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Another leak

Written By: - Date published: 10:56 am, September 9th, 2008 - 58 comments
Categories: national, science - Tags: ,

God, another leak from National, this time their research, science and technology policy.

From Mallard’s press release:

“Mr Key should not only be embarrassed, he should be very worried about the shambolic show he is running. Contrary to his desperate claims last week, I did not find any of these policies in any café. Or in any restroom either for that matter.

“These leaks are more like a gushing stream and demonstrate yet again that there are serious problems within National.

“There is clearly a simmering resentment with John Key who is muzzling the caucus, keeping them out of all decision making and keeping his agenda secret from his own MPs as well as the New Zealand public,” Trevor Mallard said.

Key has previously tried to claim that the leaked policies are all from the same bundle and someone must have left them at Copperfields. That line’s now looking well and truly shot.

Honestly, what a shambles.

UPDATE: Frog chips in:

While Trevor is keen to put the boot in as hard as possible, I am simply afraid of what such an ill disciplined caucus could mean in government. It doesn’t bear thinking about.

UPDATE 2: Copy of the leaked policy here.

58 comments on “Another leak”

  1. higherstandard 1

    MMMMMM

    It’ll be interesting what the public’s view is on this.

    I’m may not be representative but I think this confirms more about Trevor Mallard and his handlers than it does about National.

  2. coge 2

    “Honestly” Tane, we saw something like this coming today. Hardly a distraction from the main event. The question must be asked, why are underhanded countermeasures needed at all?

  3. Tane 3

    I’m not sure what you’re on about coge. One or more people inside the National Party caucus are leaking policy (not to mention other embarrassing information) to Labour. We’ve now seen four policies leaked and no doubt more to come.

    To me that speaks of major divisions within National and a concerted effort to undermine John Key. That’s pretty significant and worthy of our attention and analysis, don’t you think?

  4. Matthew Pilott 4

    HS, coge, so there’s nothing wrong within National, it’s Mallard’s fault that people in National are leaking their policies. And it’s not an issue that someone in National feels it necessary to leak internal documents to the opposition, for whatever reason, the only concern is that Mallard is telling the public that there are leaks.

    Your comments imply that Mallard should be protecting National from itself: quite an interesting line.

    I wonder if that’s the one National will use this time around.

  5. higherstandard 5

    MP

    Trevor Mallard has not proven himself to be an honourable member so I am withholding an opinion on whether there are or aren’t leaks within National.

  6. higherstandard 6

    MP

    Also as I said last week it might be more productive to actually debate the merit of what was in the policies.

  7. Matthew Pilott 7

    Your first comment wasn’t ‘withholding’ an opinion at all, HS.

  8. Matthew Pilott 8

    And yes, HS, I’d love to debate what is in National policy – why must I depend on the Right Honourable Trevor Mallard to deliver them?

  9. Crank 9

    As I said on the previous thread.

    A leak of this size and regularity starts to appear less like a leak and more like theft.

    Mallard already has a record of assault and infidelity, he only needs stealing to make it a full house

  10. Toxteth O'Grady 10

    There is no leak from within the Nats. This is a beat up from Trev and the Standard. If there really was a leak where are the good policies? It’s more likely that some dumbarse National incompetent left hard copy in the cafe or something equally as retarded. I’ll believe there really is a leak when i see Trev release National’s tax policy. It ain’t going to happen.

  11. Tane 11

    Ah, the stolen emails defence. Real credible mate.

  12. Vanilla Eis 12

    Toxeth: “where are the good policies?”

    That’s the problem mate – the Nats don’t seem to have any

    captcha: and deduce (what you want from that).

  13. Tane 13

    Oh, and you fullas arguing theft – what do you say about TV3 revealing it received its tip-off about Lord Ashcroft from a person inside the National Party?

    Is that theft too?

  14. yl 14

    Toxteth O’Grady,

    how is it that environment policy is not ‘good’ policy.

    It has been labeled as an election issue.

    I am going to take a leap and assume from the tone of your comment that you tend to sit on the right. It just goes to show the rights views on the environment.

    But i agree with you, Nationals environment is not a ‘good’ policy, it is super weak.

  15. But Tane – that’s what you’d expect from Blar/Ted/Eddie/Toxteth etc.

    Oh and hi blar – your style sticks out like dog’s balls.

