Auditor General rules on Dirty Politics allegation

Written By: - Date published: 8:33 am, May 16th, 2015 - 46 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, food, national, national/act government, Politics, same old national - Tags: , , , ,

katherine_rich_N2

One of the inquiries into issues arising from Dirty Politics has come to a very unsatisfactory conclusion.

Concerns were raised by the Greens about former National MP Katherine Rich.  She is now the chief executive of the Food and Grocery Council whose roles include lobbying for the alcohol, tobacco and grocery-food industries.  The alleged conflict related to her appointment to the Health Promotion Agency, a government quango whose job is to promote health, wellbeing and healthy lifestyles, the pursuit of which requires people to consume less of her sponsors’ products.

Rich is mentioned in Dirty Politics.  One of the allegations made is that Tony Falkenstein, an anti obesity campaigner, was targeted by the Whaleoil blog and attacked at the request of Rich.

The background is described in the Herald:

In Dirty Politics, Hager claimed Mr Falkenstein was written about after his name appeared on an advertisement seeking out people with Type 2 Diabetes. The advertisement, which sought people for a possible Australian class action against soft drink companies, was sent by Mrs Rich to Mr Graham, and then to Slater for his website, he claimed.

Mr Hager claimed emails showed website posts attacking Mr Falkenstein included the line “3 hits smashing him good and proper” with each described as a “KR hit”.

Mr Hager claimed another email had Mr Graham telling Slater: “Coke keeps sending stuff to KR expecting her to do something (where we come in). Hit pending.” Mr Hager claimed at least one post was also written on Fonterra’s behalf, again through the Food and Grocery Council. A spokeswoman for Coca-Cola said it would take “a bit of time” to respond to the allegations and offered no further comment. A Fonterra spokesman said “we have never, directly or indirectly, requested or paid for posts on the Whale Oil blog”.

Maybe this was Cameron just big noting.  But the allegations are that serious they need to be investigated properly.

The Greens complained to the Auditor General and managed to persuade her to conduct an investigation.

Putting to one side the use of Slater to conduct smears on health advocates Rich’s involvement on the HPA takes some understanding.  Letting someone representing Coke or the alcohol or tobacco industies have a say in promoting healthy lifestyles would be akin to allowing Mobil to dictate climate change policies.

The Auditor General announced her decision into the investigation this week and decided that no conflict exists.  She did not see the need to interview Mrs Rich and determined that section 62(3)(ca) of the Crown Entities Act 2004 resolved things.  This section states that a person does not have conflict of interest only because they have “past or current involvement in the relevant sector, industry, or practice”.

This is a very brave decision because it appears that Ms Rich has never declared an interest in any matter. Ever.

This is startling.  It is one thing to be appointed to a position with the potential for conflict.  It is another for a conflict of interest to have never been acknowledged.

Section 62(2)(d) of the Crown Entities Act 2004 says that someone has a conflict in a matter if they may be directly or indirectly interested in the matter.  The FGC must be interested in the activities of the HPA.  The way I see it nothing could be clearer.  And section 62(3)(ca) cannot have been intended as a blanket protection for appointees with industry connections.  It is merely saying that in general those connections do not of themselves create an interest.  But it is not difficult to imagine a situation where decision concerning a campaign has a direct effect on a personal interest.  And in this situation an interest should have been acknowledged.

Anyone so interested must disclose it.  And they are not meant to vote or even take part in the discussion concerning any matter they have an interest in.

An interesting feature of the decision is that the section the Auditor General was relying on was inserted into the Act with effect from July 18, 2013.  Rich was appointed to the HPA on June 19, 2012.  The protection afforded by this particular section was not there for the first 13 months of her term.

The Auditor General decided that the Dirty Politics allegations were out of scope as these were allegations made about her acting in a personal capacity.  I guess a comment about the appropriateness of her continued role in the position would be out of scope but you have to wonder at her suitability to continue given what has been alleged.

The issue is important.  The HPA has a vital role to play in helping New Zealand deal with obesity and related health effects.  Allowing someone linked to Coca Cola or the Tobacco or Alcohol industries to make decisions about the shape of campaigns leaves you with the strong impression that the HPA will be doing less than what it should be.

46 comments on “Auditor General rules on Dirty Politics allegation”

  1. locus 1

    call me a cynic …. but only a year to push for a place on the honours list

  2. Differentview 2

    The term “regulatory capture” is now well understood in US politics. I guess it needs to be better understood here, before we end up where they are.

