GCSB diversions and won’t anyone think of the kids?

Written By: - Date published: 9:26 am, August 13th, 2013 - 18 comments
Categories: democracy under attack, john key - Tags: ,

John Key Nat Billboard Corproate vote

As Karol reported last night John Key thinks that Kiwis are more concerned about the amount of snapper that they can catch then they are about their rights of privacy.

Over the past few months many kiwis have repeatedly expressed concern about the GCSB and the proposals to give it increased power.  Key has attempted to denigrate the opposition and has suggested that opponents do not know what they are talking about.  But when such august bodies as the New Zealand Law Society, the Human Rights Commission and the Privacy Commissioner dare to poke their heads above the parapet and say this law is wrong then a responsible administration would take note.

But the Government has prepared a counterattack or possibly three.  John Key is obviously a believer in the maxim that you should never let a good crisis go to waste.

Key has said that Kiwis are more concerned about the reduction in the numbers of snapper they can catch.  This is an unusual response.  It appears clear that David Cunliffe’s attacks on the issue have struck a rich vein and Nathan Guy’s proposal that fishermen’s daily catch of snapper be restricted to three while commercial quotas are untouched has caused a great deal of dissent.  The proposal is an awful one and Nathan Guy ought to have had the foresight that it should not be offered up even as an option for consultation but it pales into insignificance to the attack on our rights of privacy.  Expect the possibility of Guy’s cabinet career being thrown overboard if for no other reason than it seems to boost Key’s standing with the electorate.

The second counterattack is the Government’s proposal to enact a law under emergency to give Ministerial Inquiries the power to summons witnesses and subpoena documents, using the Fonterra fiasco as a justification.  Excuse me but have people already forgotten about the Henry report into the leak of the Kitteridge report and his intrusion into Andrea Vance’s rights of privacy.  Do we really want to give this Ministry the legal power legitimise what Henry did?  And why does the Fonterra difficulty require this.  Is Fonterra refusing to cooperate?

There is an important constitutional understanding at stake.  These sorts of inquiries are normally conducted under the Commissions of Inquiries Act 1908 which give the Governor General the power to appoint persons to investigate any matter of public importance.  Commissioners have power to summons witnesses and require production of documents.  But the understanding is that this work is performed by an independent person, normally a Judge, rather than giving this power to the Executive.  If Key really wanted to get an inquiry going he would use this existing power rather than ram through under emergency an increase in executive powers.

And has anyone else noticed that at times of crisis Paula Bennett or Judith Collins pops up and proposes either further beneficiary bashing or some further attack on civil rights?  The latest is Bennett’s proposal that child abuse suspects ought to be kept away from kids.  At a totally gut level reflexive response who could disagree?  But the proposal is that courts be given powers to ban an adult’s contact with kids for a period of up to ten years even though that person may have been acquitted of child abuse allegations made against them.  Whatever happened to the principle that individuals should only be punished for illegal activity after they had been convicted of the allegation?

As Bomber Bradbury has pointed out this new law would require a vast active surveillance network to keep tabs on everyone who is under these orders.  Perhaps the GCSB will have some spare capacity that could be used for this purpose.

There is a clear pattern here.  When this Ministry is boxed into a corner it will throw up a smorgasboard of issues to divert attention.  And hope that our attention is diverted.

18 comments on “GCSB diversions and won’t anyone think of the kids?”

  1. King Kong 1

    New Zealanders are more concerned about how much Snapper they can catch than the GCSB bill, and rightly so.

    Unlike the narcissists and egotists on the left who somehow think the GCSB is interested in watching them beat off in the shower, most New Zealanders realise that if you are not planning on blowing something up, hacking into secure sites, or raping and torturing children (to use the example from above), then this wont affect you one jot.

    • Pascal's bookie 1.1

      So if it wasn’t for the tax rates you would’ve supported the east in the cold war then. Charming.

    • shorts 1.2

      from my limited interactions with dyed in the wool national party supporters they do seem infuriated by the snapper issue

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.1

        that would be right; they’re doubly infuriated that its a frikkin National Government doing this.

    • richard 1.3

      KK, here’s some essential reading for you. You’ll be happy to know it even mentions watching people in the shower and says why that is not the problem.

      http://chronicle.com/article/Why-Privacy-Matters-Even-if/127461/

      Edit: the 2nd last para is quite a good summary”

      “My life’s an open book,” people might say. “I’ve got nothing to hide.” But now the government has large dossiers of everyone’s activities, interests, reading habits, finances, and health. What if the government leaks the information to the public? What if the government mistakenly determines that based on your pattern of activities, you’re likely to engage in a criminal act? What if it denies you the right to fly? What if the government thinks your financial transactions look odd—even if you’ve done nothing wrong—and freezes your accounts? What if the government doesn’t protect your information with adequate security, and an identity thief obtains it and uses it to defraud you? Even if you have nothing to hide, the government can cause you a lot of harm.

      • Colonial Viper 1.3.1

        There is also an overriding principle at play here: that of civil liberties.

        In other words –

        1) clear restrictions on the power that government can apply to its citizens
        2) the due process through which that power is applied
        3) the overall balance of power between the citizenry and the government.

        Put it more simply – why should they know everything about what you are doing, planning and seeing on a day to day basis, while we know absolutely nothing about what they are doing, planning and seeing?

      • Tiger Mountain 1.3.2

        Interesting piece richard. Curtain twitching, underwear sniffing, garbage riffling, spending following, communication monitoring, your computer/other device watching you etc is always about power relations and thought and behaviour control. Compliance and subservience.

        Stuff ’em.

      • Chooky 1.3.3

        @ richard…thanks for that article…just about says it all

        I had a friend who went to live at Bert Potters commune..later regretted it…..it would be interesting to know how such communes and cults use lack of privacy as a means of power, control , corruption and abuse…especially sexual abuse of children and teenagers

        It would also be interesting to know the effects that lack of privacy have on child development and the development of creativity…I would think that maybe the importance of privacy/ one way or another is enormous…

      • Paul 1.3.4

        He won’t answer because he has no answer.

    • Murray Olsen 1.4

      I suspect KKK means that anyone who thinks showers are mainly for beating off in is unlikely to understand enough about the Bill to be worried about it.

  2. irascible 2

    Interestingly, public concern about the intrusion of the State into their private activities is real and palpable. Key and his PR spinners are totally out of touch living as they do on the vast, empty golf course of Planet Key.

    • Colonial Viper 2.1

      It was good of Clark, Key, Dunne, Banks, Collins and Bennett to have pre-warmed public sentiment on the topic via – publishing beneficiaries details, open access WINZ kiosks, Kim Dotcom debacle, Urewera 8 illegal surveillance, Teapotgate, etc

  3. Anne 3

    Grant Robertson gave a speech to our local members on the Shore last night. His grasp of the GCSB legislation is very impressive. He spoke passionately about his deep concerns… so much so I would be more than happy if he was to represent Labour at the GCSB protest on the 19th August. I understand Labour will be sending a speaker.

    • Colonial Viper 3.1

      Grant can certainly connect with audiences when he speaks in person.

    • Jilly Bee 3.2

      Anne, Grant Robertson will be on Citizen A (Face TV) on Thursday evening with Martyn Bradbury – I believe Dr Rodney Harrison QC is the other guest.

  4. Rogue Trooper 4

    The GCSB may not have much “spare capacity” by the time the neo-libs have finished making and un-making law. There’ll be more surveillance than subjects to survey.

  5. tricledrown 5

    Primitive primate you like john keys supporters came down in the last shower.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Shifty Bill jumps the shark
    Bill English's claim today that it has never been established that Todd Barclay's recordings of his staff took place is bizarre and shows a complete lack of honesty and leadership, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  "Todd Barclay told Bill ...
    12 hours ago
  • Te Ture Whenua – gone by lunchtime?
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell has to front up about yesterday’s mysterious withdrawal of Te Ture Whenua Bill from Parliament’s order paper, says Labour’s Ikaroa Rawhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.  “Has he lost his way and has decided to run ...
    1 day ago
  • Bill English ignorance of law beggars belief
    For Bill English to claim he and others in the National Party didn’t realise the law may have been broken in the Todd Barclay taping scandal is simply not credible, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “The Prime Minister ...
    1 day ago
  • Government ignored advice on Pacific people’s superannuation
    The Government ignored advice from the Ministry of Pacific Peoples that raising the Superannuation age of eligibility would have a ‘disproportionately high impact’ on Pacific people, says Labour’s Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Aupito William Sio.   “The Ministry for Pacific ...
    2 days ago
  • Bill English misleads Parliament on Police statement
    Bill English's attempt to restore his damaged credibility over the Todd Barclay affair has backfired after his claim to have "reported" Mr Barclay's actions to Police has proven not to be true, says Labour MP for Wellington Central Grant Robertson. ...
    2 days ago
  • Keep it Public
    The Green Party strongly supports the Tertiary Education Unions call to #KeepitPublic Keep what public? Out quality tertiary education system that National is trying to open up to more private for-profit providers with a new law change. The (Tertiary Education ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    2 days ago
  • This ‘technical error’ is hurting big time
    Jonathan Coleman cannot resort to his ongoing litany that the Ministry of Health’s $38 million budget blunder is an error on paper only, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “He might keep saying it’s a ‘technical error’ but the reality ...
    2 days ago
  • Labour to invest in public transport for Greater Christchurch
    Labour will commit $100m in capital investment for public transport in Greater Christchurch, including commuter rail from Rolleston to the CBD, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “As the rebuild progresses, there are huge opportunities for Greater Christchurch, but ...
    3 days ago
  • Green Party will repeal solar tax
    It’s ridiculous for an electricity distribution monopoly to apply a charge on solar panels but worse than that, it’s harming our effort to tackle climate change. Hawke’s Bay lines company Unison last year announced a new solar charge for their ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    3 days ago
  • English fails the character test over Barclay
    Bill English is hoping this scandal will go away, but he is still dodging important questions over his role in covering up for Todd Barclay, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 days ago
  • Government must apologise for Christchurch schools stuff-up
    The Ombudsman’s findings that the Ministry of Education botched the reorganisation of Christchurch schools after the 2011 earthquake are damning for an under-fire National Government, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “The Ombudsman has found the reorganisation of schools in ...
    3 days ago
  • Government’s multinational tax measures weak
    The Government’s proposals to crack down on multinational tax avoidance, by its own admission only recovering one third of the missing money, means hardworking Kiwis will bear more of the tax burden, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. “The Government ...
    3 days ago
  • World Refugee Day – we can do our bit
    I’m really proud that yesterday, on World Refugee Day, the Greens launched an ambitious plan to increase the refugee quota to 5000 over the next six years. Of those places, 4,000 will be directly resettled by the government and another ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    3 days ago
  • PM’s leadership in question over Barclay affair
    The Prime Minister must belatedly show some leadership and compel Todd Barclay to front up to the Police, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Twice today Bill English has been found wanting in this matter. ...
    4 days ago
  • Another memory lapse by Coleman?
    The Minister of Health ‘couldn’t recall’ whether the Director General of Health Chai Chuah offered his resignation over the Budget funding fiasco involving the country’s District Health Boards, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “In the House today Jonathan Coleman ...
    4 days ago
  • Bill English needs to come clean over Barclay
    Bill English needs to explain why he failed to be upfront with the public over the actions of Clutha-Southland MP Todd Barclay, following revelations that he knew about the secretly recorded conversations in the MP’s electorate office, says Labour Leader ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister, show some backbone and front up and debate
    Rather than accusing critics of his Te Ture Whenua Māori Bill of telling ‘lies’, Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell should show some backbone and front up to a debate on the issue, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. “Te ...
    5 days ago
  • Equal pay for mental health workers
    Today, mental health workers are filing an equal pay claim through their unions. Mental health support workers do important and difficult work in our communities. But because the workforce is largely female, they are not paid enough. It’s wrong for ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    5 days ago
  • Nats’ HAM-fisted housing crisis denial
    National’s decision to knowingly release a flawed Housing Affordability Measure that underestimates the cost of housing is the latest evidence of their housing crisis denial, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    6 days ago
  • New Pike footage builds compelling case for mine re-entry
    New footage of the Pike River Mine deep inside the operation, revealing no fire damage or signs of an inferno, provides a compelling reason to grant the families of Pike River’s victims their wish to re-enter the drift, says Labour ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour will get tough on slum boarding houses
    The next Labour-led Government will legislate a Warrant of Fitness based on tough minimum standards to clean out slum boarding houses, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “It’s not acceptable for New Zealanders in the 21st Century to be living ...
    6 days ago
  • Green Party tribute to Dame Nganeko Minhinnick
    Haere ngā mate ki tua o paerau; te moenga roa o ngā mātua tupuna. Haere, haere, haere. It was with a huge sense of loss that we learned of the death of Dame Nganeko Minhinnick yesterday. The Green Party acknowledges ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Urgent answers needed on DHB funding
      Jonathan Coleman must come clean and answer questions about what actual funding DHBs received in Budget 2017, says Labour Health Spokesperson David Clark.   ...
    1 week ago
  • Treasury puts Māori Land Service on red alert
    A damning Treasury report raises serious questions about the delivery of Te Ururoa Flavell’s proposed Māori Land Service, giving it a ‘red’ rating which indicates major issues with the project, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri.  “Treasury’s Interim Major Projects Monitoring ...
    1 week ago
  • Economy stalling after nine years of National’s complacency
    The second successive quarterly fall in per person growth shows the need for a fresh approach to give all New Zealanders a fair share in prosperity, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. ...
    1 week ago
  • Kiwi kids deserve much more
    All Kiwi kids deserve so much more than the impoverished picture painted by the shameful rankings provided by the UNICEF Innocenti Report Card, says Labour’s children spokesperson Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Zone a precursor to a total nuclear weapon ban
    New Zealand’s nuclear-free zone, legislated by Parliament in 1987, is something we all take pride in. It’s important, however, that we don’t let it thwart its own ultimate purpose – a world free of nuclear weapons. That goal must be ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    1 week ago
  • English must confirm we still stand by our principles on UN resolution
    Bill English must tell New Zealand whether we remain in support of the UN Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “After Foreign Affairs Minister Gerry Brownlee’s evasive answers to repeated questions on ...
    1 week ago
  • Māori party drop the poi on Māori health
    The Māori Party have dropped the poi when it comes to supporting Ngati Whakaue and Māori interests in Bay of Plenty by allowing an iwi owned and operated service Te Hunga Manaaki to be brushed aside in favour of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to invest in Whanganui River infrastructure
    Labour will work in partnership with the Whanganui Council to repair and redevelop the city’s Port precinct in advance of planned economic development and expansion. To enable Whanganui’s plans, Labour will commit $3m in matching funding for repairing the Whanganui ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Parihaka: an apology
    An apology only works for healing if it is sincere and if it is accepted. We teach our children to apologise and to be genuine if they want to be forgiven. On Friday, June 9 at Parihaka, the Crown apologised ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    2 weeks ago
  • Survey shows many international students plan to stay in NZ after study
    Most international students in New Zealand at PTEs (private training establishments) who have a plan for themselves after study intend to stay in New Zealand to work. This shows how low-level education has become a backdoor immigration route under National, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Councils step up as Nats drop the ball on housing crisis
    Phil Goff’s Mayoral Housing Taskforce is another positive example of councils stepping up where National has failed on housing, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for a breather on immigration
    Labour will introduce moderate, sensible reforms to immigration to reduce the pressure on our cities, while ensuring we get the skilled workers our country needs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “New Zealand is a country built on immigration. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Inaction puts Māui dolphins at risk
    Conservation Minister Maggie Barry was at the United Nations Oceans Conference in New York last week, trying to convince the world that the New Zealand Government is doing a good job at protecting our marine environment.  Yet last week after ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    2 weeks ago
  • National unprepared as immigration runs four times faster than forecast
    National has been caught asleep at the wheel by record immigration that has outstripped Budget forecasts, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • First home buyers shouldn’t carry the can for National’s failed policies
    The introduction of tighter limits on lending to first home buyers would see them paying the price for the National Party’s failure to recognise or fix the housing crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “Nine years of denial and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Motel bill blows out as Nats fail to deliver emergency housing
    Minister Amy Adams has admitted at select committee that National has now spent $22m on putting homeless families in motels as it fails to deliver the emergency housing places it promised, says Labour Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister, how out of touch are you?
    What was going through Jonathan Coleman’s head in the Health Select Committee this morning when he claimed he was unaware that an estimated 533,000 people have missed out on a GP’s visit in the last 12 months due to cost, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Divided we fall
    I’m getting pretty sick of the politics of division in this country.  The latest example was yesterday’s comments from NZ First leader Winston Peters having a good go in the House at driving up fear and loathing towards people of ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Electoral Amendment Bill to enhance democracy
    Democracy will be enhanced under Labour’s Private Member’s Bill which will have its First Reading today, says Labour’s Local Government spokesperson MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Police underfunded despite rise in crime
    As crime continues to rise dairy owners are scared for their lives and communities reel under a record increase in burglary numbers, it has now been revealed that Police received less than three quarters of their bid in this year’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Road pricing years off, public transport investment needed now
    With road pricing still years away, Labour will step up with investment in public transport to ease Auckland’s congestion woes, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Call to protect Easter Sunday in Auckland
    Auckland’s Labour MPs are backing the community to protect Easter Sunday by retaining current trading restrictions in the city, says Labour MPs Aupito William Sio and Michael Wood.  “The Government’s weak and confusing decision to delegate the decision over Easter ...
    3 weeks ago
  • $2.3 billion shortfall in health
    The funding needed for health to be restored to the level it was seven years ago to keep pace with cost pressures has widened to a massive $2.3 billion, says Labour Leader Andrew Little.  “We used to have a health ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Catherine Delahunty: My Mataura River visit
    On June 1st the Greens swimmable rivers tour visited the Mataura river and communities connected to it. All we need now is a Government willing to set clear strong rules and support the new conversation about measuring our success by ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    3 weeks ago