    What I really love is how invested the right have got in this whole Winston Peters thing and how disappointed they are going to be. When both the committee, the SFO and the cops come back with the fact that there is no case and the polls show that nobody is blaming Labour apart from the usual frothing crazies like Farrar and Hooton then they’re all going to be so upset.

    I can’t wait…

  16. Tim Ellis 16

    This does look pretty messy. On the face of it, it does now look as if there is somebody within National who is deliberately dumping material on the Labour Party.

    The nature of the material leaked so far doesn’t appear to be very consequential: the environment, conservation, and science policies. These are policies that will all have been distributed at caucus, were probably just a few days from release, and possibly as many as 100 people would have seen them.

    So given that the stuff leaked so far is hardly critical, top-secret stuff, and presuming it is a leak, then the leak could be anyone from John Key down to an MP’s secretary. Given the risks involved, it’s much more likely to be the latter than the former.

    I don’t agree with Mallard’s claim, or Tane’s claim, that this is evidence of huge divisions within National’s caucus. If the leak is a single, parliamentary staffer, then it says nothing of the sort. If it is a parliamentary staffer, then the motivations for the leak could be varied: annoyed at the prospect that they won’t get a job in government, falling-out with the boss, offer of financial reward to leak material, promise of a job in a Labour Party opposition office after the election, etc.

    If Mallard did have a leak from somebody identifiable, and senior, with access to really sensitive material, then he would be letting that bomb off fairly soon, like tonight when Owen Glenn gives evidence. He hasn’t. All he’s got is a small, relatively insignificant policy release. This is not the sign of somebody who’s picked up the big smoking gun.

    Like I say, it is messy that National probably has somebody like this within the ranks, but this person is likely to be caught soon. If they are caught, there are big risks to the Labour Party as well. If Trevor Mallard made some offer of a future advantage to the staffer, in return for receiving these documents, then that kind of sleazy politics will backfire. I can guarantee you that National will have stepped up the resolve to find the leak, and when they do that leak will squeal all.

  17. Oh and Blar? I’ve got a really good post in the making – if I were you I’d start regularly checking ‘sodblog to make sure you don’t miss out on it…

  18. Lew 18

    When it comes to issues like this, which break along partisan lines, the opinions of those at either end are irrelevant. Personally, I’d be shocked if Steve, Tane, Matt, Mallard and others didn’t cry `leak’ every time, and equally shocked if HS, coge, Crank and Key didn’t cry `theft’.

    Those who aren’t strongly aligned will be the judge of whether the Nats are leaking, incompetent, or the victims of theft. What the media think goes some way to defining this. The fact that TV3 have been the recipients of several confirmed leaks this year already (Derek Fox leak; Ashcroft for two) gives an indication of the line they (at least) will be running.

    Edit: Tim Ellis, while your analysis is right, I think you miss the point. It’s not what gets leaked – it’s that policy gets leaked at all. Unless clear skullduggery is uncovered (and given the inconsequential nature of this stuff, this seems unlikely to be an orchestrated plot by Labour) the Nats either look incompetent or internally divided.

    L

  19. Crank 19

    Tane

    “Ah, the stolen emails defence. Real credible mate.”

    I would hate to think that you were ready to cast judgement on this without going through the due process to find out the facts.

  20. Tane 20

    The police have shown there was no evidence of theft in the Hollow Men email leak. Hager insists his sources are inside the National Party. He’s since been handed information from inside the party showing National uses Crosby Textor.

    TV3 has confirmed they are receiving leaks from the National Party over Lord Ashcroft’s visit.

    Now there’s National Party policy coming out in the form of caucus briefing papers.

    Occam’s razor says there’s a leak, and that it’s probably from inside caucus.

  21. Crank 21

    Occam’s razor says Winston is corrupt.

  22. Tane 22

    Yeah, and given the evidence we’ve seen he probably is. The question is whether he can be done for it, and whether the evidence provided is sufficient to give Clark grounds to sack him.

    The leak is almost certainly from inside caucus. If I were Key I wouldn’t be sacking Bill English quite yet, but I’d sure be running my numbers and watching my back.

  23. Dom 23

    If Labour was stealing these policies I’m sure they’d nick something more newsworthy than Conservation or Research!

  24. Tim Ellis 24

    Lew, I agree with your points. Like I say, I don’t think it looks tidy when anything has been leaked, whether accidental, as in mislaying a document at Bellamy’s, or deliberate, as in a staffer or caucus member handing documents over to Mallard’s office.

