Judith Collins – thoughtless idiot

Written By: - Date published: 11:34 am, December 14th, 2008 - 28 comments
Categories: activism, national, police - Tags: ,

Nothing is quite as important to a democracy as activist groups that engage in peaceful protest for change. In the past these are the groups that have worked for extending the franchise (including to woman), establishing the rights of workers in employer/employee relationships, the abolition of slavery, campaigned for sewerage systems and clean water reticulation, established the SPCA, opposed apartheid, opposed involvement in wars, etc, etc

These days these are some of the groups carrying on that great tradition. They include Greenpeace and other environmental groups, groups campaigning for animal rights, groups campaigning for beneficaries, groups campaining against GE, groups campaigning against open-cast mining, and groups campaigning against US bases in NZ.

Now, like me you may not agree with some of what these groups are campaigning about. However they do have a right to campaign openly and without fear of malicious harassment by the state. If they do something that breaks the law, then they should should face the law. Sure they need to be monitored but unless they start doing things that are dangerous to the public, then the normal course of the law should apply,

However this has often not been the case. We appear to have a new police minister who doesn’t understand her role in making the public feel secure about the police.

Police Minister Judith Collins said: “This government wants to ensure [the police] have the tools and the support they need to keep the public safe.

“From time to time it may be necessary to use paid informants. I think most New Zealanders would find it reassuring that the police are out there keeping a watch on the whole community. That’s what they’re there for.

“I trust the police to exercise sound judgment and professionalism when deciding where and when to use paid informants.”

Perhaps she should ask exactly what the police have been doing with the current protest groups. Police ministers have little control on the police apart from their budget, and providing one of the few interfaces that the public has into that organization about what is acceptable to the public. However Judith appears to wish to give them a blanket defense.

To my knowledge parts of the police have been abusing the legal systems to harass protest groups. They have used spurious charges regularly that get thrown out by the courts. Most protesters in NZ can show you a large list of charges that have been dropped or failed to met the tests of the court. Intelligence units of the police have used these types of charges to obtain search warrants for intelligence gathering activities because there are no penalties for them to do so even when the charges are thrown out, overturned or dropped. Now it turns out that they have been using paid informants not only to gather information, but also to assist and incite the very activities they are working against.

None of these activities have any realistic repercussions for the Police apart from the increasing unease amongst the young and involved about the police. Having a police minister who isn’t prepared to examine the role and actions of the police just removed one of those protections. That is the action of a thoughtless idiot of a politician.

28 comments on “Judith Collins – thoughtless idiot ”

  1. George 1

    oh i get it now, this is why we ware only just having a beat up on old news.

    because we have a new (National, in case we all forgot) police minister. silly me for thinking you might just be outraged against the police.

    Welcome to the job Judith, i wish you well in a difficult role. Here’s hoping you don’t get ambushed by any more of predecessors decisions. these will be used against you when you don’t get outraged by them, as people like Anthony Hubbard and Nicky hager try to whip up sentinement on news too old wrap fash n chups in

  2. lprent 2

    No if Goff hadn’t answered differently, then I’d have slammed him as well. As it is I think his response was a bit limp, but he will want to find out more.

    Judith came out with a blanket defense of the police – ie no discussion or debate. That is unacceptable in the liaison position between the police and the politicians. The police are largely independent of the political system.

    I’ll be looking at all politicians responses to this news (including the ones who have no opinion).

  3. spot 3

    LP – re. your post – what does that then say about the role of crown solicitors and prosecutors?

  4. lprent 4

    Well that is the interesting thing.

    Most offenses brought against protestors are under the summary offenses act. As far as I’m aware these are done exclusively by the police.

    The more serious offenses under things like the crimes act are done by crown solicitors.

    However these are effectively legal contractors that the police instruct. ie they do not make the decision on what cases to bring forward. Same with the prosecutors as far as I can tell. I think that they are really just crown solicitors (never been in a case involving them).

    As far as I can see, the police are the only body that decides if a case is to proceed.

    What is a Crown Prosecutor?

    The Crown Prosecutor is the lawyer who presents the case for the Crown or Government. They are responsible for laying any charges that a person may have to stand trial for in a Court and then presenting to the Court all of the evidence that may be relevant to the charge. The Crown Prosecutor has the burden of proving the charges beyond reasonable doubt, and for this reason, they will present the case for the prosecution first, and before the defence lawyer presents the case for the defendant. Like a defence lawyer they may make a speech at the beginning and the end of the trial. In summary, they are there to present the case for the prosecution but they do not decide whether the defendant is guilty or not guilty.

