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Local Bodies: The Greens and Labour

Written By: - Date published: 5:51 pm, February 20th, 2015 - 136 comments
Categories: greens, labour - Tags:

Reposted from Local Bodies.


The recent public spat between Labour and the Greens may appear concerning, or relatively minor, but it is actually about the value of a properly functioning MMP system and the importance of establishing political identities within it.

New Zealand has a relatively small population and because of that our politicians are not as distant from the people they represent compared to most other countries. The majority of our MPs are very accessible and you can often contact them directly without having to go through staff. Within parliament MPs from opposing parties often get on well at a personal level and during the election campaign in Invercargill all the candidates worked together to organise a roadshow around secondary schools.

As a Green candidate for Invercargill I have had a good working relationship with the local Labour candidate and many Labour members are close friends as we often move in the same social and work circles. We have combined forces in a number of campaigns and local protest marches and share many social and environmental concerns. When I was part of an NZEI Novopay protest outside Eric Roy’s office (past National MP for Invercargill) early one morning he opened his office and provided coffee and pikelets while we debated the issues.

Despite this level of personal interaction across the political spectrum, politics still involves competition, opposition and robust debate as parties jostle to capture media time and to promote their policies and points of difference. It is not a game for the faint hearted and a thick skin is a necessary requirement for anyone considering a career in the political arena. Governing the country is a serious business and sound democratic systems are an important part of ensuring wise decisions and strong oversight.

As the Greens are the third largest party represented in parliament, it is unlikely we will win enough votes to govern alone and also unlikely under MMP. If we wish to be in Government we need to be able to form a coalition with others. The Green Party has a process where the members are consulted and have direct input in forming our political positioning each election. This determines our public stance on who we are more likely to work with and this is based on which party our members believe we have more in common with in terms of policies and values.

For the last two elections we have indicated clearly that we are most likely to form a coalition with Labour rather than National. Although we have had a memorandum of understanding with the National Government to progress some of our policies, too much of what National wants to do is the diametric opposite of what we could support.

While the Green Party has more in common with Labour than National there are still many points of difference between us, especially around environmental protection. One of the important aspects of MMP is that there is more diverse representation in parliament and this is important if we want legislation and governance to meet the needs of most New Zealanders. Voters also need to be reassured that any future coalition will still operate constructively and any differences can be managed through good, democratic process.

Despite his strong beginning as the new leader of the Labour Party, Andrew Little has recently dropped the ball and mismanaged his relationship with the Green Party. There is an acceptable line between promoting the interests of ones own party and maintaining a working relationship with future coalition partners and Little clearly overstepped the mark. In not consulting with the Greens regarding his decision to cut them out of the Intelligence and Security Committee it displayed a worrying level of arrogance, an ignorance of MMP protocols and a lack of good faith (as a past union leader this last point is a real concern).

Of all the parties in Parliament, the Greens have been the most vocal in questioning the powers of our spy agencies and demanding stronger oversight. Despite Shearer’s background, Russel Norman still has more experience as a past member of the committee and the implication that Metiria Turei would be a political lightweight in the role (despite being a Lawyer, an MP for over 12 years and a party leader for 6) indicated a level of misogyny.

The Green Party was correct to publicly point out Little’s error and to use a legal challenge. While sharing the opposition benches the Greens have no coalition arrangement with Labour and are an independent party. To roll over on this issue would be a weak acceptance of the obvious ‘old boy’ networks that dominate our spying operations and maintaining the illusion of the old two party system. For MMP to work properly, and if we are to have any robust questioning and scrutiny of our spying activities, then we need a Green presence on the Intelligence and Security Committee.

I do hope the next Government is a strong coalition of the Green and Labour Parties, but if this is to occur then the Labour leadership needs to make some major changes in how it relates to the other parties who share the opposition benches. The Greens may be the smaller party but it’s leadership has a combined experience of 15 years to Little’s 6 months and his inexperience has been exposed.

136 comments on “Local Bodies: The Greens and Labour ”

  1. fisiani 1

    Which member of the Greens is better qualified than Shearer? Obviously no one. Tokenism is not in the best interest of New Zealand.

    • Then why not Shearer and Norman, or Shearer and Turei? It is Little who is the political lightweight here. If he wasn’t the leader and was still in his previous position in the party most people would think it an unusual choice to have him on the committee. Also Shearer’s background is in international aid and while he has experience in working in troubled nations our spy agencies do more than look out for potential terrorists. A good amount of their surveillance involves protecting our business interests and the SIS has spied on local indigenous and environmental activists. Considering a number of Green MPs have been needlessly spied on (Keith Locke was watched in some depth from the age of 11 and even as an MP http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/features/1393868/Locke-stock-but-no-smoking-barrel it makes sense to have Green representation on the committee.

      • Naturesong 1.1.1

        I think as leader of the opposition Little must take one of the seats.

        • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1

          He accused others of having no Intelligence credentials while having none himself.

          • Chooky 1.1.1.1.1

            +100

            …and a “worrying level of arrogance, an ignorance of MMP protocols and a lack of good faith (as a past union leader this last point is a real concern)….and ..”indicated a level of misogyny”.

          • saveNZ 1.1.1.1.2

            +1 Col. V

          • aerobubble 1.1.1.1.3

            Oppositions must oppose the govt, Dunne and Banks both got seats on the intel committee. Five seats, thats 20% representation, so why was Labour not principled, having a go at govt for stacking. Greens and NZF have 20% of the vote, and not one of them is holdg the state secrect services to account by being on there. Its like lab and nat have decided oversight will be on their terms, geez why have proportional representation, the two party cozy deals were history…

          • Naturesong 1.1.1.2.1

            Was a conversation I saw earlier on twitter which referenced the legislation.
            That the spots on the committee were: leader of the opposition + 1 (which the leader of opposition chooses after consultation with the other opposition parties. Selection then to be approved by the exective).

            … and now I have to go find it. bah, should have just shut my mouth

          • alwyn 1.1.1.2.2

            According to Wikipedia, at least, the PM and the Leader of the Opposition have to be members.
            The extract from Wiki says

            “The Intelligence and Security Committee is a committee of the Parliament of New Zealand, although it differs from an ordinary Select Committee in that it is established directly by legislation. It consists of the Prime Minister, the Leader of the Opposition, two further MPs nominated by the Prime Minister, and one further MP nominated by the Leader of the Opposition. The committee meets much more rarely than ordinary Select Committees, however — according to some claims, for less than an hour each year.[6][7]”

            Now Wikipedia may not be as definitive as the legislation but I doubt if it is that far out.
            The Leader of the opposition is of course defined as the leader of the largest party not in the Government.
            With 25.1% for Labour compared to 10.7% for Green and 8.7% for NZF that position is not in doubt.
            Thus it appears that the legislation does require that Little be a member.

            • That being so, Little should have suggested Norman as he has more experience than Shearer.

              • alwyn

                There is always the viewpoint that he should have selected Peters isn’t there?
                He has more experience than Norman after all.

              • saveNZ

                In the interests of fairness Little could have asked National to nominate someone more experienced than Amy Adams. National don’t have to use all their own MP’s. National could nominate Shearer and Little could nominate Russel or Metiria.

                I know National would not want to do that, but that is not the point. The point is, lack of strategy and stupidity by Little. He could have put John Key on the spot by suggesting that publicly, but no he has all the egg on his face.

                Does Little want genuine debate on this issue or does he want to shut it down?

                What is also pathetic, is that Labour after 3 defeats by National and their vote share dropping dramatically last election, the penny has not dropped that National are their opposition, not Greens.

                A lot of troll activity on the Green Facebook page about surveillance. Typical comment, I’m a green’s supporter but feel we need to be secure, give up this idea and go back to saving the trees’. I wonder who is paying for that and why it is so important to try to persuade the Greens to step aside.

          • veutoviper 1.1.1.2.3

            Because section 7 of the Intelligence and Security Committee Act 1996 requires the Leader of the Opposition to be one of the members of the Committee.

            http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1996/0046/latest/link.aspx?id=DLM392268

            Here it is in full – see (1)(b) and (1)(d) in particular.


            7 Membership of Committee
            (1) The Committee shall consist of—
            (a) the Prime Minister:
            (b) the Leader of the Opposition:
            (c) 2 members of the House of Representatives nominated for the purpose by the Prime Minister following consultation with the leader of each party in Government:
            (d) 1 member of the House of Representatives nominated for the purpose by the Leader of the Opposition, with the agreement of the Prime Minister, following consultation with the leader of each party that is not in Government or in coalition with a Government party.

            (2) Every person who nominates any person for membership of the Committee shall have regard to the requirements of security.

            (3) The chairperson of the Committee shall be the Prime Minister or such other member of the Committee as shall be appointed from time to time by the Prime Minister as the chairperson of the Committee.

            (4 )For the avoidance of doubt, it is hereby declared that any member of Parliament who acts as a member of the Committee shall be deemed, in so acting, to be acting in his or her official capacity as a member of Parliament.

            Excellent post, Dave. IMHO, the nomination under (1)(d) should have been either a Green MP, Norman, Turei or Graham – or Peters. Definitely not Shearer.

        • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1.3

          I really hate this concept of Leader of the opposition when it’s painfully obvious that he’s not the leader of a large chunk of it. His actions in not consulting with the other parties in opposition over this matter clearly shows that.

      • marty mars 1.1.2

        I totally agree Dave – your shearer and little points are so correct they burn.

      • ankerawshark 1.1.3

        Umm, Someone pointed out in the comments thread of Gordon Campbell’s column that it has to be the leader of the opposition. The person who if National is voted out, will be PM. That would be Andrew Little. And even though it seems he is very inexperienced in these issues, he needs to become more experienced and well informed. If he is PM, he will need to be familiar with this area. He likely chose Shearer for a number of reasons. He wanted someone on his team who he could collaborate with. Think about it. I think he made a good call. Norman is bowing out of being Leader. His position was up for grabs. The Greens have had a shot on this committee already. They only got 11 % of the vote. There are only two places for the Opposition.

        Likely it would have been great if he had of liaised with the Greens, sure. It wasn’t great that he didn’t. He’s been in the job 3 months. I would imagine his priority is to get his team up, running and cohesive. Liaising with the Greens, might not be a priority for him yet.

        • Sacha 1.1.3.1

          “Likely it would have been great if he had of liaised with the Greens”

          Uh, the law says he must. And with every other party not part of the government bloc.

          • ankerawshark 1.1.3.1.1

            Yes Sacha, there is no doubt he was legally required to liaise with the other opposition parties. I think the most credible explanation for that is that he didn’t know he had to. I know ignorance is no excuse and I agree with that. I think Little is a lawyer, if he knew he had a legal obligation to do something, its hard to believe he wouldn’t. To me that lacks credibility.

            • Naturesong 1.1.3.1.1.1

              He also had an experienced head of staff.
              What was Matt doing?

              • ankerawshark

                Hi Naturesong. Look I don’t know what went wrong here. There is no question Little was legally obliged to consult with the Greens and NZ First.

                I don’t know what these peoples work loads are like………..enormous I imagine. It is also just possible that Matt Mc wasn’t around last time the committee was put together and so had no more idea than anyone.

                I still wonder about the Nats. They likely chair the committee and so if that was me, and I was being fair about it, I would say “Dear Mr Little we invite you to select one opposition MP, to be on this committee. The law requires you as leader of the opposition are on this committee and that you consult with the opposition parties about the second member” From John.

                Just a thought

                • Yeah, National is never going to do that.

                  They are always looking for prat falls to publish in the herald and tv3.

                  Yes, I imagine Matt’s workload is huge, BUT, one of the consistant themes of this govt is abuse of power by spy agencies, and abuse of spy agencies by the govt.

                  There have been several very contentious law changes that prompted that bastion of screaming socialism the Law Society to report to the United Nations that in New Zealand “a number of recent legislative measures are fundamentally in conflict with the rule of law”.

                  And if you’ve been following anything that’s been happening in Parliament over the last few years, you will know that the only party that have been demanding answers on behalf of the public is the Green Party. And they did all through the previous Labour Govt too.
                  Given that Little actually works there, a do not accept that he simply didnt notice.

                  So, my question to Labour, is What the fuck is your real agenda here?
                  Whatever it is, it doesn’t appear to include holding this govt to account

    • blue 1.2

      or trolls, or even token trolls, fizzy-anii.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      Which member of the Greens is better qualified than Shearer?

      Russel Norman and Metiria Turei for starters. Shearer is an idiot who’s spent too long inside the bureaucracy.

    • Kennedy Graham would have been a better choice than Shearer.

  2. alwyn 2

    I suspect you may find that Little is following the path of the last successful Labour leader.
    Helen Clark made very sure that she kept the Greens far from the levers of power. I wonder whether Little is taking the view that is was a very sensible thing to do and that getting close to a minority party who have nowhere else to go is pointless and can only hurt Labour.

    • just saying 2.1

      Little seems to me to be following the path of the last three unsuccessful Labour leaders.
      Times have changed.

      • Chooky 2.1.1

        +100….Clark had more savvy and intelligence than Little and 10 x the charisma…particularly for women voters….also she was forced to exclude the Greens because Winnie was in competition with them…it was either form a govt or not

        …Little has NOT been forced to exclude the Greens…he has excluded and insulted Labours main potential coalition partners …. Greens who have been in parliament a lot longer than he has with far more experience on the issues of spying….both Shearer and Liittle are recent shipped- in arrivals to the Labour Party…talk about incompetence in decision making…and I hope it is just incompetence.

        • Pete George 2.1.1.1

          Clark was hardly known for charisma, especially in her years as Leader of the Opposition. She gradually earned widespread and substantial respect, but that’s different.

          • Chooky 2.1.1.1.1

            charisma is in the heart of the perceiver….Clark had charisma in spades….particularly for the woman voters…and many men ( some found her sexy…not of course the Exclusive Bretheren, who stalked her)

            …I once saw her in Te Papa with my young kids ….my 6 year old red headed son yelled out excited “There’s Helen Clark!”

            ….she turned right around from her black suited minders and gave him the most dazzling smile….it was a meeting of smiles and delight

            Helen Clark has charisma alright!

            • alwyn 2.1.1.1.1.1

              Goodness Chooky.
              Your enthusiasm reminds me of the 17th century poet Thomas Ford who wrote the immortal(?) lines

              “There is a lady sweet and kind,
              Was never face so pleased my mind;
              I did but see her passing by,
              And yet I love her till I die.

              Her gesture, motion and her smiles,
              Her wit, her voice, my heart beguiles;
              Beguiles my heart, I know not why,
              And yet I love her till I die.”

              I won’t go on with the remaining verses. They only get worse.

        • marty mars 2.1.1.2

          I cannot see how it is incompetence or a mistake because I don’t think he is that out of touch or a fool.

          “No more buddy-buddy
          No more messing around
          I’m not gonna be your
          Be your fucking clown
          Whispered words I don’t believe
          I’ve got teeth you cannot see
          Fire in my brain
          That you’d like to put out”

    • Alwyn, given that the Greens are much stronger than they were in Clark’s era the logic of shutting them out makes no sense. Immediately after the election the Greens polled 17.5% and despite a slight drop in our voting percentage we actually had 10,000 more votes than 2011. Labour is not likely to get into Government again without the support of the Greens.

      • Maui 2.2.1

        Labour can always go and make up with the Greens after the election is won. Labour could effectively ignore them for three more years, and then after election night come up with a confidence and supply agreement after some negotiations. I mean the Greens don’t have any other options, they won’t be siding with National and I doubt they will just stay isolated sticking to their principles and not side with anyone with the power on the line.

        • Maui, one of the reasons we failed to beat National in the last election was because many voters could not see a credible, functioning government in Labour, Greens and NZ First. The work Labour and the Greens did jointly on Manufacturing (initiated by the Greens) gave the business sector confidence that the two parties had similar ideals and could work together. There is no way Labour can go it alone over the next three years and then cobble together some sort of coalition at the end. United we stand, divided we fall 😉

          • ankerawshark 2.2.1.1.1

            So one thing the Greens could have done, when they didn’t get a place on the committee is saying very little to the press, go back to their office and phone AL and say we need to talk about this. Turei comment of it being “unlawful” while true, drew a lot of attention to the issue. It might have been better behind closed doors. Just a thought.

            • te reo putake 2.2.1.1.1.1

              And a good thought, too. Turei’s response shows exactly why Little’s decision not to pick her was spot on.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Nah. That’s double standards. Little couldn’t be bothered to give the Greens the courtesy of a phone call in the first instance. So please explain why Labour would expect the courtesy of a phone call in return.

                • Well that comment didn’t make much sense, did it? If I have an issue with something someone’s done I take it up with them directly. It’s the mature thing to do. Bleating to the media instead of alerting Little to the problem is an indicator Turei doesn’t have the chops for that particular gig.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    I’ll reframe it since you found it tricky to get your head around.

                    Little couldn’t be bothered to give the Greens the courtesy of a phone call and a discussion. And as a consequence, he got exactly the same back.

                • ankerawshark

                  O.k. that is reasonable CV. However we don’t know for sure that’s how it happened. I think couldn’t be bothered doesn’t quite fit though.

                  The options I see are

                  1. He thought about it and thought no and it was deliberate. He wants to side line the Greens.

                  2. He is new in the job and his priority is to build his team, build up his experience, put to good use what skills/talents the team he has got have to see whether they perform or not, try and give them attractive roles so they fall into line and back him as leader e.g as he did with Grant Robertson giving him finance.

                  3.Couldn’t be bothered.

                  4. Something else I haven’t thought of.

                  I guess the only one who knows the truth of it is AL.
                  My guess is 2., possibly 1. Possibly 4. Don’t think it was 3, but I guess none of us know for sure. I appreciate your view is 3.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    So why didn’t he choose 2) and then go on to discuss his decision with the Greens.

                    They are not mutually exclusive events.

                    • ankerawshark

                      Yeah, I think Little should have talked to the Greens. It would have been the best course of action. I don’t deny that. But he didn’t. And my best hunch about it is that he is likely caught up in trying to get the Labour caucus working and get this Labour team behind him and together. No small feat. It maybe have been one of many decisions he had to make that day. “Normans standing down, so who should replace him………..” I have a lot of respect for Turei, but she doesn’t necessarily jump out for the role. Remember his priority is Labour. Someone would have to be pretty outstanding for them to trump someone from his own team. His highest priority isn’t being collaborative with the Greens. It just isn’t.

                      I

                    • ankerawshark

                      Yeah, I think Little should have talked to the Greens. It would have been the best course of action. I don’t deny that. But he didn’t. And my best hunch about it is that he is likely caught up in trying to get the Labour caucus working and get this Labour team behind him and together. No small feat. It maybe have been one of many decisions he had to make that day. “Normans standing down, so who should replace him………..” I have a lot of respect for Turei, but she doesn’t necessarily jump out for the role. Remember his priority is Labour. Someone would have to be pretty outstanding for them to trump someone from his own team. His highest priority isn’t being collaborative with the Greens. It just isn’t.

                      I

              • ankerawshark

                TRP @Maybe. I do want to say I have seen Turei debate in the house and I think she is a very clear thinker. I do have a lot of time for her.

                I didn’t mean it as a criticism as such. This issue is being framed as Labour snubbing the Greens. There is another perspective though. Little doesn’t have to choose the Greens. I don’t know who choose Norman. Cunliffe? Shearer? Goff. But the Greens have had representation on this committee previously. I am sure they did a good job. David Cunliffe would have been leader during this time. He would have been far stronger than Little in the area. He may have not needed someone from his own party as much as Little does.

                Think about it for yourself. If you were new in a job, weak in an area and could chose someone from your own team, who has some knowledge or someone from another team, who will have a different point of view (although likely some similar views) who would you chose.

                Little’s top priority at the moment is not to look after and develop the relationship with the Greens.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Again, nothing of what you say meant that Little couldn’t have picked up the phone and discussed his decision with the Greens *before* it was publicly announced.

                  • ankerawshark

                    Agree, that would have been best CR. But I am not going to trash AL that he didn’t.

                    I want AL to succeed, cause if he doesn’t we will likely get the Nats again.

                    I also think Little is decent and effective. Not perfect.

                    • Sacha

                      “that would have been best ”

                      No, it’s the minimum that the relevant law demands.

                      He’s a lawyer. With staff whose job is to spot such requirements. You can perhaps imagine why other lawyers with staff, such as Metiria, might react.

                    • I agree Sacha – he does have staff, their job is to make sure he doesn’t end up in this situation – which part of the chain has this all broken down.

            • After Little had announced Shearer as the other member he wouldn’t back down and it was a public slight against the Green Party. There is no way that could be fixed by a phone call at that point. Politics is a tough game and Little needed to know early on that he can’t pass off the Greens so easily or take them for granted. It needed a strong public reaction to make that clear and now Little knows If he doesn’t consult or play fair there will be consequences!

              With a number of misogynistic comments being bandied around about Metiria being a political lightweight and not up to the task she had to step up and deal to that too (just like she did when Tolley and Collins tried to put her in her place). Few people see he perform in the House and are aware of her commanding presence, voters need to know that she plays hard when she needs to.

              • ankerawshark

                Dave Kennedy. Once Little announced Shearer as the other member, yes he wouldn’t back down, some would say he couldn’t. By that I mean Little can’t afford to apologise or do u-turns. He really can’t. Look what happened to Cunliffe. Look how Key plays it. He never admit mistakes and it works. Unfortunately.

                Sounds like the Greens feel a sense of entitlement to be on that committee. They have had a turn already.

                I do agree that legally it appears that the Greens were entitled to be consulted. Little missed the boat on that. I believe that he didn’t know he had to. Why I say that is because he’s a lawyer and if he knew he was legally obliged to consult, its not that credible that he would have knowingly not done so. (I could be wrong about this and he could have willfully gone against the legal requirement). Of course all it would have meant if he had of consulted would be a phone call with what do you think? And then he could have appointed who he liked.

                I am sure he has learnt that he can’t take the Greens for granted. I really think that his radar was not looking out for the Greens at this stage. Too much work for the Labour leader to do and a big learning curve for him to. I am going to request Standard reader’s consider what happened in this light. I guess Meteria was looking out for Green interests too, rather than thinking “this guys new, he’s learning, he’s going to make mistakes, but for the sake of the left, I won’t react by saying what he did is unlawful, I will give him a warning behind closed doors. One sure thing if Nats and the Media continue to destroy the image of the Labour leader, then neither than Greens or Labour are likely to be in govt”

                I don’t regard Meteria as a light weight. I have seen her perform in Parliament from the gallery. I thought she was good.

                • Sacha

                  “its not that credible that he would have knowingly not done so.”

                  Agreed. His response afterwards is a problem.

                  • ankerawshark

                    Yes Sacha it wasn’t great, I admit that. But as I commented earlier, Little cannot afford to back track or apologize. He will remember this from Cunliffe. I personally think it is unfortunate and I loved it that DC did apologize. But it is politics afterall.

                    For what it is worth (and I think it is worth something) a number of the main columnists (O’Sullivan, Watkins) have come out supporting Little.
                    Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying because they support him Little is all good and all right. I believe we lost the last election for two main reasons. The cult of popularity of John Key. Key goes and National will look shakey. And secondly the msm trashing Cunliffe. We can’t do much about John Key, but we absolutely must have some of the msm backing Little. Cunliffe had no backers.

        • Colonial Rawshark 2.2.1.2

          Labour can always go and make up with the Greens after the election is won.

          Coz that’s how you do it in your working relationships eh? And your personal relationships, too. A rushed bunch of roses on Valentines Day makes up for all the other crappiness every other day, right?

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      Little is following the path of Petty Dictators and ignoring those he doesn’t want to talk to.

      • ankerawshark 2.3.1

        I suspect Little is too busy concentrating on getting his team working to have clarified the relationship with the Greens. That is Littles first priority. To get his team up and running.

  3. Norman takes a real interest in our Five Eyes partners’ activities, something I haven’t noticed with Shearer. Here is something Russel linked to today to make sure people are informed: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/feb/19/nsa-gchq-sim-card-billions-cellphones-hacking

  4. Awesome post Dave – man we need you in Parliament but on the blogs will have to do for now. Kia kaha!!!

  5. Penny Bright 5

    I work on an ‘issue by issue’ basis.

    On THIS issue – I believe Andrew Little did NOT do ‘the right thing’.

    In my view, as the Green Party are the third biggest political party in New Zealand – they should have been represented on the Intelligence and Security Committee.

    Asking the HARD questions is exactly what is needed on this purportedly ‘oversight’ committee, the business of which is NOT available for public scrutiny.

    Penny Bright

  6. Stuart Munro 6

    The measure of good faith we can ascribe to Little over this will be determined by what he does to fix it. Perhaps it was an oversight – perhaps a sop to the ambitious but talentless Labour ‘old blues’. These are personal or internal factors that may go some way to explain – but the measure of the act will be the remedy, or lack of one Little produces.

    Labour’s neo-con hatefest for lefter parties is easy to understand – a bunch of ambitious non-performers is bound to hate the Greens for being everything they are not: sincere, competent, and principled. But the ‘old blues’ are deadwood for Labour, like the gender warriors, they are no longer electorally appealing. Shearer has come on to this committee at significant cost – he’d better produce something of value – which makes him somewhat manipulable.

  7. Sacha 7

    Sidelining Norman is a sham. Sure, he will cease to be a party leader, but replace him on the committee at that time, not now. Continuity of experience doesn’t start at the election.

    Great post. thanks.

    • Pete George 7.1

      Fran O’Sullivan:

      Norman is now claiming the two old parties have colluded to entrench the enormous powers of the Prime Minister and his spy agencies behind a “facade of pretend accountability” and that a “duopoly of illegal” spying will be maintained without any independent oversight.

      The counter-factual to Norman’s hyperbole is that his own independent oversight at the committee level clearly hadn’t stopped what he complains about.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11405398

      Why do Greens think that Turei would stop more than Norman who doesn’t appear to have achieved much?