    I further agree that the views of the most partisan, on either side, don’t assist us in working out what went out. Trevor Mallard has a vested interest in promoting the theory that the National Party is divided. So does Tane. John Key has a vested interest in suppressing the theory that the National Party is divided.

    Let’s assume there’s a mole at some level in the National Party. Does the existence of a mole say that the National Party caucus is divided, or there is a major faction, or serious dissent within the National Party caucus, or that John Key is about to be rolled?

  25. toad 25

    Could just be building up to the biggies, Dom. Maybe they’ve got the lot.

  26. Toxteth O'Grady 26

    Yl,
    It’s not about a left/right thing – it’s the theatre of it all. I’m not a supporter of either side – I just love the drama and strategy. If there is a steady stream of further releases by TM, I’ll concede there is a leak from within the ranks, but at the moment I think there are other explanations to this as opposed to with is being purported by a political opponent. If anyone takes anything TM says as gospel then they are on a one-way track to Jonestown. Some Labour lackey found something lying around and they have used it to their advantage fair play too. The Nats deserve to be shown in a negative light for this error but to stretch it out to full blown case of an insider handing over what is second and third level policy announcements to political opponents suggests there are too many Tom Clancy novels being read

  27. Phil 27

    Lew,

    Did you never read Archer/Forsyth/Clancy?
    First rule of espionage; never bite off more than you can chew (ie; you don’t start with the big stuff)

    Let’s assume for a second that this is leak – that someone inside National has been ‘cultivated’ and is handing over tidbits of info to Mallard and Labour (assuming for the moment that this is unrelated to Hagar).

    What then happens if/when this person is outed? How does the Labour party look when it becomes public knowledge that they had someone planted in National? That’s really only one step removed from Watergate…

    That’s dangerous ground.

  28. Anita 28

    Let’s pretend, for a moment, that National’s spin is true: all caucus members got a bundle of draft policies for approval, one accidentally left theirs in a cafe, someone found it and now Labour has it and is drip feeding it to the media. So National knows exactly what Labour has (the bundle of policies).

    If we were National political strategists, what would our best play be? Easy, release all the policies in the group, that way Labour can’t keep drip feeding them, our (bullet point) policy briefs would get out (just like we want them to), and we wouldn’t look like dicks.

    Given that’s not how it’s happening, I can posit a couple of possible reasons:
    1) National’s spin is incorrect and they know it; or
    2) National’s political strategists are incompetent; or
    3) National want their policy to be released this way.

    Any other possibilities?

  29. phil. you’re premise is flawed. just because labour got the leaks doesn’t mean they cultivated the leaker. you don’t think garner cultivated the secret agenda taper do you?

  30. Tim Ellis 30

    Tane, I know you’ve got a barrow to push here.

    The police have shown there was no evidence of theft in the Hollow Men email leak.

    No they didn’t, Tane. The police didn’t show that. The police just did not find any evidence of theft. The failure to find evidence can mean either the police didn’t go looking for it–which is Brash’s claim–or that there was no evidence to be found–which is your claim.

    Hager insists his sources are inside the National Party. He’s since been handed information from inside the party showing National uses Crosby Textor.

    Hager also has a barrow to push. It is in Hager’s interest to say this. He has said he’s been handed information on this, but I for one don’t take that as a fact. National has used Crosby Textor for many years in the past. It doesn’t take a high level leak to say that they are using them again. I haven’t seen any documentary evidence from Hager to say that he’s received emails or invoices confirming it. The most I have seen is speculation from Hager. If there was documentary evidence, I would be surprised why he hasn’t produced it.

    TV3 has confirmed they are receiving leaks from the National Party over Lord Ashcroft’s visit.

    A leak, not leaks. Singular, not plural. This on its own is quite concerning, I admit, because as I understand the leader’s diary is not widely circulated. I don’t think there’s any reason for Garner to lie about this. However Garner would not know whether the information came from somebody who had access to Key’s diary (which would be very troublesome for Key), or from somebody who heard idle gossip that Ashcroft was visiting, and then leaked it to Garner. It’s pretty clear Garner got that information from somebody speaking out of turn. Whether it was a malicious leak by somebody disaffected, or sloppy trading of gossip, I don’t know.

    Now there’s National Party policy coming out in the form of caucus briefing papers.

    Three so far. The first two clearly went together, because they related to National’s environment and conservation launch. The third one may have been discussed and distributed at the same caucus meeting. I don’t know. But we do know that they were all pretty widely-distributed documents, given a caucus of 48 and the likelihood that parliamentary staff received that material as well.

    Occam’s razor says there’s a leak, and that it’s probably from inside caucus.

    Occam’s razor says there’s a leak from somebody on the periphery of caucus.

  31. Anita 31

    P.S. Let’s pretend, for a different moment, that National’s information security processes are somewhat adequate. They know exactly how many copies of the policies-for-approval were printed, they know who had them, they can count them back in. Therefore they either know exactly whose is missing, or they know that someone deliberately copied theirs and passed it on.

    Recaptcha is being particularly surreal today: 2,813,430,000 smink

  32. Tim Ellis 32

    That’s exactly right, Phil. If there is a leaker, and that leaker is caught, that person will squeal. If they were groomed by the Labour Party, then the political damage to Labour for engaging in those dirty tricks would be enormous.

    Anita, I agree with you also. If all the papers released by Mallard so far are from the same caucus meeting, then it would make sense for the Nats to kill the noise by releasing all the stuff discussed at that meeting.

    Clearly there wasn’t any big stuff leaked, otherwise Mallard would have released it by now.

  33. Lew 33

    Tim: “Does the existence of a mole say that the National Party caucus is divided, or there is a major faction, or serious dissent within the National Party caucus, or that John Key is about to be rolled?”

    I don’t necessarily think so. It’s an indication that all’s not running as smoothly as outward appearances might indicate. What you make of that depends on your allegiances and proclivities.

    Phil: “What then happens if/when this person is outed? How does the Labour party look when it becomes public knowledge that they had someone planted in National?”

    That’s an `if’ you’re looking for, not a `when’.

    “That’s really only one step removed from Watergate ”

    And all that shows is that you don’t know much about Watergate.

    Edit: Crikey, I can’t keep up with this thread.

    L

  34. Tane 34

    Tim. I don’t have time to go through this all point by point, but just look at the hurdles you have to jump through to explain away all these leaks. The simplest explanation is that there’s someone leaking inside the National Party.

  35. Anita 35

    Tim Ellis,

    The failure to find evidence can mean either the police didn’t go looking for itwhich is Brash’s claimor that there was no evidence to be foundwhich is your claim.

    Actually the Police say they went looking. Are you saying that they’re lieing? Are you saying that Brash said they were lieing? If so, you might like to provide a reference.

  36. Anita 36

    Tim Ellis,

    Anita, I agree with you also. If all the papers released by Mallard so far are from the same caucus meeting, then it would make sense for the Nats to kill the noise by releasing all the stuff discussed at that meeting.

    So why haven’t they? Either incompetence or the papers don’t naturally fit together (e.g. same caucus meeting).

    Clearly there wasn’t any big stuff leaked, otherwise Mallard would have released it by now.

    …wasn’t any big stuff leaked yet

    I agree that if Mallard had anything big he’d release it immediately, no point losing out by National releasing first.

  37. Tim Ellis 37

    Tane, I think I gave a fair and relatively unbiased analysis. My conclusion is that there probably is somebody leaking from inside the National Party. My conclusion is premised on the view that only some of the material leaked out is the result of a deliberate action, and that if there is a leak it is from a minor staffer who for some reason is disaffected.

    It is a very long bow to draw to say that these leaks show major factionalism and division in the National Party, as you have. Political parties leak all the time. It’s called gossip. Some gossip is based on actual evidence, other is based on pure speculation. Governments leak all the time. When they do, it is most often as a result of sloppy information security and gossip, rather than malicious leaking.

    If the relatively minor leaks point to a divided and shambolic National Party and say that National isn’t fit to govern, then the steady streams of unauthorised information flows that come out of the PM’s office, Cabinet, Labour caucus, and every branch of government for which ministers are responsible, show that Labour isn’t fit to run a government, either.

  38. Matthew Pilott 38

    Why didn’t National release the conservation policy before Mallard, if they were ‘bundled’ together, so as to take the wind out of Mallard’s sails? If that was not a lie, it would have been sensible to do so in order to prevent Mallard from saying there were two separate leaks. They did not. I assume it was a lie (‘misdirection’ if I was feeling generous), or that they were incompetant, or gambling that somehow their ‘bundled’ documents were magically separated before reaching Mallard’s hands.