    • Sans Cle 2.1

      What legal recourse is there in NZ to do anything about “regulatory capture”?
      If there are no proper checks and balances, no second chamber for governance oversight, what can we do when we perceive such injustice?

      • Colonial Rawshark 2.1.1

        The US has a “second chamber”; all it means in practice is that the corporations have to pay out to a second lot of pollies with insider trading info, campaigning funds, and post public office board positions.

        If you want to sort the system out you need to limit the size, power and money of the trans-nationals, especially the banks.

        • Sans Cle 2.1.1.1

          A second chamber can slow the regulatory process down, so at least there is a chance of some form of democratic discussion – leading to greater transparency.
          ‘Democracy’ in NZ’s Parliament (at least at question time) is a tragic joke, so a second chamber replicating that process would not be useful.
          I would like to see a second chamber that has an explicit focus on the future of NZ – society 50 to 100 years from now. Then we may get better decisions.
          Not sure how the AG’s investigation into Katherine Rich would be linked or pan-out in a long-term focused second chamber; but perhaps the Rich case would link to declining governance standards, myopic investigations all eroding the very tenets of (perceived) democracy.

  3. repateet 3

    “… allegations made about her acting in a personal capacity…”

    Here we go again with the “I was not acting as Prime Minister at the time” scenario.

    • Murray Simmonds 3.1

      Yep exactly right repateet and others.

      “Officer, officer, I did not shoot that man. It was just my rifle acting in its personal capacity as a gun . . . . and well, yeeesss, my finger WAS on the trigger at the time that the gun discharged itself . . . but that was just my finger acting in its personal capacity as a finger . . . ”

      And so we go on!

  4. Richard Christie 4

    The Auditor General decided that the Dirty Politics allegations were out of scope as these were allegations made about her acting in a personal capacity. I guess a comment about the appropriateness of her continued role in the position would be out of scope but you have to wonder at her suitability to continue given what has been alleged.

    I wondered if the “she” in this paragraph referred to Rich or the AG.

    Then I realised that it made sense either way.

  5. tc 5

    Colour me surprised, the Nats only allowed this to proceed knowing that the AG would narrow the focus play the ‘personal capacity’ card that shonky has made popular and hey presto there’s no conflict of interest.

    A theme emerging with these sorts of whitewashes is the lack of interviewing key parties to avoid potential hiccups should they not get their story aligned, my how convenient.

    • Colonial Rawshark 5.1

      The right wing have very good lawyers in very tall glass buildings that look out over every city in the nation.

    • RedLogix 5.2

      This idea that you can somehow evade the rules around conflict of interest by simply declaring that you were acting in your ‘personal capacity’ is absolutely fucking insane. It’s a complete inversion, perversion and murdering of the English language.

      Every grown up in public life understands that conflicts of interest WILL occur. It’s normal. All capable people in business or politics will have multiple interests and roles, and from time to time they will present a conflict. There is nothing wrong with this.

      It is how you handle them which matters. You must be alert to them arising, they must be declared early and a plan put in place to manage the specific situation. Not all conflicts of interest are the same, nor do all demand complete withdrawal – but there must be a clear and legally defend-able process in place.

      Anything lower standard simply opens the door to corruption. Which is precisely what our Prime Minister has signaled when he used this ‘personal capacity’ defense – after he was found out. While Key may well have made an argument defending that specific incident – the Prime Minister is the person at the top. It is this person who sets the tone and standards – not only within government and public service – but more widely across the entire business community. This is why it mattered a great deal.

      • felix 5.2.2

        How would the personal capacity angle even apply here?

        Are we to believe she works for the FGC by day for money, and then runs smear campaigns for them by night as a hobby?

        And even if that made sense, which it doesn’t, how could it possibly not represent a conflict with her HPA role to be attacking health promoters in her spare time?

        It’s nonsense.

        • Colonial Rawshark 5.2.2.1

          It’s nonsense.

          And the AG would know that. It seems to me like this tidy answer on Rich has been very strenuously goal-seeked, even to the point of absurdity. Perhaps there is more conflicted judgement going on here than simply Katherine Rich’s.