      If “a “duopoly of illegal” spying will be maintained then Norman hasn’t been very effective. Of course his rhetoric is also debatable.

      So, he’s feeling a little political heat right now and is having to field claims he has been “cavalier” and “sexist” to boot by bypassing the opportunity to inject Turei into the slot on the committee which was held by Green.

      Neither Little’s decision, nor Key’s, has been driven by the “old boys’ club” syndrome.

      What the pair have done is formed a “grown-ups club” to deal with the critically sensitive issue of overseeing the major review of New Zealand’s intelligence services.

      Replacing someone who has seemed to oppose all surveillance and security with someone else who share’s that opposition may not be very helpful to properly review intelligence services. Greens can keep opposing from outside the committee.

      • Stuart Munro 7.1.1

        By “Grown-ups Club” you mean secret men’s business. Wonder if it comes with a decoder ring? The adults have left the club anyway – it’s not military any more, the focus is on dodgy business like copyright math. I guess if you’re a cryptofascist the expansion of secret policing powers seems both necessary and natural.

        • marty mars 7.1.1.1

          + 1 The politics of exclusion = grown ups club. Them verses us. Entrance so coveted allies can be discarded. Sit around the big table feeling important. Yes! I have made it now, I am someone, I matter! Look he’s smiling that popular smile at me, he understands. Right, who are the enemy again I forgot.

  8. Pete George 8

    Tracey Watkins on Turei’s Intelligence review credentials:

    Like her Green colleagues, Turei is deliberately ignorant of the rules of “the club” and would have it no other way.

    Her path into politics was through the radical fringes, rather than the old boys’ network.

    She is, in other words, the last person Labour and National want sitting across from them on a secretive body like the intelligence and security committee as they embark on a sensitive review of the intelligence agencies.

    She would raise hackles. She would oppose. She would demand root and branch reform.

    In contrast, any differences between Labour and National on intelligence and national security matters are superficial at best.

    Prime Minister John Key’s statement that Labour and National will be the natural parties of government “for as far as the eye can see” was all that needed to be said on the reasons why Turei was excluded as an Opposition nominee for the committee.

    The implied subtext was that the Greens can afford to be blindly naive about the methods employed by the state in the protection of its citizens. Labour and National can’t.

    It’s the difference between parties that have had and will have the responsibility to lead governments, versus a fringe party that has grown to a potentially influential size but still has a fringe protest mentality.

    If Greens want to have a significant input into important issues they have to learn that a positive pragmatic approach achieves more than being anti everything.

    There’s some hope for the Greens though, Kevin Hague understands and practices co-operative pragmatic politics.

    • Not a ‘fringe party’ – the third biggest in parliament – Fact.

      Not ‘anti-everything’ – pro people, the environment and healthy discussions – Fact

      Your bias is showing as usual.

      • Pete George 8.1.1

        They still have a fringe mentality. If they want to move from the fringes they need to consider more practicalities and realities and less ideologies and impractical idealism.

        And they’re anti most of what governments need to do, and pro major changes that would be extremely risky.

        Not sure what bias you’re referring to. You could say that 89% of voters are biased against the Greens. I’ve always supported having a Green protest voice in Parliament but like most people don’t see them as practical players in government.

        Andrew Little seems to understand this too. Greens as a significant influence in Government is detrimental to Labour’s chances of being seen as a viable alternative to National.

        • te reo putake 8.1.1.1

          We should all listen to the beige one, because he’s speaking from experience. According to Roy Morgan 100% of NZ voters are biased against his preferred party and its fringe ideology.

          • Pete George 8.1.1.1.1

            Lame diss. I don’t have a preferred party.

            Most of the ‘ideology’ I support is mainstream practical politics that’s also supported by most National and Labour supporters.

            As opposed to what fringe Labour activists dream about.

            • te reo putake 8.1.1.1.1.1

              You stood for United Fringe and polled fuck all. You are still a right wing apologist, so you’ve obviously learned nothing since that thrashing.

              • Pete George

                I’ve learnt a lot from that experience. And you don’t seem to have changed at all. Attacking the centre is not the smartest political approach.

                Perhaps Andrew will have a word to you and point out the realities of MMP politics. But that’s futile with closed minds who seem to think petty attack politics will somehow change something for the better.

                Labour needs a positive and practical approach to politics. A pity some of their supporters seem addicted to negative attacks.

                • I’m not attacking the centre. You’re on the right. The racist right as it turns out.

                  • Pete George

                    I’m probably mostly to your right but that wouldn’t be difficult.

                    All you can do is petty attack? if Labour’s left can’t get out of that dirty rut then it’s going to be difficult to rebuild support and take support off National.

                    So it looks like you don’t want to attempt to build support. Have you given up already on 2017 so are just falling back on the same old lash and trash? That hasn’t worked very well so far, has it.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Vermin (colloquially varmint[1] or varmit) are pests or nuisance animals, especially those that threaten human society by spreading diseases or destroying crops and livestock. Use of the term implies the need for extermination programs. Since the term is defined in relation to human activities, which species are included vary from area to area and person to person.

                    • I’m pretty sure Labour’s election strategy isn’t going to be narrowly focussed on racist blog trolls, so we’ll just have to get by without your vote. As usual, you won’t make any difference.

                    • Pete George

                      And the OAB/TRP team will make what sort of difference?

                      Why the left was lost.

        • marty mars 8.1.1.2

          Well I disagree with you.

          “they’re anti most of what governments need to do”

          “like most people (I) don’t see them as practical players in government.”

          Yep that is the spin and the inertia that the Greens have to overcome.

          • Paul 8.1.1.2.1

            Warning this man is a tr***

            You may be discussing the same turgid topic hours later with no hope of extricating yourself from his dull prose.

            Also, your discussion will force many readers of this blog to scroll endlessly through this section of the thread to find a more interesting and purposeful conversation.

          • Pete George 8.1.1.2.2

            “that is the spin and the inertia that the Greens have to overcome.”

            Yep. They haven’t figured out how to do that yet.

            Turei doesn’t like Key’s politics and would have a lot of difficulty doing much that’s effective alongside him. And that’s also a potential problem with Turei and Little.

            If Kevin Hague becomes co-leader there’s hope but he will be battling against Turei’s established ideologies and approach.

            Watkins:

            That system was MMP, the system under which former radical Marxist student politicians and parties of the Right-wing fringe can be elected to Parliament and challenge the status quo, question the established order and be a thorn in the side of the mainstream parties.

            Parties like the Greens, NZ First, ACT and the Maori Party – and before them the Alliance – have all filled that role over the years.

            They can be pig-headed in pursuit of their own ideological agenda, even when it seems they are wilfully out of touch with mainstream New Zealand.

            Unless a “former radical Marxist student politician” manages to work out how to share power rather than promote fringe policies the Green ceiling is likely to remain. Self-imposed.

        • Pete, you are just repeating National spin with the use of ‘fringe’ and ‘anti-Party’. The implication of fringe means our members and policies do no reflect the mainstream. We have evidence based policies and our members who shape that policy generally have experience in the area concerned or we consult.

          Our MPs are better qualified in their portfolios than the Government Ministers. Kevin Hague was a DHB CEO, Coleman worked briefly as a junior doctor and part-time GP. Bridges’ expertise in transport is nil while Gentre is a qualified transport planner. Our business spokesperson ran his own business and lectured in University in business management. Even during the election campaign we had the only independently reviewed policy costings.

          Questioning Government policy is what opposition parties do and National’s spin that we are an ‘anti-party’ ignores the fact that we generally suggest solutions and often those solutions are similar to the advice the government has actually received from their own ministries, advisors and the law society etc.

          Rather than repeat spin why not produce evidence and examples?

          • Sacha 8.1.1.3.1

            Because there is no evidence. It is arrant nonsense that the Greens don’t know how to be constructive. PG Tips is just a silly old man with an unfortunate habit of mouthing off constantly about things he knows little of.

            • Pete George 8.1.1.3.1.1

              In stark contrast you exude expertise in everything you comment on. Especially an expertise in intolerance of alternative views to your own. You must have at least passed Practical Censorship 101 have you?

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                The allele frequency variation across the Oxford-Hermitage hybrid zone is not substantially linked with karyotype frequency change, but there is notable allele frequency variation between close sites of similar habitat, particularly at the Pgm-2 and Pgm-3 loci. This suggests that gene flow between close sites may be reduced sufficiently in some instances to allow allele frequency change by genetic drift. This may have implications for the mode of origin of karyotypic races of common shrew.

          • Pete George 8.1.1.3.2

            “Our MPs are better qualified in their portfolios than the Government Ministers.”

            That’s a big call to make. Some are better qualified than others. But the critical qualification for being a Minister is to be a part of Government, without that you are very limited.

            “Questioning Government policy is what opposition parties do”

            Yes it’s an important part of being in opposition. Generally Greens do that well. But to get to the next level you need to be seen as able to work constructively with mainstream policies, especially economic policies. It’s difficult to prove an ability you’ve never had a chance to do but most voters go on who they think they can relate to and trust more than policy arguments.

            • Pete George, you forget that the Green party has a long history of co-operation and constructive support in mainstream policies. Our MPs work in select committees is widely acknowledged and media commentators have recognised the work ethic and contribution from the Greens for some time. You must have forgotten Kevin Hague’s work around ACC and his input in supporting Collins in rectifying the major issues it had. You forget the history of Jeanette Fitzsimons in chairing select committees and influencing a good deal of the local bodies act under a labour Government. You must also forget the Manufacturing inquiry led by the Greens and supported by Labour and New Zealand First. You must have forgotten the memorandum of understanding with the National Government that saw the rollout of one of the most successful initiatives of the last six years, the home insulation scheme. You are obviously unaware that Julie Anne Gentre is widely acknowledged for her expertise in transport and her grasp of economic considerations and is a regular speaker in business circles. Kennedy Graham has a past history in drafting New Zealand’s international policy and David Clendon has been traveling the country engaging with SMEs at a regional level in promoting sustainable businesses before Little even acknowledged they existed.

              There is much existing evidence of the Greens capability but in our growing capacity we constitute a threat to the two major parties. The spin that you reproduce here is just amplifying the panic from them that the Greens may share the space that they have always occupied. Neither Labour or National dominate that space based on merit or capability but through bullying and unethical manipulation. It’s about time the Greens moved in and started cleaning things up and our spy agencies would be a good start.

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                He didn’t ‘forget’ – he follows politics the way he checks facts.

              • Pete George

                “It’s about time the Greens moved in and started cleaning things up and our spy agencies would be a good start.”

                The reality seems to be that that isn’t going to happen because the parties that got 75% of the vote last election don’t want the Greens ‘ cleaning things up’ approach to our spy agencies.

                And I’m not aware of popular support for this Greens approach.

                I’d like to see Green representation on the committee as constructive influencer but they’ve chosen to be active opposer and subsequently have been left out.

                • Your use of language here is interesting, Pete. By suggesting the Greens are an “active opposer” rather than a “constructive influencer” is deliberately supporting the meme that the Greens are just an ‘anti-party’. Of course the Greens would actively oppose things that are patently unacceptable but we also make constructive suggestions on what could be done instead. This is nothing about the Greens’ inability to be constructive and everything about making sure the power in Parliament generally remains with the two largest parties.

                  When National uses the powers of our spy agencies for political purposes (as they have before) it is easier to hide this from the public if only Labour is on the committee. The budget for domestic and international spying has increased dramatically during National’s reign and the powers of these agencies and their connection with the Five Eyes coalition means we need to have the sort of scrutiny multiple parties would provide.

                  The Greens are not being shut out because they are a naughty little fringe party that can’t play grown up politics, it is simply about power and influence in the same way that neither National or Labour wanted the Greens in major leaders’ debates during the election. The Greens were obviously out of place in the minor party debates and it successfully continues the impression, that you are also promoting, that the Greens aren’t ready for government yet. Utter nonsense!

                  • Pete George

                    No one knows whether Greens are ready for Government yet. Just as no one knew whether National or Key were ready for Government, or if Little and Labour will be ready for Government in 2017. Politics is a bit of a lottery. Some step up and do ok, others don’t.

                    I think the last election result indicates that most voters don’t think Greens are ready to be a significant influence in Government. There must be some explanation as to why Greens gained no more MPs while Labour kept losing support and that’s a valid partial explanation.

                    Of course Greens think they’re ready for Government. But on big things, like the economy and security, most people seem to disagree.

                    That’s something Greens have to come to terms with. Believing in your own abilities is important, but overestimating them in comparison to what voters think might keep leading to disappointment, unless you can convince enough voters.

                    And another wee challenge is convincing Labour.

                    • Pete, you have a very simplistic approach to assessing capability and public perceptions. In politics, especially at local government level, being a familiar face is half the battle and it is nothing to do with ability or competence. Key has continued to do well because he uses his celebrity status effectively. More people hear Keys version of what the Greens are than our own version. Larger parties will always dominate media and the fact that the Greens increased our actual numbers of votes by 10,000 (compared to 2011) while campaigning in a toxic environment (that was all about dirty politics and Dotcom) is remarkable. We actually grew our membership by over 1,000 during the campaign too.

                      By buying into National’s spin and the myths that are fabricated about the Greens you are revealing your own political naivety. Politics is a power play and in Parliament the strong performance and credibility of the Greens is well established and frightens the hell out of National at times. Keys comment that the Greens go hard reveals his own recognition that they are effective in opposition. However you will find that every time he struggles to respond to valid questions from the Greens he comes out with his usual snide comments of the Greens being wacky etc. http://localbodies-bsprout.blogspot.co.nz/2014/02/they-go-hard-they-really-go-hard.html

                      You also seem to be supporting the idea that being ready for Government is also related to playing the dirty politics and mud wrestling that National and Labour enjoy. Isn’t it about time we introduced real grown up politics?

                    • Pete George

                      “By buying into National’s spin and the myths that are fabricated about the Greens you are revealing your own political naivety.”

                      And what do you call your trying to spin the ‘it must be National spin’ myth? Nothing’s the Greens fault, it’s all because National and Labour are mean and most of the voters are dumb sheep?

                      Who was politically naive to think the Greens could get 15% last election? Not me.

                      Who bought into their own spin? Not me.

                    • Sacha

                      Not so bright. What will it take to get you to admit you’re parroting Nat spin, you sad old git.

                    • Pete George

                      “You also seem to be supporting the idea that being ready for Government is also related to playing the dirty politics and mud wrestling that National and Labour enjoy. Isn’t it about time we introduced real grown up politics?”

                      It doesn’t look very grown up trying to throw this sort of ‘seem to be’ accusation at me. Based on what? That I call the green situation as I see it?

                      I don’t support dirty politics at all, I’ve campaigned for cleaner politics (in Parliament and on blogs) for years. I’ve argued against dirty politics before Hager happened to give his latest book that title.

                      Talking about ‘real grown up politics’ why don’t you have a word to Sacha and a few of his friends here?

                    • Sacha

                      Dave, we should also warn you that Pete thinks being rude is what ‘dirty politics’ means. Touching really.

                    • “I’ve campaigned for cleaner politics…”

                      Yep, you’re whiter than white, racist Pete.

                    • Pete George

                      Dave I’m not sure who the ‘we’ Sacha is referring to but he’s either dishonestly or ignorantly misrepresenting things.

                      Perhaps he’s trying to cover up for his attempts in various forums to stop people he disagrees with from expressing themselves.

                      It’s not his rudeness that’s the issue, it’s his attempts to shut out free discussion. Ironically he tries to coerce moderators into abusing power to pander to his intolerances, and that’s a dirty politics sort of thing on a minor scale. It hasn’t worked here, hence his ongoing niggling.

                    • Pete George

                      “What will it take to get you to admit you’re parroting Nat spin, you sad old git.”

                      That’s not dirty, it’s just lame. Who’s a sad old git resorting to that sort of pissy attack? It’s a typical diss absent an argument that’s very comment here.

                    • Sacha

                      “his attempts in various forums to stop people he disagrees with from expressing themselves”

                      Just you, Pete, just you. Let’s just say I have an aversion to people who do not engage in good faith, whose MO is to distort and lie and who subtract rather than add value to a conversation.

                      I think you’ll find that’s why you have been banned from most other blogs (and not due to me). You’re a waste of oxygen. Find another hobby.

                    • “he’s either dishonestly or ignorantly misrepresenting things.”

                      Yeah, it’s like he’s trying to copy reasonable racism’s Pete Beige. 🙄

                      Fun bigotry fact: in Pete’s world, gender is linked to credibility. Yep, ladies, to the kitchen please, the men are talking.

                    • Pete George

                      “people who do not engage in good faith, whose MO is to distort and lie and who subtract rather than add value to a conversation.”

                      I haven’t been banned from most other blogs. That’s bull you seem to like spreading.

                      Sure I’ve been banned from Whale Oil, along with hundreds of others – ironically for posting an opposing opinion, you’ll know something about that sort of thing.

                      I’ve sometimes had comments filtered out at The Daily Blog but that’s not uncommon either, there’s been more than a few here saying that happens to them too. lprent has written about it. Again it looks like trying to control which opinions appear.

                      There’s a couple of blogs that I seem to have been banned from but I haven’t bothered to go back and confirm that.

                      So what does that leave apart from you making things up? Doesn’t sound like acting in good faith, does it. Some might see it more like ‘distort and lie’. That’s not just rudeness.

                    • Pete, it is so easy to see National’s spin bubbling through your responses because the same language and unfounded accusations are being repeated. I have heard Key talking on the campaign and a good deal of it was slating the Greens and suggesting that they had no economic credibility and are the ‘anti-party’. Because of his position he got to talk to more people than us and it does seem as if he has your ear too 😉

                      Given that in 2011 we aimed for 10% and got close to getting 12% -the 15% was a reasonable aspiration, our finances and party machine was much stronger and one poll even gave us 17% (17.5% immediately after the election). The vagaries of politics and elections are such that unpredictable results can occur. If the election was held a few weeks before or after the actual one we could have possibly ended up with over 15%.

                      Often it is nothing about ‘stepping up’ but how events play out at the time. By playing a steady and solid campaign we couldn’t get media purchase when there was so much intrigue around Dirty Politics, Labour’s leader changes and Dotcom. That you chose to ignore this and make petty comments about our election result is revealing.

                      It is interesting that you try and play Mr moderate and try and pretend you are an independent thinker, but when you’re pushed you come out with the most bizarre comments to justify your position. If you suggest the Greens are not yet perceived as capable of working in mainstream politics, what on earth do you mean by that? If it means accepting donations from Chinese millionaires with assault charges hanging over them, making dodgy deals with casinos and using high office unethically for political purposes, then we don’t wish to engage with that.

                      Pete, if you genuinely want to end corrupt practices and bring transparency and democracy back into governance then you should be supporting us. I suggest you read a few of Dame Anne Salmond’s Herald pieces and Naomi Klein’s latest book and gain some perspective on what is really happening in New Zealand politics. You are only really scratching around the surface…

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      After a dodder attaches itself to a plant, it wraps itself around it. If the host contains food beneficial to dodder, the dodder produces haustoria that insert themselves into the vascular system of the host. The original root of the dodder in the soil then dies. The dodder can grow and attach itself to multiple plants. In tropical areas it can grow more or less continuously, and may reach high into the canopy of shrubs and trees; in temperate regions it is an annual plant and is restricted to relatively low vegetation that can be reached by new seedlings each spring.

                    • ” I’ve argued against dirty politics before Hager happened to give his latest book that title.”

                      lol yet somehow he forgot to credit you – funny that. Just admit you are a right wing spin merchant who pretends to be beige-middle so the horses don’t get frightened and so that the gnat spin you regurgitate can be trotted out with fake sincerity as evidenced so well in this post. No one is fooled by you pete, no one. IMO you are an integral part of dirty politics – your every utterance shows that only too well.

                    • Pete George

                      Dave you seem to have been sucked into a ‘them versus us’ mentality. The GWB/OAB ‘with us or you’re against us’ silliness. That’s a bit of a concern if it’s common amongst Greens.

                      “if you genuinely want to end corrupt practices and bring transparency and democracy back into governance then you should be supporting us.”

                      I do support some of what Greens do. I’ve voted for Greens and I’ve voted for Metiria in the past.

                      I’m all for better transparency and better democracy – actually I have a proposal on this I plan on approaching all parties about. Not just the Greens but I think they’re more likely to be receptive than some of the others.

                    • “Dave you seem to have been sucked into a ‘them versus us’ mentality. The GWB/OAB ‘with us or you’re against us’ silliness. That’s a bit of a concern if it’s common amongst Greens.”

                      Pete, more like good democratic practice vs bad. As you know the Greens aren’t anti-National, otherwise we would have never had a MoU with them.

                      Great to see you have voted for us in the past, but I think that you would be well advised to check our policies before sharing this plan of yours, we may have thought of it already 😉

                    • Ecosse_Maidy

                      51 Shades of Beige!

                      My Struggle To Achieve Mediocrity!

                      Best Actor…Pete George
                      Best Supporting Actor…Pete George in a different shaded sweater (me)
                      Producer…PG Cak
                      Director…St PG

                      Filmed entirely in my own mind and occasional outshots of Dunedin.

                      Funded and Distributed by Facxchecker Films.

                      See The Hilarious OutTakes at My NZ I am great.com.

                      I came I saw I derailed, denied, copied pasted!

                      In The Standard No One Can Hear You Scream…Only Me!

                      Watch in PG 4D, My struggle to inflict mental scars on others..
                      From my early days to my initial close shave with power in Dunedin (4th place)

                      Watch as I take on various lifetime bans from Whaling Oil, TDB, The Standard amongst a few!( in the early stages of getting a full ban from the Edge.)

                      Marvel as I manage to Chat to complete strangers and drive them Bonkers!

                      Swoon as I take huge swathes of text and and comments and adroitly disguise them on my own site!

                      Amaze Yourself as I talk over, everyone (especially women)

                      It’s really all about ME, merchandising, from most cheap outlets will be available shortly.

                      Musical Soundtrack and CD by WhiteNoise.

                      I Am Legend…On My Own Toilet Paper…

                      Special Thanks Go to all the Mods at The Standard for their co operation in the making of this masterpiece!

                      Special Special thanks to my stunt double and mate..Lprent for taking the heat I create and banning others.

                      I can’t thank you all enough!

  9. Kenya 9

    Labour’s decision was the right one in my view, but that’s of no consequence now. What the Greens have done is turn a miscommunication that should have been sorted behind the scenes into a sustained four-day media attack campaign against Labour. I understand this has included refusing to discuss the issue with Labour before going to the media, and leaking information that was provided in confidence between the parties. This should have been sorted behind the scenes. Once the Greens went full-frontal on Labour it was always going to end this way. Deeply immature.

    • Reality 9.1

      Very wise and sensible words.

    • Kenya, read my reply to Pete. It was hardly a minor miscommunication and you seem to be implying that while Labour don’t consult the Greens when they make major decisions, the Greens should always consult Labour. Both National and Labour don’t want a strong Green Party and both will make every effort to shut them out of influential roles. This is hardball politics and not something that can be addressed by polite conversations behind the scenes. If the Greens are going to compete with the ‘grown ups’ they have to be able to play hardball too. Metiria took on both Tolley and Collins when they tried to shut out her voice and this is what is happening here as well.

  10. Observer (Tokoroa) 10

    I know this site is a Greens blog and I accept that it is unlikey ever to be critical of anything the Greens do.

    However, it seems unlikely that New Zealand people would want Security and Surveillance to be weakened by footloose radicals. As Norman has demonstrated, the Security Committee has not taken on board Green “policy”.

    If Andrew Little had consulted with the greens – he would have been met with shrill screaming attacks. With Turei leading the mob to the nearest anti- Labour TV station.

    • Observer, you clearly don’t watch Question Time in the House, otherwise you would have realized that the “shrill screaming attacks” don’t emanate from the Green Party. National is the master of the shrill and Labour do pretty well with the screaming. You are believing the image of the Greens that National is disseminating but not the reality. We need the measured, evidence based and level headed approach that typifies the Greens.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 10.2

      🙄

      Yawn, OT. Can’t you offer some substantive criticism instead of lame smears?

  11. Kevin Hague 11

    I notice that a number of commenters have criticised the Green Party for criticising Andrew Little’s actions in the media, rather than raising them with him. That is incorrect. We found out about his actions through the media and offered responsive comment, but have also raised our concerns directly with Andrew (and with Labour at multiple levels) as soon as we discovered what he had done, and subsequently. Don’t want to derail the discussion, but thought this correction would be helpful.

  12. Observer (Tokoroa) 12

    @ Kevin Hague

    You are correct. I do not get to watch Question Time.

    But I did not misread the many immature Green responses to Little’s decisions. They commenced on this site with the shrill unrestrained efforts of Blip.

    Most of the comments were sheathed in puerile gutter language as and added extra. I was amazed and surprised at the radical, moblike self revelation of your Green scribes on this blog.

    Andrew Little is not perfect. But then, everything is all so easy for the Greens, isn’t it Kevin?

    • Kevin Hague 12.1

      I’m not sure what you mean by the reference to Question Time. And The Green Party has no “scribes” representing us on this site (though of course some commenters are Party members or supporters). I am the only person commenting here who is doing so representing the Green Party. I don’t wish to stifle debate at all, but merely to correct factual errors. It was not the Green Party who took this issue to the media, and we have been raising our concerns over it directly with Labour.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.2

      Such a fascinating insight into the authoritarian mindset.

    • framu 12.3

      im interested in how you know blip is an official rep of the green party

      you need to prove that sort of thing before you can claim that they speak for the greens

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    As you might have noticed, A Phuulish Fellow is a fairly eclectic blog. Even an organic one. I have my interests, and write about them as the fit takes me. And sometimes I stumble across an article I feel the need to comment on. Today, I ran across a ...
    2 days ago
  • Rumour Has It: A Númenórean Character List?
    Today we have another Amazon rumour on our hands. And for a change, it is not coming out of Fellowship of Fans. No, instead we have the following tweet doing the rounds, ostensibly listing (mostly) Númenórean characters and their code names. It’s an interesting leak, if true. And that’s ...
    3 days ago
  • Covid as Warriors
    The book I am currently working on – tentative title ‘In Open Seas’ – looks at the current and future New Zealand. One chapter describes the policy towards Covid using the trope of warfare. It covers an important period in our history but show how policy evolves and why, as ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19: the B.1.1.529 variant – what do we know?
    There’s a lot of news about a new variant originally reported in southern Africa. Early signs have prompted calls for immediate precautionary blocks on travel from the region to restrict its spread. The WHO has called an emergency conference on this variant. Here’s a round-up of what we know so ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    3 days ago
  • National Party board denies it unanimously agreed to Collins’ Faustian bargain with Satan
    Sources close to party president Peter Goodfellow say he was totally blindsided by Collins’ claims he was party to this particular satanic ritual. National Party president Peter Goodfellow is today issuing a strong denial on behalf of the party’s board, saying they did not, at any point, agree to the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 days ago
  • The cost of optimism
    Yesterday the National Party imploded in a messy knife-fight that cost it its leader and probably one of the contenders. So naturally, the government has taken the opportunity to do a dump of its pandemic advice, including the Cabinet papers on its controversial decisions to repeatedly lower the Auckland alert ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National’s less than stellar choices
    Amid all the jostling in the National caucus ranks, spare a thought for Andrew Bayly. Who? Well might you ask. Plucked from obscurity by Judith Collin, elevated from number 18 to number 3 in the caucus rankings and given the Finance portfolio – a role in which he has been ...
    3 days ago
  • Are New Zealand’s universities doing enough to define the limits of academic freedom?
    Matheson Russell, University of Auckland   The news last week that University of Auckland public health researcher Simon Thornley was retracting a co-authored paper about supposed vaccination risks during pregnancy raised deeper questions about the limits of academic freedom. Thornley’s own head of department had called for the paper to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 26 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Jean Drage, Political scientist specialist in local government: “With 78 local authorities and central government currently intent on reform, local government is a challenging area of research to keep on top of. Thank goodness for Bryce’s NZ’s Politics Daily. It is a gem, especially as it also ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • Josh Van Veen: Bridges is not the one
    Simon Bridges failed to bluff Judith Collins out of the leadership. A campaign to rehabilitate his image began shortly after the election and culminated in the publication of a memoir in August. There were persistent rumours of a deal with rival Christopher Luxon and MPs from the ‘liberal’ wing of ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • Smokefree cars – an important step towards protecting children from the hazards of smoking
    Richard Edwards, Jude Ball, Janet Hoek, George Thomson, Nick Wilson*  On November 28 new legislation to protect children from smoking and vaping in cars will come into force. This blog sets out the background and rationale for the new law, and discusses implementation, evaluation and the next steps to protect ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    3 days ago
  • Judith's Last Stand.
    Going Out With All Guns Blazing: Why didn’t Judith Collins stick with the strategy that had kept her, National’s most improbable of leaders, in power for more than a year? One might just as well ask why Rob Muldoon (that other unforgiving right-wing populist National Party leader) got drunk and ...
    3 days ago
  • Act’s Precarious Ascendancy.
    On The Lookout: It is easy to imagine how closely Seymour has been watching the National Opposition for the slightest sign of a Clark figure emerging. A respected politician, who enjoys broad support across the party and, much more importantly, who impresses the ordinary centre-right voter as having what it ...
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #47, 2021
    104 articles by 574 contributing authors Physical science of climate change, effects Delayed impacts of Arctic sea-ice loss on Eurasian severe cold winters Jang et al. Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres 10.1029/2021jd035286 Observations of climate change, effects Divergent responses of terrestrial carbon use efficiency to climate variation from 2000 ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour’s Eyes Wide Shut To “Unruly Tenants”.
    Not Seeing The Problem: They say there are none so blind as those who will not see. And, right now, Kāinga Ora is studiously not looking. It is clear to everyone that the Minister responsible, Poto Williams, has (like so many of her colleagues) been entirely captured by her officials. ...
    3 days ago
  • Is the mob coming for Charles Darwin?
    Richard Dawkins recently noted the giants of the past are being sanctimoniously judged by nonentities of the present whose only qualification is still being alive to do so. How will the future judge our own time when we are not around? Peter Franklin from Unherd examines whether the woke can ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Blowing a Hole in Your Own Wall: Idiotic Tampering with MIQ
    Managed Isolation/Quarantine has been a fact of life for New Zealand for eighteen months. It’s not popular – there are only so many spaces available at any given time, and the process is famously opaque – but it is the key to saving New Zealand from rampant Coronavirus. That, ...
    4 days ago
  • Now Labour wants secret trials
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The end of a toxic leader
    If there's one thing that Judith Collins is usually good at, it's using scandalous information about other people to her advantage. Not above undermining her own political party, Collins has been known to even leak against her own fellow MPs, particularly those who posed a threat to her as the ...
    4 days ago
  • A transformative government in Germany
    Back in September Germans went to the polls, and handed the politicians a tough job, with no easy majorities for anyone. The Social Democrats, Free Democrats, and Greens agreed to work together in a "traffic light" coalition, but given their political differences (its basicly ACT/Greens/Labour), expectations for real change were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Political Harakiri
    The National party must always have known that they were taking a risk when they elected Judith Collins as leader. There were, after all, good reasons why they repeatedly declined to accept her candidature when she offered herself – as she frequently did. She was always an inappropriate person to ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Thanksgiving advice, 2021: How to deal with climate change-denying Uncle Pete
    This is a re-post from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists by Richard Somerville “Birds of a feather flock together,” so I am sure that nearly all of those reading this article accept the main findings of climate science. Yet many people don’t. Instead, they believe a variety of climate ...
    4 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the demotion of Simon Bridges
    So Simon Bridges has been bounced from the front bench and stripped of his shadow portfolio responsibilities for the crudely “inappropriate” comments that he allegedly made to a female colleague, Jacqui Dean – and personally apologised for – about five years ago. After years of mocking Labour for its supposed ...
    4 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 25 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Dr Rosemary Wette, Associate Professor, Applied Linguistics, University of Auckland: “I’ve been browsing regularly through NZ Politics Daily for several months now. It gives me access to a range of views on current issues (helpfully organised by topic) that I wouldn’t otherwise have time to look up, or ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • The bizarre case of the Royal Society investigating academics defending science
    The Royal Society has begun a disciplinary investigation against a group of academics. The academics were defending science and in the past would have expected support from the Royal Society. The Free Speech Union has launched a campaign to defend the academics and academic freedom. Māori professor under investigation for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Unionism and nursing in New Zealand
    In the around 35 years I worked for unions (over 30 with the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists and earlier with the New Zealand Educational Institute) I often cogitated over the distinction between unions and unionism. They are intertwined but not inseparable. I associate unionism with collective consciousness able to ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Today’s constitutional disgrace in Parliament
    This Government has a problem with urgency. Critics from both left and right have long complained about their lack of urgency on issues such as climate change, housing, and inequality. Likewise, in terms of the Covid response, there’s been a chorus of criticism that Labour has been complacent and sluggish ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Vaping needs much tighter regulation as we approach Smokefree Aotearoa 2025: Two new studies
    Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Jennifer Summers, Driss Ait Ouakrim, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards, Tony Blakely* Two recent studies provide new insights into the impact vaping may have on public health. The first estimates that use of modern vaping devices could be around a third as harmful to health as smoking. ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Strange Defeat: A Guest Post By Dr. Chris Harris.
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    5 days ago
  • More than 147km – the transformative potential of the Wellington bike network plan
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    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 24 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Liz Brown, Senior communications advisor, Association of Salaried Medical Specialists: “The NZ Politics Daily is a fabulous resource providing a comprehensive one stop shop on what’s making news and how stories are being covered. I look forward to seeing it pop into my inbox every morning.” Anyone can sign ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Taking us for a ride
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: An industry in denial
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The “most open and transparent government ever” again
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on farmers playing the victim, plus Chile’s right turn
    Among the farming lobby groups, the good cop/bad cop routine has been working a treat. It suits Federated Farmers to keep daylight between itself and the Groundswell movement. Month in, year out the Federation continues to engage with the government over the very same water degradation/climate change regulations that Groundswell ...
    6 days ago
  • Important People
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    6 days ago
  • Parliament, the Courts and the end of three strikes (for now)
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    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    6 days ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 23 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Martyn Bradbury, Editor, The Daily Blog “’NZ Politics Daily’ is one of the most important news and political resources run in New Zealand. The expert collation of opinion and news makes it an invaluable day to day resource as well as an incredible treasure for researchers in the future. ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand’s Emission Reduction Plan
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Dissing The Farmers.
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    6 days ago
  • How will carbon pricing impact inflation?
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    7 days ago
  • (Lack of) Public Service Announcement: The National Library of New Zealand, Internet Archive, and Al...
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    7 days ago
  • Game over for the HRPP
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Chinese influence and American hate diffusion.
    Over the last decade concerns have been raised about Chinese “influence operations” in NZ and elsewhere. Run by CCP-controlled “United Front” organisations, influence operations are designed to promote PRC interests and pro-PRC views within the economic and political elites of the targeted country as well as Chinese diaspora communities. The ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • The Real Interests Of The Country.
    Off Message: Into the extremely fraught relationship between Town and Country, the Groundswell organisers have blundered like an Aberdeen-Angus steer in an organic vege-shop. Unreasonably proud of their rural economic virtues, and dangerously forthright in their enumeration of the cities’ political vices, these Kiwi equivalents of America’s “good ole boys” ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 22 November 2021
    Today’s NZPD testimonial from Minna Reid, Law student, Victoria University of Wellington “As a Uni student, staying up to date with current affairs is always important. The Daily Politics & Democracy Project by Bryce Edwards is of great service for this. It offers varying news sources I would not have found myself ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Free speech is a people’s frank confession to itself
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2021 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #47
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    1 week ago
  • The F Words, by Barbara Gregorich
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    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The Scourge of the Aimless Kick
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Delta Rocks Gibraltar: Lessons to be learned from Covid-19’s global resurgence.
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    1 week ago
  • I’ll take the masks and vaccines, thank you
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    1 week ago
  • Hell To Pay: The alarming similarities between the Anti-Vaccination Movement and the creators of the...
    Never Let Go: If the violent prejudices of the Jim Crow South, echoing through contemporary struggles, teach us anything, it is that the defence of rationality, science and progressivism must never be allowed to falter. Those pre-modern night-riders, filled with unrelenting hate, are still out there. If the troops of ...
    1 week ago
  • A Peak Out of Auckland? + Other Covid Musings
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    1 week ago
  • Sing Song about Hard Times
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    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A good problem to have
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the politics of anger, plus a music playlist
    Angry? Are you talkin’ to ME? Of late, the Code Red levels of resentment inspired by the government’s Covid policy almost make one hanker for the days when people could write best-selling books about New Zealanders being The Passionless People. Not anymore. A hissy fit arms race seems to be ...
    1 week ago
  • No, vaccinated people are not ‘just as infectious’ as unvaccinated people if they get COVID
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Electric cars alone won’t save the planet. We’ll need to design cities so people can walk and cy...
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Worn down by bad news? You’re not alone…
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Alexander Gillespie, University of Waikato   Last week’s COVID protest outside parliament served as a warning that New Zealand is not immune to the kinds of anger seen overseas. As Labour Party whip Kieran McAnulty put it, “I think everyone needs to be aware that things are starting to escalate.” ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • NZ Politics Daily: 19 November 2021
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    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Buying Back The Whenua.
    Dangerous Visionaries: Rex Connor wanted to “buy back the farm” (i.e. nationalise Australia’s mineral wealth) and ended up bringing down the government of Gough Whitlam. Nanaia Mahuta’s Three Waters Project is seen by many as a first step to “buying back the whenua” (repatriating Māori lands and waters). A policy which threatens the longevity of ...
    1 week ago
  • nuremberg, and history
      There’s a lot been said recently about the Nuremberg code. So what is it, and why is it popping up now? As described in this excellent NEJM article, the Code was developed over 80 years ago in August 1947, by judges involved in the “Doctors Trial” at Nuremberg. There were ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #46, 2021
    Housekeeping: New content New Research is primarily focused on reports published in "the academic literature." Thanks to a diversity of publishers, journals, editors, reviewers, researchers and institutional affiliations, such publications are statistically highly successful at approximating and reflecting our best dispassionate understanding of research topics. Any given personal agenda not ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another OIA horror-story
    NewsHub reports on another OIA horror story, a simple request for information on the supply and distribution of PPE which required the intervention of the Ombudsman to get a response. And reading the article, it seems to be the usual story of an overly-secretive agency abusing the process to hide ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bribing for convictions
    Imagine that you've been arrested and are facing criminal charges. Now imagine that the government tries to bribe your lawyer to encourage you to plead guilty. It's obviously corrupt and a complete mockery of justice. But that's exactly what the New Zealand Government wants to do: The Criminal Process ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • New Ambassador to Russia announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Sarah Walsh as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Russia. “Aotearoa New Zealand and Russia have a long-standing relationship, engaging on a range of regional and global interests including disarmament and Antarctica issues. We also work together as members of the East ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • New Permanent Representative to the UN announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced the appointment of Carolyn Schwalger as Permanent Representative to the New Zealand Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York. “Aotearoa New Zealand is a founding member of the UN and we have worked hard to ensure our stance on human rights, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Further COVID-19 economic support for Cook Islands and Fiji announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced a further package of support for the Cook Islands and Fiji for COVID-19 economic support and recovery. “Aotearoa New Zealand remains committed to supporting our Pacific fanau and vuvale to respond to the impacts of COVID-19 on their economies, and move towards long-term ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New law will clear the air for tamariki in vehicles
    From today, it’s illegal to smoke or vape in most vehicles carrying children aged under 18 years old - whether the vehicle is moving or not. “Second-hand smoke poses an unacceptable risk to our tamariki and rangatahi,” Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall said. “We know children in vehicles ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Nine countries designated very high risk
    Nine southern African countries are being added to the very high risk countries list following public health advice around the newly discovered COVID-19 variant Omicron, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said. This afternoon, a public health risk assessment was carried out to assess the emerging evidence and any risk to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Foreign Affairs Minister concludes final stage of world trip
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today departed North America to return home to Aotearoa, concluding the last stage of her 17-day world trip. The final leg of her trip saw her visit the United States of America and Canada for a number of high-level discussions. While in Washington D.C., ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Milestone launch of Pacific Languages Unit
    Today’s official launch of the Pacific Languages Unit is a milestone for our Pacific communities, the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio said. The Pacific Languages Unit brings together a new set of language supports within the Ministry for Pacific Peoples to provide advice, commission research, maintain standards, promote ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Public Health Lecture – University of Otago
    Public Health - Lessons from New Zealand’s COVID-19 response and opportunities for the future E nga mana, E nga reo,                                          E nga iwi. Tēna koutou katoa. Ka huri ki nga mana whenua o te rohe nei. Tēna koutou. He mihi hoki ki a tatou kua tau mai nei I raro I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand statement on situation in Honiara, Solomon Islands
    Aotearoa New Zealand is deeply concerned by the events which have been unfolding in Honiara, Solomon Islands, since Wednesday. “New Zealand is a long-standing partner of Solomon Islands, and there are deep and enduring connections between our two countries,” Acting Foreign Affairs Minister David Parker said. “Our engagement in Solomon ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Nailed it! Over 500 apprentices get jobs boost
    Over 500 apprentices and cadets have been placed into work across New Zealand thanks to the Government’s booming build programme, that’s both constructing public houses, and maintaining older homes. Housing Minister Megan Woods announced the milestone today at a public housing construction site in Riccarton, Christchurch. “This Government’s investment in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Investment to support maternal mental health
    Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall has announced an investment to help expand maternal mental health services in five District Health Boards. “Supporting parent’s mental wellbeing during their child’s first 1000 days, from conception to two years of age, is critical to the long-term emotional, mental and physical wellbeing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Workplace vaccination requirements extended to cover Police and NZ Defence Force
    With the support of the organisations, additional vaccination requirements will cover sworn members, recruits and authorised officers of the New Zealand Police, and all New Zealand Defence Force staff. First doses of the vaccine for workers in these organisations are required by 17 January 2022, and second doses by 1 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Aotearoa New Zealand and Canada to pursue greater Indigenous collaboration
    During her visit to Ottawa, the Honourable Nanaia Mahuta, New Zealand Minister of Foreign Affairs and Associate Minister for Māori Development, met with the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Canadian Minister of Indigenous Services, and the Honourable Marc Miller, Canadian Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations, to further expand and develop the positive relationship ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Māori vaccination rates reach 80% first dose
    Associate Minister of Health (Māori) Hon Peeni Henare today confirmed that Māori across the motu have now reached 80 percent for first doses of the COVID-19 vaccination nationally. “We have seen a huge increase in vaccinations for Māori throughout November, since the beginning of the month the increase for first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Subsequent Children legislation to change
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Security Information in Proceedings Legislation Bill introduced to Parliament
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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