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I Fought the Law

Written By: - Date published: 8:28 pm, April 28th, 2015 - 148 comments
Categories: Ethics, human rights, john key, law, Minister for International Embarrassment, national, uncategorized - Tags: , ,

There have been quite a few questions raised about the legal and political implications of the Prime Minister’s harassment of an Auckland cafe worker, Amanda Bailey. Former National Party MP Marilyn Waring aced it when she said “I’m getting tired of it being called anything but illegal”.

So, I thought it would be useful to look at the areas of the law that potentially impact on the matter, from the factual to the fanciful. Hopefully I’ve covered all the bases; readers can always add to the list if I’ve missed any legal options. For the avoidance of doubt, this does not mean that the author or the Standard are definitively saying that John Key or others involved are guilty of any specific crime or have breached any Act. That is something for the judicial system to determine, as legal processes roll out.

Firstly, the cafe.

The Prime Minister has admitted repeatedly physically touching the cafe worker. Amanda Bailey says that she asked him to stop and that he continued. She also told her manager, who tried to intervene. While obviously there is no direct employment relationship between Key and the staff member, as a client of the cafe, his behaviour impacts on her employment. Employment law expert Susan Hornsby-Geluk notes that workers have the right to work without harassment from members of the public”. I think most of us kinda take that for granted in our jobs, but harassment is a constant issue in the hospo industry. Drunks obviously, but men drunk on power too, it appears.

All employers are required by the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992 to ensure the safety of employees by taking all practicable steps to provide and maintain a safe working environment. If the cafe manager was aware and failed to stop the behaviour, Amanda Bailey probably also has an Employment Relations Act claim for unjustified disadvantage. That is, the employer has failed to take reasonable steps to protect her and this failure negatively impacted on her employment.

Further, if, as has been claimed, the employer deliberately allowed Bailey to talk to a journalist while she was under the impression the interview was for the cafe’s own PR purposes, it is entirely possible she has a claim under the ERA for breach of trust and/or disadvantage, and under the Privacy Act or the Human Rights Act for deception that compromised her privacy.  Readers might recall the ‘Cake’ case from a few months ago. While not directly comparable in regard to the circumstances, it shows the result of an employer deliberately harming an employee’s work prospects and public standing can be substantial, both in terms of financial cost and reputational damage.

If I was advising the cafe owners, I’d say settle. Fast.

Secondly, The New Zealand Herald.

If it is true that the journalist concerned, Rachel Glucina, lied about her role (claiming to be doing her alternative job of PR, when she was actually intent on writing a story for the paper), then she may face disciplinary action from her employer and censure from both the Press Council and PRINZ, the peak body for PR professionals. There is also a chance that a Privacy Act/Human Rights Act claim could be taken against both the paper and Glucina.

The constantly changing story about whether the cafe worker was properly informed certainly suggests Granny was worried that an ethical line might have been crossed. If it’s proven that Glucina got the interview under false pretences, then it’s all rather embarrassing for the paper and its editor. If the Herald is anything like the Murdoch media, they’ll throw the ‘rogue’  journalist under a bus rather than admit any systemic failings. Systemic failings like hiring Glucina in the first place.

Lastly, the PM.

He has admitted the harassment. He could potentially be a witness in an ERA case. He is now facing a Human Rights Act claim, accused of sexual harassment by private prosecutor Graham McCready. Key could also be charged with multiple assaults. Quoted in the Herald, University of Auckland law professor Bill Hodge believes Mr Key could be investigated for common assault for “hostile touching”.

The testimony from the Police officers in Key’s Diplomatic Protection unit who witnessed the events will be fascinating. Kinda makes you wonder why they couldn’t spot what appear to be repeated assaults, but hey, given that they’re just glorified golf caddies, that’s probably too much to ask. McCready has also begun proceedings against the police for what appears to be dereliction of duty.

Obviously, if he is charged with assault, Key will have little option but to stand aside as Prime Minister. If he is convicted, there’s no way back. As the John Banks case showed, under the Electoral Act 1993, conviction of an offence that carries a potential two year or more prison sentence (even if it is not imposed) disqualifies the guilty person from being an MP .  It might also make visiting the Hawaiian holiday home tricky; last time I heard US Customs weren’t big on letting violent crims into the country.

The same stand down scenario probably should apply if he faces ERA, Privacy Act or Human Rights Act cases, but I suspect Key would try and wriggle out of his moral obligations there, claiming they were less serious than criminal charges. Or that Labour did it too.

The Police could also decline to prosecute assault or harassment charges, taking the ‘not in the public interest line’, but given that some of their own sworn officers are witnesses to or even passive enablers of the repeated assaults, that would look mighty weak.

There is some possibility that actually being charged or sued will do Key a favour; the media will be reluctant to report on a case that is going before the courts. Dr Catherine Strong points out the downside of that msm caution, noting that this “would be disappointing because the overall issue needs to be aired and discussed by the public.”. Happily, I think the public will be discussing this for quite some time, whether or not Key’s charged. This one ain’t going away.

Whatever the legal outcomes, Key is likely to be spending the next few months, or even years, cleaning up this mess. For example, the John Banks case is still before the courts five years after the offence was committed. It hasn’t helped Banksie’s political career one little bit. Of course, the taxpayer will be paying for much of the legal advice Key will be getting. No doubt the Taxpayers Union will be keeping a close eye on the bill. Or not, as the case may be.

While Key has damned himself by saying he is NZ’s most casual Prime Minister, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t put the hours in. Being PM is a tough, demanding gig. Doing that job and fighting protracted legal battles to minimise the damage of things he has already admitted doing is going to hobble him. It’s one thing to defend accusations; another thing altogether defending accusations you’ve already admitted are true. Even if he grimly hangs on Key is now being openly laughed at. Not with, at. That’s gotta hurt. And the rest of his caucus knows that, well, weirdos don’t win elections.

No, I think the best thing for Key, and the National Party, is for him to resign and deal with the legal fallout as a private citizen. But he won’t want to do that because he knows, despite his desperate denial that there is a power imbalance in this matter, that if he doesn’t have the power that goes with being Prime Minister there’s every chance the judiciary might treat him just like any other middle aged man who admitted repeatedly playing with the hair of a young woman against her wishes.

And, well, I’m sure we would all agree it would be a terrific shame if Key missed out on a fourth term because he was serving a first term. But it’s possible, it’s possible.

 

 

148 comments on “I Fought the Law”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    “Obviously, if he is charged with assault, Key will have little option but to stand aside as Prime Minister. If he is convicted, there’s no way back. ”

    It must be noted however, that this is only if he is *convicted*. The Maori King’s son was found guilty of drink-driving and theft, but the court decided not to convict him, citing it would be disproportionate to the offending and he had already been punished enough in the court of public opinion. Thankfully the court of appeal later reversed this decision.

    But it’s quite possible this would happen in Key’s case – as far as assault goes, and general criminality, it really is on the low end of things – which after all is the whole reason he’s still in the job and wasn’t forced to immediately resign. Convicting him of assault and therefore forcing him to end his tenure in the highest office of the land could be seen as disproportionate, and that being found guilty and the subsequent public discussion would be punishment enough.

    • weka 1.1

      If he is charged, do you think he could stay on as PM in the lead up to the trial?

      • Lanthanide 1.1.1

        Hard to say.

        He’d probably do his utmost not to stand down. He could try and play his “I had my private citizen hat on at the time” card.

        • Tracey 1.1.1.1

          “Hard to say”

          What is your opinion Lanth, in such a circumstance do you think he could or should stay?

          • DoublePlusGood 1.1.1.1.1

            Kind of a meaningless point really, when you consider he should have resigned >10 times already.

          • Lanthanide 1.1.1.1.2

            I’m really on the fence. Like I said, in terms of assault, either violence or sexual, it really is on the very low end of the scale, and that’s why he hasn’t resigned for it.

            So the question is, if charges were to be laid, would that interfere with his ability to do his job as PM? It could interfere with his ability to campaign, given all the photos of him touching children’s hair while campaigning. But day-to-day PM responsibilities? I don’t really see that it would interfere with them.

            It’s no different from people being investigated for a crime that has no bearing on their ability to do their job – a traffic violation for example.

            I guess you can extend his responsibilities of PM to representing the country and all individuals within it, and setting a high moral standard for everyone else. In that capacity certainly he has difficulty. But I don’t see that criminal charges would make a difference there – he is already held in disrepute by the public for this, but hasn’t resigned (and I haven’t heard much pressure for him to resign over this).

            • Tracey 1.1.1.1.2.1

              Thanks Lanth

              There is also the Cabinet Manual, which he has breached and which includes how he behaves in his personal capacity…

              Yet, Key accepted (forced?) Gilmore’s resignation… he touched no one..

              • Lanthanide

                Re: Cabinet Manual, that would tip me just slightly over to the “he should stand down if charged” side. I don’t think he will, though, simply because of the contempt this executive holds for the cabinet manual.

                Re: Aaron Gimour, Key’s active physical touching is inarguably worse than Gimour’s verbal harrassment. What really differentiates the two however is the repeated nature of Key’s abuse, especially after he had been told and the waitress had made it obvious that she didn’t like it and wanted him to stop.

                • freedom

                  I am unsure why people keep referring to the Gilmore case.
                  Is it simply because the offending occurred in a place that wasn’t an ‘official workplace’ of the offender?

                  New Zealand is the PM’s workplace as far as I am concerned.
                  Isn’t the Sutton case a closer fit, as it did actually involve repeated and unwelcome physical contact?

                  • McFlock

                    Yes, sutton is probably closer on those grounds, but Gilmore is also similar because it is the type of relationship that key had (customer:hospo) and the same attitude (I can say or do what I want to you and you must take it and thank me for the privilege of serving me). Although key was apparently sober, whereas Gilmore might well have been drunk.

                    Drunkenness doesn’t excuse Gilmore, but can explain the lack of the little angel telling one to shut the fuck up

  2. Sacha 2

    Glucina does not belong to PRINZ. Nor is she much of a ‘journalist’. Her editor and publisher on the other hand may have cases to answer to the Press Council for their role.

    • How do you know about her membership or otherwise of PRINZ, Sacha? I tried to find out without any success.

      • Hayden 2.1.1

        I seem to recall the head of PRINZ stating that she wasn’t a member, but I’m buggered if I can remember where.

        • dukeofurl 2.1.1.1

          Cant find any mention on the web about PInk PR – there is a business in USA with the same name.

          I think its just a front company for her work as a columnist, that way her expenses are covered by the company, such as a vehicle etc.

        • flynn 2.1.1.2

          Twitter

          [Cheers, flynn. The twitter exchange flynn links to shows Glucina is not a PRINZ member. TRP]

        • They disowned Carrick Graham pretty loudly, you might be thinking of that?

        • Tracey 2.1.1.4

          Russell Brown tweeted that she wasn’t.

  3. Sacha 3

    “The testimony from the Police officers in Key’s Diplomatic Protection unit who witnessed the events will be fascinating. Kinda makes you wonder why they couldn’t spot what appear to be repeated assaults …”

    Apparently their standard practice is to face away from the PM and scan for risks to his safety rather than look at what he is doing. Not good witnesses, then.

    • weka 3.1

      Hard to either intervene or give evidence if you think that sexual harassment is instead a social act.

      Mr McCready has also made an official complaint to the Independent Police Conduct Authority, asking it to look at whether two members of the Prime Minister’s diplomatic protection squad should have intervened during the incidents.

      However, C4 Group chief executive Chris Lawton – a former police officer and bodyguard – said yesterday that it was not the job of the protection squad to tell the Prime Minister how to act socially.

      He said in a private social situation like a cafe visit, diplomatic protection staff would be taking a backseat approach.

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/272079/hurdles-for-private-ponytailgate-prosecution

      • blacksand 3.1.1

        I can just imagine how much of a backseat approach they’d be taking if I tried to fondle his hair in such a “private social situation”.

        I dare say my backseat would be hitting the ground pretty damn hard, and I can’t imagine many of the sycophants of the last week having much sympathy.

      • Hanswurst 3.1.2

        That’s a ridiculous analysis. They don’t have to tell the Prime Minister to do anything. They could ascertain the woman’s views on the situation, talk to management or inform their own superiors, who would be better capable of following it up objectively and without conflicts of perspective due to being directly involved with Mr. Key.

      • Tracey 3.1.3

        Russell Brown suggested it here

        https://twitter.com/publicaddress/status/590977331902054400IF the bodyguards didn’t feel they could intervene (assuming they knew it was illegal or inappropriate behaviour) how on earth can people think she should have stood up for herself earlier?

        • weka 3.1.3.1

          Either link is broken or he’s removed that tweet. I had a look back through his last day or so of tweets but can’t see it.

          • Tracey 3.1.3.1.1

            it is there but this is what he tweeted

            Has anyone ever used Glucina’s PR company? Not a PRINZ member, doesn’t have a website.

            8:35am – 23 Apr 15

            • weka 3.1.3.1.1.1

              ??? that’s about Glucina not the bodyguard issue.

              Does this link work for anyone else? https://twitter.com/publicaddress/status/590977331902054400IF

            • freedom 3.1.3.1.1.2

              there was a small typo in your link Tracey

              can’t see anything about the bodyguards though

              • Tracey

                Ok, ok, sorry. I didn’t put a space… the bodyguard comment was mine… does it have more or less veracity cos I said it and not Russell Brown? 😉

                AND it was meant as a reply to the discussion about glucina and the PR membership not the bodyguards, so sorry all round

                • weka

                  Depends (I wanted to see what conversation the Brown tweet generated, and Brown speaks influentially to the middle classes, so I’m always interested to see what he says and where it goes), but the degree of confusion and chasing round looking for something that doesn’t exist is annoying.

                  • Tracey

                    • weka

                      Yes, that’s the link from before, a Russel Brown tweet about Glucina but nothing to do with this subthread.

                      edit, my comment above starting Depends, was before your edit of your comment with AND.

                • freedom

                  I think you are bang on with the idea if the security couldn’t step in to stop the PM after being told about the behaviour being unwelcome, what chance did Amanda’s objections have of being heeded?

                  Their inaction just enforces the obvious power imbalance.

    • McFlock 3.2

      Well that will probably be the procedure if they were required to testify: “I was looking away at the time”.

      But they’d still be watching people in proximity to the PM for fear of someone pouring coffee of the jerk’s head. So if nobody on his detail saw his repeated behaviour, they should be fired for gross incompetence.

    • Murray Rawshark 3.3

      In a lot of photos I have seen, at least one of them is usually watching FJK as he interacts with people. They don’t actually have a perimeter to defend, they have to watch in all directions.

      • Tracey 3.3.1

        of course, cos the person Key is interacting with could be the biggest threat, so at least one saw.

        • miravox 3.3.1.1

          If that’s the case, they didn’t intervene in a situation where they’d presumably be tut-tutting the the general public for standing and watching.

          At what crime level do they see themselves as being responsible citizens I wonder.

          • Tracey 3.3.1.1.1

            I suspect to defend themselves they will be saying that she didn’t behave as though she was uncomfortable or objecting.

            • freedom 3.3.1.1.1.1

              from the original post from Amanda
              “I told his security that I was sick of having my hair pulled and one day I’ll snap and I’ll punch him in the face.”

              “I had told his security, his wife had told him, I was getting pretty close to physically stopping him given half the chance, and he still didn’t care ”

              As the PM has not denied the details, surely the security detail will have a tough job denying them.

            • Sacha 3.3.1.1.1.2

              “she didn’t behave as though she was uncomfortable or objecting”

              Apart from telling the bodyguards what she felt like doing.

          • Tracey 3.3.1.1.2

            Although, this from Louise Upston (masquerading as Minister for Womens Affairs and taking money for same under false pretences), suggests that would be no excuse

            “Hon LOUISE UPSTON : The Prime Minister has taken responsibility for his actions and has apologised to the person concerned. I want to take this opportunity to highlight the fact that it is an issue, any time anyone, male or female, is subject to words, texts, messages, or touching that is unwelcomed, and that, absolutely, they should stand up, they should comment, and they should express that. Also, it is important for anyone who sees that or who is around that behaviour, whether it is in a workplace, a home, or in the community, to speak up.

  4. Sacha 4

    “Whatever the legal outcomes, Key is likely to be spending the next few months, or even years, cleaning up this mess. ”

    So long as the oppostion does not overplay it, yes.

  5. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrel 5

    The police may find a prima facie case but decide it is not in the public interest to prosecute. I seem to recall some precedent.

  6. Rosie 6

    I’ve been questioning and speculating upon this topic half the afternoon so thank you for your helpful contribution Te Reo Putake. Starting to get a clearer picture of the legal implications now.

    Thanks too for the evening earworm, and the memories. Joe strummer went too soon.

  7. linda 7

    can we crowd fund to make sure the moneys there to do key

    • Hanswurst 7.1

      Good idea. A fund could be established with the promise of assisting any court action against Key, and should none eventuate, that the funds would be channelled into producing an enormous statue of him, made entirely of pure lard, sporting a typically revolting grin and yanking on a couple of ponytails.

  8. rational thinker 8

    “This just in. National to amend section 62 of the human rights act under urgency. Amendment will be retrospective.

    • McFlock 8.1

      no conflict of interest, either. The amendment will be voted on in his role as prime minister, the harassment took place in his role as creepy fuckwit.

    • sckiwireddevil 8.2

      Have just read section 62, could you please tell me what amendment has been added/changed with urgency?. Is it to protect Donkey from any form of prosecution?

      • Lanthanide 8.2.1

        I think this is a joke.

      • Tracey 8.2.2

        I think it is a dual reference;
        1. to retrospective change to GCSB to make their illegal spying legal; and
        2. change to law to prevent care workers suing the government for discrimination (after they won that right in Court)

        “Prime Minister John Key has defended the urgent passing of controversial legislation which restricted who could be paid for caring for disabled family members, saying that the Government faced further legal action if the law was not changed.

