Bridges and National keep digging further on Leakgate

Written By: - Date published: 12:51 pm, August 26th, 2018 - 64 comments
Categories: labour, Media, national, same old national, Simon Bridges, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, trevor mallard, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , , , ,

I have been following this story with some interest.

The original story, that Simon Bridges had spent heaps of money on his tour of the country so that he could meet and greet ordinary kiwis was almost laughable. How could he not understand how bad it would look?

The splash of information was funny. Of course the left used it. National’s born to rule inclinations were to the fore again.  But the information was going to come out a couple of days later. It was no big deal.

But the muscular testosterone full response ever since has been pretty weird.

Like the decision to call for an inquiry that was going to cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to find out who leaked information about a limo and hotel spend of hundreds of thousands of dollars a couple of days earlier.

Then there was the finger pointing. National blamed Labour without a shred of evidence.  And to call their bluff Mallard offered and then ordered a full blown inquiry.

Then we had Friday’s news suggesting that the leak had to be from within National’s ranks.  Either that or someone was running a pretty way out false flag operation.

But the texts and the disclosure of the issues to Bridges, Mallard and to O’Brien happened 8 days ago. So how did each of them handle the disclosure?

Well on Monday the 20th Bridges said he was confident that it was not any of his MPs. He also said that we had a Government that was trying to distract although to be fair he may have been talking about his dispute with New Zealand First. Of course he did not intend to create confusion by merging together comment about two different matters at the one time …

And remember this comment was made the day after the Police had told him they had identified who the sender of the texts was.

No wonder Politicians are held in such low regard. Because when you consider what Radio New Zealand came out with on Friday you wonder about how rubbery the words are that Simon uses.

Just to recap:

Sources have told RNZ Mr Bridges and the Speaker Trevor Mallard both received an anonymous text message last week from a person claiming to be responsible for leaking the information to Newshub.

The author of the text warned they suffered from mental health problems in the past and said being exposed publicly could push them over the edge and put their life at risk.

The appeal came after Mr Mallard launched an inquiry into who leaked the expenses and promised to name and shame the person responsible.

The text, which RNZ has not seen, detailed a number of conversations and pieces of information from National caucus meetings over a period of weeks in an attempt to prove the author was a National MP.

In the message, the author said they had leaked the expenses because they disagreed with Mr Bridges’ leadership style, describing him as “arrogant”, and wanted him to be held to account for his spending of taxpayers’ money.

Of course the news was incendiary. National’s attempt to blame Labour and the public service was shown to be a whole load of kaka. And National had a certifiable leaker, maybe two.

After the news was released there were interesting developments.

Simon Bridges gave a stand up. He went from we have to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to find out who did it to the police know who sent the text to him and probably did the original leak and he did not want to know. As if.

We had the dance of a hundred veils. He had not questioned his caucus about it.  Although no doubt others had. But his conclusion was clear:

The text made clear to me that it was from the leaker … [and that] the leaker was in the National caucus.”

Then we had to put up with more politics. I can tell you that it is pretty clear to me and a few others who the leaker is. I support leaving them in peace.

Trevor Mallard agreed. He decided to call the inquiry off on the basis that it was an internal National Party issue.

But they could not abide by this. From Lucy Bennett at the Herald:

National has criticised Parliament’s Speaker Trevor Mallard for pulling the pin on an inquiry into who leaked details of leader Simon Bridges’ expenses to the media.

Bridges and Mallard have both expressed concern for the mental health of the leaker who sent a text message last week to both and to a media outlet asking them not to pursue the inquiry because of the impact it would have on their mental health.

National MP Gerry Brownlee, who is shadow leader of the House, questioned what had changed in the 24 hours between Mallard yesterday announcing the appointment of Michael Heron QC to lead the inquiry, and today’s decision to discontinue it.

“The Speaker … was happy to appoint Mike Heron but today it’s all off because he’s decided that all the guilt lies with our caucus. That’s a pretty unacceptable position for a Speaker to put themselves in,” Brownlee told the Herald.

“Clearly there is a duty to find that person. I think he’s obfuscating his duty as a Speaker, quite frankly, if it turns out to be a staffer, [Mallard] is the head of the Parliamentary Service and he has a duty of care to every person who works in that place, and he’s walking away from that.”

National rejected Mallard’s assertion that the leak could only have come from within the National Party.

“While that is possible, that is not his decision to make nor can he categorically make it based on the evidence,” Brownlee said.

“The facts have not changed following publication of parts of the text message and the Speaker has no new information than when he announced the appointment of a QC to lead the inquiry yesterday.”

National would continue to search for the person who leaked the information ahead of its publication to both ensure their wellbeing and to protect the integrity of the role of the Opposition, he said.

How a Parliamentary Services staffer as opposed to a National Party staffer could have been at the caucus meetings is not explained.

Can someone reconcile Bridges’ statement with Brownlee’s statement? And do National really want the investigation to continue?  Can’t they just decide?  Either they are sympathetic to someone having personal issues or it is all Labour’s fault.  Both don’t work.

And WTF Brownlee.  Why continue with the political games.  If someone is vulnerable how about all politicians decide to shut up about the issue and agree to forgo the seeking of political advantage.

Tova O’Brien was scathing about National’s behaviour.

I was sent the same text message Simon Bridges and Trevor Mallard were sent last week by the leaker of Bridges’ expenses.

It was desperate and devastating – a clear plea for help.

The inquiry was called because there was concern about a leak from within the parliamentary system – a weakness which could undermine the sanctity of the parliament and therefore our democracy.

The leaker’s message was simple, in their words:

“There is no security breach in the parliament or problem to be fixed in the system.”

They wanted the inquiry called off:

“Just say you know there is no security breach”.

They shared anecdotes from National Party caucus meetings that only National Party MPs would know in an attempt to prove that they’re an MP, and that the leak shouldn’t be dealt with at a Parliamentary level overseen by a Queen’s Counsel or High Court judge.

This is a National Party issue that should be dealt with by the National Party. As the Speaker just made clear by calling off the inquiry.

Bridges should have got in before Trevor Mallard and requested the inquiry be called off himself.

Having received that same text as Simon Bridges I was surprised that he not only chose to push on with the witch hunt, but suggested the person should be named and even called into question whether the message was genuine.

Some of the media comment has been weird.  Bryce Edwards thinks that having a leaker in Caucus and demanding a very expensive inquiry over not very much is an advantage for Bridges.

Stacey Kirk thinks the investigation should continue and that it was more probable than not that the leaker came from within National’s ranks.  How about 99% more likely?  And how about since the Speaker’s office is no longer realistically implicated in the leak the expense is not justified?

Tracy Watkins had an even more bizarre take on the issue:

Except Stuff has been told the text was by no means incontrovertible evidence of an inside job – and while some of the information supplied by the texter could suggest they were a National MP, that information could also have been picked up or deduced by a wider circle of people, including staff.

We have not been shown the text, so there is no way of verifying that.

But Bridges has now been left in the worst of all worlds.

Having called for an inquiry, he was obliged to stick to his guns on the issue, even after it appeared that he might not like the answer should it turn out to be a National MP.

That would have suggested a concerted campaign to destabilise his leadership.

But having now been informed by police that the person concerned has mental health issues, Bridges has no way of knowing for sure whether that might be one of his MPs, a staff member, or even someone from the Speaker’s office.

An inquiry might have allowed Parliament to find that person and put support around them if necessary. Alternatively, it might have found that the text was a smokescreen.

So let me get this straight, staff from the Speaker’s Office attend National caucus meetings?  And accepting National sourced spin on texts you have not seen?

The Herald has been more staunch on the issue.  Audrey Young correctly asked why Bridges would call for an inquiry when he did not know how it would end up.  Any experienced court lawyer will tell you that you never ask a question you do not know the answer to.

An editorial summed up the situation perfectly:

Thus an investigation that started over a triviality may leave the country wondering which National MP might have a serious mental health problem. This is what can happen when a leader over-reacts to a slight. The consequences can be worse than the offence.

The best advice I can give to National is stop digging.  Put this particular episode to rest.  And hope that its caucus rifts are repaired.  And that its caucus members are well.

64 comments on “Bridges and National keep digging further on Leakgate”

  1. Carolyn_Nth 1

    The Herald is mis-reporting what Bridges said here, by its omissions:

    The text made clear to me that it was from the leaker … [and that] the leaker was in the National caucus.”

    This is what Bridges said in the video accompanying the NZ Herald article:

    The text made clear to me that it was from the leaker. The text stated that the leaker was in the National caucus.”

    In that stand-up, Bridges went on to say he didn’t know if the leaker was a NatMP. Bridges slipperiness here is also questionable, as you state in the post, Micky. How could the leaker have repeated details from the Nat caucus, without being a Nat MP?