          • Sacha 5.2.2.1.1

            Here is the letter in question:
            http://oag.govt.nz/media/2015/health-promotion-agency

            The Auditor-General used the phrase “private capacity” – not clear whether it means wearing the private-sector FGC hat or personal.

            She could have at least interviewed Hager you’d think, rather than completely ignoring the reason why the conflict of interest accusations got enough air so that the OAG was approached in the first place.

            Rich’s conduct seems relevant no matter what hat she was wearing. If the allegations are true, do we want people sitting on oversight boards of public agencies at the same time as they actively undermine the agency’s objectives? Most people understand you don’t appoint a fox to guard the henhouse.

        • emergency mike 5.2.2.2

          “Are we to believe she works for the FGC by day for money, and then runs smear campaigns for them by night as a hobby?”

          Well put felix. I guess it could be said that when she is acting in her ‘personal capacity’ it’s outside the scope of the inquiry in a ridiculous ‘thats her own business’ way. How convenient. And as you say, totally implausible.

          “And even if that made sense, which it doesn’t, how could it possibly not represent a conflict with her HPA role to be attacking health promoters in her spare time?”

          It’s about as clear a conflict as can be imagined. But in light of the scope of the whitewash above, I thus assume it would be her boss, John ‘Deals Over Dinner’ Key who would make the call as to whether some one who attacks health promoters in their personal capacity is really the best choice for the health promotion agency.

          It appears he not bovvered about it so I guess it’s all fine.

  6. greywarshark 6

    AG MO SNAFU

  7. Sirenia 7

    Just more unethical behaviour from an unethical government and its allies. Even if a conflict of interest is merely perceived it should be declared. Why don’t they get it?

  8. Clemgeopin 8

    What is wrong with the Auditor general? Is this outfit supposed to work in the best interest of the people of the country or is it there to primarily work for the interest of the government and the big business? At the very least, Tony Falkenstein, Katherine Rich and the Whale oil’s Slater should have been interviewed. This is a half baked incomplete investigation and a very poor decision. A disgrace!

  9. Differentview 9

    Colonial Rawshark had it right: “If you want to sort the system out you need to limit the size, power and money of the trans-nationals, especially the banks.”

    No regulatory system can produce a level playing field between the All Blacks and a college team. Corporations outgun the ordinary folk even worse than that image, because besides being huge, they have no conscience and no compassion. Faced with the need to exercise either, their executives would claim that they have no authority to do other than maximize shareholder value.

    But corporations have a couple of even greater advantages than even very wealthy humans: they do not sleep or need rest, are potentially immortal, can change their identities at will, and can exist simultaneously in many places at once. Just like us humans and deserving the same rights? Not hardly.

    A size limit on corporations would produce local entities nearer to the human scale, and also encourage the creation of more corps, which would compete with each other. The only problem then is international competition from the behemoths that would still exist elsewhere. Answer: no TPP or similar treaties, trade restrictions where appropriate; we run our own society our own way, Pharmac and all.

  10. Penny Bright 10

    In my considered opinion, NZ Auditor-General Lyn Provost is the LAST person who should be making decisions on ‘conflicts of interest’ – she obviously doesn’t have a clue.

    Why do I think so?

    Seen this?

    http://www.parliament.nz/resource/en-nz/50DBSCH_SCR6208_1/2064c8e8f81a4c81dde4ec2a87469884ce2f8642

    “The Finance and Expenditure Committee has considered Petition 2011/101 of Penelope Mary Bright and 13 others, requesting

    That the House conduct an urgent inquiry into why New Zealand Auditor-General Lyn Provost did not disclose that she was a shareholder in Sky City Entertainment Group Ltd at the time she declined to conduct an urgent investigation into the failure of the Organised and Financial Crime Agency of New Zealand to carry out “due diligence” on the increased risk of money-laundering arising from the New Zealand International Convention Centre (Bill) 2013.

    We have no matters to bring to the attention of the House. ”
    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    I wasn’t even asked to give evidence in support of this petition.

    Only Auditor-General Lyn Provost was asked to provide information for this Finance and Expenditure Select Committee.

    In my considered opinion, Auditor-General Lyn Provost is corrupt, I think she is ‘unfit for duty’ and should be sacked, and I have told her so – to her face.

    In my considered opinion, New Zealand is rotten with corruption and corrupt ‘conflicts of interest’, and it reaches to the highest levels of Government, as shown by this above-mentioned Finance and Expenditure Select Committee Report.

