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GCSB changes – outrageous anti-democratic

Written By: - Date published: 6:13 pm, April 15th, 2013 - 42 comments
Categories: accountability, class war, democracy under attack, International, john key, slippery, Spying - Tags: , ,

Key has announced  major changes to the GCSB roles that will include assisting business, the SIS and the police in spying against Kiwis.

This is outrageous.  There are good reasons why there has previously been a separation of the roles of the GCSB (spying on non-Kiwis), the SIS (surveillance of NZ residents and citizens), and the investigations into crime by the police.  It is a check against consolidation of power, and against the NZ intelligence services assisting foreign governments in surveillance of NZ citizens, in their own interests.

Using the GCSB to assist the corporates will give further strength to the war on the poor.

42 comments on “GCSB changes – outrageous anti-democratic”

  1. felix 1

    Centralisation of power. Let’s see who’s really a fan of bigger, stronger government.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    and help to both public and private sector organisations

    So, we get our own intelligence spying on us for the benefit of foreign corporations – great.

    Well, if you had any doubt about who this government was governing for they should now be well and truly buried. This government is governing for the corporations and against NZers.

  3. Red Rosa 3

    No need to re-invent the wheel.

    A quick trip to the old East Germany should do it. Their Stasi worked just fine, kept the population in line. Employed a lot of people, too. Intercepted all letters and listened to all phone calls… well, as many as they could. Plenty of ex-Stasi people around, they could pop over and help set it up.

    This is truly outrageous.

    More than ever, we need an effective leader of the opposition. But Russel Norman is doing OK.

    • ghostrider888 3.1

      Russell Norman certainly is an effective thinker and articulate communicator with some Excellent people on his team.

      • Rhinocrates 3.1.1

        Agreement squared. This is outrageous indeed, and the crisis now could just provoke Key’s mob into truly repressive action.

        we need an effective leader of the opposition. But Russel Norman is doing OK.

        Right on with the explicit and implicit points. Russel Norman is doing a good job alright, and the “official” “opposition”, Labour In Name Only, is already telling us to bend over and saying that with enough lube it’ll be OK.

        The Greens know what they stand for.

        … and I guess LINO does too – their meal tickets at Bellamy’s.

        If Mumblefuck had an iota of principle, a mere mote of foresight and a splinter of a backbone, he’d be screaming his outrage, but he’s too terrified of offending the Talkback Taleban, because somehow, they’re the key to electoral victory, and principles be damned, he’s all for it with a few weasel remarks about enquiries and controls.

        • RedLogix 3.1.1.1

          he’s all for it with a few weasel remarks about enquiries and controls.

          I’ve tried to refrain from banging on about Shearer; but yes. Another grey moment from the grey man.

        • ghostrider888 3.1.1.2

          crossing over to you Rodeo Live

          • ghostrider888 3.1.1.2.1

            wow, how do you like them shiney green apples in the summertime. heehee

        • Mary 3.1.1.3

          Russel Norman was great today the way he said that any minister who’s performed as badly as Key has over the GCSB kerfuffle would be sacked for being so useless. It came across really well and so effectively. Opposition MPs need to say these sorts of things more often instead of pussyfooting around saying things like “If the PM was really serious about X he’d be doing Y”. The opposition need to start saying things how they are and be far more dismissive of what Nact’s doing, especially now when the attacks on the poor and on democracy are in overdrive.

          • felix 3.1.1.3.1

            Matthew Hooten said much the same thing on radio nz this morning.

            He reckons whoever came up with the wording for John Key’s answer to Robertson’s supplementary about the GCSB appointment ought to be sacked.

        • Jenny 3.1.1.4

          But Russel Norman is doing OK.

          Red Rosa

          Russel Norman is doing a good job alright,….

          Rhinocrates

          If Russel Norman was doing a good job, he would be calling for all New Zealanders who are concerned about civil liberties and the right to protest, to rally on the steps of parliament. And he would be challenging the Labour leaders to call out all their members and supporters too.