  39. lprent 39

    Crank: In the absence of any other info, occams razor says that the Nat’s are probably corrupt as well for the same reason. Except their amounts are bigger. $2.3 million in anonymous donations from the Waitemata trust in 2005 compared to the much smaller amounts from the Spencer trust for NZF.

    After this gets over for NZF, then I’d really like the Nat’s accounts looked at closely.

  40. toad 40

    Tim Ellis said: Clearly there wasn’t any big stuff leaked, otherwise Mallard would have released it by now.

    Tim (& Anita taking the same line), I don’t agree. Mallard will know when National is planning to release it. If he had stuff about, say, National’s tax cuts, he’d hold onto that until two or three days befor the National release is due to maximise the Labour spin he can put on it and undercut the impact of the National release.

  41. Dom 41

    Tim, there is a huge difference between the inner circle of a party leaking policy like a sieve and a government in power for nine years having leaks come from government departments containing literally thousands of people. The fact that some person/people inside that small group of National people has and continues to leak confidential information should have them VERY concerned.

  42. Matthew Pilott 43

    Tim, minor leaks do not involve entire policy documents. A disaffected staffer would tell someone that Key picks his nose and leaves KFC wrappers everywhere. I don’t think it’s very balanced to claim that this is minor, or likely to be from a minor staffer, without corroborating evidence. It is an equally partisan assumption as that which claims Key is about to be rolled. Factionism would be more the middle ground to me – nothing too damaging, but enough to make Key’s ship look unsteady.

    Same goes with your call about Garner, it’s not clear that it was an accidental gossip leak at all. The chances of that being accidental are slim, it’s a very specific tidbit of information to have reached the media.

    Your last comment (12:43) is illustrative though – some small leaks do happen with frequency, acknowledged. They are not damaging private diary appointments or unreleased policy documents in the run up to an election.

  43. randal 44

    one more leak and national nd John Keys will implode! extra extra…more leaks right now on rnz national…wahooo

  44. Anita 45

    Toad,

    Re: whether Mallard would release big leaked policies early or sit on them

    Mallard will know when National is planning to release it. If he had stuff about, say, National’s tax cuts, he’d hold onto that until two or three days befor the National release is due to maximise the Labour spin he can put on it and undercut the impact of the National release.

    If there was a good chance National knew he had it and might bring forward their announcement then I reckon the right play is to release it. So if Mallard got a single bundle, such that when he started National would know what he had, he should release the biggest ones first so he doesn’t lose traction.

    If, on the other hand, he was getting individual leaks so National wouldn’t know what he had then he should hold big ones back for the most damage. Particularly when a day or two would get robust analysis, for example with National’s tax cuts holding it until the Labour economists have crunched the numbers would make a lot of sense.

  45. Pascal's bookie 46

    We should also remember that the ‘importance’ of the policy leaked is only a floor on the access the leaker has not a ceiling.

    There is no reason to suppose that the leaker would release the most important stuff s/he could get. In fact they are likely not to, as it narrows the list of suspects. The leaks are not necessarily designed to do as much damage as the leaker could possibly do, but enough to serve whatever purpose the leaker has.

    Bearing this in mind, the fact that tax policy or whatever hasn’t come out tells us nothing about the identity or access that the leaker has. Maybe leaking tax policy would do too much damage, maybe the leaker doesn’t have access to it, maybe leaking it would identify who leaked. Unknowns.

  46. Crank 47

    Lprent,

    I would have to disagree with you there.

    The fact that National has declared donations from its trusts would mean that the simplest assumption is that all donations to the trusts had been passed to the party and declared. And using occams razor that is probably right.

  47. Anita 48

    Let’s say, for yet another moment, that I’m a junior National MP. I have a folder which contains some policy drafts (wow, this proves I’m really important). After lunch with my mates I realise I no longer have the folder and feel really sick, I race back down to the cafe to look for it, but it isn’t there.

    What do I do?

    a) Fess up to the whip/campaign team/my more senior mate

    b) Cross my fingers and hope nothing bad happens.

    Sadly my cowardice gets in the way and I pick b… A day passes, and Labour starts releasing policies that were in my folder, my stomach goes all swirly (even worse than when I realised I’d lost the folder!).

