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The great Taxpayers Union fraud and corruption discovery

Written By: - Date published: 10:39 am, January 11th, 2017 - 114 comments

The Taxpayer’s Union has shown a concerning inability to comprehend in its criticism of MFAT for supporting an aid initiative to address malnutrition in Africa.

Question…

Written By: - Date published: 11:06 am, December 20th, 2016 - 84 comments

On Aleppo.

Trump’s broad international challenges

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, December 1st, 2016 - 10 comments

Barak Obama is leaving Donald Trump a number of international crises to face.  What will the Donald do and will he make America great again?

ISIS Crisis

Written By: - Date published: 5:10 pm, October 27th, 2016 - 84 comments

Defence Minister Gerry Brownlee says our training mission to Iraq is undergoing a transformation. We were warned when the troops first went that the mission was always intended to be looser than Brownlee publicly claimed at the time. And so it has turned out to be.

Mission Creep

Written By: - Date published: 7:06 pm, June 20th, 2016 - 50 comments

The military mission to Iraq is to be extended by another 18 months, much to nobody’s surprise. John Key has put the creep into the mission.

National tricky on climate change aid

Written By: - Date published: 8:27 am, March 19th, 2016 - 10 comments

TVOne has discovered that National’s preposed climate change aid spend announced at COP21 would result in a reduction in the amount spent compared to previous years.

In Our Back Yard – Manus Island and Nauru

Written By: - Date published: 12:04 pm, September 9th, 2015 - 12 comments

As the photo claims, refugees are human beings. We can tell this from general expressions of resignation, desperation and misery.

But what about our own expressions of humanity?

Syrian refugees – National backs down

Written By: - Date published: 8:16 am, September 7th, 2015 - 71 comments

The backtrack is under way.  Last week National was not budging on refugee numbers.  Today they will announced an urgent passage allowing for the intake of more Syrian refugees.  The focus groups have spoken. Update: and the announcement is for 600 new refugees over 3 years and $4,9 million in increased aid.

Syria and Internationalism

Written By: - Date published: 4:02 pm, September 6th, 2015 - 90 comments

I wonder if the current public outpouring of sympathy for Syrian refugees is nought but a ‘fashion’, or whether it’s the beginnings of a renaissance for internationalism.

Happy Father’s day

Written By: - Date published: 7:44 am, September 6th, 2015 - 4 comments

For father’s day how about a gift of a donation to charities helping the refugees pouring into Europe?

National’s refugee backdown

Written By: - Date published: 9:01 am, September 5th, 2015 - 82 comments

In both England and New Zealand conservative Prime Ministers are looking to urgently backtrack from recent refusals to do anything further for refugees.

How much does New Zealand spend on refugees?

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, September 3rd, 2015 - 54 comments

The Government is under increasing pressure to increase the number of refugees that it takes.  Amnesty International’s proposal to double the number could be met by less than the cost of a flag referendum.

Key is relaxed about widespread refugee crisis

Written By: - Date published: 9:02 am, September 1st, 2015 - 58 comments

John Key has ruled out an emergency intake of refugees and claims that New Zealand is doing its bit and that bit is enough.

Kia ora Gaza

Written By: - Date published: 8:41 am, June 30th, 2015 - 89 comments

Native Affairs reporter Ruwani Perera and cameraman Jacob Bryant have been arrested by Israeli forces for being part of a peace flotilla wanting to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza.  If Murray McCully wants to achieve peace in the Middle East he could start by demanding that they be released and that the delivery of aid to Gaza be allowed.

Why are we going to war?

Written By: - Date published: 8:20 am, March 4th, 2015 - 125 comments

National’s justification for going to war against ISIS suffers from two fundamental problems, it is supporting an Iraqi regime that is corrupt and working against the best interests of all of its people, and there is no plan to convert Iraq into a sustainable state.

NAct MPs: heckling from “their armchairs”

Written By: - Date published: 3:01 pm, November 12th, 2013 - 128 comments

Today in speaking to John Key’s motion on the Typhoon in the Philippines, Russel Norman read out a statement that was spoken by Philippines climate negotiator Naderev “Yeb” Saño, who called for urgent action on climate change.  Sounds of heckling could he heard from the comfort of the government benches. [update: Yeb Saño to Russel Norman]

Intervention. Now!

