“Corrupt!”

Written By: - Date published: 4:19 pm, March 30th, 2009 - 62 comments
Categories: corruption, national/act government - Tags:

National rode to power off the back of years of rhetoric accusing the last Labour government of corruption.

Who can forget the screams from the Nats? – “Corrupt! Corrupt! Corrupt!” they cried. The boys in blue were going to deliver us a new era of transparency and accountable government.

Interesting then to see a report in today’s Dom Post raising questions over Richard Worth’s private business dealings in India while he was acting as a Minister of the Crown.

At the very least it shows a serious lack of judgement from one of John Key’s ministers over his potential conflict of interest. At worst it suggests Worth may have abused his public position in the pursuit of private gain.

Of course, it would be foolish to jump to either conclusion until more information has come to light. But it does look rather hypocritical given all their rhetoric over the last few years.

62 comments on ““Corrupt!” ”

  1. BLiP 1

    Classic National – the boundary between business and politics has become so blurred none of the MP’s can tell the difference.

  2. gobsmacked 2

    Richard Worth has opted for the time-honoured “I did nothing wrong, but I won’t do it again” defence.

    After a “conversation” with John Key (presumably one-way, and short) he’s now done what he should have done when he became a Minister, and removed his sticky fingers from Indian pies.

  3. Ari 3

    You’d think given this was essentially the sort of thing their campaign was about that they’d have plans in place not to make the same mistakes.

    Assuming, of course, they actually thought they were going to have to live up to their campaign.

  4. Ray 4

    And this story was broken by whom
    The man who hit a woman who he thought might embarrass the last PM
    I just can just see the headlines from the “Standard” if a minister had smacked anyone in the same circumstances

    Surely corruption means that the Minister gained a financial advantage, please explain?

    • BLiP 4.1

      And this story is about whom?

      The man who has so little respect for New Zealand he would rather saunter off on a tourist jaunt than attend a significant Maori Battalion comemoration.

      Such are our leaders these days.

    • Felix 4.2

      And this story was broken by whom

      Irrelevant. Discuss the story instead please.

      • r0b 4.2.1

        Well, irrelevant and also incorrect, Hodgson “hit” no one, he restrained someone he thought was going to assault the PM.

  5. gobsmacked 5

    “Surely corruption means that the Minister gained a financial advantage, please explain?”

    Therefore delete countless allegations of corruption over the last nine years.

    Cheers, Ray.

  6. Johnty Rhodes 6

    Well at least it has been dealt with. unlike Dunhoven, Winston etc. They festered for ages. Will all be forgotten in a week.

    • BLiP 6.1

      No. Richard “Dick” Worth has been dealt with. He is but a sympton of the “it” you refer to, i.e., the endogenous corruption festering within the National Party; that has still to be dealt with. But, as you sort of say, at least we’ve made a start.

      • jimbo 6.1.1

        Total crock of sh1t, that comment, BLiP.

        • BLiP 6.1.1.1

          I see National has broken another election promise – this time in relation to Pay Centres – I guess in your sad world dishonesty doesn’t equate to corruption??

  7. justthefacts 7

    Of course it is relevant who broke the story, however even if you leave that aside I do find it a bit rich for Labour party people to be beating up this non story.

    Given the epidemic levels of corruption inside the last Labour government I would have thought you guys might have decided to keep your heads down.

    Still, if you want to keep reminding the people of NZ why they kicked you out then who am I to stop you.

    Time to move on people.

    • r0b 7.1

      Given the epidemic levels of corruption

      Uh huh.

      Time to move on people.

      You wish! Honeymoon’s over, National get held to account. Good luck.

    • Chris G 7.2

      ‘non story’ enough for it to be on the news.

      oh okay..

  8. mike 8

    Great to see JK dealing with (and dealing to) the guilty ministers so quickly.
    Something you guys wish Clark could have done I’m sure…

    • the sprout 8.1

      how has John Key dealt with them mike? by saying:

      “Tut tut, that is very naughty to get caught! You might remind people of how i mislead the public over MY conflict of interest with my Tranzrail shares…”

  9. The difference between how Key has dealt with this relatively minor matter, and how Clark not just ignored but even defended Winston over his massive breaches of the Cabinet Manual show very clearly how things have changed.

    • And in the end who was it that got stung by the electoral commission, David?

    • ak 9.2

      Ahhh……David Farrar with his trademark massive breaches and key-shaped codpiece…..couture de cretin for the mass market.

      How very last year. Please leave the runway David.

    • BLiP 9.3

      Did your buddy Dr Dick plead innocence? No. He knows he’s fucked up.

      When Peters pleaded innocence, Helen Clark allowed due process. That you think this is some sort of black mark against her shows your misogyny, ignorance and/or willingness to assist in the Textor/Crosby rewrite of history.

      Back to the sewer for you!

      • David Farrar 9.3.1

        due process found Peters in breach of the Register of Interests and ipso facto the Cabinet Manual. Clark and Goff still backed Peters 100% when it was obvious to anyone not retarded that Peters knew about the Glenn donation all along, and had lied for months on end.

        • r0b 9.3.1.1

          Due process also found that ACT breached the electoral finance rules. Key and English still back Hide 100%.

          when it was obvious to anyone not retarded

          Back to the sewer for you!

        • Pascal's bookie 9.3.1.2

          Morning David. Have you fixed that abortion of a post where you claim (repeatedly in comments) that Goff was a liar for saying that if Worth was Labour party Minister he’d have been gone? You left out the Labour bit didn’t you david? Easily done seeing it was in the first para of the story you linked to. What’s that para called again, oh yeah , the lede.

          Hack.

        • BLiP 9.3.1.3

          Perhaps in your bully-boy world the presumption of innocence carries no weight. Happily this is not the case in the real world.

          Fuck off back to your sewer.

  10. the sprout 10

    and now it’s revealed Tim Grocer is implicated too.
    very professional.
    very competent.
    very honest.
    maybe they thought if it was good enough for John Key and Tranzrail it’s good enough for them too?

  11. Felix 11

    A few people here (mike, Johnty, DPF) have mentioned how it’s been “dealt with” by Key already.

    Could someone please tell me how? What has he done about it?

  12. justthefacts 12

    What he has done about it is none of your business Felix.

    Kiwi’s are telling Mr Key that they just want the new Government to move on.

    Does that sound familiar?

    • the sprout 12.1

      absolutely ROTFL hilarious.

      one minute it’s Brave Warrior Key for ‘dealing so swiftly and decisively to these corrupt ministers of his!’

      the next minute it’s ‘mind your own business, he has dealt to them but we’re keeping it a secret from the public because it’s so brave and transparent’.

      you guys could at least learn to coordinate your lies. at the moment you’re efforts are plain pathetic. hardly any wonder the wheels are falling off the
      NACT Government by PR.

      but seriously guys, keep it up. help make this an historic one term National Government.

  13. RedLogix 13

    Mr Key has been fortunate that this was such an straight-forward, open and closed case of a blatant conflict of interest, that he had the great luxury of being able to act quickly and decisively to limit the damage.

    All the same, Richard Worth has been in politics for many, many years. If with all this experience his judgement on such basic matters of public probity is still so very poor, the man is ipso facto… a liability.

    Mr Key should act to remove him from office ASAP.

    • the sprout 13.1

      And Mr Groser, what should be done with him RL – a person with much less time in government but whose reputation as Minister of Trade is crucial to our export economy?

      What would a Minister of Trade that carries a whiff of corruption do to our export chances and what should be done about it?

  14. bobo 14

    What size aircraft does Richard Worths company train pilots for? are we talking small Cessna’s or commercial passenger jets? Sounds like a security risk in light of sep 11th where students had no background checks.

    But its typical National acting in their first term as if they are a 4th term government… Key bollocking Worth is a joke when Key was less than forthcoming on the amount of rail shares he had before the election and Worth stepping down as a director of a company only to pick up the job after being a minister hardly makes any difference with holding shares, silent trusts and the like.

  15. gobsmacked 15

    This was not just a “private trip”. It’s clear the Indians were led to believe they were doing business with a Minister, not a company director:

    Punjab Newsline, 27 Feb 2009:

    In a formal ceremony held here today, representatives of Punjab and New Zealand signed two MoUs [Memorandum of Understanding] in the august presence of Deputy Chief Minister S. Sukhbir Singh Badal and New Zealand delegation led by their Internal Affairs Minister Dr. Richard Worth OBE.

    The New Zealand Minister said that the New Zealand was ideal place for aviation training as rapidly changing weather in New Zealand gives exposure to pilot to tackle change of weather.

    In the second MoU entered between Southern Institute of Technology Aviation Limited (SIT AV) of New Zealand and Patiala Aviation Club (PAC) agreed to cooperate the process of advanced pilot training Invercargill to enable pilots/students who have appropriate pilot qualification in India and to further train toward enhancing these skills in multiengine and helicopter training including aeronautical and aircraft maintenance engineering.

    • r0b 15.1

      Interesting – good find.

      • RedLogix 15.1.1

        Cripes, so Key is saying that the trip was undertaken in Worth’s capacity as a ‘private individual’, and yet the Indian media reports the exact opposite?

        Someone hasn’t been telling the whole truth to someone.

        • Pascal's bookie 15.1.1.1

          Very much looks like it.

          No doubt Key will be on the blower to the CEO of the Indian publisher; get him to print a ‘clarification’; to correct any ‘misunderstandings’. He was probably talking about the Australian Invercargill, or the reporter was a kid who was obviously just useless at his/her job or something like that.

          It’s a shame the knighthoods haven’t kicked in yet. the OBE carries only so much weight, and Worth seems to find such baubles useful, what.

    • BLiP 15.2

      Ahhh – the smoking gun. Top marks, Gobsie!

      • ak 15.2.1

        “Yup. Sounds like a ruckus kickin’ up over to Richworth Canyon, Tonto. Dang sodbuster injun-trader’s one of ours – best saddle up ole silver and we mosey yonder”

        “But what are you meaning by saying “we” sahib Key? Your own punkawallah has been telling the big fat fibs, isn’t it?”

        • BLiP 15.2.1.1

          “Don’t you be gettin awl sissy on me, Tonto. Nowz notta time ta be shrinkin’ back from our rezpozibilities an, all. No, siree, nowza time ta be reprimanding. Git the feathers ready, son.”

  16. gingercrush 16

    Hmm ooh a scandal within National. The left getting themselves all knotted. It has the potential to become a problem if Labour are able to do something about it in question time. It will be interesting to see how Key answers those questions and I think its the first thing Labour and other opposition parties have that they can potentially use against National. But I don’t think much will come of this and soon will be well forgotten. Hell I forgot Richard Worth was even a minister.

    The media of course plays a role. I don’t know how TV 3 covered this but Guyon had an excellent piece on it. If you’re right leaning you probably thought he was bias to the left (as many on the right already believe). I presume the left were happy with the report? National Radio will cover this thing in the morning. They already covered it on Checkpoint. Then of course there is question time. And likely both TV news will cover it again on their bulletins. I presume Labour and other opposition will continue to try and get questions in on this. Its not a great thing National has done. But I think Key has acted swiftly. As the report on checkpoint says, he has reprimanded Worth. Labour will make more of it. But its certainly not going to be something that is very damaging.

    We like to believe these issues have such importance for the public. But the fact over three terms Labour had such issues with their cabinet ministers and it still didn’t hurt them too much. Winston of course excepted, shows that while political damage. They tend not to be things that change voters minds.

    • Pascal's bookie 16.1

      ooh so Key’s reprimanded Worth has he? Sounds serious. Oh no that’s not right. Doesn’t sound serious at all. Sounds like a bs talking point to get through the day’s coverage. What does this reprimand involve exactly?

      I seem to recall, and please, correct an old hippie if he’s wrong, that Grandmaster Key and his Oppo’ Research Massive were quite distraught about Cabinet probity just a few short months ago.

      They made quite the fuss in fact about the idea that Ministers should live up to the highest, the highest I heard them say, ethical standards. That was what they demanded, and that what was they promised. “The highest ethical standards” was what NZers deserved, but were not getting from the former government. There were promises made ginger. Promises I tell you.

      So don’t you be talking to me about ‘reprimands’ and blowing over and it’ll all be forgotten. Promises. Highest ethical standards. Not higher. Highest. Is that what we’ve seen here? Or is it all back to ‘Labour did it to’, and ‘forget what we promised for it were all just lies’.

      No doubt burt is all over this everywhere he isn’t banned. He was very sure about the highest standards. It’s in the Cabinet Manual. Worth needs to be sacked, or he needs to explain how that Indian newspaper got it so wrong. Of course , that’s assuming National’s word is worth something. National can just admit that all their talk was just the faux outrage and c/t bs we said we it was of course. I can live with that. It’s where the defenders on this thread seem to be at.

      • gingercrush 16.1.1

        Reprimand is actually serious in political terms. And I don’t have a clue what is with your obsession on the highest standards. I could well go through all the statements Helen Clark made in 1999 when she herself would have talked about highest standards. Of course her standards got so low that she kept Peters around till the end. I agree National has fucked up. That is how the media is portraying it too. But don’t put on glasses and be so absurd in your thinking. Especially when you’re so in love with Obama that you wouldn’t have the gall to tell one of his people to resign. He sure offered hope now didn’t he. So where is it?

        • Pascal's bookie 16.1.1.1

          So it’s Labour did it too then, (as predicted in my last two para’s) and some weird shit about Obama. Sad.

      • George Darroch 16.1.2

        If we remember back to the first few years of the Clark Government, Ministers were thrown out of cabinet on a regular basis for things of this magnitude.She ran a tight ship. Until she didn’t, and it came back to haunt her.

        If Key wants to pretend he’s better than the last lot, he’s going to have to at least equal them. This is how he starts out, and we can’t expect things to go uphill from here.

        • gingercrush 16.1.2.1

          This isn’t an incident where a minister needs be thrown out. You can apply your magical rose-tinted glasses and pretend you live in an ideal world.Or you can think in proper political terms. This is not a sackable offense. It will never be a sackable offense.

          Key already reprimanded him.That is enough. It shows that Key actually did take some action. You can decide and put on your partisan blinkers if you want.But this is the real world. And in the real world for any party this isn’t something you would sack a minister for.

          • gobsmacked 16.1.2.1.1

            Using a ministerial position for a private commercial agenda is the most basic sackable offence.

            Now the case is not yet proven – there should be due process – but it certainly looks bad, based on the reports in the Indian media.

          • Pascal's bookie 16.1.2.1.2

            You can apply your magical rose-tinted glasses and pretend you live in an ideal world.Or you can think in proper political terms. This is not a sackable offense. It will never be a sackable offense.

            Key already reprimanded him.That is enough

            Arrogant much? A reprimand is nothing. It’s a telling off without consequence, done to make it look like something has been done.

  17. gobsmacked 17

    Unfortunately for Richard Worth, India has plenty of English language media online. Here’s another link (and try to ignore the confused population numbers!):

    http://www.indianexpress.com/news/new-zealand-committed-to-help-farmers-of-punjab/429193/

    Note the direct quote from the Minister, doing a blatant sales pitch for his business.

    • Pascal's bookie 17.2

      Oh dear.

      “My personal commitment to Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal is that New Zealand will be committed to improve efficiency and productivity of the farmers in the state by providing them technology transfer in agriculture, horticulture and dairy sector,’ said Dr Richard Worth, Minister of Crown, New Zealand.

      “Our visa rate is 88 per cent. This will also improve in the coming days with more student and visitor visas. We will be making it easy to get visitor visa as the rules will be relaxed and same will be done for business visas to attract more investment, especially in infrastructure, construction, telecom, energy and tourism.’ he said.

      “For students who want to study in New Zealand, the Civil Aviation sector has a lot of scope. One can get a Commercial Pilot Licence in our country in only eight months at the cost of 70,000 New Zealand Dollars, around Rs 18 lakh, from Southern Institute of Technology Civil Aviation Limited,’ he added.

      emph. mine.

      But he was on the tele’ just before saying there was no conflict of interest. Colour me confused, cause it sho nuff don’t look pretty.

      Someone will be along presently no doubt, to explain. I’ll have to wait for the a.m. though. night all.

      • Quoth the Raven 17.2.1

        I like it how he uses the school attached to the company he’s a director at as an example and even mentions the price.

      • Felix 17.2.2

        That’s outrageous. Those cleverly worded stories from the liberal media make it look as if Richard Worth, (Minister of Crown, NZ) was using his official position (and MY tax dollars) to advance his own company.

  18. Irascible 18

    Amazing that the Tory bloggers can get so righteous about word processor interviews containing “allegations” about “corruption” under Labour then become protective and supportive of their own immediately Worth & Co prove that they are no virgins themselves when it comes to corruption. Key should demand his “ministers'” resignations and not just bus ticket slap them. Labour needs to hammer,hammer the offenders at every opportunity in the House and in all media. It is obvious that probity is not a word in the National government’s lexicon despite the Crosby-Textor campaigning.

  19. SHG 19

    Where’s the “Worth’s story unravels” article gone?

    [lprent: There now. It was probably pulled back for an edit.]

  20. spot 20

    Will key feel the pressure to offer up a scalp, probably, will he, I suspect not. But if needs must then hardly a talent loss.

    Be interesting to see if Lab feel they can go hard at this one, it being largely “outside” of matters policy, abut “inside” claims to fresh approach and credibility.

    I think King, or the like, should go them and see where it ends up.

    At the end of the day – Worth is, was, and always has been veeeeeery backbench material. Maybe time for him to work on another Phd.

    Keep an eye out for the “creating jobs for NZers in this recession” line that will probably get trotted out as part mitgation for Worth’s actions.

  21. gingercrush 21

    That’s fine and all PB. In an ideal world we should all think like that. But the idea that we who reply at blogs and bloggers themselves are somehow above things is blatantly absurd. How many times do right wing bloggers and those who identify right-wing accuse Labour of being corrupt and basically lying. Then how many times does the left themselves do that but this time against the right and National. So either we’re all hypocrites and very partisan or we aren’t. And of course the idea that a reprimand by itself is nothing.But it does actually mean something in political terms.

    —-

    And as for your point about National and them applying the highest standards. I don’t remember National saying that and I never expected it either. Labour will provide the questioning and will certainly test the government. And if you’re a voter of the left persuasion. This is the first time you actually have something to nail the government with. But when Goff goes on National Radio as he did five minutes ago and act all above everything. That will never work. Especially not when Sean Plunket smacks him down.

    • Pascal's bookie 21.1

      It’s not about me or bloggers ginger. It’s about Key. I’m glad you seem to agree that all his talk about how his government would be one of probity was all just a bunch of lies. Just like people on the left were saying. Were you saying so then? It seems that the only one claiming to be above it all is you mate. As always, you just seem focussed on the day’s horserace.

      A reprimand is as weak as it gets. What are the consequences?

      • gingercrush 21.1.1

        I’m not above anything and I don’t know why you make such a claim. What are the consequences? He fucks up again and he’s out. Simple as that. Of course Helen Clark wouldn’t even give Peters that till it was too late. That is why if you reprimand someone straight away. It actually works politically. If anything its you that exists on a holier than thou attitude.

  22. Observer 22

    Tane
    you talk some utter garbage at times! Like ” Richard Worth’s private business dealings in India while he was acting as a Minister of the Crown”. He was acting as chairman of a trade association and used NO public funds.

    An Indian newspaper did its homework, realised he was a Minister back in New Zealand, and used his highest title (Minister) in reporting on his visit. In India this is called being polite. By taking its words in a KIWI context, instead of an Indian one, much mischief has been achieved.

    How sad that this is the bast that can be achieved by the Centre Left as it looks for major discombooberations to latch the public’s attention to!

    • BLiP 22.1

      The fact that Worth was described as “Minister” is the Indian’s being polite!! Good grief, what a shining example of colonial patronising bollocks – “the poor golly wogs got it wrong because they were trying to be nice” – your attitude is so last century as to be insulting.

      Face it – Worth has been caught out seeking to benefit financially from his elected position, plus he’s been caught out lying to the Prime Minister.

      How sad the right seek to defend Worth and his type.

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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Futility of Punishment
    Hi,I was in Texas recently and couldn’t stop thinking about how in some parts of America they really like to kill their prisoners. As a society we tend to agree murder is wrong, but somewhere along the way Texas figured it’s fine if it’s after 6pm and the killing is ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    4 days ago
  • The new Beehive approach to the environment
    A persistent theme has been weaving between the Committee rooms at Parliament all this so-called “Scrutiny” week as MPs have probed Ministers and agencies about their work and plans. The question has been simply what the environmental price might be if the country begins to accelerate its infrastructure building to ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #25 2024
    Open access notables Climate Change Is Leading to a Convergence of Global Climate Distribution, Li et al., Geophysical Research Letters: The impact of changes in global temperatures and precipitation on climate distribution remains unclear. Taking the annual global average temperatures and precipitation as the origin, this study determined the climate distribution with the ...
    4 days ago
  • You take nicer pictures when you’re not drunk
    Readers keeping count will know it's more than five years since I gave up booze. Some of you get worried on my behalf when I recount a possibly testing moment. Anxious readers: today I got well tested.All the way across France I've been enquiring in my very polite and well-meaning but ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Cancer
    Turn awayIf you could, get me a drinkOf water 'cause my lips are chapped and fadedCall my Aunt MarieHelp her gather all my thingsAnd bury me in all my favourite coloursMy sisters and my brothers, stillI will not kiss you'Cause the hardest part of this is leaving youI remember the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why we shouldn’t buy new planes for the PM
    Its not often that one has to agree with Judith Collins, but yes, it would indeed cost “hundreds of millions of dollars” (at least) to buy replacement aircraft to fly the Prime Minister on his overseas missions of diplomacy and trade. And yes, the public might well regard that spending ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • The Stadium Debate – What About the Transport Options?
    A few weeks ago, Auckland Council took another step in the long-running stadium saga, narrowing its shortlist down to two options for which they will now seek feasibility studies. The recommendation to move forward with a feasibility study was carried twenty to one by the council’s Governing Body for the ...
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s mid-winter pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 20
    Social Development Minister Louise Upston has defended the Government’s decision to save money by dumping a programme which tops up the pay of disabled workers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: It has emerged the National-ACT-NZ First Government decided to cut wages for disabled workers from the minimum wage to $2 an hour ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Where the power really resides in Wellington
    The new Chief Executive of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC) yesterday gave a Select Committee a brutally frank outline of the department’s role as the agency right at the centre of power in Wellington. Ben King, formerly a deputy Chief Executive at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Climate Adam: Why we're still losing the fight against Methane
    This video includes conclusions of the creator climate scientist Dr. Adam Levy. It is presented to our readers as an informed perspective. Please see video description for references (if any). Carbon dioxide is the main culprit behind climate change. But in second place is methane: a greenhouse gas stronger than CO2, ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: More ETS failure
    A few weeks ago, I blogged about the (then) upcoming ETS auction, raising the prospect of it failing, leaving the government with a messy budget hole. The auction was today, and indeed, it failed. In fact, it was such a failure that no-one even bothered to bid. Its easy to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Return of Jacinda.
    Oh, take me, take me, take meTo the dreamer's ballI'll be right on time and I'll dress so fineYou're gonna love me when you see meI won't have to worryTake me, take mePromise not to wake me'Til it's morningIt's all been trueEarly morning yesterday, well before dawn, doom-scrolling.Not intentionally, that’s ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • How good is the interim NW busway?
    This is a guest post by Pshem Kowalczyk, a long-time follower of the blog. With great fanfare, just over six months ago (on 12 November 2023), AT launched its interim busway for the NorthWest region, with the new WX express service at the heart of the changes. I live ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Consumer confidence collapses after Budget, in contrast with rest of world
    The first widespread survey of consumers and voters since the Budget on May 30 shows a collapse in confidence. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The belt-tightening and tax-cutting Budget delivered on May 30 has not delivered the boost to confidence in the economy the National-ACT-NZ First Government might have ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The end for the Air Force 757s
    The Air Force 757 that broke down with the Prime Minister on board in Port Moresby on Sunday is considered so unreliable that it carries a substantial stock of spare parts when it travels overseas. And the plane also carries an Air Force maintenance team on board ready to make ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Was 1934 the hottest year on record?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    7 days ago
  • It's not New Zealand they've never heard of, it's him
    Sometimes you’ll just be so dog-tired, you can only keep yourself awake with a short stab of self-inflicted pain.A quick bite of the lip, for instance.Maybe a slight bite on the tongue or a dig of the nails.But what if you’re needing something a bit more painful?The solution is as ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • Some “scrutiny” II
    Last month I blogged about the Ministry of Justice's Open Government Partnership commitment to strengthen scrutiny of Official Information Act exemption clauses in legislation", and how their existing efforts did not give much reason for confidence. As part of that, I mentioned that I had asked the Ministry for its ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why the Biden “peace plan” for Gaza is doomed
    After months and months of blocking every attempt by the UN and everyone else to achieve a Gaza ceasefire, US President Joe Biden is now marketing his own three-stage “peace plan” to end the conflict. Like every other contribution by the US since October 7, the Biden initiative is hobbled ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Raised crossings: hearing the voice of vulnerable pedestrians
    This is a guest post by Vivian Naylor, who is the Barrier Free Advisor and Educator at CCS Disability Action, Northern Region, the largest disability support and advocacy organisation in Aotearoa New Zealand. She also advises on AT’s Public Transport and Capital Projects Accessibility Groups. Vivian has been advocating and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Leaving on a Jet Plane
    So kiss me and smile for meTell me that you'll wait for meHold me like you'll never let me go'Cause I'm leavin' on a jet planeDon't know when I'll be back againOh babe, I hate to go“The true measure of any society can be found in how it treats its ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Tuesday, June 18
    The election promises of ‘better economic management’ are now ringing hollow, as NZ appears to be falling into a deeper recession, while other economies are turning the corner. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The economy and the housing market are slumping back into a deep recession this winter, contrasting ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Scrutiny week off to rocky start
    Parliament’s new “Scrutiny” process, which is supposed to allow Select Committees to interrogate Ministers and officials in much more depth, has got off to a rocky start. Yesterday was the first day of “Scrutiny Week” which is supposed to see the Government grilled on how it spends taxpayers’ money and ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • The choice could not be more stark’: How Trump and Biden compare on climate change
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Barbara Grady Illustration by Samantha Harrington. Photo credits: Justin Lane-Pool/Getty Images, Win McNamee/Getty Images, European Space Agency. In an empty wind-swept field in Richmond, California, next to the county landfill, a company called RavenSr has plotted out land and won ...
    1 week ago
  • Differentiating between democracy and republic
    Although NZ readers may not be that interested in the subject and in lieu of US Fathers Day missives (not celebrated in NZ), I thought I would lay out some brief thoughts on a political subject being debated in the … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's mid-winter pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 17
    TL;DR: Chris Bishop talks up the use of value capture, congestion charging, PPPs, water meters, tolling and rebating GST on building materials to councils to ramp up infrastructure investment in the absence of the Government simply borrowing more to provide the capital.Meanwhile, Christopher Luxon wants to double the number of ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • You do have the power to change things
    When I was invited to come aboard and help with Greater Auckland a few months ago (thanks to Patrick!), it was suggested it might be a good idea to write some sort of autobiographical post by way of an introduction. This post isn’t quite that – although I’m sure I’lll ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Turning Away – Who Cares If We Don't?
    On the turning awayFrom the pale and downtroddenAnd the words they say which we won't understandDon't accept that, what's happeningIs just a case of other's sufferingOr you'll find that you're joining inThe turning awayToday’s guest kōrero is from Author Catherine Lea. So without further ado, over to Catherine…I’m so honoured ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Dissecting Tickled
    Hi,Tickled was one of the craziest things that ever happened to me (and I feel like a lot of crazy things have happened to me).So ahead of the Webworm popup and Tickled screening in New Zealand on July 13, I thought I’d write about how we made that film and ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand Webworm Popup + Tickled!
    Hi,I’m doing a Webworm merch popup followed by a Tickled screening in Auckland, New Zealand on July 13th — and I’d love you to come. I got the urge to do this while writing this Webworm piece breaking down how we made Tickled, and talking to all the people who ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • What China wants from NZ business
    One simple statistic said it all: China Premier Li Qiang asked Fonterra CEO Miles Hurrell what percentage of the company’s overall sales were made in China. “Thirty per cent,” said Hurrell. In other words, New Zealand’s largest company is more or less dependent on the Chinese market. But Hurrell is ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • Review: The Worm Ouroboros, by E.R. Eddison (1922)
    One occasionally runs into the question of what J.R.R. Tolkien would have thought of George R.R. Martin. For years, I had a go-to online answer: we could use a stand-in. Tolkien’s thoughts on E.R. Eddison – that he appreciated the invented world, but thought the invented names were silly, and ...
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24
    A listing of 35 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 9, 2024 thru Sat, June 15, 2024. Story of the week A glance at this week's inventory of what experts tell us is extreme weather mayhem juiced by ...
    1 week ago
  • Sunday Morning Chat
    After a busy week it’s a good day to relax. Clear blues skies here in Tamaki Makaurau, very peaceful but for my dogs sleeping heavily. In the absence of a full newsletter I thought I’d send out a brief update and share a couple of posts that popped up in ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • The Book of Henry
    Now in the land of Angus beef and the mighty ABsWhere the steaks were juicy and the rivers did run foulIt would often be said,This meal is terrible,andNo, for real this is legit the worst thing I've ever eatenBut this was an thing said only to others at the table,not ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is ocean acidification from human activities enough to impact marine ecosystems?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by Sue Bin Park in collaboration with members from the Skeptical Science team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is ocean acidification from human ...
    1 week ago
  • Happiness is a Warm Gun
    She's not a girl who misses muchDo do do do do do, oh yeahShe's well-acquainted with the touch of the velvet handLike a lizard on a window paneI wouldn’t associate ACT with warmth, other than a certain fabled, notoriously hot, destination where surely they’re heading and many would like them ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Still doing a good 20
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Coalition of the Unwilling?
    What does Budget 2024 tell us about the current government? Muddle on?Coalition governments are not new. About 50 percent of the time since the first MMP election, there has been a minority government, usually with allied parties holding ministerial portfolios outside cabinets. For 10 percent of the time there was ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Of red flags and warning signs in comments on social media
    Somewhat surprisingly for what is regarded as a network of professionals, climate science misinformation is getting shared on LinkedIn, joining other channels where this is happening. Several of our recent posts published on LinkedIn have attracted the ire of various commenters who apparently are in denial about human-caused climate change. Based ...
    2 weeks ago
  • All good, still
    1. On what subject is Paul Henry even remotely worth giving the time of day?a. The state of our nationb. The state of the ACT partyc. How to freak out potential buyers of your gin palace by baking the remains of your deceased parent into its fittings2. Now that New ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • The looting is the point
    Last time National was in power, they looted the state, privatising public assets and signing hugely wasteful public-private partnership (PPP) contracts which saw foreign consortiums provide substandard infrastructure while gouging us for profits. You only have to look at the ongoing fiasco of Transmission Gully to see how it was ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Illusion of Power: How Local Government Bureaucrats Overawe Democratically-Elected Councillors..
    The Democratic Façade Of Local Government: Our district and city councillors are democratically elected to govern their communities on one very strict condition – that they never, ever, under any circumstances, attempt to do so.A DISINTEGRATION OF LOYALTIES on the Wellington City Council has left Mayor Tory Whanau without a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Lowlights & Bright Spots
    I can feel the lowlights coming over meI can feel the lowlights, from the state I’m inI can see the light now even thought it’s dimA little glow on the horizonAnother week of lowlights from our government, with the odd bright spot and a glow on the horizon. The light ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Weekly Roundup 14-June-2024
    Another week, another roundup of things that caught our eye on our favourite topics of transport, housing and how to make cities a little bit greater. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Connor wrote about Kāinga Ora’s role as an urban development agency Tuesday’s guest post by ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 14
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s moves this week to take farming out of the ETS and encourage more mining and oil and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate policy axed in broad daylight, while taxpayer liabilities grow in the dark
    In 2019, Shane Jones addressed the “50 Shades of Green” protest at Parliament: Now he is part of a government giving those farmers a pass on becoming part of the ETS, as well as threatening to lock in offshore oil exploration and mining for decades. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Here’s the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Rage Bait!
    Hi,Today’s newsletter is all about how easy it is to get sucked into “rage bait” online, and how easy it is to get played.But first I wanted to share something that elicited the exact opposite of rage in me — something that made me feel incredibly proud, whilst also making ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 weeks ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Friday, June 14
    Seymour said lower speed limits “drained the joy from life as people were forced to follow rules they knew made no sense.” File Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Friday, June 14 were:The National/ACT/NZ First ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Friendly but frank talks with China Premier
    It sounded like the best word to describe yesterday’s talks between Chinese Premier Li Qiang and his heavyweight delegation of Ministers and officials and Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and New Zealand Ministers and officials was “frank.” But it was the kind of frankness that friends can indulge in. It ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #24 2024
    Open access notables Wildfire smoke impacts lake ecosystems, Farruggia et al., Global Change Biology: We introduce the concept of the lake smoke-day, or the number of days any given lake is exposed to smoke in any given fire season, and quantify the total lake smoke-day exposure in North America from 2019 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashIt’s that new day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 pm.Jump on this link on YouTube Livestream for our chat about the week’s news with special guests:5.00 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 weeks ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago

  • Transformative investment in cancer treatments and more new medicines
    The coalition Government is delivering up to 26 cancer treatments as part of an overall package of up to 54 more new medicines, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced today. “Pharmac estimates that around 175,000 people will benefit from the additional treatments in just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • More support for drought-affected communities
    The coalition Government is providing more financial support to drought-stricken farmers and growers in many parts of the country to help with essential living costs. “Rural Assistance Payments have been made available in 38 districts affected by dry conditions to help eligible farmers and growers whose income has taken a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Job seekers to report on progress after six months from today
    A new requirement for people on Jobseeker Support benefits to meet with MSD after six months to assess how their job search is going gets underway today. About 20,000 Jobseeker beneficiaries with full-time work obligations are expected to attend MSD’s new ‘Work check-in’ seminars over the next 12 months, Social ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • New cops means more Police on the beat
    The decision to deploy more Police on the beat in Auckland CBD has been welcomed by Police Minister Mark Mitchell and Associate Police Minister Casey Costello. Starting from 1 July, an additional 21 police officers will be redeployed in Auckland City, bringing the total number of beat police in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government takes action to address youth crime
    The Government is introducing a new declaration for young offenders to ensure they face tougher consequences and are better supported to turn their lives around, Children’s Minister Karen Chhour announced today. The establishment of a Young Serious Offender declaration delivers on a coalition Government commitment and supports the Government’s target ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Reserve Bank chair reappointed
    Professor Neil Quigley has been reappointed as Chair of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand Board for a further term of two years, until 30 June 2026.  “Professor Quigley has played a key role in establishing the new Board after the commencement of the new RBNZ Act on 1 July ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • School attendance increases
    School attendance data released today shows an increase in the number of students regularly attending school to 61.7 per cent in term one. This compares to 59.5 per cent in term one last year and 53.6 per cent in term four. “It is encouraging to see more children getting to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Record investment in public transport services
    The Government has announced a record 41 per cent increase in indicative funding for public transport services and operations, and confirmed the rollout of the National Ticketing Solution (NTS) that will enable contactless debit and credit card payments starting this year in Auckland, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“This Government is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • GDP data shows need to strengthen and grow the economy
    GDP figures for the March quarter reinforce the importance of restoring fiscal discipline to public spending and driving more economic growth, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  Data released today by Stats NZ shows GDP has risen 0.2 per cent for the quarter to March.   “While today’s data is technically in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Women continue to make up over 50 per cent on public sector boards
    Women’s representation on public sector boards and committees has reached 50 per cent or above for the fourth consecutive year, with women holding 53.9 per cent of public sector board roles, Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston says. “This is a fantastic achievement, but the work is not done. To ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supporting Māori business success
    The Coalition Government is supporting Māori to boost development and the Māori economy through investment in projects that benefit the regions, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka say. “As the Regional Development Minister, I am focused on supporting Māori to succeed. The Provincial Growth Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better solutions for earthquake-prone buildings
    Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk has announced that the review into better managing the risks of earthquake-prone buildings has commenced. “The terms of reference published today demonstrate the Government’s commitment to ensuring we get the balance right between public safety and costs to building owners,” Mr Penk says.  “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up visit to Japan
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has just finished a successful three-day visit to Japan, where he strengthened political relationships and boosted business links. Mr Luxon’s visit culminated in a bilateral meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio followed by a state dinner. “It was important for me to meet Prime Minister Kishida in person ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major business deals signed on PM’s Japan trip
    Significant business deals have been closed during the visit of Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to Japan this week, including in the areas of space, renewable energy and investment.  “Commercial deals like this demonstrate that we don’t just export high-quality agricultural products to Japan, but also our world-class technology, expertise, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Strategic Security speech, Tokyo
    Minasan, konnichiwa, kia ora and good afternoon everyone. Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today and thank you to our friends at the Institute for International Socio-Economic Studies and NEC for making this event possible today.  It gives me great pleasure to be here today, speaking with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Infrastructure Pipeline worth over $120 billion
    The National Infrastructure Pipeline, which provides a national view of current or planned infrastructure projects, from roads, to water infrastructure, to schools, and more, has climbed above $120 billion, Infrastructure Minister Chris Bishop says. “Our Government is investing a record amount in modern infrastructure that Kiwis can rely on as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Making it easier to build infrastructure
    The Government is modernising the Public Works Act to make it easier to build infrastructure, Minister for Land Information Chris Penk announced today. An independent panel will undertake an eight-week review of the Act and advise on common sense changes to enable large scale public works to be built faster and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • NZ enhances North Korea sanctions monitoring
    New Zealand will enhance its defence contributions to monitoring violations of sanctions against North Korea, Prime Minister Christopher Luxon announced today.  The enhancement will see the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) increase its contributions to North Korea sanctions monitoring, operating out of Japan. “This increase reflects the importance New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech to Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference
    Good afternoon everyone. It’s great to be with you all today before we wrap up Day One of the annual Safeguard National Health and Safety Conference. Thank you to the organisers and sponsors of this conference, for the chance to talk to you about the upcoming health and safety consultation. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Ōtaki to north of Levin alliance agreements signed
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed an important milestone for the Ōtaki to north of Levin Road of National Significance (RoNS), following the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) signing interim alliance agreements with two design and construction teams who will develop and ultimately build the new expressway.“The Government’s priority for transport ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Improvements to stopping Digital Child Exploitation
    The Department of Internal Affairs [Department] is making a significant upgrade to their Digital Child Exploitation Filtering System, which blocks access to websites known to host child sexual abuse material, says Minister of Internal Affairs Brooke van Velden.  “The Department will incorporate the up-to-date lists of websites hosting child sexual ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New vaccine research aims to combat prevalent bovine disease
    A vaccine to prevent an infectious disease that costs New Zealand cattle farmers more than $190 million each year could radically improve the health of our cows and boost on-farm productivity, Associate Agriculture Minister Andrew Hoggard says. The Ministry for Primary Industries is backing a project that aims to develop ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Major health and safety consultation begins
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