    What do I do?

    a) Fess up to the whip/campaign team/my more senior mate

    b) Stay mum, sit at the back so when it’s mentioned in a meeting so I don’t have to make eye contact. When asked if I know anything about it, lie.

    So what does this tell us? Either

    a) National’s spin as untrue (and they know it); or
    b) One of their MPs is a lieing coward who won’t even be honest with colleagues; or
    c) National knows what’s in the folder.

    If they know what’s in the folder, they should have released the rest of the policies by now. So either they’re incompetent, or they’re lieing, or they know that one of their MPs is a lieing coward who doesn’t trust their colleagues.

  48. Tim Ellis 49

    Matthew, this is an interesting debate.

    I disagree that minor leaks do not involve entire policy documents. The issue of how severe a leak is, goes to how secret the material was in the first place. If a document is being circulated to a hundred people, it clearly isn’t very sensitive. If it is only being circulated to three people, then it is likely to be extremely sensitive.

    Of the documents released by Mallard, at least three of the four were caucus briefing papers. Caucus briefing papers are not top secret. They are distributed to all caucus members, the research unit, and the Leader’s office. That’s probably eighty people. If they were circulated in advance, they probably went to MP’s offices electronically, which widens the net to MPs executive assistants. That’s about 130 people.

    130 people, by definition, is not the inner core. There is no evidence that anybody within the inner core is systematically leaking material to the Labour Party. It is very difficult to think what motive anybody in the inner core might have to do so.

  49. Anita 50

    Crank,

    One of the accusations being levelled against NZ First is that donations were shaped to the $10k threshold so that they did not have to be declared.

    Do you really think National donors didn’t do the same thing?

  50. Crank 51

    Anita,

    I don’t think anyone is levelling any accusations of the sort.

    Making annoymous donations up to the $10k threshold is totally legal.

    Aside from the issue that the Vela donations were made by companies that had the same shareholders, if the donations were made direct to the party as opposed to the trust then this would not be an issue at all.

  51. Jeez Tim – you seem to know a lot about how all this politics stuff works – you’re not on the PS/Nats’ payroll are you?

  52. Tim Ellis 53

    Anita, those are plausible scenarios, but I think there are a couple of elements you’ve missed out.

    The first element is that if it was a staffer who left the material at Bellamy’s, it rules out that the accidental leaker is an MP who is a lying coward. If it was a staffer who now knows that they left some documents at Bellamy’s, due to the power structures in Parliament, it’s even less likely that they would fess up. They would be sacked immediately.

    Next, you’re assuming that what was left at Bellamy’s, if it was documents left at Bellamy’s, were in a discrete package, and that National should now know which documents were left there, and which weren’t. I very much doubt there was a bunch of folders distributed to everybody. In the accidental leak scenario, it is more likely that documents were circulated electronically. Some MPs and staff would have read them. Others would not have read them. Some would have printed them off, some wouldn’t. What they were carrying around, and how they were bundled, is very difficult to know.

    What is likely, however, is that if the documents were accidentally left at Bellamy’s, or Copperfields, or at a bus-stop, they are likely to generally focus on the same topic. This is consistent with the environment, conservation, and biofuels policies being “leaked”. The evidence says that they were a widely-circulated caucus briefing prior to National’s bluegreen launch on Saturday.

    Alternatively, in the accidental leak scenario, the documents “leaked” could all relate to a single meeting: briefing papers for caucus. In which case it is unlikely that material not relating to items discussed at that caucus meeting would be among the briefing papers.

  53. Tim Ellis 54

    You know the answer to that Robinsod, of course I am. By the way, are we still on for our 2am coffee at Starbucks, so I can hand you the tax policy paper for you to hand on to Trevor tomorrow? Will be a good distraction from Winston appearing at the privileges committee meeting if Trevor can do another press release about the leaks, huh?

  54. Tim – so your answer is yes?

  55. Anita 56

    Tim,

    Ok, it’s possible that the lieing coward is a staff member, that seems a reasonable possibility. Not a very reassuring one for National tho 🙂

    If I left a bunch of important papers somewhere I’d like to imagine I could relatively accurately describe what was in them “um… the papers from caucus this morning, a phone list for the insurance council, some scribbled notes from my meetings yesterday with x, y and z that I was planning to type up, a pile of paper about the bathroom renovation, the working paper from the select committee and submissions from umm… thingy and whatsit”

    Or, if I couldn’t actually remember exactly what was in the bundle, I could figure out what policies I use to have paper copies of and no longer did.

