International reaction to our spying

Written By: - Date published: 8:37 am, March 28th, 2015 - 77 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, International, Spying - Tags: , , , ,

How are other nations going to react to our spying on them? Key’s response when the question arose in Korea was very typical of him – bullshit and bluster:

Mr Key says the Koreans simply do not care, “because they wouldn’t give a monkey’s and they probably wouldn’t believe it”.

Korea may or may not care, they have kept their cards to themselves. But Brazil cares:

NZ ambassador hauled before Brazilian foreign minister

New Zealand’s ambassador to Brazil, Caroline Bilkey, has been called upon to explain leaked documents showing New Zealand’s Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) spied on rival candidates for the top job at the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

And Fiji cares:

Fiji to take action against phone tapping

This comes in the wake of allegations made against the New Zealand government of listening in on Fiji’s military, police and government calls made on a particular network.

Mr Natuva says the government would not be writing to New Zealand on allegations about it spying on Fiji.

Latin America cares:

WTO spy revelations blow to NZ’s image

Repercussions likely in Latin America where New Zealand is attempting to build new trading relationships

The notion that New Zealand – a member of the “Anglo-Saxon” camp – had employed the US secret service (this is how it is being written up in San Paulo) to try and foil the Latin American emerging countries bloc from achieving its rightful elevation in geo-trade relationships will take a while to settle.

Whether they say so or not, it seems likely that other nations will care as well – to suggest otherwise is breathtaking arrogance. What will be the long term cost?

77 comments on “International reaction to our spying ”

  1. Tracey 1

    But…but… BUUUUUUUUUUUT look!

    Blackcaps in the word cup final

  2. felix 2

    The reality is, at the end of the day, my statement that other countries don’t care about us spying on them needs to be understood in its full context, which is that what I akshully meant was that white people don’t care.

  3. mickysavage 3

    The Brazilian response was well up there in terms of showing diplomatic displeasure. To summons the diplomat for a please explain session AND to put out a press release shows how peeved off they are.

    And the Government’s only excuse (repeated in the Herald) is that the spying is legal. They should have a read of the Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations before passing judgment. I am no expert but article 40.3 may apply. It requires third party states to accord to official correspondence and other official communications in transit the same freedom and protection as is accorded by the receiving State. So anything sent to a Brazilian embassy in, for instance, the United Kingdom should not be spied on.

    http://www.corpsdiplomatique.cd/VIENNA_CONVENTION_1961_ON_DIPLOMATIC_RELATIONS.pdf

    • Paul 3.1

      Maybe Key’s solution is for us to join America as the 51st state.
      Unbelievably dumb foreign policy.
      No wonder the civil servants are so disaffected.

    • Tracey 3.2

      in the corporate world you are at war with everyone. everyone is your enemy. your friends are enemies that havent shafted you yet. spying in the corporate world is R and D. Despite your dislike for government regs you love that they will be your anti virus and competition eliminator for you.

      This is why you need a benign dictatorship. cos those idiots with votes dont even recognise we are at war.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.3

      And the Government’s only excuse (repeated in the Herald) is that the spying is legal.

      Pretty sure that we would find that spying on those countries is not legal in those countries.

      As an example the Israeli attempts to get NZ passports. It’s illegal in NZ but obviously legal in Israel.

    • Macro 3.4

      I made this comment on another thread – but it is equally pertinent here:

      Objectives of the GCSB

      Objective of Bureau

      The objective of the Bureau, in performing its functions, is to contribute to

      (a) the national security of New Zealand; and

      (b) the international relations and well-being of New Zealand; and

      (c) the economic well-being of New Zealand.

      http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2003/0009/latest/DLM187828.html?search=ta_act_G_ac%40ainf%40anif_an%40bn%40rn_200_a&p=1

      Yep! Seems like the GCSB have done amazingly well at contributing to the international relations of NZ. Well done them.

    • Murray Rawshark 3.5

      My lay opinion is that it’s totally illegal. Brazil will be filthy about this, and just when a few people had done some good work in bettering relations with them. I can imagine the Polícia Federal selecting a few Kiwi tourists for a bit of a going over at airports as well. They have a unique manner of expressing diplomatic displeasure.

      The argument that our regime made is that it’s legal because foreigners aren’t Kiwis. Our country is a joke appendage of the US and A. Bugger that.

