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Exclusive: New evidence shows Lee lied about NZ on Air funding

Written By: - Date published: 2:27 pm, December 6th, 2009 - 49 comments
Categories: melissa lee - Tags:

Newly uncovered correspondence between Melissa Lee and NZ on Air shows that she and her leader, John Key, seriously misled the media, the house and the public over the issue of her company’s misappropriation of $80,000 of NZ on Air funds.

Documents obtained by The Standard show Lee’s claim to media that she had no idea about the matter until 12th of October was false. (“Ms Lee said she was informed of the problem when a business partner forwarded her a letter last night”*, “NZ on Air sent a letter to my business partner which I have just received now”*) Lee was actually notified five months earlier on the 18th of May. Here’s the note from the NZ on Air file:

Spoke to Melissa Lee 16:45 18/5. She thought the amount coded to contingency was for overexpenditure in other codes. She will check with the previous production manager who has left the company.

The documents also confirm Lee’s first written reply on the issue was on the 22nd of June:

I just want to acknowledge the receipt of your letter dated June 12th. It was received by the Asia Downunder office on Friday and it was delivered to me today

And that she had acknowledged there was money to pay back on the 17th August (although this letter, supposedly sent the day before Broadcasting Minister Johnathan Coleman found out about the issue, wasn’t received by NZ on Air until August 24th):

I would like your guidance and advice on what [sic] and how we sort this error out.

After TV3 broke the story John Key’s response was to attack NZ on Air, telling Parliament:

Maybe that reflects badly on NZ On Air, which thinks that the way that it should respond to these things is by leaking them to the Labour Party, without having the courtesy of sending the letter in the first place to Melissa Lee.

But we now know that NZ on Air had notified Lee more than five months earlier. The information John Key provided to the House, whether intentional or not, is false.

Within hours of the TV3 airing, Lee’s company announced that they would pay the money back with Lee issuing a statement claiming it was “a technical accounting mistake” and that “This has come as a total surprise, the company wasn’t aware that the money set aside in the contingency was technically expected to be refunded.” The implication was that the “surprise” issue had only just come to her attention and she had moved quickly to fix it. We now know this is untrue. We also have no record of the money being refunded.

Timeline:

  • 12 May – Report on Lee’s company shows issues under investigation
  • 18 May – First telephone conversation between NZ on Air and Melissa Lee on the issue
  • 12 June – Lee contacted by NZ on Air and asked to explain
  • 13 June – Mt Albert by-election
  • 22 June – Lee replies via email to NZ on Air letter, promises action
  • 14 July – NZ on Air contact Lee asking her to report progress
  • 16 July – Lee replies she hasn’t had a chance to follow up
  • 12 August – NZ on Air make determination to tell Minister of Broadcasting Jonathan Coleman
  • 17 August – Lee finally gets back to TVNZ, says she can provide no further information about the misappropriated fund (received by NZ on Air, 24 August)
  • 18 August – Jonathan Coleman says he’s told of the problem by NZ on Air
  • 7 October – NZ on Air board agree Lee should pay back $80,000 of public money
  • 12 October – Asia Downunder sent letter demanding payment
  • 12 October – Letter demanding payment leaked and broadcast by TV3 News
  • 12 October – Lee says this is the first day she hears of the matter five months after she first talked to NZ on Air about it
  • 12 October 8:55pm – TV3 reports Lee will pay back the money
  • 13 October – Key repeats Lee’s story in House and attacks NZ on Air

This new information raises some serious questions. It’s clear from the documents that Lee lied to the media about her knowledge of the situation and it’s highly likely that, having known about the misappropriation of public funds for some time, she was only willing to pay the (taxpayers’) money back after it became a media story.

Further, John Key lied to Parliament the following day. I would have expected that before he took this up in the House he would have been briefed by Lee and told about how far back her knowledge of the issue went. The public deserve answers:

– What did Melissa Lee tell John Key about when she first knew of NZ on Air’s allegations?

– Did John Key make it up when he said NZ on Air had leaked the letter to Labour before telling Melissa Lee?

– Did Melissa Lee backdate her letter of 17 Aug, which wasn’t received by NZ on Air until August 24th? Jonathan Coleman says he was told of the problem by the chair of NZ on Air on August 18th.

– Why did Lee wait until the TV3 broadcast to pay back the money, when she indicated to NZ on Air several months earlier that she wanted to sort it out?

– Who was involved in the cover-up to keep the issue secret from the people of Mt Albert before the 13th June by-election?

– Lee, Key and Coleman each need to spell out in detail what they knew when.