    This isn’t administrivia, these are serious and sensitive documents; losing them and then not knowing what you’d lost would not be a sign of usefulness around parliament.

  56. Toxteth O'Grady 57

    Billy,
    Yes I do. And the world’s stickiest bogey

  57. Billy 58

    Don’t know why my Toxteth link didn’t work:

    http://www.menvafan.net/annat/tv/tyo/bambi2.htm

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    6 hours ago
  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
    The Government’s strong financial management and plan to future proof the economy with new infrastructure investment has gained further recognition from an international ratings agency. Credit rating agency Fitch has upgraded one of its main metrics assessing the Government’s books, lifting its foreign currency AA rating outlook to ‘positive’ from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
    Whānau throughout New Zealand are set to benefit from an extra three million dollars that will go directly to Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies, the Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today.  Including previous funding boosts, the Agencies will now receive $87 million this year between them.  In Budget 2019 ...
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    11 hours ago
  • More people getting into work
    The December quarter benefit numbers released today show the Government’s plan to get people off the benefit and into work is starting to pay off,” Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni said.   “Nearly 19,000 people cancelled their benefit and went into work in the last few months of the year – ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Wairoa gets up to $6.1m to rebuild heart of CBD
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing up to $6.1 million to revitalise business and tourism opportunities in Wairoa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The PGF is funding: Up to $4.8 million for the Wairoa Integrated Business and Tourism Facility Up to $960,000 for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
    Creative and cultural events that highlight New Zealand’s diverse culture and build national pride are set to get a funding boost through the Major Events Fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. The new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator, which is funded through the Major Events Fund, will open ...
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    1 day ago
  • Classroom internet in hundreds of schools to get a boost
    The Government has begun a massive IT upgrade to provide more seamless internet access to 200 schools around the country. Te Mana Tūhono – Technology in Schools work programme will launch with a pilot of 10 smaller state schools early this year. IT equipment that gives students access to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Construction workforce, apprenticeships hit record highs
    Working with industry and committing to rebuild New Zealand’s infrastructure has produced a record high number of Kiwis working in the construction industry and learning trades, says Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa. New figures available today from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and the Tertiary Education ...
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    2 days ago
  • NZ concludes digital economy trade talks with Singapore and Chile
    A new trade agreement concluded today helps New Zealand exporters and consumers take advantage of opportunities from digital trade.    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker together with Chile’s Vice Minister of Trade Rodrigo Yañez and Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing, have announced conclusion of ...
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    2 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna -  Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project will receive $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to create an authentic cultural tourism experience, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today “The project will inform visitors about the history of six pā sites in Waipukurau with a combination ...
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    2 days ago
  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
    Twenty-one new District Court judges have been appointed in a move that will improve access to justice and boost diversity on the bench. The new judges include replacements for retirements and 10 new positions. Attorney-General David Parker today announced the 14 judges who can immediately be named, with the remainder ...
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    2 days ago
  • Puhinui to Auckland Airport in 10 minutes
    Aucklanders are another step closer to getting rapid transit to the airport, with the start of construction to upgrade State Highway 20B to the airport, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. SH20B will be upgraded with additional lanes in each direction, dedicated to bus and high-occupancy vehicles between Pukaki Creek ...
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    2 days ago
  • Advancing New Zealand’s trade agenda focus of Europe meetings
    World Trade Organisation reform, agricultural trade and a free trade agreement with the United Kingdom will be the focus of Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker’s visit to Europe this week. David Parker leaves on Tuesday for a series of meetings in the UK and Switzerland that aim ...
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    3 days ago
  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
    The Minister of Defence, Ron Mark, departed today for the United States and Canada where he will meet with his counterparts.  While in Canada Minister Mark will meet with his counterpart, Minister of National Defence Harjit Sajjan.  “New Zealand and Canada are close friends, and share an instinctive like-mindedness on ...
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    4 days ago
  • Government to deliver family carers $2000 pay rise, expand scheme to spouses this year
    The Coalition Government is delivering this year the changes to Funded Family Care the disability sector has long-asked for, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. “Today we are announcing the details of our big changes to Funded Family Care, including an annual average pay boost of $2,246.40 for funded ...
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    5 days ago
  • Ko te reo kua mū: Piri Sciascia
    Minister for Māori Development Nanaia Mahuta joins te ao Māori in their sorrow as they learn of the loss of one of the great orators and spokespersons of a generation – Piri Sciascia.  “The son of Pōrangahau was a staunch advocate for Māori development and served his people for over ...
