)said to my late father’s boss that because a certain company did not donate to the National government then they, this company, would not receive contracts. In other words veiled threats but a National MP.
    That National MP had a alcohol problem and said such a thing in one of his usual drunken states. But I do believe back then alot of the National MPs have alcohol problems as booze was available and free for them to consume in abundance.
    Here we are in election year 2017 and also very close to the next election.To date we have heard of Paula Bennett happily and without any ounce of remorse providing the names of beneficiaries who have criticised her and the National government to the NZ media. In fact Bennett boasted to anyone listening that she would happily do it again. Where was Bill English’s voice when Paula Bennett was making threats???!! Oh right…. his lack of condemnation at what she said shows he was(and quoting John Key’s pet words) comfortable with what she did. That shows a shallowness when it comes to Bill English.
    After almost 9 years in government the Alfred Ngaro’s of the NZ National Party have become arrogant. They will botch-up time and again and will resort to what they are famous at i.e blaming someone else for THEIR mistakes.
    How many times have we ever heard of National MP admit he or she makes mistakes? Answer: Hardly ever. It’s like they think they are so crash hot and making mistakes is something that happens to commoners(and the Opposition Parties)but never, ever to a National MP.

  22. Ngaro’s a thug.

    Any apology given to the same group and its culture that fostered that sort of thug mentality in the first place is no apology at all.

    If Ngaro truly was repentant he would apologize to the Salvation Army , John Campbell and Willie Jackson , – in private and in public. And THEN be checked against the interpretation of clause 3.16(c) in the Cabinet Manual .

    Then and then only will justice be seen to have been done.

    Until then , that ‘ apology ‘ is nothing more than a cheap hollow fob off of the New Zealand public.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    5 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    6 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    6 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    7 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

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