– Will John Key apologise to Parliament for presenting misinformation on the matter during question time?

49 comments on “Exclusive: New evidence shows Lee lied about NZ on Air funding”

  1. Gooner 1

    Gunning for Lee is like Brazil gunning for the All Whites at the World Cup.

    Pointless.

    • Tigger 1.1

      Because she’s an MP and we should all just accept their behaviour? Because she’s bulletproof and Key won’t dump her no matter how much dirt sticks to her? Because she’s a lady? Because she’s a nice person?

  2. prism 2

    Just shows. Not all the dodgy people live in South Auckland.

  3. Santi 3

    No need to worry. The lazy Prime Minister will do nothing about this transgression.
    He’s too busy flying around the world and smiling like there is no tomorrow.

    A pathetic man leading a pathetic National government.

  4. Tim Ellis 4

    On a desperation scale this post scores pretty highly Eddie.

    • IrishBill 4.1

      That’s Mr Eddie to you, Tim. And you’re right, Lee’s actions certainly were desperate.

    • Eddie 4.2

      I’m less than taken back by your response, Tim. Have you got anything to say about the substance? The fact that Lee lied, the fact that Key at least repeated her lie, Coleman’s coverup?

    • andy 4.3

      Tim, I am glad your relaxed ™ about misleading the house and the people of New Zealand.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.4

      Evidence of outright corruption by ministers of the present government and you call it desperation on the part of the people bringing it to the public’s notice?

  5. Tim Ellis 6

    IB either I am on a losing battle for referring to people by their last name (which is my habit since childhood) or for referrring them by their first name when no last name is provided. A bit petty if you ask me.

    Documents obtained by The Standard show Lee’s claim to media that she had no idea about the matter until 12th of October was false. Lee was actually notified five months earlier on the 18th of May. Here’s the note from the NZ on Air file:

    There was no claim to the media that Ms Lee knew nothing about the matter until 12th October. It is clear from the correspondence that from the initial inquiry an amount was in dispute. There is no evidence that Ms Lee knew how much was in dispute until 12 October.

    Another beat up from somebody who seems obsessed with Ms Lee.

    • Eddie 6.1

      Tim. The old distraction tactics are looking pretty desperate.

      There’s no obsession with Lee. We last posted on her in October when this issue was last in the news.

      “There was no claim to the media that Ms Lee knew nothing about the matter until 12th October”

      Yes there was. I have two quotes: http://www.radionz.co.nz/audio/national/mnr/2009/10/13/asia_downunder_moves_to_correct_accounting_error and http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/pm-stands-lee-over-funding-row-113108

      Still comfortable with Lee lying along with Coleman and Key?

      • Tim Ellis 6.1.1

        No evidence of lying in any of those quotes Eddie. What there is evidence of is a long series of inquiries into AV by NZOA on some pretty technical accounting issues that were in dispute by the two parties. If you’ve ever been through a financial audit you will know this is pretty common, and mistakes of interpretation happen all the time.

        There is no evidence that Ms Lee knew how much was in dispute at the time of the 18 May discussion, or the extent of the problem.

        So yes, pretty desperate on your part. As for whether you are obsessed with Ms Lee your cat calling at the time of the by election shows otherwise.

        • Eddie 6.1.1.1

          “cat calling” what an odd term to use.

          do you mean that we had posts on lee’s frequent pratfalls and her inability to control her temper? Because, you know, they were pretty major news. Maybe Guyon and Duncan were cat calling too?

          gee, Tim. you’re really not doing well today.

        • Chris C 6.1.1.2

          “If you’ve ever been through a financial audit you will know this is pretty common, and mistakes of interpretation happen all the time.”

          No they don’t. There are no “mistakes of interpretation”, because an audit sets the terms of interpreting the accounts. That’s what an audit is for – to define the terms by which financial peformances and accounting methods will be judged. There is no interpretation except what the auditors interpret it as. That’s why we have GAAP and IFRS.

          If someone uses the term “mistakes of interpretation”, then an auditor’s ears will prick up. Interpretation isn’t a word often used in an audit.

  6. Irascible 7

    I’d argue that this demonstrates yet another example of arrogance allowing the NACT MPs to believe that their inbuilt natural tendency to exploit the taxpayer (also called corruption) is an acceptable practice in public life.

  7. Eddie 8

    Tim: “No evidence of lying in any of those quotes Eddie”

    umm,

    “Ms Lee said she was informed of the problem when a business partner forwarded her a letter last night.”