  4. vto 4

    John Key’s government is clearly a cavalier and loose unit running amok with decades of NZ hard-earned reputation and action.

    Poor. Very poor.

  5. The Chairman 5

    Can anybody point me to where the Koreans have actually been asked for comment?

    • Sable 5.1

      Do they need to be?

      • The Chairman 5.1.1

        @ Sable

        Of course they do.

        Key doesn’t officially speak for South Korea .

        The allegations were they were spied upon, therefore comment from them should have been sought.

        • emergency mike 5.1.1.1

          SK kisses US butt harder than 100 John Keys. They are a country where democracy is just a few decades old – their media makes ours look very good. “Today the government said this, the government said that…” The chances of them kicking up any kind of stink about a US five eyes partner operation are low. When Key says the Krns don’t care he means that the Krn public will never know, and the Krn government doesn’t care – they are corrupt and self-serving and the FT deal will somehow benefit them and their rich mates directly. I.e. these are John ‘deals over dinner’ Key’s kind of people.

    • Tracey 5.2

      no. despite being in their country our press corp couldnt bring themselves to ask. i think they would have to leave the comfort of the 5 star hotel.

      • Macro 5.2.1

        And the answer might not have been one that would have supported “dear leader”.. so best not to ask.

  6. Sable 6

    Given China plans to spend millions in Latin America in the coming years in light of amoungst other things its mineral resources Keys behaviour amounts to yet another example of economic suicide for NZ.

    The US is defunct. Its 18 trillion in debt projected to blow out to 25 trillion in the next five years. Its time we stopped being the US’s puppet/stooge and stood up for our own people before we are dragged down to their level.

    • Paul 6.1

      Spying on China, Vietnam and other South East Asian countries for the Americans when we rely on selling dairy products to their countries.
      Now that’s a plan, Mr Key!

      • Sable 6.1.1

        Yes. Take the most vibrant country with the most prosperous economy in the world and poke it with a stick. Keys is an utter plonker.

        • Paul 6.1.1.1

          Or worse…
          The definition of treason.

          trea·son (trē′zən)
          n.
          1. The betrayal of allegiance toward one’s own country, especially by committing hostile acts against it or aiding its enemies in committing such acts.
          2. The betrayal of someone’s trust or confidence.

          • saveNZ 6.1.1.1.1

            @Paul

            In my view John Key and those who have aided him are guilty of treason. He has done nothing for the long term interests of NZ citizens and us as a country. He has instead gambled and speculated our assets and sovereignty away for games of golf, and being part of an ‘in’ group and future job prospects and wealth.

            Soon he will be in his new cushy job probably related to his current job of chairing the The International Democrat Union (IDU) is a conservative international alliance of political parties. Headquartered in Oslo, Norway.

            The IDU provides a forum in which political parties holding similar beliefs can come together and exchange views on matters of policy and organisational interest. From this, they act cooperatively, establish contacts, and present a unified voice toward the promotion of centre-right policies around the globe.

            My view is that John Key is more interested in furthering the centre right interests of International Democrat Union than actually do anything for NZ citizens.

        • tc 6.1.1.2

          He’s not a plonker, he’s a puppet of US interests with the Machiavellian skills and deviant behaviour perfected in merchant banking to a fine art.

          Underestimate him at your peril the force is strong in that one.

          • Draco T Bastard 6.1.1.2.1

            +1111

            Precisely. Key knows exactly what he’s doing and the damage and poverty that it will cause NZ but he’ll get another few million out of it so he just doesn’t care.

      • Chooky 6.1.2

        +100

      • Macro 6.1.3

        But – but – but… Key was not responsible for the GCSB! His office is – or was.

        No Key had nothing to do with any spying. EVER!

        He knows nothing about it. And if he ever did – he can’t remember.

