Let the courts decide

Written By: - Date published: 9:46 am, October 11th, 2011 - 57 comments
Categories: accountability, blogs, democracy under attack, democratic participation, human rights, john key, national, radio, suppression orders - Tags: ,

The threat of invoking defamation is a standard tactic to intimidate those who can’t afford the legals bills to shut their mouths. Such threats are sometimes known as strategic lawsuits against public participation or SLAPPS.

My understanding of Lange v. Atkinson (2000) and the qualified privilege afforded to political commentary that it enshrines, suggests there is no way a defamation case against Martyn Bradbury for his comments about John Key on RNZ’s Panel could be successful: considering Bradbury was invited on as a left-wing political commentator on a show that invites him to give a soliloquy on his openly left-wing opinions; and considering Bradbury’s comments were counter-balanced by critical comments from John Bishop and the ‘host’ Jim Mora immediately following Bradbury’s comments. (Comments that I personally thought were entirely justified and deserved considerably more serious on-air discussion than they received at the time or since. What’s so defamatory about asking “what a nasty little piece of work our Prime Minister is” anyway, given truth is a defence in such cases after all?)

But despite the gargantuan dual insults to free media speech and the independence of our state owned broadcasters that this SLAPP represents, we won’t see any legal challenges coming from APN, Fairfax or Mediaworks, or indeed RNZ or TVNZ. The former three because it doesn’t suit their commercial interests, that latter two because they are both already utterly cowed by their political masters.

So my question is would the blogosphere, political groups and those otherwise interested in the defence of free speech contribute to Bradbury’s legal fees if he was to call Key’s bluff and invite the PM to sue him? Or, should Key back down from that, then contribute to a case against RNZ for defaming Bradbury by suggesting he was guilty of defamation and therefore warranted banning. Perhaps unfair dismissal may also merit further investigation if a regular slot spanning 10 years could be said to be a contract?

It would help turn a broader public’s attention to what are fundamentally important issues for any democracy that cherishes free speech and political commentary – at a time when there are far few serious issues being otherwise addressed by the media. Who knows, it might even bring attention to the issues concerning Key’s appalling behaviour that Bradbury was actually trying to raise in the first place. Perhaps most importantly, it would be a strategic lawsuits of public participation. Hope would be a fine thing wouldn’t it?

If you want to let RNZ know how you feel about this political censorship, why not join those who are doing so on Facebook:
 
 
or by emailing CEO Peter Cavanagh: peter.cavanagh@radionz.co.nz

57 comments on “Let the courts decide”

  1. Kaplan 1

    I pledge $200. You have my email and I’ll happily contribute if hope holds out and it is required.
    I’ve registered my displeasure with RNZ over this, but to date no direct reply. It stinks to high heaven. Where is the free speech coalition when you need them…

    • lprent 1.1

      Please people, say what you’d like to put up, but don’t provide details. If it does go ahead we’ll help set up something to get clean and anonymous donations.

      Bearing in mind National has a rather mean, nasty and outright vindictive and bullying streak under John Key, it’d pay not to be particularly public about it.

  2. lprent 2

    This is exactly the point. Anyone who has even glanced at the question of defamation law in in NZ after the 2000 court of appeal ruling on Lange vs Atkinson (and listened to Bradburys actual rant) knows that there isn’t a possibility of a successful defamation case arising from it. That is one of the risks involved in seeking and taking public office as the court of appeal made quite clear.

    The same cannot be said of a potential case by Bradbury against persons in RNZ or John Key (or his minders) if in fact he (ore they) did say that Bradbury’s comments were defamatory. Now the second part of a defamation case is to show that damage happened as a result of the defamation. It is quite clear that has in fact happened.

    I’d be up for taking a case against John Key and/or his minders and/or RNZ. Amongst other things the disclosures required by those would be quite fascinating in finding out how exactly and from whom John Houson got the information that John Key was considering launching a defamation action.

    • Tigger 2.1

      An email from an unnamed source perhaps?

    • ianmac 2.2

      Had a reply to my email re Bomber from RNZ. see 22 on Open Mike. Included in the reply was “One of his comments was regarded as being potentially defamatory. The segment in question was removed from the Radio New Zealand website because it was considered to be potentially defamatory and Radio New Zealand has a duty to protect the organization against defamation proceedings. ” Wonder which one?
      Full text of the reply available if needed but sure that many received the same letter.

  3. queenstfarmer 3

    On what basis are you talking about “calling Key’s bluff”, when John Key hasn’t made any comment (let alone a bluff) on this at all? It is a bit bizzare to assert that John Key might “back down” from a threat he hasn’t made (besides, of course, unsubstantiated “rumours” from certain contributors here).

    This is a spat between Radio NZ and Bomber. Sounds like Bomber didn’t simply didn’t abide by the rules of his host, and that was that. If so, then it’s really no different to, say, abusing this website’s policies and getting banned.

    Having said that, I quite like Bomber’s style of commentary (when he sticks to the facts) and don’t want to see him lifetime banned, which is clearly OTT.

  4. It may be possible for Bomber to apply for an administrative law review of the decision not to invite him back onto Mora’s show.

    Anderton and the coiffured one applied six years ago for an injunction requiring them to be included in the leaders’ debates that year. The application was successful.

    There are different Acts at play here but the same sort of argument could be advanced, that it is in the public interest for the left to be represented and that Bomber’s exclusion is against the public interest in that it will stifle debate and have a chilling effect on guests wanting to take the PM to task.

    The case is at http://blog.greens.org.nz/wp-content/TV3Judgement.pdf if anyone wants to have a read of it.

    • lprent 4.1

      That is probably a damn sight better idea than the BSA or a defamation action.

    • thejackal 4.2

      +1 Forget the BSA… waste of time. Although a defamation case against RNZ would be highly entertaining, I don’t think it would be successful, highlight the attack on freedom of speech or restore the balance of public debate, the latter being the main goal. Will still keep an eye out for the donation details.

  5. Bomber’s comments were no less partisan than…oh let em see..Michelleallyoulike Boggy (National ) or Mathphew WHOton (worked for National). Surely this decision should stand up to a complaiont? What channel to seek an official complaint in light of other right whingers on the panel delivering right wing views – they just do the same but with a slightly subtle and far less funny tone.

  6. Matthew Hooton 6

    This is all nonsense. There is no way Key would ever sue or threaten to sue someone for comments like this. First, its not his style and, second, it would be certain to fail (as you point out) because of Lange v Atkinson. I doubt Key has given this any thought at all, and I doubt Richard Griffin even knows about it.

    • No, Key makes throat slash gestures and has his minions do his dirty work and if Key doesn’t sue Bradbury should not have been banned for giving his political views on the man.

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 6.1.1

        He was banned for reading his stupid blog post out word for word, stupidly.

        You have no idea how this ridiculous “democracy under attack!” nonsense looks to the normal people in New Zealand.

        • Campbell Larsen 6.1.1.1

          democracy under attack seems quite reasonable given the circumstances – if you want an example of nonsense look no further than ‘building a brighter future’

        • travellerev 6.1.1.2

          Gormy, You are getting quite emotional on this aren’t you?

          He made a throat slash movement and I have first hand info he tried to shut down descent in Hamilton (from very normal people here in NZ I might add) and he met with Lord Ashcroft in secret who is investigated and scorned in England for his shady banking practices. 
           

          • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 6.1.1.2.1

            Don’t forget Building 7, Ev.

            • travellerev 6.1.1.2.1.1

              What does building 7 have to do with this thread Gormy? This is about a scumbag bankster lying to the NZ people and thinking it’s all a great big joke to bankrupt the good hard working people (if incredibly naive of course) of this beautiful country!

              • Deadly_NZ

                It’s probably easier for the vultures waiting in the wings if Donkey just delivered the assets, rather than the ‘bankrupt’ the country like Spain and Greece.

                Most of their problems are caused by bloody speculators, who cause so much damage in their quest for the mighty dollar.

    • The Voice of Reason 6.2

      You’re probably right that Key hasn’t given this any thought, because that appears to be his usual approach to his job anyway. But why are you slagging off Richard Griffen? I thought he was on your team, Matthew and appointed to RNZ to make sure episodes like Bomber’s outpouring of truth don’t happen.
       
      Speaking of truth, are you comfortable with Key’s lies in the house and at the press conference?

      • Matthew Hooton 6.2.1

        I’m not slagging Richard off. I just doubt that he was briefed on this. (Although, yes, he probably has been by now.) But there is no possibility that he was involved in the decision.

        • the sprout 6.2.1.1

          there is no possibility that he was involved in the decision

          Certainly there is no possibility that he should have been involved, but I think we’ll see about that.

          • Jim Nald 6.2.1.1.1

            My unnamed source says this can’t be smiled and waved away and there is more than meets the eye. This is not a random comment I am making up.I cannot name my source.

            • thejackal 6.2.1.1.1.1

              Your unnamed source is you isn’t it? I can tell by your eyes.

            • travellerev 6.2.1.1.1.2

              Yes, I also have a “person” sending me emails and I talk to this person who is very trustworthy but is too chicken shit to stand up against the S&P liars and for me and my political future.

              ROFL!!!

        • mik e 6.2.1.2

          Debt going up a billion a week $77billion total Nactional are going to borrow before it gets better

    • That’s a worry Matthew. It means RNZ is now self-censoring in an overtly political manner without even so much as the need for a wink and a nod from on high.

      Thanks for making the point – very worrying indeed. 

  7. rocky 7

    This brings back memories of Crosby/Textor suing Nicky Hager for defamation. I’m left wondering exactly what made Radio NZ decide to take action. Did someone (i.e., John Key) actually threaten them with a defamation suit? The decision just seems a little too arbitrary to have been made out of the blue.

    • POg 7.1

      At the very least more questions need to be asked of RNZ if they are going around citing defamation issues.

    • Anne 7.2

      @ rocky
      More likely Captain Panic Pants on behalf of his master,

    • Morrissey 7.3

      The decision just seems a little too arbitrary to have been made out of the blue.

      A brief telephone chat to Richard Griffin was all that was necessary.

  8. It won’t be much but I will be donating. Added to that maybe a law student or someone prepared to make a pro bono political stand might be inspired to pick up the challenge!

  9. Gavin Ellis defends Bradbury against a ban on RNZ, Kathryn Ryan intimates RNZ’s position may be softening…

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/ninetonoon/audio/2499929/media-commentator-gavin-ellis.asx

  10. prism 10

    Self-censorship – the best sort. It doesn’t ruffle feathers, rock the boat, cause coolness between semi-government institutions and the politicals. Radio nz had better not go too far with this. Is Jim Mora’s right wing leaning show becoming a no-go area for strong criticism of NACTs and our leader funky Jokey Hen.

  11. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 11

    This is crazy. You know no-one is actually suing the bumptious cretin, right?

    • felix 11.1

      Then why did Radio NZ say so?

      • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 11.1.1

        Did they? Or did “Bomber” say they were?

        According to TV 3 A spokesperson for Radio New Zealand released this statement to 3 News this afternoon.

        Mr Bradbury’s invitation to take part in The Panel discussion segment was withdrawn because his personal comments about the Prime Minister were deemed to be in breach of Radio New Zealand’s editorial requirements for fairness and balance.One of his comments was regarded as being potentially defamatory.

        “Mr Bradbury’s comments were inconsistent with information he had provided to programme producers before going on air.

        “Mr Bradbury later apologised to the programme’s executive producer.It was made clear to him that while his invitation to appear as an occasional guest on The Panel was being withdrawn, it was not a ‘lifelong ban’ and it did not apply to other Radio New Zealand programmes.”

        Wouldn’t be the first time a self important lefty claimed everyone was out to get him (“accountability, blogs, democracy under attack, democratic participation, human rights, john key, national, radio, suppression order”) when really no-one gave a shit.

        • felix 11.1.1.1

          Sorry Ole, my mistake.

          As you point out they only said they believed it was potentially defamatory.

          I withdraw and apologise.

  12. RobM 12

    Feedback from Radio NZ re banning Bomber:

    “Hi Rob,

    Thanks for taking the time to contact Radio New Zealand… and for the very short message! We appreciate feedback from our regular listeners and I can assure you that your comment about Martyn Bradbury has been noted and passed on to the relevant people at Radio New Zealand National.

    Radio New Zealand has monitored and noted the on-line, email, and blog discussions over recent days relating to The Panel and Martyn Bradbury’s performance last week. There are several points that need to be made.

    Mr Bradbury has not been banned from Radio New Zealand. He was told that his invitation to appear as a future panellist on Afternoons had been withdrawn but there was no suggestion that it applied to other programmes.
    Radio New Zealand received many complaints from listeners regarding Mr. Bradbury’s comments on The Panel during Afternoons with Jim Mora last Thursday..

    The decision to withdraw Mr. Bradbury’s invitation to take part in future editions of The Panel was made by the programme’s Executive Producer immediately after the programme. That decision was supported by the senior manager responsible for the programme and subsequently by the Chief Executive and Editor-in-Chief.

    Mr. Bradbury’s invitation to participate on The Panel was withdrawn because his personal comments about the Prime Minister were deemed to be in breach of Radio New Zealand’s editorial requirements for fairness and balance. One of his comments was regarded as being potentially defamatory. The segment in question was removed from the Radio New Zealand website because it was considered to be potentially defamatory and Radio New Zealand has a duty to protect the organization against defamation proceedings.

    Participants on The Panel on Afternoons with Jim Mora are given plenty of latitude to express personal opinions but it is expected that these will be presented for engagement and discussion and that panellists will conform to Radio New Zealand’s editorial policies and broadcast standards. A relationship of trust and confidence between the programme presenter, producers, and panellists is essential for the programme to be effective.

    Mr Bradbury’s comments on The Panel on Afternoons last Thursday were inconsistent with information he had provided to programme producers before going on air and Mr Bradbury later apologised to the programme’s Executive Producer.
    It was made clear to him that while his invitation to appear as an occasional guest on The Panel was being withdrawn, it was not a ‘lifelong ban’.

    I hope this information clarifies some of the issues that have been raised over the last few days.

    Thanks again for your email.

    John Barr
    Communications Manager”

    My short email had the subject “Banning Bomber” and “Craven.” in the body.

    • ROFL, well at least until after the election!

    • Anne 12.2

      Mr. Bradbury’s invitation to participate on The Panel was withdrawn because his personal comments about the Prime Minister were deemed to be in breach of Radio New Zealand’s editorial requirements for fairness and balance.

      So there you have it. It was a political decision! The rest was just waffle and padding to justify their action!

      I was listening to that Panel session and Bomber Bradbury’s bombastic delivery was inappropriate for that type of programme. But he only deserved a rap over the knuckles and perhaps a warning – certainly not a ban. John Barr’s claim Bomber’s personal comments about Key were “unfair and unbalanced” is just a trumped up excuse for their own ‘over the top’ reaction. Anyone who has closely followed the political events of the past few weeks in particular, would know that Bomber’s comments were appropriate and accurate.

      • Tom Gould 12.2.1

        @ Anne, indeed. We all now have a new role, monitoring political comment on RNZ National, whether by guests or hosts, that could be construed as ‘personal comments’ about a political leader that can also be construed as ‘unfair or unbalanced’. These RNZ folks will have to add a few dollars to their internal legal advice budget, methinks.

        • The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 12.2.1.1

          No-one has a right to be on National Radio until the end of time. If you are a boring, ranty gobshite they are entitled not to invite you back.

          • travellerev 12.2.1.1.1

            Yeah, but not a lot of people thought Bomber was boring. Lot’s of epitaphs but boring not part of them! I personally find the middle aged talk radio Pakeha males with their condescending right wing demagoguery far more boring!

    • Morrissey 12.3

      . . .it is expected that these will be presented for engagement and discussion and that panellists will conform to Radio New Zealand’s editorial policies and broadcast standards. A relationship of trust and confidence between the programme presenter, producers, and panellists is essential for the programme to be effective.

      A few years ago on The Panel, Dr. Michael Bassett claimed that Nicky Hager is “a holocaust-denier”. Neither Mora nor his other guest said anything, despite the absurdity of Bassett’s lie.

      Far from facing any sort of censure from Radio New Zealand management, Bassett continues to appear as a guest on The Panel. So do other extreme and intolerant guest commentators like Barry Corbett, Michelle Boag, and Garth George.

      The banning of Bomber Bradbury was not only petty, malicious and partisan; it was utterly hypocritical.

      • Anne 12.3.1

        Don’t forget Ian Wishart. Although he does seem to have disappeared into the ether now. He used to make slanderous statements about Helen Clark.

  13. randal 13

    that is if you youare one. if you dont tell the truth and lick ass then you will kept on ad infinitum!

    • mik e 13.1

      this is getting to be like the rugby the refs are having to much control. On the positive side it has brought about a lot of free publicity

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    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    7 days ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    7 days ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago

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