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Key’s “high ethical standards”

Written By: - Date published: 9:52 am, October 30th, 2014 - 55 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, john key - Tags: , , ,

Long long ago Key promised us “a higher standard of government”, and that his ministers would be held to high ethical standards. Perhaps he meant it at the time, but he long ago abandoned that promise in favour of getting away with any damn thing he could. Case in point, yesterday in question time:

Dr Russel Norman : Is the Prime Minister satisfied that his office upheld the highest ethical standards when his employee Jason Ede accessed the Labour Party’s private database without permission?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : In answer to the first part of the question, yes.

What? The first part of the question?

Dr Russel Norman : When did he or his chief of staff become aware that Jason Ede, while employed on the Prime Minister’s staff, in his office, had accessed the Labour Party’s private database without permission from the Labour Party?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : My chief of staff became aware of the fact that Mr Ede had gone into the part of the Labour website that it had failed to properly secure, that its members apologised to their supporters for this, and that the database was publicly available some time after that event occurred.

The database was “publicly available” if someone with sufficient technical skill knew how to sneak in, that person appears to have been a Nat staffer who showed Slater, who subsequently made a video explaining the complex process required to find this “publicly available” information.

Dr Russel Norman : Is the Prime Minister now saying that it is acceptable behaviour for ministerial staff to go into private databases—which they have no right to go into; they have not gained permission to go into them—take the data from those databases, and share it with attack bloggers like Slater? Is that now acceptable, ethical behaviour for ministerial staff?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : What I am saying is that that part of the website was publicly available for people to go into. What I am also saying to the House is that, no, I do not agree with Nicky Hager being part of an action to steal emails. I do not agree with people coming to the National Party cocktail party and secretly taping our people. No, I do not agree with people secretly taping other activities undertaken by us. I think the member, actually, should pick up a mirror and have a bit of a look.

Key runs the “but the front door was open” defence (no it wasn’t, see above) then falls back on his usual deflect and attack. Highest ethical standards? Not so much.

A question that still needs to come up in Parliament is, just who were the “senior nats” that Slater was working with in plans to release Labour’s confidential information, in an attempt to embarrass and intimidate Labour members and donors? (Slater: “it will shut down their donors, shut down their it systems shut down their membership flow and shut down their online campaigns”). They would have done it too, if Labour’s forensics hadn’t linked the intrusion back to the Nats. National’s highest ethical standards? Not so much.

As even John Armstrong acknowledges, there are questions still to be asked.


In bizarre but related news today, Key claims to know the identity of Rawshark.

Mr Key is quoted as saying: “Someone phoned and told me who the hacker was, but other than having a look at this person, I thought, ‘Oh well … nothing will come of it. Life goes on’.”

So – the police didn’t need to go and trample all over Nicky Hager’s home for 10 hours after all – because Key already knows. Uh huh.

55 comments on “Key’s “high ethical standards””

  1. shorts 1

    key will say anything, stand by that and believe anything for minutes if it suits the outcome he desires…. asking him to do anything longer requires a hefty service fee, one that NZ cannot afford

    to expect anything else is foolhardy at best

    the sad outcome of this is politicians and business types are emulating his complete lack of ethics, values or plain decency – we’ve hit open season on being a complete wanker thanks to this govt

  2. In the new chapter from John Roughan’s biography of Key didn’t Steven Joyce also say that Ede resigned from his post the evening of the release of ‘Dirty Politics’? (That’s what my partner mentioned having read this morning from Facebook or twitter … the link doesn’t mention that point.)

    If true, that’s a strange response from an entirely innocent person.

    (Anthony, at least for me the last link goes to a page about the Nobel Prize Winner donating her winnings to Gaza – not to Key’s comment about Rawshark.)

    • r0b 2.1

      Ooops – wrong tab – fixed, ta.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 2.2

      As people pointed out when they first said ‘Ede resigned in january’, that nothing changed for him as he was working out of the Beehive.

      Its all a bit of butt covering as Ede had to be pushed as far away as possible, in theory only.

    • This is the link to the Steven Joyce comment about Ede resigning on the evening of the release of Dirty Politics:

      Roughan’s book also quotes reports National Party campaign manager and Cabinet Minister Steven Joyce saying Mr Key’s former senior media adviser Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the evening Dirty Politics was released at Wellington’s Unity Books — more than five weeks before the election.

      That conflicts with a National Party statement released after the election which stated Mr Ede had resigned the day before the election.

      As I said, that’s an unusual reaction for an innocent person – and/or an unusual demand from National given that their claim that evening was that what was detailed in the book was either a ‘left wing conspiracy’ or, anyway, amounted to ‘business as usual’ politics.

  3. blue leopard 3

    Question and Answer time is a chance that the opposition parties get to question the governments actions and decisions.

    Incorporating the opposition parties in parliamentary process in this way, is an important aspect of our democracy that helps to keep those currently in power accountable and discourages the abuse of power, among other things.

    We require the people in the highly privileged position of representing us, and being paid well to do this, to respect this process (and others) that keeps the government in check.

    That these types of answers are accepted in the house is a disgrace.

    To accept this degenerate calibre of answer in the house shows disrespect and contempt to important aspects of our democracy and also to all New Zealanders

    It is making a joke our our democracy and degenerating it.

  4. ghostwhowalksnz 4

    The police or SIS ( and thats who Key got his info from) knew all about Rawshark before the book was released. They have had close watch on Hager for quite some time.

    We know that the Police were aware Don Brashs emails were in Hagars hands long before the book was released and before Brash made an official complaint about his ‘stolen’ emails.

  5. politikiwi 5

    “Someone phoned and told me who the hacker was”

    We heard this sort of refrain in the past in relation to Winston Peters’ visit to Kim Dotcom’s mansion. In that case, the phone call came from one Cameron Slater. I wonder if the same is true here?

    Also, it seems like a lot of people have John Key’s phone number and just call him up every now and then. If this person knows who the hacker is, why didn’t Key put them in touch with Police?

    • shorts 5.1

      if memory serves, slater not long after the book was published said he knew who the hacker was.

      • politikiwi 5.1.1

        Well, if that’s the case, I wonder if Police requested a warrant to search that person’s house? If not, why not?

        They’d probably answer that the only evidence pointing to this person was the word of Cameron Slater, which is worth the same as his credibility (zero).

        My cynical side suggests that even if they had evidence, they’d still have raided Hager’s place as this is about intimidation rather than investigation.

        • shorts 5.1.1.1

          I’m with ya cynical side – there is no real win in naming or pursuing the hacker, other than as a distraction – the Nats don’t want to tempt fate and push rawshark or others to release even more damning evidence

          attacking Hagar is the strategy as it discredits the contents of book to many/some

          as a twitter aside this made me laugh:

          John Key ‏@johnkeypm 9m9 minutes ago
          Cricket legend Sir Richard Hadlee invites fans to New Zealand for #CWC15: http://youtu.be/OFewqjVeCfo

          Alex Coleman ‏@ShakingStick 4m4 minutes ago
          . @johnkeypm This is a clue eh. Is Paddles Rawshark?

      • Tracey 5.1.2

        he also kept saying it was dotcom

      • lprent 5.1.3

        Slater lies constantly about things that he has absolutely no way to know about.

        A good example was he absolutely said through several posts that the author r0b on this site was Rob Salmond – apparently because the fool thought that a coincidence of name was “evidence”. A few years later Anthony r0bbins outed himself as being r0b and shifted to authoring under his own name. Many of the authors throughout r0b’s authoring history were aware of who of who he really was.

        There have been many instances, both to do with this site and in the wider community, where Cameron Slater was known to have deliberately lied about facts. In my view, even when he isn’t lying about facts, his interpretation of the significance of events usually contains several lies both direct, and by omission.

        What I am surprised about are the idiots (like Josie Pagani whenever she talks on our authors) who appear to appear to regard him as a reliable source because I can’t think where else some of the more stupid things some people say can have come from.

        If you are wise, then assume that Cameron Slater is always lying. Then you are probably going to be accurate.

      • karol 5.1.4

        Yep. Around the time of the court case, Slater said hew thought he knew who Rawshark was, but couldn’t be completely sure. He didn’t have confirming evidence, so couldn’t name him to the police.

        • Tracey 5.1.4.1

          seems out of character to let that stopping him blabbing

        • lprent 5.1.4.2

          I guess that he has been courted into being more cautious about blaming things because his arsehairs told him to do so?

        • Murray Rawshark 5.1.4.3

          That’s more bullshit from Slug Boy. If someone for some filthy reason wants to help the police, they give them the name of the suspect and tell them what they do know. It’s then up to highly ethical detectives to fabricate the evidence.

  6. Stickler 6

    Key’s just trying to flush out Rawshark.

    “Having a look at this person” means asking the secret squirrels to go hell for leather to find evidence.

    If I were Rawshark, I’d be doing the deep spring cleaning, if it’s not already completed.

    • politikiwi 6.1

      I suspect it already has been – the WhaleDump Twitter account mentioned that all equipment used in the hack and the leak had been destroyed.

  7. Dialey 7

    “If no one is accountable, the problem must lie in the system. This is the inevitable conclusion and the reason that the public is right to be indignant. Every barrel has its rotten apples, but the problem, comes when the whole barrel is rotten.
    Much of what has gone on can only be described by the words ‘moral deprivation’. Something wrong had happened to the moral compass of so many of the people working in the financial sector. When the norms of a society change in a way that so many have lost their moral compass—and the few whistle-blowers go unheeded—that says something significant about the society. The problem is not just the individuals who have lost their moral compass but society itself.”
    Joseph Stiglitz

    • Draco T Bastard 7.1

      +1

      And the rise of neoliberalism seems to have increased the spread of that moral deprivation.

  8. Andrew Welsh 8

    ‘his ministers would be held to high ethical standards’

    As reported in the Herald 3 April 2011, [r0b: deleted: We’ll leave people’s personal lives out of it thanks.]

    People in glasshouses …, so much for espousing the merits of following the moral compass

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.1

      What do you know of morality, when your own compass points to “he did it too” as some kind of defence?

      Do you know the difference between ethics and morals, by the way?

  9. CnrJoe 9

    If it hasn’t been mentioned – do the Police now have to ring the Prime Minister or the Minister Responsible for Ministerial Services or the Minister of National Security and Intelligence or the Minister of Tourism or Bronaghs husband or Moonbeams jailer or Camerons Slaters Beehive tipline or National Party Leader or whoever he can claim to be or not be at any moment and get the name of Rawshark? whew.

    • TheContrarian 9.1

      “If it hasn’t been mentioned – do the Police now have to ring the Prime Minister”

      Good point. If he does know then wouldn’t he be then withholding information on a current criminal investigation?

      • Nic the NZer 9.1.1

        I am pretty sure the Prime Minister doesn’t know who Rawshark is. The police are clearly waiting for the leader of the National party to appear (at an opportune moment) so they can contact him and extract the lead however.

    • BLiP 9.2

      No. The police must now ring His Orifice.

  10. Tracey 10

    higher ethical standards? oh you mean the cabinet manual!?? anyone able to link to articles in msm mentioning this part of the cabinet manual in their treatment of key or collins behaviour over the last year or two?

  11. James 11

    ‘the complex process required to find this “publicly available” information’

    That appears to be incorrect. All I saw in the video was someone going to healthyhomeshealthykiwis.org.nz and getting a directory listing. There’s no hacking involved.

  12. BLiP 12

    Long long ago Key promised us “a higher standard of government”, and that his ministers would be held to high ethical standards. Perhaps he meant it at the time, but he long ago abandoned that promise in favour of getting away with any damn thing he could . . .

    Yep, and John Key is still getting away with it. How long ago was it that John Key lied through his teeth about the upgrading of Ministerial BMWs?

    the decision to buy brand new BMWs was made by the Department of Internal Affairs without reference either to their minister or to me

    I didn’t have a clue that Ministerial Services, which I am in charge of, was going to buy brand new BMWs

    even though four of my ministers knew all about it, I didn’t have a clue that brand new BMWs were being bought.

    even though my Chief of Staff met with officials to discuss purchase of the the brand new BMWs, I didn’t have a clue

    even though I personally signed papers discussing the matter, I still didn’t have a clue

    Labour forced us into buying the brand new BMWs, its their fault

    ummm, look, sorry about that BMW thing , it was because I was so upset

    And why was he upset? A dead soldier. Today John Key is preparing to send more New Zealanders into a mass murder American Imperialist venture.

    This time round for the upgraded BMWs, John Key has the gumption to at least acknowledge his mendacity but describes his handling of that earlier situation as “sloppy”. Its like he now realises that the lies were clumsy rather than wrong. No doubt John Key’s calculated lies are now far better planned and executed – “we will not put troops in without a United Nations mandate” – but John Key’s casual disregard for the truth is instinctive. Check out the whopper he told the House last week . . .

    . . . I did not admit to having abused the OIA process. . .

    . . . didn’t bat an eyelid.

    So there’s your National Ltd™ Cult of John Key’s version of “higher ‘effecal’ standards” so far they they relate to the Leader. Ask Maurice Williamson if he was talking as an electorate MP or a Minister, or . . . whatshername . . . you know, the one who John Key says is disHonourable? I suppose every good cult needs a few “Heads On Spikes” to keep the flock focused. Situation isn’t helped by the indolent “Fourth Esate” which ignores John Key possibly misleading Parliament (IMNSHO) in favour of cheering on the crushing of the crusher.

    Yeah, I know, news of John Key telling another lie hardly compares with the human rights abuses being visited on effective journalism. The disparity in justice can be observed through a comparison between the police actions surrounding the sexual abuse of youngsters vs the police actions against someone annoying John Key by telling inconvenient truths. Still, it is rather chilling to realise that the practice of deceit by the National Ltd™ Cult of John Key is observed even in the mundane.

    But back to the BMWs – riddle me this: if you were the ‘Noozullund’ Minister of Tourism, would it be a good idea to demonstrate the nation’s “100% Pure” brand by purchasing the latest and greatest electric cars? Just askin’.

    • blue leopard 12.1

      There are a fair few people, now, who realise that NZ’s new brand is now “100% Pure Bullshit” (that is why we need a new flag). This shift is because that is what a majority of New Zealander’s who vote seem to think is a winning quality.

      Too bad for those of us who don’t view things that way – we are forced to experience this horror-ride despite our views, and just remember: don’t complain cos muddle nu zilinders don’t loik it wen anyone does that, they gets upset. It must be terribly upsetting having one’s concentration in the seamless reassurring lie disturbed, even for the time it takes someone to say “it’s a left-wing conspiracy”. That moment must be so scary for them, so ‘shhhh’, people who do such upsetting thungs just thunk to much and we can’t be having that. No thunking please just watch some more rugby, have anuvva beer and repeat after me ‘trust them, they know what they are doing” and she’ll be roight.

  13. Skinny 13

    I would be picking Rawshark has some embarrassing connection to National, not sure what but probably a former young Nat who is a IT geek, maybe a son of a high ranking party man, bit like Slater in this regard.

    Really comes as no surprise Key probably knows their identity. In typical Key fashion shrugging his shoulders and saying “oh well” kind of hints at that. In the mean time the police are sent in to harass Hager for kicks.

    • Anne 13.1

      In the mean time the police are sent in to harass Hager for kicks.

      Not for kicks. Intimidation yes, but also Key needs to find out what else Hager has got on him. Problem is, us loony Lefties – with (I suspect) a large smattering of principled people who are not necessarily on the Left thrown in – have helped Hager raise enough money to have a good legal team around him and stop him finding out through the police. He might have to resort to instructing the SIS and GCSB to do it… if he hasn’t already done so through his sidekick, Chris Finlayson.

  14. Russel Norman should keep this going

    Dr Norman this afternoon said: “‘If this is the Prime Minister now saying that he thinks he knows who Rawshark is the question for the police is why aren’t they raiding his house?

    “The police spent 10 hours going through Nicky Hager’s house because Nicky Hager supposedly knows who Rawshark is, well the Prime Minister is now on the public record saying he knows who Rawshark is. I would expect the police to be consistent and even handed and to raid the Prime Minister’s house and his office to find out who Mr Key thinks Rawshark is.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11350747

  15. Tracey 15

    has anyone got a link to where anyone in the media asked key shy he announced ede left after the election when he left weeks before? I cant find it.

    • marty mars 15.1

      not media but Russel again – close perhaps

      Roughan’s book also quotes reports National Party campaign manager and Cabinet Minister Steven Joyce saying Mr Key’s former senior media adviser Jason Ede stopped working for the National Party on the evening Dirty Politics was released at Wellington’s Unity Books — more than five weeks before the election.

      That conflicts with a National Party statement released after the election which stated Mr Ede had resigned the day before the election.

      Hager’s book claims Mr Ede was a central figure in a political dirty tricks campaign run out of Mr Key’s office.

      Dr Norman said Mr Key should have said during the election campaign that Mr Ede was no longer working for the National Party.

      “Mr Key seems to spend a lot of time as the leader of the National Party, not as the Prime Minister, so you’d think he would have known that Mr Ede was no longer working for the National Party as has been revealed today.

      “If New Zealanders during the election campaign had known that Mr Ede was no longer working for the National Party they would have realised that there was a lot of weight in the very serious allegations in Nicky Hager’s book, and that’s why the National Party didn’t want anyone to know that Mr Ede was no longer working for them.”

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11350747

      • One Anonymous Bloke 15.1.1

        If New Zealanders during the election campaign had known that Mr Ede was no longer working for the National Party they would have realised that there was a lot of weight in the very serious allegations in Nicky Hager’s book…

        No, Russel, they wouldn’t have: have you been associating with economists? Their logic and intellectual rigour are equally shite.

      • Tracey 15.1.2

        exactly. .. the media have not seen fit to quote the cabinet manual or at least call for it to be burnt as redundant. this allows the public to conclude that if no law is broken their conduct is fine. the manual states otherwise.

  16. RedbaronCV 16

    Well can we infer from this what the focus groups are saying that is worrying Key?

    Looks like a good number of people are saying he demanded the raid on Hager and they don’t like the look of it. So if he says he knows then obviously the police are acting independently. But why did he not pass the name on or the name of his contact to the police. After all he surely cannot claim journalistic privilege.

    And who was his contact? has some state agency been watching Nicky?

    And we keep getting the huge flag distraction. Unpopular housing policy and war policies?

    • les 16.1

      think you may find he couldn’t care less.The Natz think they are invincible now,and unless Labour wake up real quick,they will be.

  17. Doug Stuart 17

    When are we going to get a conclusion on the fake e-mail ? (never)

  18. Sable 18

    Maybe they should change their name to the National Anti-Socialist Party and be done with it.

  19. cogito 19

    The only part of “ethical” that Key understands is that most kiwis are too “thic” to do anything about his constant deceptions.

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  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    6 days ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    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”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    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
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    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?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    33 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
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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