    • Tim Ellis 8.1

      Eddie please point out where in the correspondence it says that NZOA had investigated and found that there was an accounting error relating to $80,000 of incorrectly attributed expenditure, and where it was acknowledged in the earlier correspondence that Ms Lee knew of this.

  8. Eddie 9

    all in the post, of course but here, again, is the correspondence on misuse of the contingency fund, which Lee later said she only learned of on 12 October. 18th May, to Lee: http://www.thestandard.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/File-note.jpg . 22 June, from Lee: http://www.thestandard.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/First-Lee-email.jpg

    • Tim Ellis 9.1

      The correspondence shows nothing of the kind Eddie.

      The call on 18 May shows a “please explain how you decided on this” conversation, the same kind that accountants have with their clients when reviewing financial information all the time. There is no evidence that NZOA reached a judgement on the matter until much later and no evidence that Ms Lee knew about the judgement until 12 October.

      Please show where in any of the correspondence prior to 7 October it shows that NZOA had reached a decision on what to be refunded Eddie. You will have to do better than posting links with vague assumptions of your own.

      • IrishBill 9.1.1

        I don’t think it’s a vague assumption at all. Lee clearly says tells the media she was not aware of the problem until the 12th of October but she had actually been in correspondence with NZ on Air about the problem since May.

        • Tim Ellis 9.1.1.1

          Yes you might come to that conclusion IB if you started with the assumption that Ms Lee was dishonest and set out to misappropriate money, which was Eddie’s contention going right back to his original claim that Ms Lee misappropriated NZOA money to spend on political advertising (which NZOA investigated and found there was no substance to the claim).

          But as with all auditing or reviews of company or organisational accounting, the first thing to happen will be NZOA asks for a set of accounts, then questions the directors on the assumptions they used in preparing the accounts, and then reaches a conclusion on the validity of those assumptions.

          The file note of 18 May shows that NZOA was inquring into the assumptions made by AV in preparing the accounts. To describe such questining as an allegation of impropriety shows that Eddie is either being dishonest or ignorant about how auditing works.

          The assumptions that Ms Lee’s company made with regard to the transfer to the continegency line survived both standard audit and presumably ongoing annual review of accounts by NZOA going back several years. NZOA reached a view on 7 October that the interpretation that AV had been applying with respect to the contingency line item was incorrect.

          There is no evidence at all that Ms Lee knew what the outcome of NZOA’s queries were, how much was in dispute, or even whether the decision of NZOA’s board would be that AV’s intepretation of the use of the contingency fund was incorrect, until after the Board reached its determination on 7 October.

          Eddie further says:

          And that she had acknowledged there was money to pay back on the 17th August

          Ms Lee’s letter of 17 August makes no such acknowledgement. It makes an offer to change AV’s budgeting process so that the use of the contingency line item is not used in future, and asks NZOA for guidance on the next stage.

          There is no evidence in any of the correspondence that Ms Lee was aware that NZOA would determine that AV’s budgeting process was incorrect, that money would need to be repaid, or how much money was involved until after the 7 October board decision.

          Nowhere in the media did Ms Lee deny having any conversations with NZOA, as Eddie has claimed. Clearly she was in discussions, but she did not know the outcome of those discussions until NZOA reached its determination.

          • Eddie 9.1.1.1.1

            she claimed not to be aware of the issue. the papers prove otherwise.

          • andy 9.1.1.1.2

            Tim, when an external auditor has a ‘please explain’ question, alarm bells should ring. Especially when you are receiving public funds, one should be aware that there is a certain sensitivity surrounding it (twilight golf anyone?).

            Lee and Co should have been on amber alert, this is not your accountant asking why you accidentally coded an expense as non taxable instead of taxable. This is a ‘this looks dodgy, you better have a good explanation, cause if you don’t…..’ type of question.

            Good try, external auditors are very very serious and can have a huge impact on future funding, but you should know that.

          • Rex Widerstrom 9.1.1.1.3

            Good grief. A small part of what I do involves making TV with a production company in which I have an interest.

            A very small part of that involves public money. If the public funder said “we’re going to audit you” (as opposed to the usual process of simply requiring you to account for your expenditure, which is an entirely different matter) I’d s**t my pants.

            In my experience (and I should state I’ve had no dealings with NZOA so this may not apply to them) public funders tend to be quite relaxed in their dealings with production companies with whom they’ve had a pre-existing relationship.

            So relaxed, in fact, it annoys me because they tend to shut out newcomers and fund existing providers to produce what often turns out to be second rate material.

            So for one to trot out the possibility of an audit could not fail to cause alarm at a production company.

            To spin this as her thinking they needed to recode their contingency funds or somesuch minor accounting issue is disingenuous.

