Apologists

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, July 29th, 2009 - 58 comments
Categories: corruption, law and "order", national/act government - Tags:

Picture this:

Anchor “and now we go live to whatsherface outside the High Court in Christchurch to tell us the latest in the Weatherston trial”

Whatsherface “the prosecution is saying that Weatherston committed a grave breach of the Crimes Act but, look, I know of this other guy who killed someone and he was never caught. It happens all the time. So maybe Weatherston’s only mistake was being so obvious about it. Let’s not be too hard on him”

Horrible. Dispicable. That reporter would never work again.

It’s the line we got from Garner and Mold last night, and Patterson this morning: ‘we’ve been getting secret leaks of personal info for years. Bennett’s only mistake was doing it openly’.

No. Her mistake wasn’t getting caught. She broke the law. It was illegal when ministers did it on the sly. You should have dobbed them in. It’s illegal now.

Obviously this was fed to the media from Key’s office. Garner and Mold didn’t magically come up with the same line to round off their reports. Do better guys. Don’t be apologists for bullying ministers who have broken the law.

Even if you know others have broken the law. Even if Taylor suggested it really nicely and promises you some titbits in return.

58 comments on “Apologists ”

  1. Obviously this was fed to the media from Key’s office. Garner and Mold didn’t magically come up with the same line to round off their reports.

    The TV reporters caucus on their angles all the time. I presume that Guyon Espiner voiced this opinion and Garner and Mold quickly agreed with it. I highly doubt Key’s office was involved.

  2. Maynard J 2

    I get the impression that what is done often is that someone (minister, aide etc) would suggest “why do you not take a look at how much these people get”. Reporters would then use information that is in the public domain and decide if that was relevant (i.e. in general, how much DPB is given based on number of kids etc).

    That does not seem remotely similar to relasing actual details of payments in terms of method or outcome. In these other cases they mention, the minister might have the information, but does not disclose it. What the reporters were talking about seems to indicate they cannot see the difference either.

  3. Mike 3

    It would be quite interesting (ok not really), to go back and look at reporting surrounding various Labour government scandals and see how many times the reports are ‘balanced’ by equating the scandal of the day to the actions of the National governments in the 90s.

    I’m guessing the number is close to zero.

  4. Tim Ellis 4

    Apart from the distasteful and hysterical way that you have compared Weatherston’s actions with Ms Bennett, there is a genuine dispute about whether what Ms Bennett was legal. I think she probably should have sought legal advice before releasing the information, or erred on the side of caution. The point that the reporters make is very important, though. Labour have been shrieking “muldoonism” and more than one poster here has said that it’s a new precedent that didn’t happen before.

    What the reporters are all saying is that the media were regularly fed spin and information from Labour’s ministers, providing the other side of the story.

    Personally I think it’s refreshing for a Minister to front up with information, rather than providing sly, sneaky documents. The issue isn’t whether somebody gets caught. That is hysterical nonsense. The issue is whether it is a common practice by Ministers to release sensitive information about individuals when they complain publicly about their circumstances and withhold information. It appears that this practice was common under the last Government.

    • Maynard J 4.1

      “there is a genuine dispute about whether what Ms Bennett was legal.”

      I think she has been since she was 16.

      “The issue is whether it is a common practice by Ministers to release sensitive information about individuals when they complain publicly about their circumstances and withhold information.”

      Not what anyone I have heard from said. They said that the ministers might suggest where reporters might want to look, not that they release information directly.

      Can you please define hysterical, Tim, because it is a term you fire about frequently and it seems to mean no more that “Tim does not agree with this”. Your line about “Labour shrieking Muldoonism” has got to be more hysterical than anything written here. “Hysterics: Tim shrieking ‘Labour shrieking Muldoonism'”…

    • BLiP 4.2

      The issue is whether it is a common practice by Ministers to release sensitive information about individuals when they complain publicly about their circumstances and withhold information.

      Been onto the phone to your mates at Crosby/Textor and given your talking points with which to muddy the situation with your dribble and seek to climb out of the hole Bully Bennett has dug, Timothy?

      The issue is whether or not it is okay for the government to illegally use the resources of the state to silence dissent. Your blethering amounts to collusion with the John Key National Government Inc position that, yes, its okay.

  5. IrishBill 5

    You may well be right Danyl but like I’ve said I am unaware of personal details from a private citizen’s state-held file being shopped to a journo like this either on or off the record. If Garner or Mold have examples of this happening before I’d expect them to put them in the public eye.

    I suspect the truth is they don’t.

  6. As I’ve said on my blog, Lianne Dalziel leaked legal papers regarding an immigration case to TV3, lied about it and was forced to resign.