    FYI

    http://www.investigatemagazine.co.nz/Investigate/4817/auditor-general-asked-about-her-sky-city-conflict-of-interest/
    Penny Bright

    Auditor-General asked about her Sky City conflict of interest

    February 3, 2014 iwishart

    Auditor-General Lyn Provost has been asked to explain a conflict of interest between her private investment in Sky City casino shares, and her November 2013 decision to turn down a request for an investigation into aspects of the Sky City casino convention deal controversy.

    Public finances and accountability watchdog Penny Bright, who polled fourth in the Auckland super-city mayoral campaign, sent an email to the Office of the Auditor-General on 8 November last, seeking an investigation into whether the Police organised crime agency OFCANZ “could or should have carried out some work to assess the effect of the [convention centre Bill] on the risk of money laundering in New Zealand”.

    OFCANZ had previously stunned commentators by revealing it had failed to investigate the money laundering implications of the deal, despite having a statutory responsibility.

    Bright complained to the Audit Office about the failure of a public agency to do its job, and her letter was answered by Controller and Auditor General Lyn Provost who wrote, “the Auditor-General’s power to carry out an inquiry is a discretionary one. Large inquiries involve a substantial investment of resources by this office and the entity we are inquiring into.

    “We receive a number of requests for inquiries each year and must choose carefully which matters warrant that level of detailed scrutiny. Our focus is on the use of public resources, and significant financial, accountability or governance issues in a public entity.”

    Having set the context, Lyn Provost then declined to investigate, despite the ‘accountability’ issue, saying it intruded on government policy and was therefore beyond the scrutiny of her office.

    What Ms Provost did not declare in her letter to Penny Bright is that she held shares in Sky City casino. Ms Provost had previously recused herself from involvement in a prior case involving Sky City for that reason.

    Provost is also a former Deputy Commissioner within the New Zealand Police who worked alongside the team responsible for OFCANZ.

    InvestigateDaily has sought comment from Ms Provost. Late today she responded with the following:

    “The particular inquiry request fell outside my mandate in the Public Audit Act as I cannot inquire into matters of policy.
    As the reason for declining to inquire was a matter of law not judgement, I replied myself. I also took the opportunity to reinforce our criteria for inquiries.

    “I have and will continue to stand aside on appropriate matters.”
    ______________________________________________________________________________________

    Penny Bright

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz

    • Chooky 10.1

      +100 Penny …more conflicts of interest and corruption exposed

      …where is the Labour Party?…and NZF?…and the Greens ….and Mana/Int on this?

    • Melanie Scott 10.2

      Demands for investigation, censure and action in relation to behaviour of Council in Kaipara were similarly batted away by the same party. We received an ‘apology’, but no investigation, censure or action.

  11. Tracey 11

    I have not read the AG;s decision in full.

    NZ is small. With a tendency to rely on a small group to rotate onto Boards and other higher level positions COI is a real problem.

    It appears that the legislation was written to acknowledge this possibility, not to dismiss all behaviour because of it. The AG by relying on

    “a person does not have conflict of interest only because they have “past or current involvement in the relevant sector, industry, or practice”

    would, imo, be correct IF there was not the alleged behaviour in the other role.

    That section, imo, is merely saying that just cos you hold two positions that may/appear to contradict each other is not sufficient to determine on a COI level BUT it DOES suggest that if there is something else then the clause falls away. as a blanket protection Note the word “only”.

    IOW, IF you hold a position in the same industry AND you have done something else then this section does not give you a get out of jail free card. IF, for example, in your other industry position you deliberately set out to smear the character of someone you disagree with in the Health promotion industry, then this could mean you have not the professional integrity to hold simultaneous positions.

    That is my read ing of it anyway.

    • Sacha 11.1

      That is the logical problem in her decision that caught my eye too.

    • mickysavage 11.2

      The funny thing Tracy is that the section they relied on was only enacted 13 months after Rich had been appointed. Presumably before then the situation would have been different.

      I do not think it decides matters anyway. If it was true they may as well take out all of the rules against conflict.

  12. Reddelusion 12

    This dirty politics is about as interesting as fast and furious 8. Move on pleeeeeease

    • mickysavage 12.1

      Why delusion? Don’t you think there should be a discussion about the abusive political practices that Dirty Politics showed existed?