Written By: - Date published: 3:13 pm, September 3rd, 2013 - 24 comments

Widespread and ongoing poisoning of civilians demands decisive and immediate international action, so…

Kevin Rudd and the boat people

Written By: - Date published: 2:10 pm, July 20th, 2013 - 165 comments

kevin_rudd-cryKevin Rudd announced yesterday that boat people will not be allowed to apply for refugee status in Australia and instead will be shipped to Papua New Guinea and they will have to try their luck there.  Tony Abbott thinks that the proposal is promising, Greens leader Christine Milne thinks it is ruthless and repugnant.  It seems that Rudd will do and promise anything for power.

Pacific Renewables

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, March 25th, 2013 - 20 comments

There is a summit on renewable energy in the Pacific happening in Auckland.  McCully acknowledges climate change, the PM focuses on investment opportunities, the EU hopes for clean energy to aid poverty reduction. What’s best for Pacific island communities?

Sunday Reading

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, September 16th, 2012 - 8 comments

My regular Sunday piece of interesting, longer, deeper stories I found during the week. It’s also a chance for you to share what you found this week too. This week: torture, charter schools, economics and development.

McCully does a seagull

Written By: - Date published: 5:01 pm, March 21st, 2012 - 14 comments

Murray McCully has been described as a “seagull Minister, one who flies in, squawks loudly, poops over everyone and flies away again.” Today in the House he squawked, pooped over his Chief Executive and flew away from any responsibility for the the  restructuring of MFAT. John Key better get his knighthood soon. The wheels are starting to come off his government.

The refugees

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, July 13th, 2011 - 49 comments

National Contributes to Africa’s Misery

Written By: - Date published: 2:11 pm, July 12th, 2011 - 29 comments

The Jackel draws attention to National’s cuts to aid spending. It’s politically easy for the Nats to slice a few mil here, a few mil there from money that doesn’t end up being spent in New Zealand, but it’s morally bankrupt. As famine once again strikes the Horn of Africa, we are failing in our moral duty and international commitments to help.

Go well

Written By: - Date published: 5:33 pm, March 14th, 2011 - 18 comments

Forty two Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) workers left New Zealand this morning for Japan.  Straight off the back of three hard weeks in the rubble of Christchurch, they are flying in to help out with an even bigger disaster.

In praise of resilient communities

Written By: - Date published: 9:24 am, February 25th, 2011 - 121 comments

We hear a lot of, frankly, trite comments in times of disaster about how the people affected are ‘tough’ and a special breed. People are people. But communities can be more resilient in the face of disaster if they have existing civil society organisations to rally around and help coordinate their actions. Canterbury Students’ Association is a perfect example.

Chasing poor ‘pirates’ pointless

Written By: - Date published: 8:49 am, January 12th, 2011 - 31 comments

Hard to imagine a bigger waste of money than sending a frigate to hunt fisherman who’ve turned to piracy because foreigners have illegally taken all their fish. How’s about we spend the money on aid to Somalia instead? Oh right. Can’t afford it says McCully. But vicariously playing the action hero hunting ‘evil pirates’, yeah, there’s cash for that.

Merry Christmas from NZ

Written By: - Date published: 8:18 am, December 17th, 2010 - 14 comments

A headline on Newsroom at time of writing: Christmas Aid Shock  –  A week before Christmas, thousands of the world’s poor receiving community development aid from Kiwi aid agencies are being told they will get no more money from the New Zealand Government.

McCully’s Autocratic Cronyism

Written By: - Date published: 11:47 am, September 22nd, 2010 - 7 comments

McCully doesn’t believe in the tender process.  Or accountability.  Cronyism?  Well, that’s a different story…

Aid shift – security not poverty the objective

Written By: - Date published: 1:08 pm, September 8th, 2010 - 4 comments

The latest Guardian Weekly had two interesting and seemingly unconnected stories about major shifts in aid priorities on both sides of the world after the advent of right-wing governments. More emphasis on security objectives, with aid delivered by the military, and less on humanitarian and poverty relief, with aid delivered by local groups and NGOs. […]

Pakistan: Donate Now

Written By: - Date published: 7:31 am, August 18th, 2010 - 2 comments

The UN says the number of people suffering from the massive floods in Pakistan — an estimated 20 million — could exceed the combined total of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2010 Haiti earthquake and the 2005 Kashmir earthquake.  But where there was massive generosity in response to those tragedies, in the past week […]

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