    My understanding is that Labour Ministers and staffers DID leak private information to the press, but in an off-the-record capacity that was designed to influence the way the story was covered without putting the information out there for the public. So, hypothetically, if someone was attacking CYFS for taking their child into custody a staffer would inform the media that CYFS records showed that the child was being abused, but that they were unable to say so publically because that would breach privacy.

    • Draco T Bastard 6.1

      One case where the person who did it was forced to resign. You hypothetical situation is actually legal from my reading of the privacy act.

    • Tim Ellis 6.2

      The CYFS case is probably a bit different, Danyl as it concerns the welfare of a child.

      • snoozer 6.2.1

        Can you point to the section of the Privacy Act that says ‘if you’re an adult, this Act does not apply?’

        of course you can’t because you’re full of crap.

        • Tim Ellis 6.2.1.1

          No that’s not what I said snoozer. It is well established in criminal law that the perpetrator of violence or abuse against a child can’t be identified if it would identify the identity of the child.

          • BLiP 6.2.1.1.1

            Bullshit.

            • IrishBill 6.2.1.1.1.1

              He’s right. That is the law and it’s why the courts generally grant permanent name suppression to people that sexually abuse their children.

            • BLiP 6.2.1.1.1.2

              No he’s not. This is what he said:

              It is well established in criminal law that the perpetrator of violence or abuse against a child can’t be identified if it would identify the identity of the child.

              Just one exampleof the sad litany of child abuse in New Zealand: Kahui. Timothy may have meant that the names of children who survive sexual abuse and/or violence carried out by someone who would by association identify the victim then, yes. Otherwise, its another example of Timothy bullshit.

            • BLiP 6.2.1.1.1.3

              No he’s not. This is what he said:

              It is well established in criminal law that the perpetrator of violence or abuse against a child can’t be identified if it would identify the identity of the child.

              Just two examples from the sad litany of child abuse in New Zealand: at one end of the continuum Kahui, and Jimmy Mason at the other. Would you like more examples?

              Timothy may have meant that the names of children who survive sexual abuse and/or other violence carried out by someone who would by association identify the victim then, yes. Otherwise, its another example of Timothy bullshit.

      • Graeme 6.2.2

        I don’t see that it’s different. The child is safe – already removed from the unsafe environment. If you need the information out there to protect a child, sure, but that wasn’t the hypothetical.

  7. I’m no fan of Bennett. I think she’s in the wrong and have said as much on my own site.

    But is it necessary to bring the Weatherston case into the discussion?

    He killed someone in a brutal manner. She may have breached the Privacy Act. Let’s keep some perspective on things.

    • snoozer 7.1

      I see the point – just because someone has got away with something in the past doesn’t make it acceptable when someone else does it and gets caught.

      Sometimes an extreme example is needed to show the ludicrousness of the logic in an argument

    • The Voice of Reason 7.2

      Dunno, Scott, they both seem to like the provocation defence. Hope it works out just as well for Bennett as it did for Weatherston.

      • BLiP 7.2.1

        It is exactly the provaction defence. Further, Bennett’s decision that she knew better than to ask for advice indicates a certain level of narcissism that is becoming more and more apparent in National Inc.

  8. burt 8

    “They did it too’ is the last refuge of the apologists.

    ( One spectacular case that sticks in my mind was a muppet telling me that National once validated $50m so Labour validating an unknown amount of money covering 14 years was just fine by him )

    The debate needs to be lifted from ‘but your team did it too’ to a debate on principles, ethics and standards. The people (the voters) have a right to expect their elected representatives will act in the best interests of the voters above their own or their parties. We must be able to expect that our elected representatives will act within the law. (Particularly so with regard to laws they have written to ‘govern’ themselves)

    I think you are right to make a stand about Bennett and the apparent breach of the privacy laws. It is good to see that opposition has removed the burden of defending the govt for Labour supporters and allowed them to focus on right and wrong rather than defending expedient and convenient. Defending expedient and convenient has been picked up on National party supporter bloggs.

    It’s a funny game of musical chairs the partisans play, I’ll be mighty impressed if this attack of principles here at the standard survives for long once Labour are back in power. But that is a few years away so lets get on holding the govt accountable to us now and worry about the game of it all next time somebody calls out ‘all change seats’.

    • Tim Ellis 8.1

      burt, I was using the “but Labour did it too” defence against the specific claim that it was a new thing, and that Labour didn’t do it.

      I think there is a genuine question of principle about whether it is appropriate for a minister to present important contextual information about a person’s case, when that person is only presenting half the story about their case.

      • exbrethren 8.1.1

        Bennett says that it was important to release this information as the people concerned were talking about the law change but says it is inappropriate to release her own info, blatant hypocrisy. She also appears to have been very selective in what she released in a pretty transparent attempt to get talk radio to savage these women.