            If alarm bells didn’t go off in May, or maybe early June at the very latest then Lee and her comrades are so breathtakingly dim that they should never have been deemed suitable to receive the money in the first place.

  9. Eddie 10

    “Please show where in any of the correspondence prior to 7 October it shows that NZOA had reached a decision on what to be refunded Eddie.”

    Not relevant. Lee clearly claimed not to know of the issue,it’s not a matter of whether the decision had been made, it’s whether she knew there was a problem.

    “Ms Lee said she was informed of the problem when a business partner forwarded her a letter last night”,

    “NZ on Air sent a letter to my business partner which I have just received now’

  10. Eric C. 11

    Excellent work Eddie.

    If you need further evidence that Lee was telling porkies read this from http://www.parliament.govt.nz :

    Question for Written Answer

    “15491 (2009). Hon Pete Hodgson to the Prime Minister (19 Oct 2009): Was it a member of his staff who informed him that NZ on Air had leaked information about their investigations into Melissa Lee’s company; if not, who did inform him that New Zealand on Air was the source of the leak?

    Hon John Key (Prime Minister) replied: Melissa Lee.”

    Key was rubbished by the media for his claim that NZ on Air leaked the letter and here he himself tells us he got that advice from Melissa Lee.

    Key bought her story lock, stock and barrel and repeated it in parliament. How stupid is that?

  11. Anne 12

    Any chance of banning T Ellis permanently? I look forward to intelligent and enlightened debate on this site and I’m sick of that troll’s attempts to hijack the posts. I’m not the only person who is being turned off from reading the comments because of that ignorant prat.

    • Tim Ellis 12.1

      I’m sorry if you’re offended Anne, but I didn’t realise that directly discussing the claims made in a post constitute “hijacking” it.

    • gitmo 12.2

      “I look forward to intelligent and enlightened debate on this site ”

      Really ? I thought most people came here for partisan hackery or a bit a verbal bif.

      • mickysavage 12.2.1

        I think that Tim does us a service. We get to know the National attack and defend lines even before they are trotted out in the MSM. Keep it up Tim, good work.

  12. dave 13

    unfortunately, this doesn’t actually meet the “so what” test. Therefore no serious questions are raised.

    • Eric C. 13.1

      An MP misleading her leader and her leader being stupid enough to repeat that misleading advice shows a lack of judgement in both MP and leader.

      I guess you can say, “So what,” but some expect more from their leaders.

      • IrishBill 13.1.1

        To be fair it’s only public funds and lying to the house, it’s not like she was driven through Temuka really fast or signed a painting for charity. Now that would be a big deal.

      • andy 13.1.2

        It meets the “Worth” test for sacking. What ever that was 🙂

  13. Eddie 14

    yeah, an MP, a minister, and a prime minister misleading the public over an investigation into the misuse of public funds. So what?

    • Rex Widerstrom 14.1

      FWIW I can see parallels between this and situation Winston was in in 1996 with Michael Laws and his company’s receipt of public money for “polling” in Hawkes Bay.

      The leader cannot know for sure what happened* and is thus forced to rely on the MP’s version of events. You have no choice but to figure the MP wouldn’t be reckless enough to take you (and possibly the party) down with them by compounding whatever misdemeanour they’d committed by lying.

      So you grit your teeth and stand up in Parliament, blinking the sweat out of your eyes and trying to keep your sphincter clenched, and repeat the story you’ve been told, all the while suspecting that the little toad is just using you as a human shield.

      One could argue that Leader ought to have gone with his instinct and jettisoned the rat before it gnawed a hole in the side of the ship, but then you’d be accused of dictatorial behaviour and disloyalty.

      The sad fact is, you should never have hand picked that particular rodent. But by then it’s too late.

      * Though of course Winston pretty much did know, since I went to Hawkes Bay and investigated the incident, then reported to him.

      But alas a complete numpty from ACT to whom I’d spoken decided it was better to big note himself to the media than to let matters run their course, and Winston felt he had to stand by his newly minted MP, hoping it was he and not I who was telling the truth.

      Thus the haemorrhaging continued for months, until a “principled” resignation was finally extracted.

      Perhaps we’re in for a few months of Lee haemorrhaging till she too resigns. Well done The Standard for this admirable bit of investigative journalism, BTW.

  14. Anne 15

    Offended by you Timmy boy? That’s a joke. If you had a sense of humour you would be tolerable. Why don’t you go get your kicks elsewhere… somewhere far, far away. I’m sure there are people at this site who would be delighted to assist you find another outlet for your energies.

    .

  15. Steve 16

    What is a Kangaroo Court? Seems to be a lot of insulting by todays Standard Judges?
    Oh sorry, I asked two questions, please do not get confused

  16. Doug 17

    On Red Alert
    Idiot/Savant says:

    December 6, 2009 at 9:55 pm
    or whether he has the backbone to sack her.

    Sack her from what? She’s not in Cabinet, she’s just an MP. And the Prime Minister doesn’t get to sack them.

    Poor old Trevor Malard.

    • Zorr 17.1

      She is a List MP. She wasn’t personally elected to the position she currently holds and has been sworn in to Parliament as selected by National as a result of voting, not by the voting of an electorate for her. So she can actually be sacked and replaced without subverting the democratic process.

    • lprent 17.2

      Does raise an interesting question about list MPs.

      I’ll take a bet that National has some clauses about behaviour. If they dump her from the party, then I think that there is waka jumping legislation? After all she is an MP because of the national list. The Nats would be out one MP.

      The National story is that she claimed something to the PM that is contradicted by the facts. That has got to be bad behavior.

      • Tim Ellis 17.2.1

        The National story is that she claimed something to the PM that is contradicted by the facts. That has got to be bad behavior.

        Where did you get this LP?

  17. Personally, I’m finding Tim Ellis’s rationalisations hugely entertaining.

  18. Tigger 19

    Personally it’s a lot like watching a small dog doing tricks – amusing after a while but ultimately you just want it to stop yapping.

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    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    5 days ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    5 days ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    6 days ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    6 days ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    7 days ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    1 week ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    1 week ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    1 week ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    1 week ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    1 week ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    1 week ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    1 week ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the 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. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    2 weeks ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    3 days ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    1 week ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    1 week ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    1 week ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    3 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs Foreign Minister Winston Peters and his South Korean counterpart, Kang Kyung-wha, discussed in Seoul today opportunities to work more closely in the Pacific and the situation on the Korean Peninsula. Mr Peters and Minister Kang confirmed New Zealand and the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF supports high speed broadband for marae at Parihaka Pa
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development  Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister for Māori Development The three marae in the historic Parihaka Pa complex in Taranaki have been upgraded to high speed broadband with the support of the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “Connecting the ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 launched
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence Minister of Defence Ron Mark will today launch the Advancing Pacific Partnerships 2019 Defence Assessment  during a speech at Te Papa.  The Assessment outlines how Defence will partner with our Pacific Island neighbours and invest in Pacific regional security architecture. The Plan aligns with the Coalition ...
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding could transform Gisborne company into “beacon of employment” in two years
    A new Provincial Growth Fund investment could create about 80 new jobs in Gisborne over the next two years, turning a local small business into a “beacon of employment” in the process. Regional Economic Development Parliamentary Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau said the PGF’s Te Ara Mahi funding stream would provide $1.6m ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bowel Screening hits halfway point
    The roll out of the National Bowel Screening Programme has reached the halfway mark, with 10 out of 20 District Health Boards now part of the programme. MidCentral DHB, which covers Palmerston North, Manawatu and surrounding districts, this week became the latest to DHB to offer free bowel screening to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • More vaccines for meningococcal disease
    The Government welcomes PHARMAC’s decision to fund a vaccine to protect young people from meningococcal disease from 1 December this year. “Meningococcal disease is a serious threat which people at higher risk should be protected from,” says Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter. “The combined pharmaceutical budget was increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Fisheries innovation projects supported
    Groups involved with innovative fisheries research projects are encouraged to apply for government support in the latest funding round from the Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures programme. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash says the SFF Futures funding is designed to be flexible enough to support small or large projects across a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government fixes culturally arranged marriage visa issue
    The Government has fixed an issue affecting how Immigration New Zealand has processed visa applications for culturally arranged marriages, which will now see a consistent process applied which ensures people with legitimate arranged marriages can visit New Zealand while also preventing any rorting of the system. Earlier this year Immigration ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Extension for Royal Commission into Mosque attacks
    The Royal Commission into the Attacks on Christchurch Mosques will report back on 30 April 2020 to give it more time to hear submissions and consider information, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. The Royal Commission was originally scheduled to report back to Government by 10 December 2019. “There has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Terrorism and Trade on agenda as Foreign Minister visits the United States
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to Washington DC today to attend a ministerial meeting focused on defeating ISIS, and to continue pursuing New Zealand’s trade opportunities. Mr Peters will participate in a meeting of Foreign and Defence Ministers from key countries contributing to the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Hoiho get extra support alongside 168 community conservation groups backing nature
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