    But at no point does Bridges accept the claim that the leaker is a Nat MP.
    Also, as you say Micky, Bridges is contradicting his earlier desire to find out who the leaker is.

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Thanks Carolyn_Nth. I took the Herald comment at face value. I watched some of the interview as it was happening and struggled to make sense of what was being said. Bridges was all over the place on it, trying to sound sympathetic but never ruling out continuation of the investigation.

      I did presume the Herald would have got this correct.

      I can’t otherwise reconcile Bridges statement. Is he really saying that the textor knew all of the caucus discussions but was not a National MP or staffer?

      If he is actually concerned about the leaker’s mental health he would not be playing these word games.

      • Carolyn_Nth 1.1.1

        Bridges and Brownlee seem to have decided to go with the line that they didn’t accept the leaker’s claim that it was a caucus inside job.

        Lucy Bennett is muddying the waters in a couple of ways. She said:

        Bridges and Mallard have both expressed concern for the mental health of the leaker who sent a text message last week to both and to a media outlet asking them not to pursue the inquiry because of the impact it would have on their mental health.

        I immediately thought she was referring to RNZ, who broke the story. And RNZ had stated they had not seen the original text. They said someone else told them pretty much what the contents were.

        Then you quote from O’Brien indicates Tova O’Brien was sent a copy of the original text, along with Bridges and Mallard.

        And she pretty much contradicts Bridges conclusions about it.

        O’Brien was the one who had got the original leak about the high spending by Bridges.

        So who leaked to RNZ the content of the text to Mallard, Bridges and O’Brien?

        • veutoviper 1.1.1.1

          Who is the second person who leaked the text from the original leaker?

          My understanding is that:

          1. The leaker originally leaked Bridges’ expenses to Tova O’Brien and that the way they did this has not been disclosed, but the format in which the expenses presented did not match the format (standard form) that they have to be and had been presented to the Clerk of the House and Parliamentary Services who are responsible for administration of MP travel and accommodation expenses.
          https://www.parliament.nz/en/mps-and-electorates/mps-expenses/

          2. The leaker then texted Bridges, Mallard and Tova O’Brien as per the post.

          3. Another person then “contacted” RNZ “…to reveal both Mr Bridges and the Speaker of the House, Trevor Mallard, received a text from an unidentified member of the National Party caucus, claiming to be the source of the original leak.”

          This quote is from a RNZ article at 8.33am on Friday, 24 Aug, written by Jane Patterson which details this contact with RNZ and is very careful in its language in not saying how this second person contacted them – nor when. This article was up before the RNZ link in the post above to an article by Jo Moir at 9.11am the same day which is a broader and slightly updated one from Patterson’s earlier one but again does not detail how the second person contacted RNZ.

          Patterson’s article. https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/364808/leak-saga-reveals-a-party-with-serious-internal-problems

          After revealing the contact by this second person, the article goes on to
          say

          “From what RNZ has been told, the texter included information about caucus conversations over several weeks to prove they were a National MP.

          That then brings us to the second leak, from a person concerned the inquiry is still going ahead despite that text.

          If they too are a National Party MP that presents a picture of a party with serious internal problems. ..”

          It then goes on to speculate on what the feelings of Nat MPs may be to the inquiry – and why some may not wish to be subject to it.

          This doesn’t give any clues as to whether the second person is indeed a Nat MP, and the field is really wide open as to who the second person may be. It could be a member of the leaker’s family, whanau, or staff: or someone else that the leaker has confided in who is connected or not connected to the Parliamentary precinct – or it could be the leaker themselves pretending to be someone else. SCREAM ….

  2. pete 2

    I read on Newsroom about a National Facebook ad:
    “National, which removed the post in July while the ASA considered the case said it “completely rejected” the complaint and had no intention of misleading the public.”

    https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/08/24/207197/national-facebook-ad-deemed-irresponsible

    So i read all that then come on here and read this story. Um, the National party has no intention of misleading the public?

  3. Chris 3

    Reading what the likes of Edwards, Watkins, Kirk et al say in their “opinions” confirms all the more why we shouldn’t give every reporter and their dog the opportunity to spray their thoughts all over the show. The media aren’t called the Fourth Estate for nothing. Why are we so intent on destroying ourselves?

  4. Anne 4

    ms, the last sentence in the second paragraph of the post is unfinished.

