By the book

Written By: - Date published: 8:43 am, August 2nd, 2012 - 60 comments
Categories: accountability, john banks, john key - Tags:

“In all these roles and at all times, Ministers are expected to act lawfully and to behave in a way that upholds, and is seen to uphold, the highest ethical standards. Ultimately, Ministers are accountable to the Prime Minister for their behaviour.” – The Cabinet Manual. John Banks lied to reporters, and the public, while a minister. That’s not upholding the highest ethical standards. When will John Key hold him to account?

Never, if Key can help it. The Banks-Key Government may fall if Key tries to hold Banks to account and Banks resigns from Parliament. At the very least, it would put the Government’s rightwing legislation on pause for at least three months.

Key came to office promising higher standards than he said we had seen from Labour. He started well, sacking Richard Worth for something that, like Banks’ actions, saw a police investigation but no prosecution. But how his standards have slipped. Since then, the ministerial resignations have been in spite of Key’s wishes, not because of them.

We just need to look to the last Labour government to see how the Banks affair would have been handled by a government with higher standards of accountability.

Helen Clark sacked Lianne Dalziel over the ‘lie in unison’ affair – just like Banks, it was about a minister lying to the press and Clark acted. Clark stood down Winston Peters over his donations row – just like Banks, it was a the leader of a support party and a donations scandal but Clark acted.

It’s pretty sad that, after four short years, far from setting higher standards of accountability than Clark, Key is plumbing new depths.

60 comments on “By the book”

  1. Kotahi Tāne Huna 1

    Key has lied and lied and lied: he embodies deceit. How on Earth can he expect higher standards of John Banks than he displays himself?

    We’re still waiting for the academics to show us a counterview, for an explanation of this money-grubbing wretch’s “seeing eye” trust arrangements. His denials of involvement in an illegal election broadcast were a tissue of lies.

    He is under investigation by the Auditor General for his corrupt sale of New Zealand legislation, his “self-advice”.

    Key is in no position to act.

    • Akldnut 1.1

      My theory is Banksie has some wood on Key and the Keysta don’t want no skeletons jumping outa the beehive closets before his pilfering is complete. (Purely my thoughts – no evidence at all)

  2. Lanthanide 2

    I’m not sure why Banks would resign from parliament if he was stood down or sacked as a minister. That smacks of supreme childishness.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Well, actually, it would be an act of honour, an admission that he wasn’t of the required character – something that we won’t see from either John Banks, Key or this government.

  3. vto 3

    Well you see, if a Fair Trading (Politics) Act was introduced to ensure that politicians acted to the same standards required of others then there would be no problem.

    “misleading and deceptive conduct in politics”, just like the current Fair Trading Act.

    So, why not?

  4. Anne 4

    John Key is the most dishonest, corrupt prime minister we have seen in a 100 years. Yet a sycophantic MSM continue to fawn over him. You have to wonder why? What is his hold over them? Are they scared of him? Are they so shallow and vain themselves, they perceive something of themselves in him?

    Or – as is most likely – he bought his popularity with the MSM by tossing ‘baubles and beads’ in their direction from time to time. Just like Turia and Sharples.

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      You got it Anne. This Government has far wider latitude to move because the MSM gives it to them. Media company and news editorial relationships are something that National has right, and National has strong.

      I think its a shame that Labour didn’t beat down the system of corporate media while it had a chance and go with tory proofed full public broadcasting options.

    • BillODrees 4.2

      Anne, Are you letting Jenny Shipley off the hook?  
      She had a very low standard of integrity while PM.  And the associations she and her hubby have made, since becomming ” Consulants”,  have had dodgy odours surrounding them.  She even became an immigration consultant! 

  5. Banks was a naive fool – all he had to do was, like Len Brown’s $499,000 unknown donations, set up a Trust.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      And not get caught on camera accepting donations from Kim Dotcom at fancy parties, and then lying, again on camera, about it afterwards when asked.

      You have to face it – Len Brown is simply smarter than John Banks. That’s why Banks lost and that’s why Banks is a loser.

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 5.2

      Fortran are you that desperate? Remind me how Brown lied and broke the law the way John “for sale” Banks did – you see the difference? Banks is a criminal who gets off on technicalities, and Brown isn’t.

      • Fortran 5.2.1

        Kotahi

        I did not say or imply that Len broke the law – I said that he was more clever than Banks in soliciting donations.

        • Pascal's bookie 5.2.1.1

          Who said he solicited any donations that went to his trust?

          We know he declared the skycity ones. Why didn’t he tell them to give to the trust? Because the trust was for anon donations. derp derp.

        • Kotahi Tāne Huna 5.2.1.2

          Fortran are you being deliberately disingenuous, or are you just a bit thick? If Brown solicited donations he claimed were anonymous, he broke the law too. It’s just that you’ve got fuck all evidence he did anything of the sort.

          Are these feeble smears the best you can do?

    • Craig Glen Eden 5.3

      you obviously havent heard of the waitamata trust Fortran? no thought not.

    • tracey 5.4

      i dont think he was naieve. I think he was arrogant and truly believed he could bend and breaK RULES no one would find out. He didnt reckon on an angry millionaire chucking his toys out of the cot, even tho he had owen glen to learn from. Banks believes he can buy or barter his way in and out of everything.

  6. ad 6

    Not entirely sure this site can have it both ways:

    Complaining about an opposition apparently hamstrung by high ethical standards in one story, and then complaining that the Government’s ethical standards in carrying out government appear too low.

    I don’t support Key or Banks. Equally it’s pretty rich for Trevor Mallard to preach ethics to John Banks. John Banks takes fat donations, Trevor Mallard screws the staff. etc etc.

    It’s a downward vortex: a standard game to bring the whole of Parliament into gradual disrepute and hope that most of the stink hangs around those in power, in order that the rulers receive a more negative impact in the public than the opposition.

    But it’s absolutely the wrong way to win.

    “…until even the fruits of war are ashes in our mouths”, to take Kennedy out of context.

    • tracey 6.1

      agreed. People in glasshouses.

    • Carol 6.2

      Not entirely sure this site can have it both ways:

      Complaining about an opposition apparently hamstrung by high ethical standards in one story, and then complaining that the Government’s ethical standards in carrying out government appear too low.

      Ermmmm… this site doesn’t represent just one view. it has posts by various people and discussion ensues. The 2 posts you refer to were written by different people.

      • ad 6.2.1

        I’m all for dialogical contests, played by well armed opponents. But it’s eerie to see two authors on the same day argue against each other on the same site, over the same ground, not acknowledging each other, both effectively mirroring what they are complaining about without reflexiveness or irony.

        Not even sure that ethics and politics are that easy to sustain in space without matter cancelling antimatter.

        I guess that would be the first point. The second point, with a minor note of Frank Capra and Mr Smith Goes to Washington, is that it’s a lot more fun and a lot more hopeful to win by saying not merely what you stand against, but what you stand for. That would go not only for parties, but for us.

        • Carol 6.2.1.1

          🙄

          That’s a lot of words, ad, creating more heat than light – I get no idea from that of what YOU stand for apart from having a dig at the site.

          Congratulations on being able to use some big words and pop culture references.

          • ad 6.2.1.1.1

            Should I be given the opportunity, I would happily stretch the legs on the site. Most would figure it out from what I’ve commented previously. Meantime, I’ll take the compliment.

            • Carol 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Most would figure it out from what I’ve commented previously.

              Ditto for the post you criticise above.
              But you were asking for people to state their positions:

              is that it’s a lot more fun and a lot more hopeful to win by saying not merely what you stand against, but what you stand for.

              And yet, when you are challenged on it, when all you have done is state what you are against, you say, in effect, work it out for yourself

      • Pascal's bookie 6.2.2

        In any case. there is no contradiction in saying that Labour won’t stoop to the race baiting lies that National whole heartedly used in opposition, and saying that that National isn’t ethical in government.

        God knows what the ‘Mallard screws his staff’ comment has to do with anything, but it’s hilarious that ad throws it out there in a comment pretending toi be about keeping plitics wholesome.

        Another weak effort really. more complicated than tighty righty’s but still just a pile of hypocritical nasty gobshite at the end of the day. par for the course, and a pretty good example of what the post is talking about.

        • ad 6.2.2.1

          Probably you need to track more carefully how Banks and Mallard have been exchanging in Parliament over the last 48 hours.

          What if we held Labour to high standards:
          – Labour would whip the vote for gay marriage rather than make it a “conscience” issue. Didn’t. Greens did. Even the Prime Minister has been clearer than Labour on this.