        It is certainly a moral abuse of ministerial power if nothing else.

        • Tim Ellis 8.1.1.1

          I don’t think Paula Bennett has ever misrepresented the amount of money she got from the state to advance her case for getting more benefits from the state.

          • lprent 8.1.1.1.1

            Yes she did. It was mentioned on the campaign trail many times last year. For that matter as recently as this week.

            In effect she was using previous benefit payments for arguing for more benefit payments as a MP. Subsequently she used it when appointed as minister and for promoting this government. As such it belongs in the public domain using her own criteria.

            I can’t really distinguish between people drawing benefits from the state.

          • snoozer 8.1.1.1.2

            Neither did they

          • exbrethren 8.1.1.1.3

            They are campaigning to keep the TIA, she is campaigning to scrap it despite benefitting from it herself. Using her logic all her finances should be released as well.

            • Maynard J 8.1.1.1.3.1

              Her salary as a demonstration of what you can do if the ladder is not pulled up in front of you by the last person to climb it?

              Na, two wrongs do not make a right. I do not want to know what she got, and have no right. Same as with these two.

            • exbrethren 8.1.1.1.3.2

              I totally agree, but was just pointing out her rank hypocrisy over the issue.

      • The Voice of Reason 8.1.2

        Hi, Tim and brave of you to keep using your real name, given the circ’s!

        The issue the women were highlighting is the removal of the TIA, not the total benefits they were on. They want to see the allowance retained. Bennett doesn’t. That’s the issue, that’s the argument. The other payments they receive have no bearing whatsoever on the validity of their position against its removal. So it was completely underhand for Basher Bennett to release the details and if it costs Key another Minister, that’s appropriate.

        Glad that you mentioned the welfare of children, too. Wonder how the kids of these two women are getting on at school today? Any chance they’re receiving the same kind of abuse Bennett has caused to be dished out at their mums?

        • felix 8.1.2.1

          Hi, Tim and brave of you to keep using your real name, given the circ’s!

          Not really, Tim doesn’t criticise the govt so he’ll be fine.

          • andy 8.1.2.1.1

            Not really, Tim doesn’t criticise the govt so he’ll be fine.

            This government, but what about the next one?

            • snoozer 8.1.2.1.1.1

              Tim will have no objection to them releasing personal information about him to ‘balance the debate’ if he opposes them

            • Tim Ellis 8.1.2.1.1.2

              Sure, felix, if I go public about an entitlement I want to receive and explain my personal financial circumstances as a reason for receiving the entitlement, but withold half of the information about my personal circumstances, I would not be bothered if the government released the rest of the facts. In fact on the privacy commissioner’s website, the eighth example highlights just that scenario.

            • Pascal's bookie 8.1.2.1.1.3

              I’m not at all sure that that’s the case here Tim, but even so.

              It seems that if someone claims that the current level of taxation is too high, and that that is affecting their business, or whatever else; then you would have no problem with the IRD releasing all the info they hold about that person’s income and tax details.

            • Tim Ellis 8.1.2.1.1.4

              I think the tax issue is quite different, PB because there are strict tax secrecy laws. If those laws didn’t exist and Party A started a campaign saying: “Tim Ellis pays too much tax! He pays $50,000 in tax! Give him a tax break!”, then apart from the tax secrecy requirements, I wouldn’t have a problem with Mr Dunne coming out and saying: “That’s not correct. He paid $10,000 in tax last year, missed a tax payment the year before and he’s got working for families for the past four years meaning he’s paid no tax.”

            • Marty G 8.1.2.1.1.5

              Tim. Can you point me to these ‘strict secrecy laws’ that somehow set a higher standard for privacy on tax issues then on other confidential info that the government holds on you.

              What you fail to see, Tim, is that by being willing to sacrifice or disregard these women’s rights in this case, you’re opening yourself to be the next person to have their rights abused. We stand together or we fall alone.

          • The Voice of Reason 8.1.2.1.2

            I’m more worried that Tim has got offside with Burt! I hate to see the right squabbling amongst themselves, its so anti-aspirational.

            • IrishBill 8.1.2.1.2.1

              Tim you’ve already gone public on lots of issues right here on the Standard. Using Bennett’s “logic” releasing your personal information could be justified as balancing the debate by demonstrating how you would personally gain/lose from the implementation of the policies you argue for/against.

            • Tim Ellis 8.1.2.1.2.2

              Not really, IB, because I haven’t gone publicly campaigning and misrepresenting my personal circumstances to get more from the government, and nor has any political party on my behalf.