    According to Martyn Bradbury… In an update he is claiming the leaker was not an MP. Does that mean someone did it on an MP’s behalf?

    I’m getting mightily confused. 🙁

    [Thanks Anne I have tidied it up. I am pretty confident it is an MP – MS]

    • Anne 4.1

      Oh, I see from veutoviper’s detailed update there appears to have been a second leaker. Maybe that’s the one Martyn Bradbury was referring to, but he thought it was a reference to the first leaker. Urghhhhhhhhhhhh…

      • veutoviper 4.1.1

        I’ve found another complication/hiccup connected in a slightly less ‘persons involved’ sense that I will write up and post after the evening feeding round here is completed! LOL

  5. Chris T 5

    At the end of the day the only one wanting the inquiry stopped is Mallard.

    Wonder why

    • Carolyn_Nth 5.1

      Mallard is happy for the Nats to go ahead with their own inquiry.

      Tova O’Brien, who was the one originally contacted the leaker with the Bridges expenses story, is supporting the leaker’s call for an end to the inquiry – and O’Brien says the leaker must be a Nat MP, because of the contents of the text, which the leaker sent her.

      • Chris T 5.1.1

        Tova has been in National Caucus meetings?

        I think Tova might be more worried about her source being named

        • dukeofurl 5.1.1.1

          I dont think she knows the original source- The details was likely passed on from another gallery member or ex gallery like Paddy Gower or Duncan Garner.
          Tova Obrien is relatively new while the others go back years and would have trusted sources.
          Also this method allows the leaker to ‘categorically deny leaking [specifically] to Tova O’Brien’. Which out for those that use that exact wording.

          Soper also seems to ‘know too much’ without saying he got the leak too, so he could have passed it on as well, keeping his hands clean.

          The parliamentary gallery is far more Machiavellian that even Australian federal politics, so allways remember anything there is possible

          • veutoviper 5.1.1.1.1

            Check Tova’s background, Dukeofurl. She was around TV3 for years as a political reporter often on the news with Garner and Gower before spending some years as their person in Europe. She is no low level new political reporter.

            • dukeofurl 5.1.1.1.1.1

              Well she is still less ‘senority’ than people like Campbell, Garner, Gower.

              “Tova is Newshub’s Political Editor. She has been with the Newshub team since 2007, mostly based in Wellington but also working in Auckland as a producer for both news and foreign content.”

              There was time in Europe as well so only came back to main gallery job in ‘May 2018 she returned to Wellington to become Newshub’s Political Editor.

              In my view by Tova not being the original source makes deniability a lot easier and as the new head of Newshub political reporter she gets the scoop.

              I dont have the link now but read many many years back on how the politics of leaks worked and the bylines werent all that you would think.

        • veutoviper 5.1.1.2

          Where does Carolyn or Tova suggest that Tova has been in Nat caucus meetings? Stop trying to divert.

    • veutoviper 5.2

      Costs of the QC inquiry which could well exceed the Bridges travel etc costs that this whole debacle has been about in the first place.

      This would have come out of the Speaker’s/Parliamentary Service budgets if Mallard went ahead. If Nats do their own, they can find the money in their own budgets or from donations etc to the Party.

      • dukeofurl 5.2.1

        National wants its cake and eat as well. To them only a problem when others do it

        1)Marks is being extravagant in using Airforce helicopters to travel to military bases

        2)Bridges limo travel is only using services that are paid for anyway and the cost is shuffling money from one department to another

    • Roy cartland 5.3

      You would wonder.

      Although a total boofhead in opposition and govo, as speaker Trev is pretty solid.

      Has it occurred to you that he doesn’t want mud on his hands if the “mental health” aspect ask blows up? If shit goes down, I mean way down, Gerry, Simon, all the blood-lusts will appear cruel.

      He’s called it off to give the nats enough rope. Whatever else, he ain’t silly.

      • veutoviper 5.3.1

        Good points, and in fact consistent with the approach Mallard took initially when he stated that he was giving it 24 hours before making any decisions on what action to take, if any.

    • Dennis Frank 5.4

      I presume he pulled his inquiry when it became clear to him that the leaking couldn’t have come from Parliamentary Services. Isn’t that in his domain of responsibility?

      He did also cite the safety of the leaker who self-identified as being vulnerable to the stress due to a mental-health condition. I commented the day before yesterday (52,52.1) on how his concern seemed to contradict the police assurance to Bridges that the leaker was not in an unsafe state.