          No doubt we will hear that protest doesn’t work, from all the usual right wing sources.

          But it is the only thing proven to work when every other democratic outlet has failed.

          It worked over Schedule 4 land. The government quickly did a U turn.

          It worked over Nuclear Ships and apartheid.

          The massive numbers who rallied to support those causes are still there. They must be very concerned at the attacks on civil liberties and the right to protest that allowed them to achieve their victories.

          ….they need to be hammered hard over this – by the Opposition, media and public.

          GregJ

          2, 4, 6, 8,

          We Are All, “The 88”

  4. ianmac 4

    Be interesting to know just how long this has been planned. If it goes back say 3+ weeks then it might mean that Mr Key engineered the fuss.
    But the proposition seems outrageous misfortune to most NZers.
    The ODT Editorial seems even more urgent:
    “….Certainly, there seems much to answer for, which is why changing the law before a proper investigation of process has been carried out would be a gross abuse of power – and could have a gross impact on the average New Zealander. “

    http://www.odt.co.nz/opinion/editorial/252936/spectre-big-brother

  5. Arfamo 5

    This is a serious development, especially given the proposed extension to private sector of some involvement there as well. Really need some leadership from opposition parties in loudly questioning everything about this idea.

  6. GregJ 6

    This is indeed outrageous – it needs widespread critical analysis, comment & condemnation. I would expect all the Opposition parties to oppose this loudly and vociferously.

    All parties with the exception of the Greens* voted for the GCSB Act in 2003 which made it clear that GCSB was not permitted to intercept domestic communication (with an exception when conducting surveillance on a NZ national who may be spying for a foreign power). Serious questions need to be asked on why National has now changed its position & why this situation has changed. It seems National is prepared to throw out the consensus between the major parties that normally works around intelligence and security matters – they need to be hammered hard over this – by the Opposition, media and public.

    *NB. I want to make it clear I’m not saying that the Greens were opposed to the idea of not spying on domestic comms by GCSB by opposing the bill – their objections were about the whole role and raison d’etre of GCSB.

  7. RedLogix 7

    More than ever before I can’t help but imagine the insane jibbering, in four inch high black headlines, from the media if Helen Clark had proposed this.

    This extraordinary power is to be given to a secret government organisation whose ONLY democratic accountability is to the Prime Minister.

    It was not decided whether the changes would retrospectively effect the more than 80 New Zealanders believed to have been illegally spied on.

    Paging burt….

    • ianmac 7.1

      RL: Or the illegality of the Dotcom spying. Maybe that is why the crisis has been set up now to avoid accountibility and Dotcom’s defence..

    • karol 7.2

      On only being accountable to the PM: key has included this:

      There would also be enhanced oversight arrangements, including a wider pool of candidates able to perform the role of inspector general of security and intelligence, meaning they do not have to be a retired high court judge; the inspector general’s office would be more pro-active, rather than review focused, and able to launch its own inquiries more easily; extra staff and resources; legislation expanding the inspector general’s work programme, and more transparency.

      But I’d like to see the small print . Will it still be under the PM’s ultimate authority? Will it include a bunch of people who Key shoulder tapped?

      • ghostrider888 7.2.1

        been consuming a lot of caffeine karol? you have been Mighty productive.

      • RedLogix 7.2.2

        Yes I was thinking of that point when I said democratic accountability. Beefing up the role of the Inspector General is plainly long overdue; that’s nothing more than what probably should have been done 20 years ago. But from a civil rights perspective it means little if the Inspector General is still essentially a creature of the PM.

        That’s the reason why other democracies have been so careful to separate these powers; so that state organisations which can spy on it’s own citizens are subject to substantially greater Parliamentary/Senate oversight than those focussed on ‘external’ threats.

        Now while there is good argument to suggest that in the modern world even that model has broken down somewhat as the whole “Five Eyes” and Dotcom debacle have shown … but Key is proposing to dismantle even that flimsy protection.

    • ghostrider888 7.3

      he and ernie top and tail

  8. weka 8

    What is ‘information assurance’?

    • karol 8.1

      Information assurance? Ask WINZ, the EQC, teachers, ACC…. etc, etc.

    • Huginn 8.2

      From the GCSB’s website, at the top of the list of jobs that it does, comes . . .

      Information Assurance (IA)

      ‘As communications technologies advance, the need to protect information carried by those technologies also grows.

      There are two main reasons to protect information. Firstly the confidential information of the Government of New Zealand needs to be protected from unauthorised disclosure. This means that Government departments can communicate information securely. Secondly there is a requirement to protect information and infrastructure from corruption by malicious ‘attack’, the most common form of which is the humble computer virus.’

      http://www.gcsb.govt.nz/our-work/ia.html

  9. Jenny 9

    Not only did the GSCB illegally spy on New Zealand citizens. It looks very likely that they passed the information they gleaned onto foreign powers. A double crime. One of the prime reasons that the GSCB, an agency charged with Foreign Intelligence, was never given power to spy on New Zealanders was to prevent this very occurrence.

    They may claim, that they didn’t know that what they were doing, in spying on New Zealanders was illegal. But the GSBC would have known that supplying that information to foreign powers was illegal and way beyond their brief.

    For this there can be no excuse.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10877535

    The Government Communications Security Bureau yesterday refused to say whether personal data known as “selectors of interest” about the 88 New Zealanders was passed to foreign intelligence.

    John Key is contemplating giving the GSCB more powers, even when they publicly and defiantly refuse to divulge the full extent of their current illegal activities.

    With more powers, the law breaking by this spy agency will not only likely continue. But with further powers, the opportunities to commit further illegal acts against New Zealanders will also be extended.

    Before the GSCB are given one more single power…..

    So That we can judge for ourselves whether their law breaking was justified;

    The GSCB should be forced to reveal the names of the victims of their illegal acts, and the extent of the spying engaged against them.

    Based on this evidence, we can judge for ourselves whether, or not, the GSCB can be trusted with even more powers and opportunities to break the law.

    Make no mistake these are law breakers, and as such they need to come clean on their past and current illegal activities. Before they are given even more powers and responsibilities the GSCB need to demonstrate that they have responsibly used the powers that they already have.

    As well as revealing the names of those they illegally spied on the GSCB need to answer the question of whether or not they they illegally passed on the information illegally gained about New Zealanders, to foreign agencies or powers.

    Until these two minimum conditions are met. NO extra Powers can even be contemplated for a not only a secret but an unaccountable organisation.

    • Murray Olsen 9.1

      Law breaking by an intelligence agency cannot be justified. No way José. Never. When information gathered illegally is handed over to foreign interests, both private and public, I think treason is not too strong a word to use.
      The GCSB should be disbanded and anyone involved should be thrown in prison. If this doesn’t happen, how long before they assume that they have a licence to kill? Will Obama return the Dot Com favour by murdering a holidaying Kiwi left winger with one of his beloved drones?
      This world is a nightmare and we must stop this crap. I feel sick.

      • Jenny 9.1.1

        Law breaking by an intelligence agency cannot be justified.

        Murray Olsen

        Indeed Murray. But will anyone be held accountable?

        No. In fact the very same people will be given even more opportunities to break the law.

        • Murray Olsen 9.1.1.1

          That’s why any party which has any attachment to democratic freedoms needs to stand on dismantling the GCSB and starting again. Why should we pay cold war desk warriors whose first allegiance is to Team America: World Police? If we have security needs, let’s define them very strictly and find new people to look after them. This lot has failed hopelessly.

    • Jenny 9.2

      The new powers give an incredible amount of power to an unaccountable secret agency. That has shown an arrogant disregard for the law.