        The legislation has been slammed as rushed, unconstitutional and lacking transparency after it was passed under urgency on Friday, a day after being introduced by Health Minister Tony Ryall.

        While the bill allowed some carers to get paid for looking after adult disabled family members, it also prevented carers from taking legal action against the Government in future on the grounds that they were being discriminated against.”

      • dukeofurl 8.2.3

        Human Rights Amendment Bill was introduced in 2011

        Cant see any urgency on this, but it is order paper for discussion today. Seems to be minor housekeeping changes

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      That wouldn’t really surprise me.

      • sckiwireddevil 8.3.1

        Me also. Upston was shitting herself today trying to answer questions about her Dear Leader, looked as though she hadn’t washed for days, she needs to wash her hair before going out, what a sight.

        • rawshark-yeshe 8.3.1.1

          Hard for a holllow sock puppet to bite the hand that feeds it, all the while said hand is up backside of said sockpuppet.

          Such were her verbal contortions yesterday.

          Upston looked like someone who could feel her career trembling beneath her feet. The most useless women’s affairs minister ever, and she knows it.

    • Tracey 8.4

      LOL… and yet…

  9. Maui 9

    This is all depending on the victim laying charges though isn’t it…

    There hasn’t been much focus on the ordeal she has been through over the last week. People are either in the let’s nail the PM camp or let’s protect him camp, not the I wonder if the waitress is alright camp. The last thing she probably wants is a court case to relive the time when most of the country was talking about her. Then again she might be keen to go after damages at some stage when it becomes clear how much of a toll this has taken (publicity). We need to spare a few thoughts for her in this.

    • Murray Rawshark 9.1

      Amanda is important and I hope she has supportive friends. I’m in the build a better country camp and I think that will be easier when people who abuse power are held to account. FJK may have just given us an opportunity to make the hospitality industry a lot more pleasant for its workers. Given the way the suited mobs act around the help, maybe we need a law specifically to protect waiting staff? That’d be a great contribution FJK could make to Aotearoa. We could call it the Key law.

      Someone above mentioned that he might have trouble getting into Hawaii with a conviction. I suspect he has US citizenship.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.2

      This is all depending on the victim laying charges though isn’t it…

      For many crimes that is true but some of these that have been reported anyone can lay the complaint. It is this fact that McCready is using to take FJK to court.

      • Maui 9.2.1

        The RNZ article talks about the McCready complaint being useless because he doesn’t have any of the detail of what happened. She will have to come to the party, unless JK wants to fill out the forms for her – he would have a good idea of what happened lol.
        http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/272079/hurdles-for-private-ponytailgate-prosecution

      • Tracey 9.2.2

        There certainly is a lot of prima facie evidence on public record via media reports which is not the case in most accusations of wrong doing. Including Key’s admission.

        However, I hope at this point the Opposition stay out of it. I would have liked to see Little say that any kind of unwanted intrusion into people’s lives and person is unacceptable and it is for the leadership of NZ to provide the best example, otherwise they could be providing people with an excuse to behave badly (if he has said that, I apologise).

        • rawshark-yeshe 9.2.2.1

          I wonder if mother or father of any of the young girls who had hair ‘fondled’ is willing to take it further ? Likely not, but I do wonder ….

          • Maui 9.2.2.1.1

            I imagine having your daughter shown on regular news clips (on tv and the internet) in a creepy context isn’t the nicest of feelings for any parent, you might feel quite angry… I wonder if one complaint develops and goes to court, others might follow.

    • Tracey 9.3

      Last night there was a news item which was relating to a sexual violence case in which the police said they didn’t need a complaint to proceed. It struck me cos of the Roastbuster claim that they needed a complaint.

      • dukeofurl 9.3.1

        happens all the time- see man who murdered his children in Dunedin- Police can often not know the law, even if they are a specialist unit in that particular area of law.

  10. Redzone 10

    Thanks TRP – great post covering the potential legals.
    Can’t wait for our not -so – smart- casual PM to come home to face more music, though he is probably looking for any excuse to stay away!
    Royal baby visit anyone?
    Frankly I hope this has legs for years to come one way or another. That will be justice.

  11. tricledrown 11

    Marlin Waring should get a Damehood for not being afraid to speak out against mysoginistic National PM,s

    • McFlock 11.1

      seems to be almost the exact opposite of what it takes to get an honour from the current regime, though…

  12. Atiawa 12

    We can surmise all we like as to the legal implications and outcomes for those players but these matters are invariably now best left for the public to decide.
    The court of public opinion with all it’s failings and misguidance will decide their fate.

  13. mary_a 13

    All it takes is only one investigation against him and our Johnny boy won’t be looking at a knighthood!

    Oh dear, what a shame, never mind 🙂

  14. b waghorn 14

    If any one thinks for one second that someone as rich and powerful as key will see the inside of a courtroom over this they are dreaming .
    There are 2 sets of rules in this country always has been always will be.

    • Tracey 14.1

      I agree with you. BUT many very wealthy people before him have avoided Court but not the political fallout.

    • Plenty of folk said John Banks would never be in the dock, bw. But the best example would probably be Trevor Mallard, who, like Key, admitted his guilt and apologised, yet still found himself charged.

      • b waghorn 14.2.1

        I hope to be proved wrong but a would imagine there is already a huge amount of pressure being applied and lawyers being payed to stop it happening ,banks and mallard wouldn’t have keys level of backing.

      • Tracey 14.2.2

        and still using his money to undo it all TRP,

        • te reo putake 14.2.2.1

          True! But at least his political career is over. So however it ends up for him in court, NZ is better off as a result.

          • Tracey 14.2.2.1.1

            “BUT many very wealthy people before him have avoided Court but not the political fallout.”

  15. Tautoko Mangō Mata 15

    Case Study (From the MoBIE website http://www.dol.govt.nz/infozone/myfirstjob/employees/starting/obligations.asp

    For example, John (aged 18) worked for a supermarket. After work one evening, he and some of his workmates popped into the pub across the road for an after work drink. While they were there, they got into an argument with another patron, and a fight between John and the other patron ensued. The patron was a truck driver for the food distribution company that supplies the supermarket John worked for, and he was easily able to identify John and his colleagues as supermarket employees because they were wearing their supermarket uniforms. He complained to the supermarket, and after an investigation, John was instantly dismissed for bringing the supermarket into disrepute and his colleagues reprimanded for their part in the matter.
    John raised a personal grievance with his employer, claiming he was dismissed unfairly. He argued that what he did in his personal time was his business, not that of his employer. The matter eventually went as far as the Employment Court, which found that John’s actions had an adverse impact on his employer’s reputation and business as he was identified as being an employee of the supermarket, and his behaviour seriously breached the trust and confidence in the employment relationship. The Court upheld John’s dismissal.
    http://www.dol.govt.nz/infozone/myfirstjob/employees/starting/obligations.asp

    This could be rewritten easily:
    in place of supermarket uniform, put DPS
    in place of supermarket employees, put PM
    in place of his employer, put NZ citizens

    • Tracey 15.1

      and the cabinet manual also covers personal capacity

      Conduct of Ministers

      2.52 A Minister of the Crown, while holding a ministerial warrant, acts in a number of different capacities:

      in a ministerial capacity, making decisions, and determining and promoting policy within particular portfolios;
      in a political capacity as a member of Parliament, representing a constituency or particular community of interest;
      in a personal capacity.

      2.53 In all these roles and at all times, Ministers are expected to act lawfully and to behave in a way that upholds, and is seen to uphold, the highest ethical standards. Ultimately, Ministers are accountable to the Prime Minister for their behaviour.

      2.54 Holding ministerial office is regarded as a full-time occupation and is remunerated as such. Accordingly:

      accepting additional payment for doing anything that could be regarded as a ministerial function is not permissible;
      accepting payment for any other activities requires the prior approval of the Prime Minister.

      • NZJester 15.1.1

        I have a question in regards to Conduct of Ministers parts 2.52 to 2.54 of the cabinet manual. Do those sections not contradict John Keys claims in the past that he was acting as a private citizen and not as the PM such as when he sent those texts of support to Wale Oil over the fall out he received about the dead boy that Wale Oil referred to as feral and making disparaging comments about the boys mother?

        • te reo putake 15.1.1.1

          Good point, NZJ, and yes, they probably do contradict Key. But given that just about everything he says is bullshit, I imagine he’s relaxed about it.

    • ianmac 15.2

      The matter eventually went as far as the Employment Court, which found that John’s actions had an adverse impact on his employer’s reputation and business as he was identified as being an employee of the supermarket, and his behaviour seriously breached the trust and confidence in the employment relationship. The Court upheld John’s dismissal.
      Mr Key’s behaviour brought the National Party into disrepute so the National Party could eject him from their Party.

      • Tracey 15.2.1

        He brought the country into disrepute but we have no impeachment mechanism. I wonder if anyone is lobbying the GG who has the power to dissolve a parliament.

        • Rosie 15.2.1.1

          ” I wonder if anyone is lobbying the GG who has the power to dissolve a parliament.”

          I wondered about that too Tracey.

  16. Malconz 16

    And as was oh so predictable, the saga has had almost no impact on bloody FJK’s popularity. He’s dropped only 0.8, according to the Herald. He’d have to eat live kittens in public to make any impression on this apathetic electorate. Sigh.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11440058

    • rod 16.1

      Yes Malconz, but it must be remembered that it is a Herald tory rag Dodgy Poll.

    • George Hendry 16.2

      As per a Herald-Digipoll?!!!!

      Hardly impartial, conflict of interest in plain sight.

      To rig a poll (eg to dishearten progressives), simply buy the result you want and lay a confidentiality clause on the polling company (not hard if you are part of it).

      The bought result of last year’s Key-Cunliffe electoral debate polls could lead some to assume that when National want a particular result they will always buy it that openly. To make you think that not openly bought means not bought.

      Any Herald poll should be seen as being as manipulable as a bought journalist : propaganda, a statistical nullity.

    • “He’d have to eat live kittens in public …”

      I heard the kittens had strong political opinions. So they got what was coming to them.

  17. Sable 17

    I’d be surprised if much comes of this legally speaking.

  18. Hateatea 18

    An interesting post, TRP, as well as the usual mixed bag of thought provoking responses.

    • Cheers, Hateatea. That’s the great thing about the Standard, there’s a vast wealth of intelligence, experience and wit evident in the comments section of each post. I’m happy to include a few of the rightwing regulars in that assessment too! It’s why TS is easily the most informative and entertaining political blog in NZ.

  19. Amanda Atkinson 19

    This whole thing is a circus. If she went to the cops instead of Bradbury, things would be very very different. The whole thing has the look of a left wing political hit job, rightly or wrongly. I don’t know her motivations, and neither does anyone else. But, if she felt so violated, she should have went to the cops instead of a left wing blog. Even if she is politically motivated, she would have done more damage to Key by laying an assault charge, and, that whack job McCready wouldn’t have jumped in giving the issue even less credibility.

    The extent of the violation or assault is for her and her alone to decide, not you, not me, not the media, and certainly not McCready. If she feels it’s sexual and or physical assault. Fine, go to the cops and lay charge. That’s the litmus test. And, it’s her call, no one else’s. I am sick to death of people taking offense to things on behalf of others.

    • Plan B 19.1

      She can actually do whatever she wants to do about the events that happened, she has the right to write what she wrote, to say what she wants to say , when she wants to say it. This should not be a surprise to anyone.

    • Tracey 19.2

      Yeah I agree. People need to stop doing things for other vulnerable people. I notice your post made not a single reference to John Key’s behaviour.

      • Amanda Atkinson 19.2.1

        Oh yes of course McReady is doing it for her, silly me. What I think of Keys behavior is irrelevant, that’s my whole point. What you think is irrelevant too. It only matters what the victim of this thinks and feels, no one else.

        • Tracey 19.2.1.1

          Have you read her letters? There is some insight into what she feels and why she did what she did.

          “But, if she felt so violated, she should have went to the cops instead of a left wing blog”

          Remember she told cops she didnt like his behaviour, and he carried on… she told her manager and he carried on… his wife told him to stop… and he carried on… she told HIM… and he did it again…

          I guess she just didn’t think any of the “usual” outlets would take her seriously and let her air her views. Can’t think why.

          • Amanda Atkinson 19.2.1.1.1

            Keys minders are not cops. If she laid a formal complaint with the cops, the first time it happened, it WOULD HAVE stopped, immediately.

            • Tracey 19.2.1.1.1.1

              You do not know that it would have stopped immediately. BUT the point which you constantly want to avoid is the

              PRIME MINISTER OF NEW ZEALAND SHOULD NEVER HAVE STARTED IT. NOT EVEN ONCE.

              “The Diplomatic Protection Service (DPS), sometimes referred to as the Diplomatic Protection Squad, is a branch of the New Zealand Police that provides personal security for both national and visiting diplomats and VIPs. National VIPs that receive constant protection are the Prime Minister and the Governor General, while Ministers of the Crown, Members of Parliament, the Judiciary and the Leader of the Opposition receive protection as needed.[1] Protection is provided both in New Zealand and abroad. Previous visiting VIPs afforded DPS protection have included Tiger Woods during the 2002 New Zealand Open,[2] and FBI Director Robert Mueller.[3] The DPS also patrols foreign embassies, consulates and high commissions.

              The squad is based in the capital Wellington, where the majority of foreign diplomatic missions are. Officers are experienced members of the New Zealand Police, who pass the DPS course at the Royal New Zealand Police College. The course has training on topics such as diplomatic immunity and unarmed combat. Squad members usually operate in plain clothes,[4] and both genders can be squad members.[5]

              The New Zealand Police established the DPS in the mid-1970s, to meet New Zealand’s obligations under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and Consular Relations.

              In the 2011-12 financial year the squad spent approximately $5.2 million – $1.1 million over budget.[6]”

            • McFlock 19.2.1.1.1.3

              Yes, key’s “minders” are indeed police officers paid for by the taxpayer.

              I’d be worried if they weren’t, frankly.

              • Tracey

                It was interesting to hear last week, on RNZ (I think) a snippet from a guy who works for a security company talking about how the detail couldnt (and can’t in his company) worry about anything else…

                Given the PM’s squad are actually police officers and not hired guns for a security firm didn’t seem to cross anyone’s mind… muddied the waters though.

                • McFlock

                  Yeah, but what is his company policy about clients breaking the law?

                  I would assume that if his client assaults or harasses someone, would he expect his employees to do nothing and become accessories – doubt it. And his employees are private contractors, not employees sworn to uphold the law. If that’s a conflict of interest, then that’s the case only because the PM chose to break the law.

  20. adam 20

    Silly question – but the two bottles of wine being offered – were they a bribe? And as such, was them being offered to pervert the course of justice?

    No Idea – legal minds will know better than me.

    • I doubt it has any negative connotations, adam. The plonk was offered before there was any talk of legal action, so I guess we should see it as a sign of contrition once he realised that the assaults weren’t welcome.

      • adam 20.1.1

        Thanks for that, te reo putake. I’m not sure Key can feel contrition, well the sincere remorse part of it. Guilt, yes. Sincere remorse – I’m not seeing it.

        • Tracey 20.1.1.1

          I agree with TRP. The wine seems just a clumsy notion of making things better… the waitress describes him dashing in, handing her the wine saying sorry and dashing out before she could reply… small transgression requires small compensation (in Key’s mind)

          it puts me in mind of a child whose mum as said “go back in there and say you are sorry to that girl”, child goes back, no eye contact, speaks quickly and runs out. You know, taking full responsibility for the consequences of his actions.

          • adam 20.1.1.1.1

            Great analogy Tracey – I was thinking the same thing.

            So our PM is a two year old in his mentality – that really does explain a lot of his action. And why so many people support him.

    • Stuart Munro 20.2

      The wine was a different kind of bribe – intended to solicit an attraction that Key’s caresses had failed to stimulate.

  21. John 21

    So many people showing fake outrage. If only they knew how silly they sounded.

    Or are the police expected to be diverted from burglaries, assaults rapes and murders so they can attend 7000 pony tail pullings every day?

    What sort of sad life do you have to have before you can devote so much time to minutiae?

    • Um, it’s not a diversion from the police’s job of investigating assaults as you claim, John. It is an assault. In fact several assaults. Oddly enough witnessed by police officers, who did nothing to stop them occurring. It’s also NZ’s Prime Minister using his power and privilege to bully and buy off a vulnerable young woman. So, plenty of reason for outrage, actually.

      • John 21.1.1

        So you’re going to go running to the police any time you see a pony tail pulled – yeah right.

        If it wasn’t Key, no one would devote a second of their life to it.

        It’s blatantly obvious the “outrage” is fake.

        • te reo putake 21.1.1.1

          Actually, I suspect I would have intervened if I saw it, John, no matter who the bully was. But then I was bought up to confront injustice, not turn away from it.

          This caught my eye today. How do think John Key would have reacted? Bugger the hug, I just wanna play with your hair?

          http://iceafoundation.com.au/blind-social-experiment-aboriginal-girl-puts-her-faith-in-humanity/

        • McFlock 21.1.1.2

          Run to the cops? Nah. On the rare occasions I do any running, it’s to the bar and never more than couple of paces.

          But if there were several police officers within a few metres, I’d expect one of them to do something about it.

          • Tracey 21.1.1.2.1

            But they were looking for rapists McFlock…

            • McFlock 21.1.1.2.1.1

              Hmm.

              I suppose that the cops protecting key could arrest him and take him to the station without compromising his safety in any way, so in that way they can multitask by enforcing the law “without fear nor favour, malice nor ill-will” and protecting the PM at the same time.

              • Tracey

                I think what John is trying to say, is that investigating stolen property is much more important than harassment or assault of a young woman.

                • McFlock

                  Yes, in his mind that seems to be the case.

                  But in this specific case it seems that the police could have responded to the assaults without compromising the task for which they were taken off frontline duties (John’s straw concern). Indeed, key would be safer in a gaol cell than in the street.

                  • Tracey

                    Yes, they could have got an easy collar and their stats would have shone, and had a cuppa and scone at the same time.

        • Tracey 21.1.1.3

          mine is real. prove it isnt.

          • John 21.1.1.3.1

            Because if you outrage wasn’t fake, you wouldn’t just be after this pony tail puller – you’d be after pony tail pullers everywhere.

            But your outrage is only because it’s Key – not because of what was done.

            So your outrage is patently fake.

            And a thousand much worse things happen every hour of every day, but I don’t see you devoting hours of computer time fighting them.

            More evidence you outrage is fake.

            Now I’ve wasted two minutes on this trivia. That’s two minutes too much.

            I’ll leave you to waste the rest of your week to making no difference to anything.

            • weka 21.1.1.3.1.1

              Yeah that’s right, none of us here have ever discussed sexual harassment or worker’s rights at length on the standard before.

              /sarc

              your faux outrage is unconvincing.

              • Tracey

                In fairness, John doesn’t actually understand that we are discussing sexual harassment or worker’s rights.

            • Tracey 21.1.1.3.1.2

              *sigh*

              Your knowledge is so lacking. I am after people who commit assault. You need to understand that this man called John Key, he is the Prime Minister, the highest ranking representative of our law-making body and he has just told NZers that as long as you (the perpetrator) are having fun it can’t be bad, wrong, or a crime?

              Nothing you posted is evidence. Cos, apart from anything else, you have no evidence to support your new thoughts which you think are evidence of your previous thoughts.

              I am glad you are leaving though, has mum arrived home and found out you wagged school today?

          • Hateatea 21.1.1.3.2

            Mine is too, John. Don’t you presume to know what I think, feel, believe and / or what actions I have taken because of my experiences, feelings and values.

    • Tracey 21.2

      that you express faux outrage at rapes not being investigated is an indictment of your spinning for the PM.

      Sexual violence (against women) is about how females are seen and regarded, as vassals for men, property, play things (as in porn), a thing to make them feel powerful and important and there is a spectrum of behaviour.

      tugging a young woman’s hair for months, not noticing (seemingly) her discomfort, and continuing after she says “NO”, is on that spectrum, albeit at the seemingly less serious end of it.

      Fondly a young female child’s hair is also on the spectrum. It shows a disregard for the personal space and privacy of females. He shakes hands with bos and men which requires their consent…

      Yours is the sad life, that you need to have concepts such as respect and privacy explained to you and why it is important that a Prime Minister be held to account for his line-crossing.

      Of course pretending he only did it once or maybe twice, makes your faux boredom funnier.

      • Amanda Atkinson 21.2.1

        You disrespect any woman who has been sexually assaulted. Shame on you. Be very careful who you talk about his issue around if you think a little tug on a pony tail is sexual assault. Be VERY careful. Personally, for me, it’s an insult.

        [It was repeated assaults on a woman, so it has a gender aspect to it. Whether it was a sexual assault is probably something for Key and his psychiatrist to discuss. Or maybe the courts if it goes that far. Your instructions to Tracey and the use of capital letters looks to me to be threatening her. Don’t do that again if you wish to continue commenting here, Amanda. TRP]

        • Tracey 21.2.1.1

          IF I have disrespected ANY survivor of sexual assault ( statistically 1 in 3 female readers on this site) I am sorry.

          Look up spectrum Amanda, even the sexual violence spectrum contains behaviour at one end that is not sexual violence per se but could/would include sexual harassment.

          I have got sick and tired of prefacing my comments with “I dont think Key is a paedophile”, because, I don’t think he is.

          For my part, as an aside, cutting my hair and playing with my hair was one way my abuser isolated me from my family to enable his abuse. Even with THAT past I have never suggested Key is a paedophile because he pulls a womans hair and fondles a girl child’s hair .

          I have written and stand by my belief that his behaviour is on a spectrum of attitudes toward women which shows a disregard for the personal space and privacy of females. He shakes hands with boys and men which requires their consent… to be completed.

          • Hateatea 21.2.1.1.1

            Controlling my hair style, pulling on my hair, pulling my hair out by the roots violently was a part of the sexual violence, power and control behaviour that my abusive ex husband did so don’t you dare tell me, Amanda Atkinson, what was my lived experience.

            I have worked with children that have had hair ‘play’ as part of the grooming / abuse process so yet again, DON’T TELL ME what is or is not a part of the sexual violence scale.

            If it isn’t within your lived experience maybe you need to STFU!

            Whether YOU feel that it is a sexualised behaviour or an assault is irrelevant. It was not you (nor was it me) that had this particular experience, but another young woman did and I have no intention of standing idly by while anyone trivialises or minimises what a very powerful man has admitted to doing.

        • Anne 21.2.1.2

          Your comment Amanda Atkinson is an insult to all women who have been abused and harassed. Who do you think you are that you think you can step into another woman’s shoes and judge them. Of course there are degrees of harassment and of course some instances are much worse than others, but ALL harassment is serious and can have a deleterious effect on the victim.

          And as you appear to be uninformed, this young woman experienced more than a little tug on a ponytail. He kept doing it to her over and over again starting in August last year (during the election campaign) and continuing through to March of this year. He knew she hated it but he continued to do it. That was puerile harassment and an attempt to dominate her:

          I’m the PM, I’m powerful so if I wanna pull your hair I’ll pull it girl.

          Such an arsehole is not fit to be prime minister!

          • Penny Bright 21.2.1.2.1

            What concerns me is that if Prime Minister John Key can repeatedly and arguably unlawfully harass / assault a waitress by [pulling her hair -what message does that send to the nation?

            How many (particularly middle-aged men) who have engaged in similar behaviour, are trying to ‘make light of it’, and trivialise behaviour that arguably they wouldn’t like if it happened to them (especially if was carried out by someone whose political views they didn’t support)?

            As a former waitress – my personal ‘policy’was one of zero tolerance to unwanted and inappropriate touching.

            Let us not forget that this waitress was dealing with the arguably most powerful man in New Zealand, who was personally protected by staff who were there to help ensure no untoward or unlawful acts happened to him?

            Surely the ‘power imbalance’ could not have been bigger?

            Óne law for all’?

            Let’s see it.

            Penny Bright

  22. Rosemary McDonald 22

    I was going to link to Amanda Bailey’s original post so Amanda Atkinson can read it ….properly…

    And TDB has GONE!!!!

    Please tell me that someone was bright enough to copy the post.

    My heart breaks for this young woman….shame on the Prime Minister for using his position of power to torment her so.

    It was without doubt seriously creepy, and very probably sexual assault.

    FWIW…I think she did the right thing telling her story through the blog that is supported and supports the union for hospitality and food workers.

    The ‘cops’ had handled her complaint by what.? Suggesting their boss say a quick sorry and sweeten her with wine???

    Ditto Anne….

  23. Penny Bright 23

    Caught up with Graham McCready today, after he presented his charging document for filing at the Auckland District Court.

    Here is a photo of of this document:

    (For the record – Graham has tried to contact the waitress concerned).

    Seems that ‘Ponytail gate’ isn’t going away any TIME soon?

    Check out tonight’s news …

    Seems that the waitress is going to take steps to defend herself – by going to a UNION?

    Heaven forbid!

    Whatever next?

    Of course, Prime Minister John Key is not going to take all possible steps to defend himself?

    Of course – no ‘power imbalance’ here – in terms of access to money and resources to defend his allegedly (repeated) unlawful behaviour?

    What stops will be pulled out – in order to try and prevent the private prosecution of (Prime Minister) John Key for alleged ‘male assaults female’ charge, which was PRESENTED for filing today (Wednesday 29 April 2015) in the Auckland District Court, by arguably serially successful private prosecutor, Graham McCready?

    Óne law for all’?

    We shall see…….

    Penny Bright

  24. barry 24

    I am sorry, but suggesting Key shoudl be charged with assault is a little bit desparate.

    I agree that pollies should be subject to the same law as the rest of us. That means that they shouldnot be protected from prosecution on account of their office, but also means that they should not be treated more harshly.
    The test should be “would a member of the public be likely to be charged under the same circumstances”. In borderline cases then the benefit of the doubt should be to prosecute and let the court decide to protect against bias from the police.

    In this case it is very unlikely that someone else would be prosecuted.

    The cafe management did take measures to try to stop the harrassment and the next step would have been to trespass Key. Now if Key had been given a traspass notice for harrassment (and the press had heard of it) he would almost certainly not be able to live the embarrassment down. I think the cafe would be reluctant to do that (even if they weren’t National supporters). So yes the employment law would have been breached had it continued.

    As for the disgusting behaviour with Glucina. I certainly would not recommend anybody working for the employers. Nor would I knowingly buy coffee from them. It is doiubtful that they have broken any law though.

  25. NZJester 25

    “It might also make visiting the Hawaiian holiday home tricky; last time I heard US Customs weren’t big on letting violent crims into the country.”
    He might have no problem getting to his Hawaiian holiday home as it is my understanding that some people think he might also have duel US citizenship and they can not bar a US citizen even if they have such a conviction from entering Hawaii.
    OIA requests others have sent to ask if he has duel NZ/US citizenship have in the past been denied, so I am unable to confirm if he does or not.

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  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    6 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    6 days ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
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    PunditBy Phil Vine
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    6 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
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    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
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    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
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    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    2 weeks ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    2 weeks ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
    Back in early 2018, as a shoddy legal tactic to try and avoid the prisoner voting ban being formally declared inconsistent with the BORA by the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Andrew Little floated the idea of greater legal protection for human rights. When the Supreme Court case didn't go the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
    by Daphna Whitmore The willingness to put human life before business shows that sometimes capitalism is capable of suspending its relentless drive for profit. For a short time it can behave differently. Flatten the curve is the public health message since COVID-19 suddenly overwhelmed the hospital system in northern Italy. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
    Four stage Alert System for COVID-19 announced New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2 – Reduce Contact New Zealanders over 70 and those with certain medical conditions told to stay at home as much as they can to reduce risk of contact with the virus Workplaces to implement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
    JOINT MINISTERIAL STATEMENT BY SINGAPORE AND NEW ZEALAND AFFIRMING COMMITMENT TO ENSURING SUPPLY CHAIN CONNECTIVITY AMIDST THE COVID-19 SITUATION  The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis.  As part of our collective response to combat COVID-19, Singapore and New Zealand are committed to maintaining open and connected supply chains. We ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
    The Coalition Government has stepped in to protect Air New Zealand with a significant financial deal that protects essential routes and allows the company to keep operating. The Government and Air New Zealand have agreed a debt funding agreement through commercial 24-month loan facilities of up to $900 million*. The ...
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  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
    The Government has taken further measures to protect New Zealanders from the COVID-19 virus, effectively stopping all people from boarding a plane to New Zealand from 11:59pm today, except for returning New Zealanders, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.  New Zealanders’ partners, legal guardians or any dependent children travelling with ...
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  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
    The Government has reinforced its commitment to protecting the health of New Zealanders from COVID-19 through the cancellation of indoor events with more than 100 people.  “Protecting the health of New Zealanders is our number one priority, and that means we need to reduce the risks associated with large gatherings,” ...
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  • New Zealanders advised not to travel overseas
    The New Zealand Government is advising New Zealanders not to travel overseas due to COVID-19, Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced. “We are raising our travel advice to the highest level: do not travel,” Mr Peters said. “This is the first time the New Zealand Government has advised New Zealanders ...
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  • Govt announces aviation relief package
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today outlined the first tranche of the $600 million aviation sector relief package announced earlier this week as part of the Government’s $12.1 billion COVID-19 economic response. The initial part of the aviation package aims to secure the operators of New Zealand’s aviation security system, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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