      “It has now been confirmed to me that the person who leaked the details of the expenses and the texter are the same person. He or she has details of events that it is unlikely anyone outside the National Party would be privy to,” Mr Mallard said. “The text is from someone who is clearly very disturbed and today’s publicity will almost certainly make that worse. My priority is to get appropriate support to them whether they are an MP or a staff member.” [https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/364834/speaker-calls-off-bridges-expenses-inquiry]

  6. Dean Reynolds 6

    This is the tipping point for Bridges & the Nats. I’m predicting that the next lot of polls will have the Nats below 39%, leading to Brides being challenged for the leadership because of his incredibly inept handling of this issue

    This challenge will expose the deep fault lines in the Nat caucus & then it’s all on – they’ll be down to 33% (& falling) approval by December

    A judgement of Biblical proportions – ‘those who sow the wind, reap the whirl wind’ & by god, these arseholes deserve to be out of office for years

    • Chris T 6.1

      Lol

      Good luck with that

    • Dennis Frank 6.2

      Too soon. Depends how they handle it from here, who the leaker is, and whether they are staffer or MP. Nats will have already narrowed the possibilities down to a few contenders – on the basis of known mental-health issues.

      But maybe the leaker was flying a kite rather than telling the truth! If so, it was a devious ploy that worked well. Machiavelli would’ve flown a kite like that to eliminate a rival leadership contender (as per RG the other day). If they get a confession, the sweep it under the carpet reflex will bury the problem. If not, suspicion will remain rife within the Nats & we can expect a corrosive effect to embed.

  7. Kat 7

    The police are reported as knowing the identity of the texter/leaker, one would imagine Mallard knows as well and that is why he called the inquiry off. Its either someone in the Nat camp or not. Given the information made public at hand it appears it is.

    Mallard has clearly indicated it is an issue for National to sort.

    Two questions, why would Mallard want to put his reputation and position as speaker at risk by being involved in skullduggery that National accuse him of and what has National to gain from this “Leakgate” continuing to breath oxygen.

    • veutoviper 7.1

      I doubt that he knows the identity of the texter/leaker because the Police would be in deep shit if they had revealed the name in the circumstances under the Privacy Act.

      However, it has crossed my mind that if he had asked some careful questions of the Police, then he may have been able to rule out people other than those in the NAT camp (MPs, staff) – in other words rule out MPs other than National ones, staff in his own office, Parliamentary Service etc. – for example, by asking the Police whether he could rule out the person being any of those other categories.

      • Chris T 7.1.1

        Pretty hard to rule out Parliamentary services unless he is clairvoyant

        • veutoviper 7.1.1.1

          BS if he had asked the right questions which I believe he is quite capable of doing. It is not so much the wording of the answers, it is the unsaid things implied by body language, wording used etc that is far more important/indicative in such situations than the actual denial, wording used in the answer.

          • Chris T 7.1.1.1.1

            So now Mallard is an expert in body language

            It’s an independent inquiry.

            If he had interviewed the staff he would have been breaking the rules

      • McFlock 7.1.2

        I don’t think they should/would have offered even that much.

        I once had to call the cops because a friend was in distress. They tracked him down. Comms called back and said he was not in danger. No further information.

        Basically, the texter offered enough info on caucus meetings that only a nat could know it, and if it was fabricated then Bridges could go “ha! that’s not true, it’s probably not a nat!”

        The lack of denials about the extra information the texter gave suggests that the information was correct, and could only have been known by a nat, therefore it’s an internal nat issue.

      • Kat 7.1.3

        Mallard called off the inquiry because it was “an internal National party issue” not because it was anyway connected with “mental health” issues. That is a clear signal Mallard knows where the leak came from. Its just the commentators want blood and the person(s) involved put in the stocks. Bridges will be wishing he never opened his mouth.

        • Chris T 7.1.3.1

          Why

          If that were the case why would he still be demanding it when Mallard has given him the perfect out?

          Sorry but your logic is flawed

          • McFlock 7.1.3.1.1

            What’s the “out” that Mallard gave Bridges?

            The last thing Bridges needs is for it to be confirmed that the leaker came from within National – he needs to at least vaguely look like caucus is unified behind him.

            So if Bridges stops asking for an investigation, it looks like he admits he has internal strife.
            If he launches his own investigation or Mallard does one, Bridges really needs all nats to be exonerated (not gonna happen is my bet).
            So Bridges only course of action is to demand Mallard launch an investigation, and pray that Mallard doesn’t call his bluff again.