     

  5. spot 5

    “As far as I can see, the police are the only body that decides if a case is to proceed”

    Way outside my knowledge, but someone here will know.

    Not sure you comment (above) is correct – did David Collins not recently refuse authorisation to press charges under that Terrorism Supression Act, and bascially scupper that whole case (in a legal/procedural sense) ?

  6. lprent 6

    Yes but that is the Solicitor-General. I don’t think that most cases go up to that exalted level for approval.

    They usually require a judgment on if the case is possible under the law. Therefore it will usually only happen with new law.

    Similarly I believe that the SG takes action for cases that affect the legal process. Like the publishing of evidence gathered for a court case

  7. ieuan 7

    Are you guys running a contest on who can come up with the most emotive headline?

  8. spot 8

    LP – probably right.

    Need someone to give us a run-through of getting warrants, laying charges, depositions, actual charges and where (if) there is any discretion exercised by solicitors/prosecutors.

    Probably, as you note, a lot to do with seriousness of charges, or applicable law.

  9. lprent 9

    ieuan: She is my niece. Rob Gilchrist was her boyfriend. This guy has been welcomed into my family.

    Are you suggesting that I should be angry about that? And that I should not spill some of that anger on to a minister of police that clearly doesn’t understand her role between the public and the police?

    But more importantly, the role of the police needs to be looked at in NZ. That has become increasingly clear over the last decade or so. At present they have considerable power, and have shown a limited ability to wield that with the appropriate discretion. I’d be happy to organize material to highlight that for the incoming minister.

  10. I am a little disappointed that it has taken a change in government to make you wake up to what the cops are up to. For a decade or more they have been pushing for more powers and have been given just about everything they have asked for.
    I want a change in management at the top and a full corruption commission set up to investigate the role that the previous government played in pressuring police management to squash investigations and refuse to lay charges. We could roll an inquiry into what this special investigations group is up to as well.

  11. lprent 11

    bb: I’ve been pushing this at various level since 2004. However it always runs into a blank wall of there being no actual forum to discourse with the police about policy. I even have a partially written website / blog here that I wrote in 2005/6 on the issue – but never had time to put up.

    The previous government as far as I’m aware hasn’t been doing anything of the sort. The operational matters for the police are completely under their own jurisdiction. The politicians role is to provide laws that the police think that they need and to provide funding for specific new roles.

    The police independence in NZ is almost legendary. What I think we need is a look at the interface between the police and the public. I feel that the police probably have archaic management practices, an arcane internal structure, and a internal culture that is diverging from the rest of society.

    With the exception of the specific role of the Minister of Police as a channel for public concerns, I don’t think that this is particularly political. It is a public issue.

    I’m sure it will become political, however I’d like to do whatever I can to prevent that.

  12. ieuan 12

    ‘ieuan: She is my niece. Rob Gilchrist was her boyfriend. This guy has been welcomed into my family’

    So this guy was sending the police information about the the activities of the groups that your niece was involved in. I can see why you are angry.

    Probably as angry as the National Party MP’s that were secretly taped by someone pretending to someone they weren’t or all those Hollow Men who were attacked by Nicky Hager with emails sent by a National Party insider……hang on didn’t Nicky Hager write the piece in the Sunday Star Times about the police using informers?

    Pot, kettle…black

  13. lprent 13

    ieuan:
    Were those things done by part of law enforcement? One that there are few remedies for apart from outright rebellion?

    No they were done by individuals who were not paid by my taxes, and who are capable to being pulled up in front of the courts if they broke laws. Care to tell me where I find the laws on police informers or their handlers?

    Why don’t you compare apples with apples?

  14. Pascal's bookie 14

    For me the most disturbing part is this; from the The activist who turned police informer story:

    In Gilchrist’s case, within the protest groups he has been an outspoken advocate of radical action such as illegal break-ins. During protests he has used a radio scanner to monitor police communications and often took the role of “police liaison” for the protest organisers.
    At protests, Gilchrist was often the one taunting police, says Mark Eden of Wellington Animal Rights Network, who regarded Gilchrist as a friend. “If it didn’t involve adrenalin and confrontation, he wasn’t interested,” Eden told the Star-Times.
    “He was always interested in who was keen on illegal actions and would often make it known that he was keen to be involved in anything illegal or undercover. On a few occasions he would take people out for a drive and sit outside a factory farm or an animal laboratory and encourage them to talk about planning a break-in or other illegal activity.
    “He would be really pushy and persistent about planning illegal activities and then would suddenly lose interest, claiming it was too difficult or that he was busy. He was always keen on planning dodgy stuff, but on the occasions when we did break the law [for instance, an open rescue of battery hens] he would always have an excuse and pull out at the last minute.”

    Here Gilchrist arguably crosses the line from observer/informant to agent provocateur. And this is where ieuan george and the others fall down.

    Even if we accept that these groups were dangerous enough (hah) to need surveillance, any action taken as a result of Gilchrist’s provocations and encouragement is tainted. How can natural justice be served by charging people who committed action as a result of; or with the active provocation of; an unofficial, but paid, state agent?

    Gilchrist received a weekly payment if I understand the story. That would have placed him in a position of needing to come up with intel regularly. I’ve got very little sympathy for him, (The nonpolitical Mrs. bookie read the story and said “what a little shit”), but his position put at the very least psychological pressure on him to come up with the goods regularly. The chances of such an agent moving from observance to provocation is too fncking obvious. If we really must have paid informants, they should be on a pay for intel basis surely, not a wage.

    If his role in provocation came out during any trial, would his cover be blown, or would he ‘take a deal’ and get a slapped hand for a sentence? How safe would those convictions be? How healthy is that for our justice system?

    Anyone who thinks this is ok, doesn’t get it.

  15. lprent 15

    For anyone who thinks that crossing the police is without risk, then try looking at the case that the ludditejourno highlighted in the UK – Sally Murrer and police surveys.

    I’d be interested in looking at that raw data on satisfaction with the police as well. Especially by age group.

    Generally I’d have to say that being around this apartment block and being the point of contact for years for the police that I like the job that most police do.

    But there is a considerable difference between the satisfaction I have with front-line cops doing the cleanup after burglaries, car thefts, domestics and some of the ones from the TPU (team policing unit). The latter always feel like they’re wired on something.

    My contact with the TAU (threat assessment unit) with Rochelles “intimidation by loitering” case was that they weren’t interested in anything except the search warrants, trying out new forms of charges, and causing as much of a problem as possible with material seized. It was pure harrassment techniques as far as I could see.

    The TAU were also technically incompetent. After 3 months and a lot of pressure, we managed to get the computers back. The computers came complete with malware all over the system. The dickheads had turned off the security systems while they were on the net. Half of the loose boards had been fried because they hadn’t bagged them correctly when they collected them. It was over a year before she got her video camera back. Of course this was in the middle of her computer and media courses, so I consider that to be simple harrassment as well.

    The police aren’t a monolithic force. There are police that are good and police that should be put under a lot stronger controls by their hierachy – they act like cowboys above the law.

    This last episode looks like it comes from the cowboy wing

  16. Rex Widerstrom 16

    Pascal’s bookie

    Here Gilchrist arguably crosses the line from observer/informant to agent provocateur.

    This happens every day, and is more often then not done by serving police officers not just some misguided thrillseeker like this Quisling was.

    From the undercover officer who offers a minor drug user heavier drugs hoping they’ll start using and introduce the officer to suppliers to the uniformed officer who spends all day in chat rooms pretending to be a child.

    Were it up to me I would make it impossible for the Police to lay any charge in which there was an element of entrapment required to get the accused to commit the offence.

    Yes, the pot smoker might have tried P on his own. Yes, the guy in the chat room might have made inappropriate suggestions to a child on his own. But they also might have thought the better of it.

    We’re moving dangerously close to a world in which we can be convicted of crimes based on what we think or believe, or even our merely repeating what someone else has said or done.

    In Australia a man has recently been prosecuted for reposting a video – one posted hundreds of times by other people on other sites – of a man swinging a baby. His home was raided after he posted the clip on Liveleak and he was charged with using the internet to access and publish child-abuse material.

    When the Police can take such outrageous action under cover of the hysteria about child abuse, or in this case “terrorism” – hysteria they’ve played a major role in creating – countries need politicians who’ll defend their rights, not facilitate their erosion.

    Ironically, it’s the previously totalitarian countries of the world will soon be those where the population is granted a degree of freedom – because, paradoxically, of their increasing lawlessness.

  17. sad 17

    ieuan, that is so deluded a comparison. how could you imagine that citizens exercising their legal right to protest- and doing so because they have ethics and morals they stand by every day- being infiltrated for ten years by the police who are charged with protecting our society is some how the same as the National party being caught out telling lies?

  18. Johnty Rhodes 18

    michael cullen – lying prick about the state of the books.
    This is more important than a few kaftan wearers bing infiltrated by the cops.

    Why don’t you ask Clark’s old bitch Howard about why this continually happened? Nothin like the left beating up on the left.

    Nout to do with Collins I am afraid.

    [lprent: Simple abuse is really useless in making your point. Incoherence even less so.
    Who is Howard? You’re referring to the e-leader across the ditch?
    As I said in the post, none of this has to do with Collins historically – except that she made a statement that was in conflict with her current role as Police Minister. At the very least she should have said she would be asking questions of the commissioner. ]

  19. Bill 19

    Rex.
    “We’re moving dangerously close to a world in which we can be convicted of crimes based on what we think or believe…”

    Didn’t ‘thought crime’ arrive a couple of years ago? I can’t remember all details, but from memory, it was alleged a couple of guys had planned a kidnapping. They had dug a cellar.

    Anyway. Although no kidnap actually took place they were convicted of kidnapping.

    By the same logic. If I put on a coat that has a pocket that could be construed as being a poachers pocket and walked into a store + lets say I had voiced a desire to own some item stocked by the store that I couldn’t afford = theft?!

    Seems so, if my memory serves me right.

  20. Rex Widerstrom 20

    Bill

    I recall that “kidnapping” case. I had a vague idea they were done for conspiracy, but even so that still proves your point.

    In that case I’d like to confess to conspiracy to murder… most of my clients, especially when I’ve been working flat out all weekend rather than enjoying the 36 degree scorcher and I know they’ll still call tomorrow saying “aren’t you finished yet”. I’ve gone so far as to imagine drowning them in the pool I haven’t had time to get into, so clearly I need the tender ministrations of the TRG and a good tasering.

    Your shoplifting analogy is also appropriate. In fact if you loaded your poacher’s pocket and they saw you doing it, there’s plenty of common law precedent that says if they grab you while you’re still in the store they’ll lose their case because they can’t prove beyond reasonable doubt that you were going to go through with your plan… that you wouldn’t have chickened out and paid for the stuff.

    But apparently if you go home go into a chat room and criticise the government of the day, implying you may take some protest action against them, you’re a suitable target for a bit of entrapment.

    Thankfully Mr Plod is usually so clumsy anyone with half a brain knows when they’re being monitored. Over here in WA a man suspected of being the Claremont serial killer found police were bugging his office (in a government department, no less) when the equipment came crashing out of the roof and struck another worker on the head. Then he found his home was under surveillance when a resident publicly complained that police using the hall opposite weren’t paying the water rates yet seemed to be making good use of the toilet!

    If they weren’t so dangerous they’d be funny.

  21. ianmac 21

    My memory of Judith Collins is when in Parliament she made some sneering face twisting rotten comments about Bensen-Pope. What a nasty image!
    The second was just before the 05 Election  when she was presenting the same sneering response during an interview on Maori TV about Maori perspective. I can’t think of any other MP who has acted with such visible spitefulness.

  22. higherstandard 22

    Lynn

    Why is Judith Collins a thoughtless idiot for ” asking Commissioner Howard Broad to explain claims that an anti-terrorist unit spied on protest groups, saying she would be concerned if law-abiding activists were under surveillance.”

    Is it just because she’s not from your political party ?

  23. IrishBill 23

    HS, assuming she follows through with this and the response is made public then she is to be commended.

  24. lprent 24

    hs: I just saw that.  Link.  And no – if Annette King or George Hawkins had said what she did on saturday, then I’d have lambasted them as well.

    If you read my post, then this is the action that I said she should have done in the first place. The problem was that her initial response was effectively a blanket defense of the police.

    Bearing in mind the level of trust that we place in the police in operational matters, the minister of police  is one of the few people who is capable of asking questions of the police. My post was about her response in the SST which ignored the obligations of the police minister to the public.

    It is good to see that she is now following the path that her post obligates.

  25. Tane 25

    Lynn, did you see this?

    All that grandstanding from John in the media about how he’ll get to the bottom of it, then Collins just says “I met the police, they tell me it’s all good, what am I supposed to do?”

    Poor.

  26. lprent 26

    Tane: I heard Howard Broad on the radio.

    Actually that is pretty much all that she can do. However the question had to be asked. That puts the obligation on Howard Broad to find out what exactly is going on.

    HB was a bit disingenuous about talking about complaints to the IPCA. What exactly do you complain about? Effectively it is a policy not any particular officer. I’ll have to have a read of the IPCA rules and point out some of the deficencies

    I’m at home today with a dose of delhi belly (I wish I hadn’t eaten whatever it was). The gurgling is a bit alarming

  27. gobsmacked 27

    Coming soon, to a news bulletin near you:

    Minister Judith Collins defends police investigation of Associate Minister Pita Sharples

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0809/S00315.htm

    Well, you’ve got to keep an eye on these dangerous radicals.

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    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    4 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    5 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    6 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    6 days ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    6 days ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    7 days ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    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. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    1 week ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Move: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.
    So long as we live in a democracy, economic policy can never be anything other than social-democratic.“HEH!”, snorted Laurie, as he waved his debit card over the EFTPOS machine. “Same price as last week. I guess budgets aren’t what they used to be.”“I wouldn’t know,” replied the young barman, wearily, ...
    1 week ago
  • In Search Of Unity.
    Kotahitanga: New Zealand’s future belongs to those who do not fear a nation carved out of unity and solidarity, and are willing to trust the carvers. Some New Zealanders will be required to step up, and others, perhaps for the first time in their lives, will be expected to step ...
    1 week ago
  • Weekly Roundup 7-June-2024
    Welcome to another Friday roundup! Here are some recent links and stories that caught our eye, perfectly timed for your watercooler discussions and weekend reading. As always feel free to share more in the comments. Our header image this week is by Patrick Reynolds, and shows Te Komititanga from above. ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    1 week ago
  • The Hoon around the week to June 7
    As Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, ACT’s Brooke van Velden is fronting proposed changes to sick pay regulations and The Holiday Act. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Did we boil the oceans by cutting pollution?
    Lowering aerosol emissions from shipping has altered clouds, with potentially drastic effects. Photo: Getty ImagesTL;DR: Here’s the top six news items of note in climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, and a discussion above between Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer:New evidence is increasingly pointing at efforts ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #23 2024
    Open access notables Abrupt reduction in shipping emission as an inadvertent geoengineering termination shock produces substantial radiative warming, Yuan et al., Communications Earth & Environment: Human activities affect the Earth’s climate through modifying the composition of the atmosphere, which then creates radiative forcing that drives climate change. The warming effect ...
    1 week ago
  • Fragments
    The best observation I’ve read this week about the deep, profound harm Trump is doingTrump has hurled threats and smears at witnesses, jurors and the judge (including his family)... [he] has tried to intimidate witnesses and delegitimize the New York courts as corrupt. In continuing to incite his mob (that ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • March for Nature
    Do do do do do do do doDo do do do do doDi di di di di di di di di di diNature enter me…In 2018 the Labour lead government banned new oil and gas exploration in Aotearoa. A change welcomed by those who care deeply for our environment and ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus and pick ‘n’ mix for Thursday, June 6
    The Transport Minister is trying to push through urgent legislation that would allow him to change emissions standards for car imports without approval from Parliament, after only consulting car importers. Photo: Lynn GrievesonTL;DR: Just as two major reports showed fossil fuel burning was warming the planet to dangerous levels and ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago

  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
    New Zealand and Malaysia intend to intensify their long-standing, deep connections, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “Malaysia is one of New Zealand’s oldest friends in South-East Asia – and both countries intend to get more out of the relationship," Mr Peters says.   "Our connections already run deep and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Ending contracted emergency housing motels in Rotorua
    The end of Contracted Emergency Housing (CEH) motels in Rotorua is nearing another milestone as the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announces it will not renew consents for six of the original 13 motels, Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka says. The government is committed to stop using CEH ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Judge Craig Coxhead and Nathan Milner newest Māori Land Court appointments
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  • Government signs Indo-Pacific Economic agreements to boost trade and cooperation
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