Heatley story full of holes

Written By: - Date published: 7:10 am, February 26th, 2010 - 84 comments
Categories: national/act government, parliamentary spending, spin - Tags: ,

I’ll try just sticking to the observable facts of the Heatley affair, rather than relying on any of the Nats’ word on events that took place out of the public eye in the lead up to his resignation.

Phil Heatley is adament he didn’t resign for misusing his ministerial credit card. He says the problem is that he signed off on a claim for beverage and food (a claim that incidentally was against the rules, but that’s by the by) but he didn’t, in fact, buy any food. He claims that he sees that as a resigning offence. Come on, pull the other one. ‘Food and beverages’ is a category that covers booze. The expense falls in that category. No minister is going to resign for describing a trivial expense in a perfectly legitimate, or at worst trivially inaccurate, way.

And Heatley and John Key have conflicting stories about how this ‘issue’ was discovered – Heatley says he found it, Key says a reporter brought it to his office.

There’s clearly something else at play. But I don’t think this was planned by the National hierarchy. Key would not have flown to Christchurch only to suddenly turn around and fly back if he had expected Heatley to resign.

That very strongly suggests that as of last night and early in the morning Key didn’t think Heatley was resigning.

I think we need to look at Heatley’s performance. His press conference was clearly being managed by the hierarchy. Heatley isn’t a good liar and throughout the four minute press conference, until Chris Tremain and Simon Power held him by the shoulder and bundled him out the door, I got the overwhelming impression that Heatley was lying and he knew it. Heatley looked like a condemned man at a show trial, reading the false confession his executioners had prepared for him.

But if Heatley was going to be forced to resign because of some other reason why didn’t he either admit that reason or, given the Nats’ love of secrecy, simply claim he was resigning over his misuse of the ministerial credit card?

I think this is where we get to the heart of the issue. If Heatley has resigned because of what is essentially his theft of taxpayer money for private use with his ministerial credit card, then Brownlee would be on the chopping block for the same behaviour, and Brownlee is like English – too important to lose.

So here’s my theory. Heatley, tender soul that he is, agonised over the ministerial card issue and decided to do what would be expected in similar circumstances in a business and what would have been automatic not so long ago for a minister – he decided to resign.

The problem from National’s perspective with that was that Brownlee would be under serious pressure to resign too. Initially, on Wednesday night, Key tried to talk Heatley out of it and had a three hour crisis meeting with Bill English. Thinking it was under control, Key went to Christchurch.

But then Heatley decided he wanted to resign after all. What National needed was a reason for Heatley to resign that wasn’t the misuse of the credit cards, something that wouldn’t implicate Brownlee. And so we got the farce we saw yesterday. I think the whole thing over the receipt and maybe even getting the Auditor-General to investigate his other expenses is a distraction.

That’s my theory, anyway. Any other ideas?

Labour will have to pursue this to dig out the truth. Because, as with Richard Worth, it’s clear that National has no intention of being open with the public.

On that note, the Right is desperately spinning this as some example of high standards. What a laugh. It’s not a high standard to resign for not doing anything wrong, it’s a farce. If this is the bar then most of the Cabinet should be gone for actual sackable offences:

  • Heatley and Gerry Brownlee should have resigned when they were caught breaking the rules for using ministerial credit cards.
  • Bill English, Heatley, Murray McCully, Tim Groser, and Anne Tolley should have resigned for rorting the housing allowance (I notice that a number of ministers still have very big expense claims in that area).
  • Judith Collins, Heatley, Tolley, Rodney Hide, Simon Power, and Wayne Mapp should have resigned for breaking the rules on spousal flights.
  • Jonathan Coleman should have resigned for covering up Melissa Lee’s NZ on Air rip-off.
  • Hide and Heather Roy should resign for charging for appearing at events as ministers, in contravention of the rules.
  • English should resign for getting TVNZ to make him a political ad.
  • And Tolley and Paula Bennett should be sacked for sheer bloody incompetence.

Of course, the only ones who have gone are Richard Worth for reasons Key won’t tell us and Heatley under an obviously false pretext.