            And Bridges managed to put himself in this position.

            • Chris T 7.1.3.1.1.1

              That is a stretch

              Have you heard of the old adage that sometimes the most obvious answer is the right one?

              Ie He still doesn’t think it is a nat and wants it to carry on

              Fits a lot easier than triple bluffs and conspiracy

              • McFlock

                In that case he can investigate the nats’ end himself, come up with no results whatsoever, and kick it back to Mallard.

                But he prefers to do nothing and moan. So is he a do-nothing leader, or is he purposefully dragging his feet?

                • Chris T

                  At which time Mallard would say he won’t open it

                  • McFlock

                    If there’s no evidence a nat did it, then Mallard will need to exonerate his own office.

                    At the moment, Bridges is refusing to clean his own house when it looks like the smell is coming from there. But if the nat house is clean, then the smell must be coming from Mallard’s house.

                    At which point the nats can formally complain to whomever about leaks coming from the Speaker’s office. Privileges? Who does one complain to about the speaker?

            • veutoviper 7.1.3.1.1.2

              +1

  8. AsleepWhileWalking 8

    Nat’s handling this debacle the same way they managed in govt.

  9. Fayrestorm 9

    I’m curious about your position on the identity of the leaker – “I can tell you that it is pretty clear to me and a few others who the leaker is. I support leaving them in peace.” I’m struggling to think of a National MP (in the of course of their duties as an MP) who qualifies for such an empathetic response – or is this more a statement about bearing in mind that regardless of the leaker’s idenity, we’re all human and deserve some leeway and compassion when struggling?

  10. Chris T 10

    At least now we know that anyone can claim mental illness in a text and get off

    • Incognito 10.1

      Get off what?

      People with mental illness do call for help in irrational ways and when that cry for help is properly interpreted by the right person/people they may get the help they need. But it is long arduous way to recover from mental illness – some never fully recover even with professional help – and the scars (of the experience) stay forever with you, mostly on the inside …

  11. Philj 11

    This ‘news’ is more about the media justifying itself…It does sell copy and generate distrust by the public though. The MSM has a credibility issue.

    • Anne 11.1

      The MSM has a credibility issue.

      They’re all over the place on this issue. Some say it’s a Nat MP. Some say it isn’t. Some say it’s the death knell of Simon B. Some say it isn’t. Some say he shouldn’t have demanded an inquiry. Some say he should have. And so it goes on….

      And that silly HDPA is still signalling the possibility it was Labour wot did it. That’s why Mallard cancelled the inquiry.

  12. Robert Guyton 12

    I reckon three Nat MPs dunnit.

  13. veutoviper 13

    As I mentioned at 4.1.1 above, there is something else going on that is confusing the situation even further.

    Many reports etc on this ‘drama’ including this post, have suggested that another weird thing about the original leak of Bridges’ expenses is that the information was due to be released a few days later so no big deal. Many have also said that the information has been released.

    This is in fact not the case – ie that Bridges‘ expenses have been released. MPs’ expenses for the quarter 1 April – 30 June 2018 were released on 16 August 2018 being expenses incurred through the Parliamentary Service system for providing expenses to MPs.

    However, there are two systems at play in relation to MPs expenses – the Parliamentary Service system and the Ministerial Service system administered by the Department of Internal Affairs which covers expenses (travel, accommodation and credit cards etc) incurred by Ministers and Leaders/Co-Leaders of Parties including the Leader etc of the Opposition – and any other persons who may incur such expenses as a result of their relationship to Ministers of the Crown or Party Leaders etc.

    All of the latter expenses – including Simon Bridges’ quarterly expenses (01/04/2018 – 30/06/2018) as Leader of the National Party and Leader of the Opposition – are collated into separate quarterly accounts by the Dept of Internal Affairs and released separately to the Parliamentary Services MP expenses quarterly reports. Usually both sets of quarterly accounts are released at the same time, but for some reason the DIA Ministerial Services expense accounts were due to be released 12 days later this round – last Thursday, on 23 August 2018, not at the same time as the earlier 16 August 2018 MP expenses.

    BUT – there has been a glitch and the DIA Ministerial Services Ministers etc expense accounts were not released on Thursday. Instead DIA have had to delay release of this information for probably two weeks.
    https://www.dia.govt.nz/Ministers-expense-releases

    This has been reported on by only one or two media as below and many media seem to have missed it; and the connections etc have been lost in the drama of the other events.