            • Marty G 8.1.2.1.2.3

              Tim. get it into your head. Your privacy is not subject to you being ‘worthy’ or ‘good’ in a minister’s judgement.It is a right. They don’t have the power to throw that out the window… not even if your story is, horror of horrors, taken up by the Opposition

  9. graham 9

    so irish bill you dont remember erin leigh what a bad memory you have
    please keep attacking national it helps to raise their support

  10. felix 10

    Can someone start a “kid’s table” thread just for the two of them to fight it out?

    • felix 10.1

      oops that was supposed to be a reply to TVoR.

      • burt 10.1.1

        Oh, no offence Tim. I normally agree with much of what you say and you don’t automatically take a contrary position to everything I say like some muppets.

        However as much as I like knowing how much these welfare cases who are lovers of state dependency really take off productive people each week – I don’t think Bennett was right to release the details.

        • Tim Ellis 10.1.1.1

          Fair enough burt. I’ve said elsewhere that I thought it was a line call from Ms Bennett, and I think she probably thinks now she should have got legal advice before releasing it and I don’t know the privacy law to be able to say one way or the other whether it was appropriate.

          I think though there are three issues. Should there be a defence if a person goes public with only half their details, to allow the Minister to release the other half of the details to put the case in perspective? I think so, and the advice from the Privacy Commission is they have that defence. I don’t know if it applies in this case.

          Secondly, is it ethical for a political party to put up individual cases (people often in quite difficult circumstances) to put up only half the relevant information and then expose those individuals to humiliation when the media finds out the full facts? This isn’t the first time that the Labour Party has done this. Mr Goff seems to be fashioning his leadership style around hamming up a case using only half a story, and then leaving the poor sod to face the music when the media finds out the rest of the facts.

          Thirdly (and it isn’t the you did it too defence), but I get annoyed with Labour saying that they didn’t do it. It’s either acceptable conduct for a Minister or it’s not, as you say. Labour shouldn’t play for outrage game over it when according to half of the press gallery it was common practice for Labour to shop this around. That is not an excuse for the conduct but it does mitigate against Labour’s outrage over it.

    • burt 10.2

      I wasn’t responding to Tim, but I guess he thought the cap fitted. I don’t care about Tim’s position. Change the players and Tim & rOb are interchangeable as far as I’m concerned. Sure they both mean well but really there is a limit to how much “My side was justified” I can take in any one day.

  11. burt 11

    As a side issue, how did Bennett get hold of the details for these two woman?

    What I’m asking is; Can the minister just ask somebody in MSD/WINZ/Social Welfare to give her the details for individuals?

    This in itself sounds wrong ?

    • RedLogix 11.1

      Bennett was also confronted in Parliament by questions about where the information had come from. It appears from her answers to Annette King that Bennett has a computer in her office from which her welfare officials can access beneficiary files.

      That is how she got the information – without going through the chief executive of the ministry of social development, Peter Hughes.

      Labour is suggesting that Hughes, one of the public service’s leading CE’s, is furious about it. That may or may not be true but at the every least he should have been consulted about such a sensitive matter.

      Herald

      Not sure if this makes it any better or not. At least the Ministry may not have been directly involved.

      • burt 11.1.1

        RedLogix

        That is actually quite disconcerting. Are we to believe that there is access to individual welfare case files in the ministers office? That sounds like BS to me and I suspect somebody is telling porkies.

        However if the minister has direct access available to individual case files the question “WHY?” needs to be asked.

        Oh, cheers for the Herald link.

    • felix 11.2

      I wondered that too burt, I would have thought a person’s private information would be off limits to anyone apart from those directly working on that particular case, including Ministers.

      It’s worrying to think that a Minister would have free access to personal details at all, whether they were to make them public or not.

  12. burt 12

    OK, so she did get access to personal details now the next question is; Excluding the overarching conditions imposed by the privacy commission, what declarations of secrecy and privacy did Bennett sign when she became a minister? Surely there were non disclosure arrangements that remove her rights to publicly discuss details concerning information that is not already in the public domain?

    • burt 12.1

      <wind_up_the_muppets>Actually in the theme of apologists – we must not forget that the business of govt is whatever govt decide it to be.</wind_up_the_muppets>

  13. Maggie 13

    If John Key was discovered in bed with a group of girl guides, Tim Ellis would tell us how wonderful it was that the PM was taking such a personal interest in the welfare of our young people…..

    Didn’t Bennett say something in Parliament about her office having to regularly field enquiries from MPs about the WINZ entitlements of individual constituents?

    Why on earth should those enquiries go to the Minister’s office? Isn’t that the sort of thing that electorate secretaries and local WINZ offices are for?

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    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 ...
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    7 days 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    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
    12 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
    3 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
    3 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    6 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
    7 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
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