No, we didn’t see a new and bizarre age of ministerial standards yesterday. We saw a cover-up.

84 comments on “Heatley story full of holes”

  1. wyndham 1

    Is it not just possible that Mr. Heatley simply “wanted out” of his ministerial responsibilities and the expenses incident has provided both he and the PM with a convenient let out ? Whilst not a good look, it is preferable to admitting that he cannot handle the job.

    The haggard features and the tears at the time of his public apology bore all the signs of a man under extreme pressure. Far more that would be occasioned by cheating over the cost of a couple of bottles of wine.

    • Marty G 1.1

      Yeah. that’s not lightyears away from my theory.

      The problem is if he wanted out why didn’t he resign over what he actually did wrong – spending taxpayer money on private use – rather than something that isn’t even wrong – categorising a wine purchase as ‘food and beverages’?

      • the sprout 1.1.1

        Or indeed if he he just wanted out, why not just resign before rather than go through this embrassment and look like you’re resigning over one misdeamenour?

        It doesn’t add up.

    • toad 1.2

      Whilst not a good look, it is preferable to admitting that he cannot handle the job.

      By that reasoning, I would expect considerable scrutiny of Anne Tolley’s expenses to be going on at the moment.

  2. vto 2

    My theory is that it is the usual bullshit emanating out of the beehive. The full story and all reasons are never explained. There were countless of them during Clark’s time, and before that, and it is simply the horrid tradition continuing. I roll my eyes.

    Politicians will hence continue to occupy the lower rungs of respectables.

  3. greenfly 3

    Let’s hear from Gerry now, shall we?

    Gerry? Your turn to air some linen.

    Fat chance!

    • tim 3.1

      Gerry’s linen is still in the wash! But standby, it’s on the spin cycle as I type

  4. I actually think he’s legit. I haven’t seen any other person as sincere as Heatley. I could be wrong, but I really don’t see anything going on here.

    • the sprout 4.1

      Then that would just make it a massive error of judgement.

      • infused 4.1.1

        He seems like the person to make a masive error or judement. Letting his emotions take over

        • Marty G 4.1.1.1

          Apart from the fact that there’s nothing wrong in characterising two bottles of wine as ‘food and beverage’ (remember, this is totally separate from the issue of misusing the card for private use) there’s also the problem that Key and Heatley provided different explanations of how the ‘error’ was discovered

          • infused 4.1.1.1.1

            After 5yrs in business, I think I’ve only just got a handle on everything I can claim on correctly.

            Maybe I’m a slow learner.

            • Marty G 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Did you ever charge wine and holidays for your private use to your work account?

              There’s understanding the technicalities and there’s understanding the basics.

        • IrishBill 4.1.1.2

          Which would beg the question, who the hell thought he should be a minister?

  5. Eric C. 5

    There are many unanswered questions about why this whole story was mismanaged by John Key.

    For example, if the Dom Post got the documents under the OIA why didn’t Key make the ministers payback the misspent funds before the papers were sent to the Dom Post? That would have kept it from getting any momentum with the follow up “he will pay it back” and “he has paid it back” stories. I mean, it is not like the story came out of a leak. They gave the information out and had plenty of time to plan how to manage the story.

    I reckon once again, Key and his mates didn’t think they had done anything wrong until they saw what the Dom Post was going to publish. Rules and laws are for someone else not them.

  6. It would be nice to think a poltician had a crisis of conscience to do the right thing but i just dont have that much faith in them.

    It does however seem Cheatley was on the slippery rort slide and maybe that dishonesty was getting to him. Now if someone could get him alone, tug the heartstrings and get him to whistleblow on the culture of disingenuousness within parliament, that would be choice !

  7. the sprout 7

    I wonder who shared the various dinners and bottles of wine with Heatley?
    I understand one of them says ‘Phil Heatley and Wife’.
    I suppose if it wasn’t actually Heatley’s wife at the time that could be problematic for him.

    • Lanthanide 7.1

      sprout – the particular wine for “Phil Heatly and spouse” was at the National party conference. That is, official party business where everyone would have seen him, so he wouldn’t have been there with some other women.

      It is possible that other spending could’ve been as you suggest, but the particular instance of ‘2 bottles of wine marked as food and beverages’ is above board.

    • Lanthanide 7.2

      sprout – the particular instance with the 2 bottles of wine charged as ‘food and beverage’ were from the National party conference. That is, an official party function where he definitely would not be seen with a woman other than his wife.

      Other spending could have been with someone else, but this particular instance is above board.

  8. luva 8

    It is depressing that this government is looking like they will have the same strike rate as the last sorry bunch.

    They obviously don’t have a corrupt minister amongst them like a certain TPF. But I am dissapointed that my high hopes for them in this area are not being realised.

    • r0b 8.1

      They obviously don’t have a corrupt minister amongst them like a certain TPF

      Mmmmm, yes, obviously.

      • luva 8.1.1

        r0b

        When was a National minister or former National minister questioned by the authorities in respect of corruption, charged in respect of corruption or convicted of corruption?

  9. Yup, marital impropriety and tearful confession. That’s always good for a laugh. Let’s fookin ave it !

  10. Anne 10

    I say MARTY G is bang on!
    It makes sense. Note that as soon as questions became tricky the minders removed Heatley. Scared he would contradict the agreed version of events? Of course. The mess is more an indictment of John Key and his sloppy management style. But of course Jo and Mary Bloggs would have watched him on TV last night and thought… gosh, he’s a good man isn’ he.

  11. I’m sorry but I don’t believe that he resigned over two bottles of wine being classified as food and beverages.
    This is also not some new standard otherwise Key has no cabinet.They are covering for sure.

    Heatley is acting as far as I am concerned, I mean seriously all those emotions and heart felt expressions of “I am really sorry please please for give me”
    For what, maybe for driving dangerously maiming or killing ( manslaughter) someone, sexual indiscretion, or He is not coping in the job and he needs to resign because someone close to him is dying or his marriage is on the rocks would all be reasons that you would go, Ok fair enough he should be sorry or ok poor blokes under a lot of personal and work stress, so needs a brake.

    I don’t buy this, Heatley either knows far worse is going to be exposed or there is something else they need a distraction for.

  12. coolas 12

    ‘Error in judgement’ seems the catch phrase for Heatly. And no doubt a few more errors will emerge. But if his sloppy use of c/cards is indicative of his work ethic the guy must have been muffing his portfolio’s and the emotional wreck we saw on TV is a man way stressed and out of his depth.

    Makes me wonder how well supported he was. Seems he didn’t talk to Key before resigning. Strange. Helen was a micro-manager calling her Ministers on a daily basis (except Cullen). Is Key so macro Ministers are running alone? If so I reckon Heatly just couldn’t cope with both the job and the lifestyle a Crown Minister assumes.

    He was close to a melt-down, knew it, and got out before the shit hit the fan.

    • Pascal's bookie 12.1

      Makes me wonder how well supported he was.

      NBR (private bin pge 43) says Heatley went for a chat with Gerry on Wed.

      Gerry was “less than sympathetic to his cabinet colleague blubbering”.

      • coolas 12.1.1

        Thanks Pascal. Makes more sense than the 2 bottles. So strengthens the reason Heatly resigned was because he was on the brink of a meltdown and unsupported by colleagues; Key too busy taking photo ops, English unapproachable, and Gerry unsympathetic.

  13. Where is the story of Phil Goff spending 70 Thousand dollars on limos?

  14. Lanthanide 14

    According to Matthew Hooten on the radio this morning, there are 2 aspects that should be considered:

    1. It seems he continued using his CC in a bad way, even after being warned and told to stop. So continued errors is a bit more embarassing here. Contrast with Brownlee who only had the single $150 lunch to reimburse. Also Hooten said that Brownlee’s lunch was for ‘his whole staff’, which sounds like at least 6-7 people, so $150 isn’t an amazingly expensive amount for that many people.

    2. Heatly may have wanted to avoid the spotlight from the media and the opposition for the next couple of months, who would bring this up repeatedly. By resigning (and being re-appointed by Key pending AG report), he can avoid all of this, and in the long-run come out looking better than his peers.

  15. Akldnut 15

    He chose the wrong vocation, with sensitivity like that he should have been a family crisis phone operator

    I don’t buy into the pathetic line thats being used, they’re treating the public like idiots which is nothing unusual for this govt. They’re just following on from the precedent they set at the last election by putting it over on Joe public with spin.

    My theory is that he could see the writing on the wall and didn’t want to be on the front line when the public realises that is this government is full of bullshit and gives them the sack next year.

    OK rant finished.

  16. Lanthanide:

    Thanks for the link.

    Very suprised that the open and always honest and never bias writers of the standard, arent screaming for Goff to resign.

    Heck a Politican in a position of power ripping off the tax payer, is their worst nightmare, oh hang on its their guy so they will shut up and say nothing.

    • lprent 16.1

      Just so long as John Key resigns for the SAME reason. His bill for limos was much the same…

      Brett – don’t be such a fool. There are people doing the business of governing the country (including the PM and the leader of the opposition) who require transport around a lot of different cities. They need to be driven because that allows them time to read the volumes of material that gets shunted at them all of the time or do phone calls.

      The real story here is that the cost of those limo’s is too damn high. Taxi’s look a lot cheaper.

      • chris 16.1.1

        DPF makes a salient point on this today though. the “cost” is mainly for accounting reasons rather than actual cost.

        • lprent 16.1.1.1

          Yeah, but presumably the ‘prices’ are based on something.

          1. some kind of cost accounting basis related to the cost of running the service

          2. costs of alternative ways of running the service.

          Otherwise it really makes little sense to have a nominal charge..

    • Armchair Critic 16.2

      Or it could it be that no one can point to how the spending was outside the rules? Stretching that point, maybe that is because the spending wasn’t outside the rules and was actually part of his role as leader of the opposition.
      Or maybe you know something that no one else does, in which case you should put up the evidence.

  17. Anne 17

    This whole debacle comes across like a scene from “The Godfather”.
    And the wingnuts claimed that HC and co. were control freaks. They were pussies compared to this lot! 😀

  18. Iprent.

    7O Thousand dollars in three months on Limos?

    If this was a National MP you would be furious, so would all your posters here.

    You guys try to say here that you have a high standard unlike the bias press, but your just as bad.

    Its one standard for one group of MP’s and one for another.

    He should of taxied.

    • Lanthanide 18.1

      You should try reading the article a bit more closely before you make such rash pronouncements:

      “Mr Key’s VIP car bill for the last three months of 2009 paid by Ministerial Services was $56,769”
      “The total for all ministers was $707,851.”

      Also the correct phrase is “should have”.

      • lprent 18.1.1

        I don’t think that he read the article… He was making a story.

        • Lanthanide 18.1.1.1

          Actually now that I’d re-read his post, it is completely full of grammatical errors, not just “should of”.

          I wonder if he realises that he is only making himself look stupid?

        • Kevin Welsh 18.1.1.2

          Don’t worry lp, Brett’s speciality is making up stories.

    • the sprout 18.2

      So why do you reckon Heatley resigned Bretty?
      Covering up for something much worse maybe?
      Will other National ministers hold themselves to such high standards you reckon Bretty?

  19. weizguy 19

    Did Key Taxi when he was leader of the opposition? If not, why should Goff?

  20. Herodotus 20

    I am concerned that with this new regime and the disclosure “we” are being side tracted to wwhat are minor issues (If what is stated by all to be true) Does this not display our immaturity to some matters. I am sure that in the past things like this occurred but we the public remainded unaware. If there is something more sinister then fine to continue this. I will be surprised if this goes on much longer what actions taken by Lab will be exposed and we will be feed a continual diet of crap we all will be infected with Leptospira. Which will just allow all to sit back and condem the other side for their behaviour of justify our actions by they did it as well.
    Perhaps this was planned to divert us from minor issues as ACC or some other bill just passed?