  7. Pasupial 7

    That Fiji quote accuses the; “New Zealand government of listening in on Fiji’s military, police and government calls made on a particular network”. It’d be good to know what network, though my guess would be:

    Vodafone, one of the world’s largest mobile phone groups, has revealed the existence of secret wires that allow government agencies to listen to all conversations on its networks, saying they are widely used in some of the 29 countries in which it operates in Europe and beyond…

    The company said wires had been connected directly to its network and those of other telecoms groups, allowing agencies to listen to or record live conversations and, in certain cases, track the whereabouts of a customer…

    In about six of the countries in which Vodafone operates, the law either obliges telecoms operators to install direct access pipes, or allows governments to do so…

    Governments count warrants in different ways and New Zealand, for example, excludes those concerning national security.

    http://www.theguardian.com/business/2014/jun/06/vodafone-reveals-secret-wires-allowing-state-surveillance

  8. Olwyn 8

    This might be a weird or naive question, but are we paid to do this spying? I ask because it looks comparable to a bar that gets pokies in. The pokies provide a fixed income that covers a percentage of the costs, protecting the bar owner to some extent from the variability of food and drink sales. I wonder if our spying follows a similar pattern. If so, we are committing offences against other countries in order to pay our bills.

    • saveNZ 8.1

      @Olwyn

      My impression is that the NZ taxpayers pay for the spying, but the information goes directly offshore to the US. It is processed and stored in places unknown.

      So not only do NZ taxpayers pay for it, we actually don’t even do if for ourselves but for the club. My understanding is that the NZ GCSB then has to request it back so NZ does not have any control over the information that the NZ taxpayers pay to collect.

      If you have some country like NZ doing your bidding and you just have to have a few rounds of golf with the PM, and then set him up in some sort of cushy job later via connections and ‘help’ him get re elected to keep the gravy train rolling, why wouldn’t you?

      Not ethical in my view or a good way for the NZ citizens who are being told they can’t afford social spending but can afford to enrich and dubiously spy on individuals and neighbours.

      Before the Internet, they used to have the Stasi who did a similar thing.

      Is this Kiwi values?

  9. The government cannot say that it was not warned. Here is a little blast from the past: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=11165857

      • Ad 9.1.1

        I agree with your points – sorry should have read them earlier.

        But I don’t think you are arguing against state-sponsored spying for economic defense purposes.

        I think you are more arguing against clumsy spying for economic defense purposes. It’s quite defensible, so long as you don’t get caught. That’s the only problem here.

        • I think that threats to economic security are worth including among the intelligence community’s concerns (for example, beyond what Bill mentioned below at 12.2.1 as a defense against physical threats to critical infrastructure, to include spying in defense of NZ corporate secrets against outside cyber attack, against corporate sabotage or in defense of trade negotiation strategies that are being spied on by foreign governments). But I draw the line on things such as spying on rival candidates of a Kiwi for an international economic organisation position or spying on allies or trade partners just to secure economic advantage. Of course it is done by many other nations as well, but few of them proclaim so loudly about having an independent and autonomous foreign policy or acting as honest brokers in international affairs. And if only some countries are spying in pursuit of trade advantage, then that is not really allowing market forces to prevail is it?

          The focus of the two articles that I linked to is that what is done is done and NZ better have prepared contingency plans for the inevitable backlash that is coming its way. We have no seen the end of it by a far stretch.

          Via the likes of Glenn Greenwald and Nicky Hager, Mr. Snowden has opened a window of opportunity for the NZ public and political class to debate the nature and intent of NZ’s role in Western espionage circles. With a parliamentary review coming up, perhaps this is the time for a full reconsideration of the how and why of NZ’s spying with an eye towards redrawing the terms and conditions governing it.

          And then there is the issue of domestic surveillance…

    • r0b 9.2

      Prescient – full marks.

  10. ianmac 10

    Surprised?
    “John Roughan: Spying on WTO justified by economic ambitions……
    Keeping tabs on candidates for director general job the best way to protect New Zealand, and the world’s trade interests….
    The revelation that New Zealand has used its external intelligence agency to tap the communications of candidates for the top job at the World Trade Organisation posed the question: is this a proper use of spies? The answer, I think, is hell yeah.”
    What happened to our mana ?

  11. greywarshark 11

    I like that term for Key’s approach Anthony – bullshit and bluster. Neat, precise, says it all.

  12. Ad 12

    The question a future government will have to commit to, is the purposes of the relevant Acts that enable collection for this purpose in the first place.

    In this case, the purpose for protecting the “economic interests” of New Zealand have proven a gate big enough for a semi truck-and-triler unit. This is where it turns.

    A future government must commit to reviewing not just the operations of the intelligence agencies, but the purposes for which they are set up to spy in the first place: the law itself.

    They need to be cut off at this primary source by deleting the “economic interests” clause in its purpose, because it is no longer possible to trust them to reform on simply an operational basis.