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12112181

    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/news/politics/release-of-ministerial-expenses-delayed-due-to-oversight/

    Ohhhh dear ……………………

    • Anne 13.1

      This is due to a process oversight which occurred during the collation the current quarter’s data, and was identified by the Department of Internal Affairs yesterday, 22 August 2018, during our quality assurance, pre-publication verification process.

      A decision was made to postpone the publication so that a complete data set for the quarter is available. This will be completed with urgency, and we hope to be able to resolve this in the next two weeks. We apologise for any inconvenience.

      Yeah well, you know… in light of recent events, could this be gobbledygook as practiced by officialdom?

      • veutoviper 13.1.1

        As a long serving public servant now retired, I cannot possibly confirm or deny that, Anne! Lol. Seriously, there is obviously a problem of some sort and not just a typo or two.

        • McFlock 13.1.1.1

          I’ve only been in offices where publication was cancelled and redone at the final step once or twice, and while I can’t say for sure that people lost their jobs (it’s a supervision problem) one or two folk coincidentally got restructured out of a contract renewal.

          Although there was one dude who got hiffed a year or two after I left one place – thousands of copies were binned, advertisers refunded and the entire project permanently cancelled because the main coordinator had fucked it up irreparably. All the data had been anonymised but not unique Id’d at the collection level, so all the charts were randomised piles of garbage.
          Very hushed tones around the office with that one, apparently.

          • veutoviper 13.1.1.1.1

            I can imagine! Really big and expensive oops.

            I have been thinking overnight and now wonder whether a decision was made to hold off on release of these expenses to allow the inquiry headed by Heron time to get underway and/or in light of the leaker pleading mental health issues, The announcement re not releasing the expenses was the same day that Heron’s appointment was announced.

            OTOH The expenses may show something else that is likely to attract more media and public attention, eg high or unusual credit card expenditure. Or it may be as I first suggested, a boo boo only found at the last minute.

            • McFlock 13.1.1.1.1.1

              “A decision was made to postpone the publication so that a complete data set for the quarter is available.”
              Couple that with “process oversight”, someone screwed up.

              I suspect they either failed to get the data from a couple of offices, or maybe jumped the gun and requested the data “to date” just before the quarter was over.

  14. Ed 14

    “National Party leader Simon Bridges has lashed out at Parliament Speaker Trevor Mallard for cancelling an inquiry into the travel-expenses leak 24 hours after confirming it was going ahead, and suggested he had been influenced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

    He said if Mallard or Ardern had any new information, they had a duty to share it with National.

    ….The criticism of Mallard is in itself a new twist in the saga that is likely to see Bridges at the very least forced to apologise to Mallard if not referred to the privileges committee.”

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12113976

  15. Kat 15

    Should be entertaining, at least, hearing Hoots backing up his boy Bridges on nine to noon tomorrow morning. The hole is getting dug deeper and a very tall ladder is going to be needed, no place for a rickety swing bridge.

    • Fireblade 15.1

      Hooton’s Twitter account/page was deleted on Friday morning. Is this relevant or just a coincidance? Did he say something he shouldn’t have?

  16. Ross 16

    If an MP has an extended leave of absence from Parliament over the coming weeks, it presumably will raise suspicion that they were the leaker. If a National MP resigns in the near future, that is likely to result in similar speculation. It also raises conjecture over at least one National MP, who has previously taken stress leave and who has dropped well down the National list rankings following Bridges’ appointment as leader. By not publicly identifying the leaker, suspicion will linger. I can’t see how that can possibly help National.

    • Sacha 16.1

      “It also raises conjecture over at least one National MP, who has previously taken stress leave”

      Tova O’Brien said it was a person whose mental health issues she was not previously aware of. That rules out the member for Nelson, you’d think.

  17. SPC 17

    Bridges continues to pretend it’s not someone in his own caucus while looking over their communications ….