          – Labour would have made a clear and strong stand about the Treaty of Waitangi and water rights, rather than parsing it off. Didn’t.

          – Labour would tell Mallard to sit down and shut up and give the attack over to someone who isn’t an appalling hypocrite on any ethical standards one could think of, particularly personal ones.

          – Labour would not not propose the unions as an exception to the lobbying register bill. Indifensible and dumb.

          But we don’t get that. We get weak opposition being blamed in one article for having too much conscience to be effective, and then something else for the Nats.

          Trying to defend one standard of ethics for government and another for opposition is rank hypocrisy of the worst order.

          • Pascal's bookie 6.2.2.1.1

            -Why is whipping vs conscience vote on marriage equality a matter of ethics?

            The bill is a private members bill, (from a Labour mp incidently). Shearer has said he will support it at every reading, and most Labour mps have done likewise. As far as I’m aware Key has said only that he will support it at first reading so I’m not sure what you are talking about in that comparison. The greens are whipping it because marriage equality is party policy.

            So again, I’m not sure why you think there are ethical issues at play here.

            -Again, I’m not sure why you think this the water rights issue is an ethical one. It’s a policy matter. Their position on policy is not one of ethics. The rhetoric they use could be described as a matter of ethics, but I think they have been fairly restrained. If you have an example of something they have said that is out of order, please be mentioning it.

            -The union exemption thing is stupid, I agree.

            -Whether or not Mallard leads an attack or whether or not he is a hypocrite is perhaps an issue, though more of a tctical one than an ethical one. But again, you need to provide details. If mallard has been breaking laws and telling lies to NZ about it, then again, please be mentioning it. To be a hypocrite you need to be doing what you accuse your opponents of.

            And there is no “complaint” about Labour being too ethical in r0b’s post. That’s just your weird interpretation of it. All I see is a statement that Labour isn’t as feral as National was, and that National is lucky on that score. If you disagree with that, I’d like to hear why.

            • ad 6.2.2.1.1.1

              -conscience votes are called that for a reason.
              -waitangi tribanal reconciles history property and ethics into justice
              – the whole house knew they were trading their ethical history and roared.
              Yout guys don’t have to get the point ; the rest of the media have today.

              • Pascal's bookie

                -conscience votes are called that for a reason.

                Yes they are. You implied there was something dubious about them, and that whipping was ethically superior. Apparently you can’t explain why. I’m not surpised by that, because the claim makes no sense.

                -waitangi tribanal reconciles history property and ethics into justice

                I’ve no idea what this means or how it relates to the discussion, so I’ll just note that you’ve not been able to come up with anything Labour has said that could be described as unethical. An example would be like the falsehoods National was spreading about beaches after the F&S ruling.

                – the whole house knew they were trading their ethical history and roared.
                Yout guys don’t have to get the point ; the rest of the media have today.

                Again, so what exactly? Political theatre doesn’t establish ethics, and it’s telling that you can’t actually make a case. The house roared. Pfft. National barracked in defense of the indefensible.

                Here’s ‘the media’ today:

                http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10823961

                http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/comment/columnists/vernon-small/7394708/Banks-off-the-hook-for-now

                • Draco T Bastard

                  From the NZHearld link quoting Banks:

                  “I’m determined to stay on and there’s been a police inquiry. I told you from day one I did nothing wrong, worked within the law. The police have had an extensive investigation and I have been totally cleared.”

                  So, in Tory world the police saying that the criminal couldn’t be charged due to time limitations is “totally cleared”. Tui Moment

              • Pascal's bookie

                And here’s how the NZ Herald editorial of yesterday mentions Labour in regard to the matter;

                Labour leader David Shearer put it succinctly: “This is a guy that has gone to a donor, asked for money and in one case received a cheque in his hand, then turned around and said he cannot remember receiving it. Police can’t prove it, but everyone in New Zealand knows what is going on here.”

                • xtasy

                  Tell you, time Shearer grows up and names a shame what it is: A shame!

                  He should not be the kind, humble and meek leader of sorts, he should go all out on an assault on Key and the rest. Nothing else works. Also I heard and saw the overly disciplined chanting on recent marches of protest.

                  Let me tell you: You will not scare a chicken by whispering meek sounds!