    If a progressive government is not prepared to do that, then they have implicitly opened up a whole ‘economic nationalism’ argument for the continued use of this legal purpose that goes fairly fast down the French route of explicit ties between the military system, the innovation system, and state entities. Not sure we are ready for that.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      Neo-liberalism is against New Zealand’s economic interests. Why no GCSB attacks on the National Party?

    • Ad: Very good points and well worth debating when the parliamentary review of the intelligence community begins later this year. But the issue extends further. Not only does the scope of intelligence collection need to be reviewed, but the very definition of threats to national security also needs reappraisal. As things stand today in NZ threats to the “economic well-being” of the nation are defined as national security threats. That means that under the law someone sitting in a tree to protect it from commercial export logging can be classified as a threat to national security (if not a terrorist) and treated accordingly. Likewise for opponents of the TPPA, which is one reason why Jane Kelsey gets the run around on “national security grounds” every time she files an OIA requesting release of any files held on her by the intelligence services.

      • Bill 12.2.1

        I’m guessing – only guessing, mind – that the “economic well-being” was originally intended to refer to any disabling, eg – blowing up of – pipelines, electricity supply lines etc, and that the term has suffered from ‘interpretation creep’ so that it no longer merely refers to threats to ‘economic well-being’ occasioned by the knobbling of basic infrastructure?

        • Paul G. Buchanan 12.2.1.1

          That is a generous interpretation that could well be correct. However, as far as I can tell the broad definition of national security and the intelligence agencies’ scope of responsibilities (as per section 7 of the GCSB Act) were introduced post 9/11 (when both the SIS and GCSB Acts were amended and the new definition of threats to national security introduced). I am not sure if there was anything on “economic well-being” before that. Whatever the case, we need to debate the necessity and strict meaning of economic security as an intelligence priority.

          • Tracey 12.2.1.1.1

            Outside of critical infrastructure (what qualifies btw?) do you support taxpayers being the de facto anti virus/web security and R and D for corporations big enough to get in Government’s ears but essentially driven by the profit motive and a requirement to return money to select shareholders?

            • Paul G. Buchanan 12.2.1.1.1.1

              In short: No.

              But that is why public debate is needed. If the majority of the informed public accept the argument that the majority of of NZ’s GDP is derived from the export/import sector, and if it is accepted that the benefits accrued “trickle down” to derivative and tangental industries as well as to the general public through corporate taxation, then an argument might be made that it is in the national interest to offer intelligence support to the private firms involved in such a strategic part of the national economy.

              I have my doubts about such rationales but I can see them offered as a defense that is accepted by many. Ad at 12.2.2 offers some plausible others.

              • Tracey

                My problem is the profit of such companies. Some doesn’t come to NZ society via profits (e.g. Banks) and in addition making billions. I have no idea whether our data trawling is of advantage to banks, or not. Just using that as an example. Our critical infrastructure is well on the way to full privatisation, so again, the best way to preserve that infrastructure is to have it 100% n public hands and then any GCSB resource used to its benefit can be justified?

                Public debate is only of use if all cards are on the table. But under this government that is unlikely. While it will declassify at its convenience and leak at its convenience it blocks anything to query its preferred agenda, main public debate difficult.

                This government seems to live by the mantra made famous by Ms Gattung

                “the chief executive admitting to the company “not being straight up” with customers.

                “Think about pricing. What has every telco in the world done in the past? It’s used confusion as its chief marketing tool. And that’s fine,” said Gattung in a speech recorded on March 20.

                “You could argue that that’s how all of us keep calling prices up and get those revenues, high-margin businesses, keep them going for a lot longer than would have been the case.”

      • Ad 12.2.2

        And just to open that debate up just a fraction, if I were a government arguing to keep that “economic interest” threat, I would go like this:

        1. New Zealand will remain for the foreseeable future reliant on just a handful of domiciled bulk-commodity exporters. Our entire exporting and Balance of Payments situation is utterly vulnerable to their performance. That degree of national interest intersection means the state should seek their advantage with state interests, overt and covert.

        2. It’s not enough to depend on the rule of inter national law. We are so small that we have to play by the rules of international trade, and encourage more of those rules to proliferate. But it is precisely New Zealand’s vulnerability in trade to the rule of international law that means we need to have that Plan B. That Plan B is to know what our competitors are doing.

        3. China and India will keep New Zealand’s export economy afloat with their receipt of our export goods, for decades. They are both only making slow steps to obey common trade rules. We’ve made good steps with them, but our competitors are gaining traction where we once had advantage. We need to use the state’s instruments to sustain that advantage as long as possible, even knowing it is being eroded. Our competitors sure the hell don’t hold back when stuff-ups occur.

        Finally, Five Eyes is at base a thin and deeply unequal alliance for New Zealand, which will not protect our economic interests. We need to use our spy network, because for economic purposes, we are completely on our own, and we are a weak, small state and economic force in every way imaginable.

        • Tracey 12.2.2.1

          fair points but ultimately whatever our spy capability, our bigger trading partners will have the same or better…

          • Ad 12.2.2.1.1

            All the more reason to get into it.
            They brought sabers, so don’t jump into the fight with a stick.

            • Tracey 12.2.2.1.1.1

              you get the world you deserve Ad, in small ways and big. The problem with secret services is they are, well secret. the deal in lies and duplicity. Assessing their value therefore, is a quagmire.

              • Ad

                Sadly government is not a binary information world.

                The idea of a day/night open state v “deep state” is a myth. There is of course always a sliding scale – as there must be.

                New Zealand is already one of the most open and transparent democracies in the world. The intelligence gathering services that we have are well and truly small by any stretch of the imagination.

                And no, this is not the world we deserve. We should always expect more.

    • Macro 12.3

      The main problem with this whole sorry event is that it had nothing to do with advancing NZ economic interests but everything to do with advancing the career prospects of Tim Groser.

      That is simply CORRUPTION, and that is why the GCSB cannot be trusted.

  13. freedom 13

    Here is a ssdd piece that got buried soon after being published yesterday afternoon,
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11424168

    and a ssdd follow up this a.m.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11424409

  14. outofbed 14

    http://www.seek.co.nz/job/28395513?pos=17&type=standout
    Manager, Intelligence Coordination pm’s office

    • Tracey 14.1

      PM’s office doesnt have anything to do with Intelligence. Literally or figuratively, he abdicated responsibility, remember?

  15. emergency mike 15

    “What will be the long term cost?”

    For us? Our image is tarnished in certain countries, those stains don’t come off.

    For John Key? Not much. When his political time is up in NZ, he’ll just pack his bags and move on the the next corporate money making scheme.

  16. fisiani 16

    Nobody who matters cares. Just another petty post desperately trying to discredit Honest John yet again. When will the Left ever learn that repeating the same mistake over and over will only result in the same outcome.
    I will concede that once Honest John chooses to retire after perhaps six terms in office people may well have forgotten how truly awful is was during the Helengrad years and repeat the error of having a Labour government. When Chris Bishop becomes leader in 2025 the Left may have a chance.
    Who then will remember this storm in a D Cup?

  17. dave 17

    brazil is a huge market in a time when our exports are falling this town clown wreaks relations the Americans lost multi billion dollar fighter deal because of spying John key is a stupid ass he is wreaking this economy.

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    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    2 days ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?
    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 days ago
  • Voting as a multi-order process of choice.
    Recent elections around the world got me to thinking about voting. At a broad level, voting involves processes and choices. Embedded in both are the logics that go into “sincere” versus “tactical” voting. “Sincere” voting is usually a matter of preferred … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Women in Space.
    Count downThree twoI wonderIf I'll ever see you againI'm 'bout to take offI'm leaving youBut maybeI'll see you around somewhere some placeI just need some spaceA brief reminder that if you’re a Gold Card holder you can subscribe to Nick’s Kōrero for 20% off. You’re also welcome to use this ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 13
    Auckland waterfront, July. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 13 are:The National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government watered down vehicle emissions standards this week, compounding the climate emissions damage from an increasingly ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Dems need to ask the right question about Biden as his age now defines the campaign
    Midway through the news conference that many American political commentators had built up as critical to Joe Biden’s re-election chances, the US president said European leaders are not asking him not to run for a second term, “they’re saying you gotta win”.The problem for Biden and his advisors is that ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • Govt flounders while ocean temps soar
    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items of climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer, most of which they discussin the video above. According to experts, the rate of ocean surface warming around New Zealand is “outstripping the global ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Learning From Brexit
    Whether Britain leaving the European Union was right or wrong, good or bad is for the Brits to decide. But there are lessons about international trade to be learned from Brexit, especially as it is very unusual for an economy to break so completely from its major training partner.In Econ101 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Friday, July 12
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of Friday, July 12 are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Hot Damn! It's The Soggy Bottom Boys!
    Good morning lovely people, and welcome to another weekly review. One which saw the our Prime Minister in Washington, running around with all the decorum of Augustus Gloop with a golden ticket, seeking photo opportunities with anyone willing to shake his hand.Image: G News.He had his technique down to overcome ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • When an independent expert / advisory group is anything but ..
    OPINION: Yesterday, 1News reported that the Government's "independent" advisory group had recommended Kiwirail offload its ferries to another entity.Except this wasn't entirely new news at all, besides that it came formally from Nicola Willis’s advisory team.TVNZ is under significant cost pressure, and earlier this year, after expressing strong discontent with ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 9:00 am on Friday, July 12 are:Scoop: Ministerial group advises KiwiRail no longer run Cook Strait ferries 1News’ Julia RodenNews: ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 12-July-2024
    Kia ora and welcome to another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! The week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Scott delivered a delicious disquisition on donut cities, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Dominik Scythe on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Friday, July 11 are:Climate: Transport Minister Simeon Brown said in a release the Government's plan to reverse New ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 12
    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s climate strategy ‘pamphlet’, its watering down of Clean Car Standards and its general lack of coherence;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Casey Costello strikes again
    Summary: A track record of deception is becoming evident in the Government’s Coalition alliance. Ministers across all parties have been found to either lie without contrite, and/or act unlawfully and unreasonably. The rails are coming off quicker than a marshmallow induced fantasy train ride as the conductors throw caution to ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #28 2024
    Open access notables Antarctic Bottom Water Warming, Freshening, and Contraction in the Eastern Bellingshausen Basin, Johnson et al., Geophysical Research Letters Cold winds blowing over polynyas (areas of ice-free water) on the Antarctic continental shelf create sea ice, forming very cold and somewhat salty, hence very dense, waters. These dense ...
    4 days ago
  • We're back! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashWe’re back after a three-week mid-winter break. I needed a rest, but back into it. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s gas fantasy
    Yesterday the government released the advice on its proposal to repeal the offshore fossil gas exploration ban, including a Climate Implications of Policy Assessment statement, Cabinet paper, and Regulatory Impact Statement. I spent some time looking at these last night, and the short version is that the government's plan is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A criminal minister
    RNZ reports that cancer minister Casey Costello has been reprimanded and forced to apologise by the Ombudsman for acting "contrary to law" in her handling of an OIA request: Associate Health Minister Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced to apologise for trying to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Luxon in the NATO pressure cooker
    New Zealand is one of six countries invited as onlookers to this week’s NATO summit in Washington. As such, PM Christopher Luxon will be made aware of the pressure on the 32 NATO member states (a) to increase their Defence spending (b) to become less militarily dependent on the US ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus for Thursday July 11
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of July 11 are:Climate: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts issued the National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government’s climate strategy yesterday, including a three-page document with five bullet ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • By George! Splendid streets take shape down south
    The revitalisation of Auckland city centre, especially around Wynyard Quarter, Te Komititanga, and Queen Street, is top of mind for Greater Auckland readers – but other cities around Aotearoa New Zealandare installing people-friendly streets. This guest post by Jessica de Heij, who grew up in the Netherlands and is an ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:30 am on July 11 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister acted 'contrary to law’. Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Thursday, July 11 are:Economy: Te Pūtea Matua The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) announced its Monetary Policy Committee decided to hold the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Farmers’ revenge meets Green resistance
    If there was one issue that united farmers in opposition to the Labour Government, it was the battle of the waterways between farmers and Environment Minister David Parker. Parker won the first round with his 2020 National Policy Standard on Freshwater Management (NPSFM) which imposed tough new standards on waterways ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Personal Reflections: 10th July
    Please note: This is a personal reflection and does not refer to politics. These entries are not sent to subscribers.Text within this block will maintain its original spacing when publishedHubris and Pride Out of the fire and into the frying pan? Swimming with the big sharks Tonight, I am excited. ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Oh Vienna
    Nothing can warm your heart like the sight of your daughter stepping off a train. Mary-Margaret arrived on Saturday to ride with us to Vienna.You know your way around a bike? the guy at the hire shop asks her. Yep. She’s ridden them on rail trails, Auckland’s mean streets, commutes ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand forges deeper ties with NATO
    Christopher Luxon is finding his foreign policy feet. Now eight months into the job, New Zealand’s Prime Minister is in Washington DC this week to attend the NATO summit. It is the third year in a row that Wellington has been invited to the annual gathering of the North Atlantic ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s carbon capture fantasy
    As the climate crisis has grown worse, the tactics of the polluting industries have shifted. From denying climate change, they then moved on to pushing "carbon capture" - dumping their emissions underground rather than in the atmosphere. It's a PR scam, intended to prolong the life of the industry we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Harsh Truths.
    The Way We Were: An indelible mark was left upon a whole generation of New Zealanders by the Great Depression and World War II; an impression that not only permitted men and women of all classes and races to perceive the need to work together for the common good, but also ...
    5 days ago
  • Explainer: Simeon Brown's CCUS Announcement
    Sources for the data and research:Peter Milne: Time’s up on Gorgon’s five years of carbon storage failureSimon Holmes a Court: "Does best CCS power station in world provide model for Australia?" Chris Vanderstock: "The truth about Carbon Capture and Storage"   "Sunk Costs": documenting CCS's failure to meet every, single, target, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kiwirail Interislander saga continues
    This morning, 1 News is reporting that the cancellation of the i-Rex ferries has so far cost taxpayers $484 million.That's almost half a billion dollars. That could probably fund thousands of new doctors, maybe complete a few hospital rebuilds, or how about money for our experienced police so they don’t ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Wednesday, July 10
    As foreshadowed in legislation passed quietly under urgency just before Christmas, the Transport Minister has personally watered down standards for car imports in a way expected to add millions of tonnes to our climate emissions Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon's business acumen
    It’s April, and the relatively new Prime Minister of New Zealand is on his first overseas mission to South East Asia.Christopher Luxon walks into the room. A warm smile on his face. A hand extended to his counterpart.“We are open for business,” he says confidently. “New Zealand is under new ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Meet New Zealand's Russell Brand?
    Hi,There is an all too common story within the guru community, and we see it play out again and again. The end is nearly always the same — a trail of victims and confusion left in the guru’s wake.As seen in the recent case of Russell Brand, the guru simply ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Why is the Government flooring it on unsafe speeds?
    Feedback closes midnight Thursday 11 July, on the draft speed-setting rule. See our previous post on the subject for details, and guidance on having your say. Among other things, it proposes to raise speeds in cities back up to a universal 50km/h (with no option of 30km/h), and will restrict safe ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • American Boy
    Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some dayTake me to New York, I'd love to see LAI really want to come kick it with youYou'll be my American boy…Love letters straight from the heart. Hmm, I think that’s a different tune, but that’s where we’ll begin. With ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Jannis Brandt on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am are:Investigation: Benefitting from the misery of others. Over 40% of emergency housing funding went to a concentrated group ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:30 am on Wednesday, July 10 are:Climate: Minister for Transport Simeon Brown announced changes to the Clean Car Importer Standard that ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons (Photo credit: Automotive Rhythms / CC BY-NC 2.0) Some people thought Juliana Dockery and her husband Sean were being impractical when they bought an electric vehicle in 2022. Why? Like one in five Americans, they live in a rural area ...
    6 days ago
  • Love to complete it all
    Photo credit: Rob DickinsonThis is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: What’s left of the Emissions Reduction Plan?
    In 2019, Parliament, in a supposed bipartisan consensus, passed the Zero Carbon Act. The Act established long-term emissions reduction targets, and a cycle of five-yearly budgets and emissions reduction plans to meet them, with monitoring by the independent Climate Change Commission. In theory this was meant to ensure that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The President They Have Got.
    “This cannot be real life!” Confronted with the choice of recommitting themselves to the myth of Joe Biden, or believing the evidence of their own eyes, those Americans not already committed to Donald Trump will reach out instinctively for the President they wish they had – blind to the President they ...
    6 days ago
  • Has Progressivism Peaked?
    Let’s Go Crazy! AOC (Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) rarks-up the voters of New York’s 16th Congressional District.HAVE WE MOVED past peak progressivism? Across the planet, there are signs that the surge of support for left-wing causes and personalities, exemplified by the election of the democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (AOC) to the US House ...
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Dawn Chorus for July 9
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Labour may be looking at signing up for an Irish style 33% inheritance tax instead of or as well as a capital gains tax;Sam Stubbs has proposed the Government sell ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Mr Luxon goes to Washington.
    Once fastened servile now your getting sharpMoving oh so swiftly with such disarmI pulled the covers over him shoulda' pulled the alarmTurned to my nemesis a fool no fucking godTuesday morning usually provides something to write about with a regular round of interviews for the Prime Minister across Newshub, TVNZ, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Kiwirail at Councils Transport & Infrastructure Committee
    Last week at the Council’s Transport and Infrastructure Committee, Kiwirail gave an update about the state of the network and the work they’re doing to get it ready for the opening of the City Rail Link. There were a few aspects that stood out to me so I’ve pulled them ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    7 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 9
    Photo by City Church Christchurch on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six links elsewhere I’ve spotted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day to 8:00 am are:Scoop: Waipareira Trust political donations probe referred to Charities Registration Board NZ Herald-$$$’s Matt NippertScoop: Migrant whistleblowers speak out after ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • What’s next after Supreme Court curbs regulatory power: More focus on laws’ wording, less on the...
    This article by Robin Kundis Craig, Professor of Law, University of Kansas is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article. Federal Chevron deference is dead. On June 28, 2024, in a 6-3 vote, the Supreme Court overturned the 40-year-old legal tenet that when a federal ...
    7 days ago
  • The folly of retreat in the face of defeat
    Note: This is a long readPolitical discourse on social media taught me that bad faith operators and tactics are not only prevalent, they are widespread and effective.Thanks for reading Mountain Tui! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.Their objectives are much narrower than one might imagine.The ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • The Parent Zone
    Hi,I am about to wing my way back to New Zealand for the Webworm popup this Saturday in Auckland — can’t wait to see some of you there! In the meantime, I highly recommend the latest pet thread over on the Webworm app. All I’ll say is that readers here ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    7 days ago
  • Tuesday: The Kākā’s Journal of Record for July 9
    Photo by Alex Zaj on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, speeches, news conferences reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Tuesday, July 9 are:Politics: Full news conference: 'Please resign', Chloe Swarbrick tells Darleen Tana RNZ VideoPaper: Increasing speed ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Breaking up is so hard to do
    The fundamental weakness of the waka jumping legislation is once again on display, as the Greens seem reluctant to trigger it to remove Darleen Tana from Parliament altogether. Tana has been suspended from the Greens Caucus while it had barrister Rachel Burt investigate allegations that she had been involved in ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago

  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship
    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality
    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy
    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants
    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
    The coalition Government is proud to announce the launch of its Climate Strategy, a comprehensive and ambitious plan aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change and preparing for its future effects, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “The Strategy is built on five core pillars and underscores the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
    The National Bowel Screening Programme has reached a significant milestone, with two million home bowel screening kits distributed across the country, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.   “This programme, which began in 2017, has detected 2,495 cancers as of June 2024. A third of these were at an early ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Granny flats popular with all ages
    More than 1,300 people have submitted on the recent proposal to make it easier to build granny flats, RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk say. “The strong response shows how popular the proposal is and how hungry the public is for common sense changes to make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $25 million boost for conservation
    Toitū te taiao – our environment endures!  New Zealanders will get to enjoy more of our country’s natural beauty including at Cathedral Cove – Mautohe thanks to a $25 million boost for conservation, Conservation Minister Tama Potaka announced today.  “Te taiao (our environment) is critical for the country’s present and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced a further $16 million of support for Ukraine, as it defends itself against Russia’s illegal invasion. The announcement of further support for Ukraine comes as Prime Minister Luxon attends the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC. “New Zealand will provide an additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Country Kindy to remain open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says that Country Kindy in Manawatu will be able to remain open, after being granted a stay from the Ministry of Education for 12 weeks. “When I heard of the decision made last week to shut down Country Kindy I was immediately concerned and asked ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
    New export arrangements signed today by New Zealand and Indonesia will boost two-way trade, Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. Mr McClay and Dr Sahat Manaor Panggabean, Chairman of the Indonesia Quarantine Authority (IQA), signed an updated cooperation arrangement between New Zealand and Indonesia in Auckland today. “The cooperation arrangement paves the way for New Zealand and Indonesia to boost our $3 billion two-way trade and further ...
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    6 days ago
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