      People may rightfully ask; “What other laws could the GSCB break if they were given the power to spy on New Zealanders?”

      The most obvious one, is, the law that makes it illegal for our internal secret service, the SIS to covertly spy on our legislators.

      On becoming an MP the SIS are required by law, to close any active file that they may have on that MP.

      The reasons for this prohibition are obvious.

      Legislators who make the laws of the land may be vulnerable to unwarranted pressure and blackmail from the secret authorities, who if they were enabled to snoop on the private lives of MPs would have the power to threaten them with leaking of any of their private and human frailties.

      Things that are not illegal in law, but that MPs may not want revealed. Adultery for instance. Or out of the ordinary personal habits that though not illegal, might be embarrassing if revealed publicly.

      So should the GSCB be given the power to snoop on our MPs as well?

      And what would this mean for our democracy?

      Would the GSCB gaining powers to spy on our legislators, pass on any private and sensitive or salacious information they gleaned on our MPs, to foreign agencies to the possible detriment of this country?

      Even if the new laws being proposed actively proscribed this type of spying, and forcefully declared such activities illegal,would the GSCB respect these laws?

      Going on their past record, the obvious answer is: No, they would not.

      The new powers being proposed for the GSCB give an incredible amount of power to an unaccountable secret agency. That has shown an arrogant disregard for the law.

      As such they should be opposed at every stage of their enactment.

    • RobertM 9.3

      Is the CGSB a Railway’s guard organisation. In 1977 the NZR under Robert Muldoon government ( Colin McLachlan was the rail minister, but signed the papers clearing his desk in half an hour before retreating to best bets and members bar) ordered 75 luxury guards van for one man to ride around the country in first class seating, doing nothing.Just like the CGSB staff, Guards were the lowest order in the rail, military, police, intellectual hierarcy and Rob thought he had to provide for them. Most of the international rail press thought it unbelievable a modern government could order guards vans, but Muldoon declared new rail carriages for Auckland commuters and long distance travellers were unaffordable and not a priority.
      I mean what do the 500 GCSB staffers do. It is obvious all the echelon targets are selected and studied in USA and Canada and that anything interesting is leaked to the Russians by Canadian spies.
      Ask JONKEY what information the latest Canadian traitor gave Moscow from NZ intelligence and miltary dat.a

    • Buunykinz 9.4

      Interesting to note (sorry if any already has) is that GCSB already has the ability to spy on “people in New Zealand”. They are just not allowed to spy on New Zealanders. We all now how tricky John Key can be with language in order to create plausible denial at a later stage. I believe that his refusal to use the word “New Zealander” points to the fact that there are no New Zealanders involved in any of his claims, and therefore current laws more than amply cover these scenarios.

      The GCSB can spy on foreign nationals with links to terrorist groups in New Zealand to their hearts content, either for their own purposes, or to assist external agencies.

      Looks like the media are being dozy as usual and not challenging John Key regarding his use of the phrase “people in New Zealand”, a phrase which in no way justifies these suggested changes.

  10. RedBaronCV 10

    The man must be brain dead. Apart from the fact it is a truly disgusting idea, does this mean we can vote his lot out and then tap Nact phones when Lord Ashcroft comes to visit him or run surveillance over John Bank’s property ( or has somebody done this already?) Tap a cellphone left on the table at a meeting or tap the NzHeralds phone’s instead of getting them turned over in election week.Check up and see what Banks really said about his election expenses?
    How do you think it would be before we put them out of business completely?

    • Murray Olsen 10.1

      The type of people that are in the agencies would probably refuse orders to spy on the right. I don’t think there’s anything for Key et al to worry about.

      • RobertM 10.1.1

        Well of course Air Marshall Ferguson can recall only one case of Terrorism in NZ. The mining of Rainbow Warrior by a weapon of mass destruction, a French naval mine. The terrorist- French military and intelligence officers were captured by Inspector Galbraith. Every western intelligence agency including the partners of GCSB refused to assist us.
        Clearly the GCSB bases are most likely attraction for a terrorist, spy or foreign military power.
        Like the nuclear power submarines Muldoon invited, they invite superpower interest.

  11. ruuptoit 11

    When did we last have Democracy in New Zealand…if ever?

    Key needs to able to spy on his colleagues…

    Shearer needs to be leading the charge against this…really when will we ever get a REAL Government of the people and FOR the people? Do we deserve less?

  12. emergency mike 12

    Yeah but… terrorists… WMDs…

    Think of the children. The children.

  13. Rodel 13

    I knew a supermarket owner in a northern south island town who years ago was paid by the SIS to report on students who agitated. He was asked to mix with students and protest groups and was paid (part time) to report on them.
    As a right winger and active in the local National Party, he had no qualms about his part time ‘spying’ in fact he spoke rather proudly of it, saw it as a noble patriotic activity and genuinely thought he was doing a service to the country and getting a bit of pocket money in the meantime. He was otherwise a nice guy but with the usual right winger’s blinkered and limited inability to see the social picture beyond his own profits.. I was interested when he went bankrupt. His right wing mates didn’t support him then.
    He is still active in the National party but his days of espionage are behind him.

    Heard someone of experience on radio the other day who said it’s not nice to live in countries where governments may always be spying on you. Thanks John for the expanded powers of the GCSB.

  14. Daveosaurus 14

    Does NZ even need two discrete bunches of spooks anyway? Get rid of the SIS (they’re nothing but a laughing stock), give the GCSB their job, tell them they aren’t going to get any more money and will have to make do. The rest of the country has had to deal with that sort of ‘management’ over the last few years.

  15. harpooner 15

    Key mentioning WMD and boat people landings in NZ shows he is taking advice direct from the CIA’s how to guide.

  16. johnm 16

    “New Zealand government to extend spy agency’s powers”

    “New Zealand’s National Party-led government is preparing to use a report into illegal activities by the secretive Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) to hand the agency previously prohibited powers to spy on citizens and residents.”

    “According to defence policy analyst Paul Buchanan, the GCSB is an integral part of Echelon, a network of signals interception facilities run by UK and US agencies, which shares global electronic intelligence among security agencies of the US, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. The GCSB receives “considerable” funding from the US—the exact amount is classified—as well as most of its technical equipment.

    The bureau operates the Waihopai satellite communications monitoring base in the South Island and the Tangimoana radio interception facility near Palmerston North. Waihopai, which opened in 1989 and expanded in 1998, continued its operations despite a 20-year defence rift with the US over NZ’s anti-nuclear legislation. The GCSB’s listening posts are staffed by US personnel as well as New Zealanders. New Zealand has access to “5-Eyes” signals intelligence, unique among small countries.”

    http://www.wsws.org/en/articles/2013/04/30/nzin-a30.html

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    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    1 week ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    1 week ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Holy bin chickens: ancient Egyptians tamed wild ibis for sacrifice
    Sally Wasef, Griffith University and David Lambert, Griffith University These days, not many Aussies consider the ibis a particularly admirable creature. But these birds, now colloquially referred to as “bin chickens” due to their notorious scavenging antics, have a grandiose and important place in history – ancient Egyptian history, to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    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 The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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. ...
    1 week 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?" ...
    1 week 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
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    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New measures for wood processing boost
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Forestry The Government will further strengthen New Zealand’s wood processing sector as part of our focus on ‘value over volume’ in our forestry industry, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones will today meet with forestry representatives in Northland to signal new measures to help the ...
    1 hour ago
  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    1 day ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    3 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    3 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    4 days 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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 ...
    2 weeks 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

  • PGF approves wind turbines funding for Stewart Island
    Stewart Island/Rakiura has been granted $3.16 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help build two wind turbines, putting the island on a path to sustainable electricity generation, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “Stewart Island is our third largest island, after the North and South Islands, and it is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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