                  It is bloody time for OPPOSITION, but I see too little of it. If Labour wants to make waves, better have a brain storming session right now!

                  I am inclined to support MANA, but there are some issues there. So get your bloody shit together, Labour, if you ever will!

  7. The wording of the following petition has just been double-checked with Parliamentary staff, and can be downloaded NOW if folks want to start collecting signatures!

    Hope to have this petition presented when Parliament next sits on Tuesday 14 August 2012.

    This should help get the LAW tightened up here – although I cannot for the life of me understand how the signature of John Banks is so meaningless – given that he is the Leader of the ACT Party – which – as I understood it – was purported to be the Party which believed in ‘personal responsibility’???

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/JOHN-BANKS-POSSUM.jpg

    To the House of Representatives

    The petition of Penelope Mary Bright of 86A School Road Kingsland Auckland, Ph (09) 846 9825 and others:

    ”Respectfully requests:

    ”That the House conduct an urgent inquiry into the findings of the Police investigation into the allegations that the Hon. John Archibald Banks, CNZM QSO, submitted a false donation return in respect to the Auckland Council Mayoral election 2010 – that it was not unlawful for the Hon. John Archibald Banks, CNZM QSO to sign and transmit his candidate’s declaration of expenses without first personally checking and verifying that the information provided (by another party) was accurate.”

    There are questions to be asked.

    Such as Banks was at a meeting in Sky City and was handed a sealed envelope:

    1.What did he think it was?
    2. What would he have thought it was?
    3. How did he know to give it to who ever opened the envelope?
    4. What were the words which were spoken at the time of the exchange?
    5.Why did the administration person for Bank who processed the check write ‘anonymous’ on the register when the cheque would quite clearly have shown who it came from.
    6. How did Sky City deal with this payment as part of their tax obligations?
    ________________________________________________________________________________

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    • xtasy 7.1

      Penny, you are so very “honourable” an dignified, I sometimes despair.

      What about the “old fashioned” French way?

      I makes for “great theatre performance” too, ideally on Aotea Square!?

      We have baskets ready to “collect” the “refuse”!

    • AmaKiwi 7.2

      To Penny Bright
       
      You had a superior posting about consumers changing energy companies.  I did not copy down the details.  Now I cannot find it on The Standard.  Can you direct me to it or repeat it again.
       
      You are absolutely correct.  If enough of the public play havoc with Mighty River’s profits by switching to another company, it is no longer an attractive investment.  This is a brilliant tactic!
       
      Please re-post that here.

    • xtasy 8.1

      This Libor hype is of course a scandal of sorts, but it must be put into perspectives. It actually did little harm, as the banks engaged in manipulative activities that kept interest rates in check, so to say. That means it may in some ways actually have been in the interest of the banking customers, businesses and so lending money.

      The issue is of course the fact of manipulating the fiscal regime. Now that raises again questions like, when the trading and investment banks can do it and get away with it, why can then the states not set monetary standards and influence fiscal policies in setting interest rates to also control the currency rate, to assist trade and whatever?

      This is all a very tricky and complex field of activity though, and even if you favour socialist policies, you will always need to be mindful of fiscal and exchange rate policies that inevitably will be looked at and interacted with globally.

      Yet this government could and should have done more, eg. introduce even more profound saving incentives to keep money in the country, follow similar agendas as Singapore, Norway, and other smartly investing countries. If that is not done, and if we follow the laissez faire nonsense of the past two to three decades even further, inevitably, one day we may have to take measures to become a country like North Korea.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        This Libor hype is of course a scandal of sorts, but it must be put into perspectives. It actually did little harm, as the banks engaged in manipulative activities that kept interest rates in check, so to say. That means it may in some ways actually have been in the interest of the banking customers, businesses and so lending money.

        This is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. The bankers took interest rate positions which scammed huge amounts of capital from the financial system and put it in their own pockets. Investors, pension funds, savers, borrowers, all lost in turn. Here, educate yourself:

        Suppose the bankers are manipulating the interest rate so they can place bets with the money you lend or repay them – bets that will pay off big for them because they have inside information on what the market is really predicting, which they’re not sharing with you.

        That would be a mammoth violation of public trust. And it would amount to a rip-off of almost cosmic proportion – trillions of dollars that you and I and other average people would otherwise have received or saved on our lending and borrowing that have been going instead to the bankers.

        http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed/2012-07-08/libor-largest-insider-trading-scandal-ever

        • xtasy 8.1.1.1

          Come on VP, that “money” was never ever existing, it never was material and never went into retail circulation that much at all!

          It was just an artificial bull shit arrangement between banks, to pretend things were not as bad as they were. If they had followed the market interest regime, many would have had losses by the billions, and write offs would have resulted, affecting all the ones “down the line”.

          In reality , all this is just a side show of the greater picture and scenario.

          And you have not seen the end of it, not even the beginning, I am afraid. Learn to grow veges, keep your own chickens, learn to barter, get a basic trade to survive and wake up, man, because this shit society is going to hit the fan very, very soon!

          • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.1.1

            Dude just because you didn’t feel the money leave your pocket didn’t mean they didn’t steal from you. Fair point that a lot of this was financial system gaming, but that gaming meant that money which could have gone into the real economy never made it there.

            It meant that big investors like the Cullen Fund, ACC, the NZ Super fund will all have lost money to the banking system.

            And yes, I back everything you say about learning practical real skills, and also, keeping fit and healthy. That’s the only insurance for the future now.

            • xtasy 8.1.1.1.1.1

              VP – get it please –

              THE MONEY DOES NOT EVEN EXIST!!!

              “Dude just because you didn’t feel the money leave your pocket didn’t mean they didn’t steal from you.”

              It is paper saying that you have some “credit”, which is under so many conditions, it means only so much (fiat money). YOU must have heard of inflation, not flagellation or whatever? So it is there on paper or on some metal piece, tomorrow you may rather melt it down.

              • Colonial Viper

                THE MONEY DOES NOT EVEN EXIST!!!

                I know what you are trying to say at one level, but we live in a bank driven capitalist political economy. And these losses from main st and from local and central governments around the world have real world consequences to peoples lives my friend.

        • xtasy 8.1.1.2

          What we are facing is a scenario, where we have countries live like an individual having three or more credit cards. Now I know the bloody scenario from own life experience. You end up in the lurch with one, so you use the other one to balance the books for that first one. Then the second one gets into deficit, so you use the third one to balance that. You end up shifting debt around, taking a bit out here and there, to fill the other gap. That is the fucking thing happening in Europe, the US, Japan and all over!

          You may not like the bloody truth, but I read a hell of a lot about it recently!

          The fact is, for too many years the western economies and peoples were lied to, cunned and sold out, by making them believe they will maintain their living standards by allowing their large manufacturing companies outsource to cheap labour countries, so they produce cheaper goods at the expense of others, while the residents in those western countries were made to believe they could maintain their life styles and balanced books by still enjoying those products now imported cheaply, but by paying for them with supposedly “hard” currency earned by selling pizzas and hair cuts to each other.

          Y ou have to be an economic IDIOT to believe such a scheme works!

          That is the crap that people were sold by governments wanting to keep inpower and keep their ignorant voters happy, left and right.

          So maybe look up some basic economics and learn this basic reality. We have now gone way beyond that, being as western countries, some more, some less, highly indebted to the new workshop countries selling us all the stuff we need. We no longer know and are interested in producing the stuff ourselves, so we sell milk powder, logs and sheep skins to pay for it. Regrettably too many under developed economies do the same (also tourism), so we compete with the Greeces of the world.

          That is what Roger Douglas, Prepple, Shipley, Richardson and now Key have sold us.

          Do you not bloody get it? I understand economics is not your forte!

          • xtasy 8.1.1.2.1

            The above was meant for CV – but clicked the wrong button.

            • Colonial Viper 8.1.1.2.1.1

              Do you not bloody get it? I understand economics is not your forte!

              Relax a bit dude: Max Keiser (+ Stacy Herbert), Steve Keen, William Black, Richard Wolff, Nassim Taleb, Kyle Bass, Jeremy Grantham, Tyler Durden, Bill Still, Michael Burry, Robert Reich, Dmitri Orlov, Richard Heinberg, JM Greer and many many others enlightened me a year or three ago.

              • xtasy

                I am a bit relieved, some may make sense, but never narrow your horison, it is – like much else – an evolutionary discipline of science and understanding!

        • xtasy 8.1.1.3

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libor

          LIBOR explained by the way. I hate all this, but it is real world stuff, we are all exposed to!

      • Cnut 8.1.2

        LIBOR manipulation did little harm? Sure, a tenth of one per cent might have little impact on your mortgage but on financial instruments dealing with millions if not billions over five years or more it does a lot of harm – and these instruments are not limited to financial high-rollers playing the casino. It’s stolen money from pension funds and, in the States where local authorities were hoodwinked and defrauded with complex financial instruments were based on them, has brought many to the point of bankruptcy, and bankrupted some.

        For a more informed opinion than xtasy’s I recommend:

        http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2012/07/yes-virginia-the-real-action-in-the-libor-scandal-was-in-the-derivatives.html

  8. xtasy 9

    Never forget:

    Ahem, nothing to fear, nothing to hide!

  9. xtasy 10

    http://www.gaynz.net.nz/history/BillPasses.html

    So this should “nail” Banksie for voting on gay marriage, for sure.

    How does that fit in with ACT Party principles though? See: http://www.act.org.nz/

    All I see is pics of Banksie all over their front page and a Gary Mallett from Hamilton at the bottom of the website.

    Now was this not once a “liberal” party? Where are the voices of gone by ACT pollies like Coddington, Hide, Prebble, Douglas, Franks and so forth? I see NO mention of them or any policy they may resemble! May the ACT (dead body) party has been seized by a desperado vote giver, here there and wherever the “client” National takes him? What is next to prostitution, I ask? Sell your body or your mind, or your vote for that sake?

  10. gnomic 11

    How many times do I have to explain this? In my humble opinion Key is an amoral weasel with no respect for any principle but political power for the National government. The mission of this regime is to auction off any remaining assets not in the control of private capital at the cheapest possible price. Meanwhile the questionably sane and more than likely corrupt Banksie finally destroys that teacher’s union the Nats hate so much. How much better can it get?

    As for the cabinet, what a shower. Even the somewhat lamentable Labour was superior on the whole.

  11. tracey 12

    Agreed. Sell assets mix with all blaclks, collect a knighthood, tick off cv.

  12. AmaKiwi 13

    To Penny Bright
     
    Penny, you had a superior posting about consumers changing energy companies.  I did not copy down the details.  Now I cannot find it on The Standard.  Can you direct me to it or repeat it again.
     
    Penny Bright is correct.  If enough of the public play havoc with Mighty River’s profits by switching to another company, it is no longer an attractive investment.  This is a brilliant tactic!
     
    Penny, please re-post your suggestion here.  Thank you very much.
     
     

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  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    4 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    4 days ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    4 days ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    5 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    5 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    6 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    7 days ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    7 days ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    1 week ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Another constitutional outrage
    Another day, another constitutional outrage in the UK. This time, the government is saying that if parliament passes a law to stop Brexit before being prorogued, they may just ignore it:A senior cabinet minister has suggested Boris Johnson could defy legislation to prevent a no-deal Brexit if it is forced ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending dairy in Canterbury
    Environment Canterbury has finally proposed nitrogen limits to stop dairy farmers from poisoning Christchurch's water supply. And naturally, farmers are whining about it:A proposed move by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to protect Christchurch's drinking water by setting tough – some would say, draconian – nitrate reductions in the decades ahead and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is National the party of climate arson?
    The Zero Carbon Bill is currently before select committee. While its targets are weak, its a generally sensible bill that promises to establish a long-term framework to guide emissions reductions. But National hasn't made up its mind on whether it will support it - and according to Andrea Vance in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Experts warn Harold the Giraffe “well past” typical giraffe life expectancy, may not have long
    Dum-de-doo. Children across New Zealand have known him for generations as the lovable giraffe who tells them to exercise, hydrate and not to shove lit cigarettes up their nostrils. But a world renowned giraffe expert says we shouldn’t be getting attached to Life Education’s Harold the Giraffe, as he is ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: 22 BLOGGERS WITH ADVICE FOR RESEARCHERS AND EVALUATORS, ILLUSTRATED I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bye, bye to the collusion lie
    Sums it up, really. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Opinion: Treat your car by buying extra petrol to snack on while you aren’t driving
    By Mike Hosking. Yesterday morning, I waltzed into work, and as I walked past the drones aggressively typing out news on the computers I’ve repeatedly asked to be moved further away from, I caught a glimpse of the words “climate change”, and noticed that suspiciously they weren’t in condescending quotation ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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