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    5 days ago
  • Minister opens new ecosanctuary at Cape Farewell
    A new ecosanctuary with a predator proof fence on Golden Bay’s Cape Farewell, which will restore a safe home for sea birds, rare native plants, giant snails, and geckos, was officially opened today by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “There has been a fantastic community effort supported by the ...
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    5 days ago
  • Pacific partners work together to provide additional support to Australia
    The NZDF continues to support the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles fires in Victoria and New South Wales, including by transporting Republic of Fiji Military engineers from Nadi to Australia, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. On Saturday morning a NZDF Boeing 757 will depart New Zealand to uplift ...
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    6 days ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive PGF funding: A $9.88 million investment to begin the ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt accounts in surplus, debt remains low
    The Government’s books are in good shape with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the five months to November. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above forecast by $0.7 billion resulting ...
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    6 days ago
  • Auckland focus for first Police graduation of 2020
    The number of Police on the Auckland frontline is increasing with the graduation today of a special locally-trained wing of new constables. Police Minister Stuart Nash says the graduation of eighteen officers from Recruit Wing 333-5 means that more than 1900 new Police have been deployed since the Coalition Government ...
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    1 week ago
  • Wairarapa gets $7.11m PGF water boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund is putting $7.11 million into creating a sustainable water supply for Wairarapa, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. The following two projects will receive Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) funding: A $7 million investment in Wairarapa Water Limited for the pre-construction development of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Progress with new Police station in Mahia
    Community safety and crime prevention in the East Coast community of Mahia has moved forward with the opening of a new Police station to serve the growing coastal settlement. Police Minister Stuart Nash has officially opened the new station, which was relocated almost 20 kilometres along the coast from the nearby ...
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    1 week ago
  • Plans to protect the future of whitebaiting announced
    With several native whitebait species in decline the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has today released proposals to standardise and improve management of whitebait across New Zealand. “The need for action for a healthy whitebait fishery has never been greater,” Eugenie Sage said.  “Four of the six whitebait species are ...
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    1 week ago
  • New resource for schools to increase awareness and understanding of climate change
    A new Ministry of Education resource available for schools in 2020 will increase awareness and understanding of climate change, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The resource, Climate Change – prepare today, live well tomorrow, will help students understand the effects of climate change at a local, national and global ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Getting more out of our most productive firms
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has approved the terms of reference for an Inquiry into the economic contribution of New Zealand's frontier firms. Frontier firms are the most productive firms in the domestic economy within their own industry. “These firms are important as they diffuse new technologies and business practices into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF sends more support to Australia
    The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) is sending an Environmental Health Team, a Primary Health Care Team and a Chaplain to Australia, boosting New Zealand support for the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as it battles bush fires in Victoria and New South Wales, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand joins partners in calling for full investigation into air crash in Iran
    Acting Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Rt Hon Winston Peters says that developments suggesting a surface-to-air missile is responsible for the downing of the Ukrainian International Airlines flight in Iran is disastrous news. “New Zealand offers its deepest sympathies to the families of the 176 victims. It is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Staying connected to Australian agriculture
    Agriculture Minister, Damien O’Connor, says the Ministry for Primary Industries is continuing to stay connected to federal authorities in Australia as devastating fires affect the country.  “The Ministry is using an existing trans-Tasman forum for discussions on the agricultural impact of the fires and the future recovery phase,” says Damien ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Investment in schools – a commitment to communities
    Thousands of school-age children, their teachers and wider communities are benefiting from the Government’s multi-million dollar investment upgrading and renewing schools, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “We want New Zealand to be the best place to be a child and that means learning in warm, comfortable and modern classrooms,” ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Defence Force sends support to Australia
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark today announced New Zealand is sending three Royal New Zealand Air Force NH90 helicopters and crew, and two NZ Army Combat Engineer Sections as well as a command element to support the Australian Defence Force efforts in tackling the Australian fires.  The New Zealand Defence Force ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Better access to books for blind and low vision citizens on World Braille Day
    "Today is World Braille Day and I am delighted to announce that an international treaty giving blind and low vision New Zealanders access to books and literary works comes into force today,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “Today the Marrakesh Treaty and the associated amendments to the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago