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Key used Nat research unit to search for smear on Clark’s husband

Written By: - Date published: 10:12 am, November 7th, 2008 - 47 comments
Categories: election 2008, helen clark, john key - Tags:

After weeks of griping about dirty tactics, it has been revealed in the NBR that Key ordered the tax-payer funded National Party research unit to rake over the records of Prime Minister Clark’s husband Peter Davis’s academic grants looking for a smear. Clark revealed the attempted smear in an interview on AltTV.

‘In June this year when the health research council grants grants were announced my husband got a grant,’ Miss Clark said, ‘because he’s a researcher at a university, goes back 40 years. When those grants were announced National put in an Official Information Act request demanding to see all the reviewers’ reports, really trying to get at some kind of smear that my husband got grants not because of his academic reputation but because of me.’

Suffice to say, National’s attack on Clark’s family was a fizzer

Is it appropriate for Key to order taxpayer funds to be spent trolling through the affairs of the family of another politician, especially as he has demanded that no-one look into his past?

You can watch the AltTV interview on Sky or streaming on the internet at www.alttv.co.nz at 8pm.

47 comments on “Key used Nat research unit to search for smear on Clark’s husband”

  1. Ron Shaw 1

    They are as bad as each other. National looks for dirt on those of the left. Labour looks for dirt on those of the right. Seems to me that the politicians have lost their moral compasses.

  2. Ron. Try the Greens, they don’t do smears

  3. milo 3

    I don’t approve of this. But it was a pretty minor OIA, it seems, and also was not the centrepiece of National’s campaign. Still, it was wrong.

    Amusing that the NBR broke it!

  4. Let’s not forget the National Party Research unit working with (and possibly funding) Cameron “reverse Midas” Slater…

  5. william 5

    Well written piece by DPF here:

    [Tane: Please link to articles, don’t copy and paste them in full. Also, off-topic.]

  6. Lew 6

    Quit shilling for the blues.

    L

    This post inspired by recaptcha: `an Smither’. It’s an obscure one, but someone might get it 🙂

  7. randal 7

    what a lot of tripe from a tory sadsack
    where is LPRENT when you need him
    wipe that crap off the board
    it is just allegation after alegation
    smear after smear
    then a conclusion
    JOhn Keys is a great guy
    give him a go
    allright
    GO AWAY
    you have caused to much trouble for absolutely no return so please push off and dont come back and telll your mates at the national party to find someone who is up to the job

  8. LOL. Excuse me, but what party sent someone to aussie to dig up dirt on John?

  9. sean 9

    [no homophobia permitted here. take it to kiwiblog. SP]

  10. and which party claimed that was beyond the pale? the same one that was itself using taxpayer money to investigate the family of its opponents’ leader?

  11. gingercrush 11

    It was Brian Edwards who leaked this on the TV One debate. The big difference between what National did and Labour did. Was Labour used the fact they were digging up dirt as part of their campaign while National left it alone.

    Thus media picked up on what Labour was doing and combined with their advertisements on Trust. It looked like dirty politics. I notice their largely trust campaign has basically fallen away. I think the left should be really disappointed in Labour’s campaign this year.

  12. Spider_Pig 12

    The Nats didn’t go around whispering “neutron bomb” for months, only to end up with a water bomb that they dropped on themselves.

    [deleted. if you find have have to make offensice comments, Spider_Pig, we don’t need you commenting on our site. Go back to Kiwiblog. SP]

  13. Ms M 13

    Steve, its not the first time Key has shown his inexperience.

    – legislate 40% for Super Fund investment in New Zealand, direction from Finance Minister

    – Pharmac, fund 12 mth Herceptin, seems Key left “Medical Practicioner” out of his CV, who knew?

  14. Matthew Pilott 14

    The big difference between what National did and Labour did.

    At least Mike Williams wasn’t looking into the affairs of one Bronagh Key.

  15. bill brown 15

    Spot the worried righty.

    Or play

    The Election Night Drinking Game

  16. dave 16

    The NBR article did not say that it was a smear. Nor does it say that it was the Research unit that did the OIA, nor does it say that they raked over reperts . Unlike Labour, if National were looking for a smear they would have found one.

    Instead Labour’s failure to find a smear has lost it the election. Bring back smear tests!

  17. Ianmac 17

    Steve. I wrote about this on Standard yesterday and passed it on in other blogs. It comes from Brian Edwards in the post Leaders Debate on Wed night.
    The significance was the timing. At exactly the same moments that John Key was complaining about Labour using their Research Unit to investigate Key, was when the Nat Research Unit was hunting for “dirt” not even on a politician!
    Hypocritical????

  18. At least Mike Williams wasn’t looking into the affairs of one Bronagh Key.

    And he did the research from his own pocket.

  19. gingercrush 19

    He didn’t do the research with his own money. Helen Clark confirmed that Mike Williams trip was paid for. Labour should have got to this much sooner and not left this so late. Because as a National voter I actually think National looking into Peter Davies is stupid and could have done damage. Unfortunately, they left it too late and I suspect we won’t see either TV One or TV 3 cover it.

  20. Barb 20

    These right wingers would say black was white..

  21. Ianmac 21

    Dave said: “The NBR article did not say that it was a smear. Nor does it say that it was the Research unit that did the OIA, nor does it say that they raked over reperts (sic)”
    The proof of this is that the use of the OIA is recorded. The requests were from the National Party tax-funded Research Unit.
    you can’t avoid the facts. Hypocrisy at its worst from John Key!

  22. sp – I dont think i saw Sean mention anything about sexual preference. He mentioned ‘lewd acts’. That could be anything… unless you know directly the rumour he is referring to?

    [of course I know what the homophobic smear is. SP]

  23. Matthew Pilott 23

    The NBR article did not say that it was a smear.

    Oh, mustn’t have been one then. Glad you cleared that up!

    Umm, actually, dave, what was it then? Just some run-of-the-mill research for the Nat research unit? You know, every-day research into the partners of Labour MPs?

  24. “Wellingtonian
    sp – I dont think i saw Sean mention anything about sexual preference. He mentioned ‘lewd acts’. That could be anything unless you know directly the rumour he is referring to?”

    We know exactly what you are alluding to, I’m sure you and every one else are very well aware that no such thing happened. If you believe otherwise you should go to the police with your evidence, if not, your facilitating child molestation (regardless of whether it actually append) for political gain, hang your head in shame, you’re filth.

  25. Killinginthenameof: I am not aware of the content of the rumour. I have not heard it before coming here today…. you filth.

  26. dave 26

    Umm, actually, dave, what was it then?
    Matthew, I know NCEA must have been a bit of a struggle for you, but the report said it was an OIA request. So it must have been, then.

  27. AndyC 27

    I think its a fair OIA. If you are on the funding board , which he is , and your own project gets a Govt funded grant , which it did. You should expect some scrutiny.

  28. Matthew Pilott 28

    Oh is that so, dave? Because last I heard Williams took a ‘flight’ to Melbourne, not a ‘smear’. Good luck for NCEA when you get there.

  29. Ianmac 29

    Andy C said: “I think its a fair OIA. If you are on the funding board , which he is , and your own project gets a Govt funded grant , which it did. You should expect some scrutiny.”
    I am nearly breathless at your audacity!
    You think that it is OK to use Nat Research Unit to look for any irregularity of a private citizen.
    You think no doubt that it is OK for the Govt Research Unit to check the credibility of one who aspires to the highest office in the land. Yes/No

  30. dave 30

    Because last I heard Williams took a ‘flight’ to Melbourne, not a ‘smear

    That’s right – took the flight to look for a smear – look for a smear, which is pretty much want I said. Shit, your comprehension is appalling, Pilott. He brought the smear back. Didn’t you know? At least the thought he brought the smear back – but he didn’t get a proper smear test before airing it. Pilott, you’re a classic! You should join the Labour party. Have a chat to Mike Williams – he`ll show you the ropes. He needs people like you.

  31. insider 31

    Ianmac

    I’m nearly breathless at your naivety. He is the husband of the PM who received a large dollop of public funds. That is hardly a private citizen. Even HC says such investigation is to be expected. If Key’s wife was on the receiving end of govt largesse I’d expect similar questions from LAbour, and rightly so. Shipley got investigated by Labour when her sister got appointed to the arts council or lottery board or such. Just as the appointment and dealings of Annette King’s husband were researched in relation to HBDHB. I’m sure there are plenty more in relation to similar issues around other MPs’ and Ministers’ families.

    The real test of character is how it is done and what is done with the info. They asked a question privately and when they got an answer they left it at that. No journalists were tipped off, no documents anonymously emailed, no blogs seeded with rumours. No-one would know about this except for Labour wingeing about it. It happened months and months ago and is only coming out now because of the backfiring campaign strategy – the “they did it too” schoolyard excuse. I’d say the Nats acted very appropriately in this instance while Labour clearly failed the test.

  32. Felix 32

    dave,

    Keep going, you’re almost there.

    So far you’ve figured out that Williams took a flight to look for a smear.

    And you’ve twigged that the NPRU made an OIA request… to… look…….for……… a………

    Come on dave, you can get there if you try.

  33. ianmac,
    At exactly the same moments that John Key was complaining about Labour using their Research Unit to investigate Key, was when the Nat Research Unit was hunting for “dirt’ not even on a politician!

    Elsewhere I’ve heard this termed TWO PARTY thinking. As in derivative dealings with party, counterparty. The dealer usually takes deal from/for the first and – not least to double fees – then seeks out someone else to take it on. The dealer, of course, can also be that someone else. In derivatives. In politics.. like you say, different values can apply and hypocritical is bullseye.

    Am I aiding or abetting explanation of this laddie’s behavior.. and why moral aspects can become a big nothing to what Richard Whalen (a noted risk manager at the Fed) calls plastic people. Just love that term, don’t you..?

  34. Swampy 34

    Davis was appointed to a health board back in the 80s wasn’t he? By his wife, then the Minister of Health, IIRC.

    If correct, the ultimate conflict of interest,

  35. lprent 35

    insider: What a pile of bollocks.

    I just had a peek at the National Party site where it says

    It’s time to get rid of the political distractions and the sideshows and choose a Government that is focused on what matters to you.

    What a pack of hypocrites! Most of the sideshows have been created and nutured by National or their pet poodle Act over the last 6 years. Few have amounted to anything of substance when they are finally laid to rest. What National is whining about is the political environment that they have created.

    Win or lose, then I’d expect that the “political distractions and the sideshows” will continue – targeted at National/Act. I’ll certainly help. If it is the only way to way to restore some balance in the political system, then so be it. It is time to stop being bloody polite. In some ways having a National lead government would be a lot of fun – performing death by a thousand cuts. If its Labour lead, then it will be a bit harder, but it is time to slice and dice National and their yellow poodle

  36. ak 36

    Ianmac: I am nearly breathless at your audacity!

    Likewise, Ian: after the deluge of filth I’ve merely glimpsed on the rightie blogs for at least the past year, kiwiblergh rejects coming over here to whine “smear” is like rats crawling out of the sewer to impersonate health inspectors…

  37. Ianmac 37

    Insider: You have said many things that are true. I agree that politicians esp, and people getting public money, should be held accountable. Yes and use the Research Unit to do so.
    BUT the point here is that Key was complaining endlessly about “pigs” digging for “dirt” and how nasty it was that they should be doing so WHILE his unit was doing the SAME THING! That is the hypocrisy and distinctly slippery for a would-be PM!

  38. insider 38

    Ianmac

    I think the subtle difference here is that this was known about at least a year ago, and was public and had been investigated by the law, but Labour kept digging in some delusionary process where there was only one acceptable outcome.

    Like I say, if there is something there it is how you use it that you should be judged by. If there is nothing there and you still attempt to use it then it is dirty smearing. There was nothing there in Key’s case.

    Here’s a story from 2001

    “CLAIMS PM’S HUSBAND USED INFLUENCE TO GET FRIEND A JOB

    Claims in Parliament today that the Prime Minister’s husband Peter Davis used his influence to get a friend a job reviewing the Government’s drug buying agency PHARMAC. A paper trail shows Helen Clark’s private secretary forwarded an e-mail from Dr Davis recommending Canadian Joel Lexchin for the job. Miss Clark says her husband is an expert in public health policy and it was appropriate he made a recommendation on a PHARMAC reviewer. ”

    Or Trevor Mallard’s follow up where he claimed Mary English got preferntial entry to university on race not merit – which turned out to be totally false and he had to apologise.

    Russell Brown did a very good story on the tit for tat going on

    http://www.nznews.net.nz/hardnews/2001/20010323.html

  39. insider, and that has what to do with Key’s hypocrisy?

  40. insider 40

    Lynn

    asking questions of govt is the job of the opposition. You may not like them, you may think they are mischievous and many don;t pan out. But many have and the Nats can hardly be blamed for asking about actions around for instance the immigration dept, dept of internal affairs, MfE which led to the sacking of two ministers, two CEOs (sorry resignations…) and a senior manager.

    Steve

    What hypocrisy? I don’t think he said his background shouldn’t be looked at at all, ever, as you imply. I could be wrong. The issue here was they didn’t just look, they had a campaign of innuendo in which the Standard took part

  41. spot 41

    Last I recall the Nats were sniffing around the HRC from way back, well, certainly McCully and Ryall were, well before June this year.

    In general it’s usally pretty rich pickings to trawl through and see if you can make hay from a “shonky research” type angle.

    There’ll be stories somewhere on the net linked to that, for those bothered to look for them.

    The PM may well be correct in stating the NPRU filed an OIA request, but precisely for what ends, well, what gives her that level of certainty that it was about her husband? Is the actual request wording available?

  42. lprent 42

    insider: Yes asking questions is the duty of the opposition. However what National, Act, and the various wingnuts have been doing has gone way beyond that. Basically the policies labour have been pursuing have been well liked by the electorate. So the things that the right have been pulling in have been tabloid paper stuff. Personality politics designed for a screaming headline. For instance ‘paintergate’ – that was just total trash. The tennisball stuff. What in the hell did they have to do with anything substantive.

    Then you see hypocrisy like this crap on the National site. Oh lets all pull together style. Well stuff that – it is war! National and their poodle have been running a dirty negative campaign for 6 years. I’m pissed off with their dirt techniques. Labour has just (finally) started to respond. I want more of it, there is a point where you stop being nice.

  43. randal 43

    besides being standover types nats usually have a particular character disorder of wanting to nosy through other peoples affairs
    its a form of incipient paranoia and also indicative of the fact that like psychopaths in general they have no real affective lives of their own.

  44. Yep Lynn – you should see the stuff I’ve been digging out over the last month about the Nat’s dirty tricks machine…

  45. Ianmac 45

    Insider: How would you place the machinery from National and Act that was so active in attempting to convict Winston Peters? I don’t care whether you approved of him or not. I see that campaign as the dirtiest of smears and all of them have proved to be unfounded. (Lets leave the Privileges Committee out of it.) Good use of taxpayers money?

  46. AndyC 46

    lanmac , given his position and that of his wife , I find it more worrying that an OIA had to sort to have the information made public. Would it have made more sense to put the peer reviews on the table at the same time as the funding announcement to shut down the speculation in the first place.
    I have no doubt that the funding is warranted and the peer reviews are positive, I havn’t read them, and wouldn’t imagine for one moment that he would engage in any shonky dealing, but, handling of public funds should be open to inspection and review of those decisions where there is a perceived conflict of interest.

  47. insider 47

    Ianmac

    Most of the info appears to have come from public sources or leaks from NZF and spoke for themselves. N/Act exploited it for sure just as Labour turned a deliberate blind eye to it.

    Peters has hardly been exonerated – his last four annual returns have been found to be false and he has been caught dissembling about donations, use of helicopters and his links to certain high level donors. I think I commented here that he was unlikely to have done anything illegal but that is not the minimum standard I expect from a minister of the Crown.

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    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
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    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 week ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
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    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    1 day ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    2 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    2 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    3 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    3 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    3 weeks ago

  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
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    34 mins ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Making progress for our kids
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
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    1 day ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
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    2 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
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    2 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
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    2 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
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    2 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
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    2 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
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    2 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
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    3 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
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    3 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
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    3 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
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    3 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
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    4 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
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    5 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
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    5 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
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    6 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
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    6 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
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    7 days ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
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    7 days ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
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    7 days ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
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    7 days ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
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