    • Sans Cle 12.2

      Reddelusion, clearly it is interesting enough for your to comment on it! lol
      If I read something that I am not interested in, I gloss over it, perhaps forget it within a few minutes. I wouldn’t dream of commenting on something that doesn’t interest me!
      I have decided to reply to you, because that tactic of feigning disinterest is of interest to me – and also at the heart of political subversion, and democratic subversion of the freedom to discuss what people like!
      Asking people to stop discussing something just draws attention to the subject and to the motivation of the person requesting the cessation of debate.
      So you have my attention, and I would like to ask you:
      1. Why should discussion cease, if people suspect corruption at the highest level of governance?
      2. Were you paid to comment on this blogpost, or are you here in a recreational/ voluntary-sharing-of-ideas-in-good-faith capacity?
      3. Do you have any conflict of interest in the further investigation of the content of Dirty Politics?

  13. Reddelusion 13

    Based on responses to this post ( less mine) 23 as a measure of interest, the answer is no. dirty politics is not new, there is no such thing as clean politics, dirty politics is simply opposition claiming foul over anything they can as they are not in power. National do the same in opposition, predictable but boring

    • whateva next? 13.1

      (Red.)..delusion, a fixed and firm belief, not amenable to reason. It is clear that this fits well, and you will not be able to debate this issue, just continue to believe what you chose, so why then enter into discussion with people who wish to discuss politics?

    • mickysavage 13.2

      Delusion this is Saturday which is normally a very quiet day. I am surprised this post has attracted the attention that it has.

  14. Once was Tim 14

    I’m not sure why the surprise. It’s disgusting I know, but it’s the inevitable result of corporatisation of the Public Service ….. and so far, I don’t see any on the ‘left’ of politics advocating doing anything about it …… except maybe (and strangely enough) Winnie.
    We no longer seem to have public servants these days – merely peons doing their best under “CEO’s” running their various little feifdoms that happen to be owned by the public.
    Why are we expecting anything else whilst this continues to run?
    PoliceCorp anyone?

    ….. oh btw ….. I’m not suggesting Winnie is ‘left’ exactly, but strangely enough he does have more of a concern about many of the things that used to upset us – AND the normalisation of corrupt corporate culture when applied to a public

    • felix 14.1

      Yep, Winston has always seen through that particular bullshit in a way that I wish the Labour party would.

    • Macro 14.2

      I don’t see any on the ‘left’ of politics advocating doing anything about it

      Oh! the Greens see through it all right – and rail against it – but get little traction from the MSM unfortunately. Winston has the MSM’s ear. That’s why you hear him.

    • Sacha 14.3

      Auditor-General was pretty useful office previously.

  15. Macro 15

    If anyone was under the mistaken impression that this was not the most incompetent and corrupt administration NZ has ever had the misfortune to suffer they should be under no illusions now.

  16. Reddelusion 16

    Wow big call Marco, NZ economic performance under national, in contrast to other OECD nations and record immigration would seem to suggest otherwise

    Your free to leave, Venezuela Cuba Peru North Korea are waiting, maybe we could swap, all NZ hard lefties could head over to these socialist paradises and we take their citizens who just want the opportunity what country like NZ provide, rather than whinge whinge and externalise every issue they have on the government

    • mickysavage 16.1

      Hey in Aotearoa under Michael Cullen nine budget surpluses, under National 7 budget deficits.

      Come on delusion, argue with that.

      Can we get a better class of wing nuts?

    • The Murphey 16.2

      Q. Why do you lot repeat the same lines ?

      Q. Does it feel good carrying out the ‘assigned tasks’ ?

      Q. Which country are you located ?

      Q. Do your family / friends know of the ‘assigned tasks’ you carry out ?

      Q. What other ‘assigned tasks’ do you perform ?

      Q. Do you understand the difference between ‘your and you’re’ ?

      • Chooky 16.2.1

        his/her English grammar is very poor …obviously NOT a New Zealander …and obviously NOT well educated….so he/she should just be ignored….a foreign t..l and friend of Jonkey Nact….looking out to rort New Zealanders and New Zealand

    • Macro 16.3

      You affection for your dear leader is touching red. Have you a pony tail he can pull?

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    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    4 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    5 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    5 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    5 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    5 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    5 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
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    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
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    6 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
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  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
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    6 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
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    1 week ago
  • Extra support for rural families
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  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
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  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
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    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
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  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
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  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
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