  21. Doug 21

    Phil Heatley’s expenses pale into Insignificants compared to Phil Goff’s $89,454 spend for no gain in the polls.

    [lprent: Link? That is a figure that I haven’t seen yet. ]

  22. Seti 22

    Goff’s limo bill equates to approx $780 per day…every day…including weekends…for three months.

    What a disgrace!

    [lprent: And you’ve also calculated what John Keys daily cost is? ]

  23. Bill 23

    Couldn’t help but notice Heatley says he failed to live up to his own standards (twice)…not that he failed to live up to the standards expected of him by the government.

    So we can assume that his standards would represent a bar being a tad high for his thieving and rorting cabinet colleagues. Not that he wants to drop them in it, their standards are theirs. So out comes the desperate wine excuse and an unnecessary auditors report in the making that will keep the press from asking any questions during the time it takes for everything to be quietly forgotten.

  24. So you guys are okay with Goff’s limo bill.

    • Lanthanide 24.1

      It does seem a bit high.

      However your point is that no one has posted an article on The Standard about it because it was ‘our man’ who did it, and if any of National’s ministers had done the same, we’d be jumping up and down.

      Turns out that Key spent almost as much as Goff did, and the total for all ministers is 700k. As there is no post on The Standard about this issue as yet, it is clear that your claim is in fact, wrong.

      • Seti 24.1.1

        Goff spent 22% more than Key. You would think with the number of official engagements the PM is expected to attend it would be the other way round, and then some.

        If Goff is a true socialist he would have caught the bus.

        • Lanthanide 24.1.1.1

          Actually Key probably spends more time in the beehive than Goff would, and he probably also spent more time on holiday in Hawaii.

          • Adders 24.1.1.1.1

            John Key also spent more on VIP cars when he was Leader of the Opposition than the Prime Minister at the time Helen Clark did.

  25. wizeguy:

    Im not sure about what mode of Transport Key used?

    Howe can Goff claim any credibility when he limoed everywhere.

    He SHOULD HAVE used a Taxi.

    • Bright Red 25.1

      brett. They’re not limos. They’re the Crown BMWs that ministers and the leader of the opposition have for use in their official duties.

  26. the sprout:

    Heatly resigned because he was corrupt, it wasnt an accident he knew what he was doing and he got caught.

    There may be more to it, there may not be.

    I’m guessing Goff will just giggle his corruption off.

    His fanbase of course will forgive him.

    • Bright Red 26.1

      Brett. there is no corruption in using the vip cars to do your job.

      You can’t confuse amount of spending with legitimacy of spending.

      Moreover, the increase in Goff’s VIP car costs is due to back charges for a change in costing that took place in the previous quarter.

  27. sean14 27

    If he drowns he’s not a witch!

  28. sean14:

    That makes sense?

    • Bright Red 28.1

      it’s monty python, brett

      • Outofbed 28.1.1

        Sir Bedevere: No, no. What else floats in water?
        Peasant 1: Bread.
        Peasant 2: Apples.
        Peasant 3: Very small rocks.
        Peasant 1: Cider.
        Peasant 2: Gravy.
        Peasant 3: Cherries.
        Peasant 1: Mud.
        Peasant 2: Churches.
        Peasant 3: Lead! Lead!
        King Arthur: A Duck.
        Sir Bedevere: …Exactly. So, logically…
        Peasant 1: If she weighed the same as a duck… she’s made of wood.
        Sir Bedevere: And therefore…
        Peasant 2: …A witch!

    • Puddleglum 28.2

      Hi Brett,

      In keeping with the non-partisan, politically neutral spirit you profess, I’d like to ask if you post a similar number of comments on Kiwiblog, or some other politically right-leaning blog, to the effect that they don’t post stories critical of National and Act New Zealand MPs’ behaviour and restrict themselves to highlighting the failings of Labour and Green MPs? If not, why not? (Before you answer, I’d advise you to think carefully about the line of argumentation I’m using within these questions. You might recognise it.)

  29. BLiP 29

    Definitely something fishy: there one minute – gone the next.

    Perhaps he just simply was an incompetent bestr shuffled off to the sidelines to obscure news of yet another chunk of New Zealand’s 100% Pure brand going down the toilet?

  30. Bright Red:

    Sorry my IQ is less than 175 so I dont get Monty Python.

  31. Bright Red:

    He used Limo’s for pete’s sake instead of using taxis, which would of saved Tax payer dollars.

    70 thousand dollars in three months????

    That’s outrageous!!!

    But no one here seems to care, because hes one of your guys.

    • Lanthanide 31.1

      He used Limo\’s for pete’s sake instead of using taxis, which would of saved Tax payer dollars.

      56 thousand dollars in three months????

      That’s outrageous!!!

      But you don’t seem to care, because hes one of your guys.

      • RedLogix 31.1.1

        What of course everyone is overlooking is that these costs are of course internal charge out rates. I’d be surprised if the real costs approach anywhere near these numbers (but I’m open to being convinced otherwise). Is someone in Parliamentary Services using this service as a cash-cow to cross-subsidise something else under-budgeted?

        Knowing a bit about how PS operates I’d speculate there was something a little hokey going on here.

    • Tongue 31.2

      Correct me if I’m way out of line, but arent the ‘Limos’ are owned by the Govt? And are ‘leased’ out to Ministers only in theory? The only real cost of the limo’s is the drivers salary and fuel.
      Its a money-go-round. $70,000 in limo costs paid by the Govt, for limos already owned by the Govt?

  32. winston smith 32

    it’s monty python, brett

    Eyupp… much like this website.

    I see the left is still struggling with the concepts of ministerial responsibility and integrity.

    [lprent: Apparently so is Heatley. Brownlee and others appear to wonder what the fuss is about from troughing it at the taxpayers expense. If you’re going to write something then I suggest that you actually say something rather than some stupid lines. It makes you look even thicker than you probably actually are. Looks like you’ll be staying in moderation for a while. You seem to be a slow learner. ]

  33. notTim 33

    hey brett, run away back to your national party kiwibog, your diversion here is getting boring and predictable. Why not send over your colleague ‘dad-with-4-personalities’ instead, at least he is ‘funny’..

    [lprent: I’ve never seen Brett or a personality like him in my excursions reading at KB. He doesn’t seem the type. I suspect you are mistaken. ]

  34. Lew 34

    I think the proof that Brett doesn’t read the Bog is in the fact that he has absolutely no freaking idea that the $70k quoted for Goff’s limo services is a nominal internal-charge sunk-cost figure only — as David has made crystal clear and even the most misinformed Bogster knows.

    L

  35. Ive voted Labour all my life, except for the last election. Im a huge fan of Obama, (a lefty)

    My views are always centre left.

    One thing I hate is hypocrites.

    I said it many times this site is like Faux News, you critize politicans on one side for certain behaviour, but let the guys on your side, slide by.

    Just once I would like to see some honesty, I anit holding my breath though.

    BTW: I dont post at kiwiblog and have no idea who dad-with-4-personalities is.

  36. The whole Heatley affair stinks of something very bad.
    The immediate resignation makes one wonder what he did not want bought out. The swift Tory sleaze machines quick reaction trying to put Goff in a bad situation spells out that something big is being covered up.Both Key and Brownlee look very uncomfortable over this strange episode .
    The other aspect of all this is how much longer are the public going to accept this governments sleazy actions. We’ve had rent rorts , share ownership cover ups ,” The Worth” affair ,on and on it goes , how much longer can smilling Key fool the people .

  37. SD 37

    The headlines are saying it now. “Heatly repeatedly warned about spending” so there must be more to it. More spending.

    It’s sad that there are still some politicians out there that have that “If I keep quiet then hopefuly no one will find out, but when they do I just plead ignorance” mentality.

    I agree with some commentators on this page that it most likely goes back through previous governments too, not just this lot.

  38. Roger Wakefield 38

    Question: Do Heatley’s high standards only kick in when he’s caught out? Or does his moral compass need boxing?

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    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    3 days ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    5 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    6 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    6 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    7 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    1 week ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    1 week ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago

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