    And everyone of those in caucus knows that he could find information he can then use against them if they do not support his leadership.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Measles: the quackery that is homeopathic “vaccination”
    A few days ago, a friend sent me a link to a health-related FB page that had published a post from a homeopathist, offering homeopathic “vaccination”¹ against measles (using something called a “Morbillinum nosode” at a “potency” of 200C, which I’ll explain shortly). I followed the link, left a comment ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    4 hours ago
  • Colombia: 20th anniversary of La Gabarra massacre
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh This year marks the 20th anniversary of the La Gabarra massacre. The community organised an event to remember the most well-known of the horrendous heart-breaking events that befell the communities of this area of the municipality of Tibú: the massacre carried out on August 21st 1999. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 hours ago
  • A prediction
    There was another police chase in Christchurch this morning, resulting in a crash which killed one person and injured five more. Because someone died, the chase is being investigated by the Independent Police Conduct Authority. And based on previous reports by the IPCA, we know how it will go: the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    8 hours ago
  • Climate Change: The Zero Carbon Bill
    Just a month ago we saw the biggest protest in a generation as people marched to demand stronger action on climate change. A core demand of the protesters was to strengthen the Zero Carbon Bill's target to net-zero by 2040. So what is the government's response? Judging by the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    11 hours ago
  • Zombie ants, updated
    Back in 2010, I wrote about the strange tale of the zombie ants, which do the bidding of their fungal overlords. (They’re not an isolated example; a range of parasites change their hosts’ behaviour. See here and here for example – though as you’ll find, the toxoplasmosis story may be ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    13 hours ago
  • Paying For Our Pakeha “Guilt” And “Privilege”.
    Shouldn't That Be: "Wrong White Crowd"? Rather than apportion guilt, would it not have been wiser for the makers of Land Of The Long White Cloud to accept that the Pakeha of 2019 are not – and never will be – “Europeans”? Just as contemporary Maori are not – and ...
    14 hours ago
  • A Bodyguard of Truths.
    One, Two, Many Truths: With the collapse of “actually existing socialism” in 1991, the universities of the West found themselves saddled with a new mission. With their ideological competitors now soundly defeated they were no longer required to demonstrate the superiority of capitalist values. Their job now was to cement ...
    15 hours ago
  • A call to unionists
    by the Council of Disobedient Women   We call on the Council of Trade Unions to show some fortitude and take a stand with your sisters. Unionists know that there is a material world, otherwise workers could simply identify out of poverty. They could declare themselves Well Paid. Why stop ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Sophistry and bullshit
    I spent some time reading the Regulatory Impact Statement and Bill of Rights Act advice for the government's odious control order scheme today. I am not impressed with either of them. Starting with the RIS, it is built on some pretty questionable assumptions. For example:Unless individuals have been convicted of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • I’m so fly, I’m #NoFly!
    #NoFly: Walking the talk on climate change, by Shaun Hendy. BWB Texts, 2019. Reviewed by Robert McLachlan In June 2018, Swede Maja Rosén founded We stay on the ground with a pledge not to fly in 2019, and a goal of persuading 100,000 other Swedes to join her. In August, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • Punishing the young
    We all know that NZ First is a party of and for old people who hate the young. But they've topped their previous pedophobia with a proposal that all young people be forced to do 100 hours community work:NZ First wants all young people to do 100 hours of community ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Journalism, clickbait, & ideas of classical beauty – but not science
    A couple days ago the NZ Herald published a story with the headline, “Science says Bella Hadid is world’s most beautiful woman“, and followed up with the ridiculous statement that Supermodel Bella Hadid has been declared as the world’s most beautiful woman following a scientific study into what constitutes as ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 day ago
  • Is Simon’s Smile Sustainable?
    A Sustainable Proposition: With as much as 18 percent of the electorate declaring itself “undecided” about who to vote for, there is obviously plenty of space for a party like former Green Party member, Vernon Tava's, about-to-be-launched "Sustainable NZ Party" to move into. The most hospitable political territory for such ...
    1 day ago
  • What the actual Hell?
    Keir Starmer has hinted that Labour might vote in favour of the Johnson government's shoddy deal, with the proviso that a second referendum is attached:Speaking to BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, he said: “We will see what that looks like but it makes sense to say that by whatever ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Dealer’s Choice, an oral history from Planet 1994
    In 1994, I was the editor for an issue of Planet magazine focused on cannabis, its culture and the prospects for the end of its prohibition. Part of that issue was an interview with 'Ringo', an experienced cannabis dealer.I recently posted my essay from that issue, and I figured it ...
    3 days ago
  • The invasion of women’s sports by men: some facts
    Dr Helen Waite, sports sociologist and former elite athlete, on the invasion of women’s sport by men and the anti-scientific and misogynist ideology used to rationalise it.   ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    4 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    4 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    5 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    5 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    5 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    5 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    6 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    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
    6 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
    6 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. ...
    6 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
    6 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks ago

  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    6 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago