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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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  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    4 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • Saving lives
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    4 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
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    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    5 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    5 days ago
  • The police and public trust
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    7 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    7 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    1 week ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    1 week ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    1 week ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    1 week ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago