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McCully is in trouble

Written By: - Date published: 7:56 am, July 3rd, 2014 - 151 comments
Categories: conservative party, national - Tags:

The story about the Malaysian diplomat who relied on diplomatic immunity to avoid New Zealand’s justice system grinds on.  And the longer it grinds on the worse it gets for the Government.

There seems to be a divergence of views between the New Zealand Government and the Malaysian Government on what should happen to Mr Muhhammed Rizalman Bin Ismail, the Malaysian diplomat charged with assault with intent to rape and breaking and entering.   John Key thought that New Zealand wanted to keep Mr Ismail in New Zealand to be dealt with by our justice system.  The Malaysian Government thought differently and was under the impression our Government was comfortable if Mr Ismail left.  No doubt eventually the truth will come out.

This paragraph was prepared before the announcement that Mr Ismail is to be returned to New Zealand but my impression is that the prospects of the Malaysian Government originally insisting on Mr Ismail’s return were very remote.  This is because when he first appeared in Court he did not have the benefit of a Malaysian Government paid QC standing up for him even though members from the Consulate were there in support.  Instead he relied on the support of a local Duty Solicitor, the free legal representation provided to people appearing in Court who cannot afford paid representation.  The quality of representation is high but it not the sort of service you rely on if you are trying to avoid an international incident.  Malaysia’s disinterest and failure to pay for Mr Ismail’s legal representation is a strong hint that it was totally indifferent to what happened to him.

The granting of name suppression needs to be considered further.  Its renewal was criticised by Judge Collins in the High Court and the police’s stance on this issue was very politely criticised by the Judge.  But why were the departments of state attempting to keep news of the case suppressed even after Mr Ismail had left the country?

The timeline is fascinating.  The alleged offence occurred on May 9 and Mr Ismail appeared in Court on May 10.   That same day MFAT asked the Malaysian Government to waive Diplomatic Immunity and McCully was briefed on the incident.

On May 12, which was coincidentally Budget Day during budget week, John Key was briefed.  Also that day the Malaysians thought that the New Zealand representatives offered for Mr Ismail to be returned to Malaysia.

On May 21 the Malaysian Government stated that it would not waive diplomatic immunity.  The next day Mr Ismail left New Zealand.

Then the story went quiet until June 29 when the story broke in the Herald.  The day after on June 30 McCully summonsed the Malaysian High Commissioner for a “please explain” session.  If there was going to be a “please explain” session it should have occurred shortly after May 21.

The Government’s defence appears to be that they had no idea about what was going on.  But someone in the know has scoffed at the suggestion that  McCully is not a micro manager (HT Tracey).  Are we really meant to believe that the most serious diplomatic immunity incident in decades was going to be met with complete indifference by McCully and by Key?

There must have been regular briefings on what was happening.  If not I would wonder what sort of Government we have.

Presuming that McCully knew and wanted to keep the issue quiet I suspect that it was all about not spoiling Budget Week or Key’s love in with Obama.  But I am astounded if they thought that allowing someone charged with assault with intent to commit rape avoid justice by the use of diplomatic immunity would not be a significant issue and that it could be kept quiet.

It is possible that McCully dropped the ball on this.  He has been obviously preoccupied with the future of his political career.  There are already suggestions that he will be sacrificed so that the Conservative Party will hopefully have a bolt hole, and what better way to have a bolt hole than to sacrifice a Minister for gross ineptitude?

And I am intrigued.  I had thought that the National Party List for this election was going to be announced last weekend and I wonder why is there a delay?  Could it be about what position McCully occupies, or is it that he may not have a list position at all?  It really seems that National will eat its young for political advantage.

There are obvious attempts to blame the public servants for what has happened.  McCully’s recent bungled handling of MFAT’s reorganisation has clearly hurt its capacity.  But if there is any surviving vestige of the concept of Ministerial responsibility McCully should be gone.

151 comments on “McCully is in trouble”

  1. Gosman 1

    I agree McCully dropped the ball on this but why isn’t it also the fault of the MFAT official or officials who went behind the scenes to try and sort this out ‘diplomatically’ without informing the Minister?

    • mickysavage 1.1

      Do you think that McCully who drove through the reorganisation of MFAT and stripped it of a great deal of capacity should wear this instead of the officials?

      • Chooky 1.1.1

        +100

      • ianmac 1.1.2

        Yes micky. Gut and weep.

      • Gosman 1.1.3

        You are making an assumption that this is in any way related to any reorganisation of the department. I suggest you have little evidence of this at this stage.

        • Pascal'd bookie 1.1.3.1

          TBF you are assuming all this ‘behind the Minister’s back’ stuff.

          WE need to know what was in the May 12 briefing, who was on the email list of the ‘unopened email’, if that email was followed up on, etc, etc. There are many things we don’t know yet.

          • Gosman 1.1.3.1.1

            Why would the government tell the Malaysian government to repatriate the accused diplomat and not have him stand trial here when the Malaysian seem to have be willing to allow that and then turn around and state that it was the Malaysians who refused to lift his immunity. If they did the first to curry favour with the Malaysians then the decision is undone consciously by the second action. It would be the actions of a monumentally politically stupid government and one thing even you lefties have to acknowledge is that the current government is not politically stupid.

            • McFlock 1.1.3.1.1.1

              Having professional fellators like yourself is not the same thing as political competence.

              Key in particular just makes whit up as he goes along, hoping that the lie or bullshit lasts just slightly longer than the news cycle.

              Which is probably why the mixed signals were sent in the first place – no scandal if the guy leaves the country, oh dear damned immunity, we’ll harrumph a bit but problem solved. Pity about the entire home invasion / attack thing, but nothing can be done and there is no alternative. Back to business as usual.

              The trouble with a lack of empathy is that they have difficulty identifying the threshhold where that no longer works: parking tickets, yes. Sexual attacks? Nope.

              • Gosman

                The trouble with your rather far fetched hypothesis is that an official letter was sent from MFAT to the Malaysian governement requesting the Diplomatic immunity be lifted. What you are stating is that the government was aware of this but then decided to initiate informal discussions at a lower level to allow the diplomat to leave. Someone doing that would be completely insane. I know you have an almost pathological dislike for anything right wing but thinking the current government is insane is a little off the wall even for you I would suggest.

                • McFlock

                  Not insane. It merely requires the government to be two-faced. We know the government is two-faced, so therefore it is a plausible that they wished to be seen by the public to want to do something about the alleged attack, but preferred the issue to go away.

                  Which is one possible and reasonable answer to your question “Why would the government tell the Malaysian government to repatriate the accused diplomat and not have him stand trial here when the Malaysian seem to have be willing to allow that and then turn around and state that it was the Malaysians who refused to lift his immunity”.

                  It could equally be that one civil servant felt they had better things to do than follow this issue up for the duration of a court case, so said they wouldn’t make a fuss if the guy left the country. In which case it’s a failure of management and shows a distinct lack of ministerial oversight. As soon as it was indicated that immnity was not going to be waived for a non-political and serious offence, the PM and at least minister should have been sitting down with the High Commissioner. Diplomatic Immunity is to protect diplomats from harrassment, not to protect attackers.

                  • Gosman

                    Not just two faced but two faced without thinking through the consequences of being two faced. That is incompetence bordering on insanity if it serves no purpose.

                    I agree with you it is a failure of managerial oversight at a number of levels. Hence my point about McCully dropping the ball on this. However that doesn’t mean the lower officials are not the most to blame.

                    • McFlock

                      They might have merely misjudged the consequences, rather than not thought of them.

                      And Key was briefed, too. He should have been following up with McCully. That he couldn’t be bothered speaks volumes.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      McFlock identifies the real issue, Gosman. SNAFU is to be expected – it’s ubiquitous, the big problem here is the complete lack of concern for the complainant.

                • freedom

                  You may want to read the official Malaysian Government release below. When put against NZ Government statements, it looks like that scenario you describe is exactly what happened Gosman.

                  McCully is in trouble


                  When speaking with a forked tongue, do not try to lick your lips you may take an eye out

            • Weepu's beard 1.1.3.1.1.2

              I think the current government treats the people like customers of a business, except they know we customers have nowhere else to go. They are all about cutting costs and reducing services to a point just short of people marching in the street. They are at about that level now, I think.

        • Lanthanide 1.1.3.2

          Luckily there is going to be an inquiry into the situation and one of the aspects they are going to appraise is whether the staffing cuts resulted in the outcome we have. So we’ll know soon enough.

          • freedom 1.1.3.2.1

            Is what I think I heard on RNZ today correct?
            .. that Allen himself is going to head the inquiry?

            • Chris 1.1.3.2.1.1

              Allen is a new age government spin bullshitting change manager minister lackey par excellence. Of course he’ll head the inquiry.

              • freedom

                In the House moments ago, Joyce confirmed Allen is heading the enquiry.

                • McFlock

                  well, you wouldn’t want the inquiry to reach embarrassing findings, would you?

                  • freedom

                    hell no,
                    imagine if such findings led to Ministerial competency and responsibility
                    the horror the horror

                    • Tracey

                      one of the people who didn’t make it their business to follow this incident, is going to oversee the handling of the incident?

                      How much is this guy paid, and why?

                      Did he investigate the leaked emails too?

            • Tracey 1.1.3.2.1.2

              stuff reported this earlier

              “Allen himself was told nothing about the incident until last Friday, which he said was created by Mfat’s strategy of ‘‘compartmentalising’’ information to limit its spread. He said he should have been told and that Mfat’s communications policy would form part of an independent review”.”

              Allen himself refers to an independent review?

              October 2012

              Mfat boss John Allen’s salary last year was the highest among chief executives, with a pay rise of $40,000 taking his package between $620,000 and $629,999…

              IF what the right are saying is true, then he has done NOTHING to clean up the dysfunctions, yet still has high pay…

      • Ronnie Chow 1.1.4

        I reckon you done what you done because you didn’t know we was who we was. And if we hadn’t been who we was, we’d have still been much obliged for you to have done what you done.

    • vto 1.2

      apologies for the threadjack but you should read this gosman /open-mike-03072014/#comment-843365

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.3

      Whatever Gosman: Jan Logie clearly spelled out why McCully must go and it wasn’t anything MFAT employees did.

    • Tom Jackson 1.4

      Ultimately, McCully and Key are responsible. Retaining good diplomatic relations with other countries during such difficult situations is, in the end, the responsibility of the Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Prime Minister.

      Moreover, when a NZer in NZ is the victim of a crime, it is the state’s responsibility to make sure that justice is served, and in this case because of the spectre of diplomatic immunity, it was up to the government to make sure that everything was done to bring this criminal to justice.

      They failed as diplomats and as ultimate guarantors of justice. McCully needs to resign, and Key needs to be taken to task. BECAUSE THEY ARE RESPONSIBLE.

    • freedom 1.5

      At no time did McCully ask to be kept fully informed of what he himself said to the House yesterday was a ‘once in a decade event’! If he had asked, he sure would have mentioned it by now. How is it not his responsibility? He is the Minister. Then there is the PM’s no surprises policy …

      If McCully now comes out with a statement contrary to that view, it has zero credibility.

      • aerobubble 1.5.1

        Let’s step back a moment. A minister is not informed, them misinformed about the Ambassadors statements, and nobody asks why?

        Oh, wait. There is a reason.

        What was McCully’s popularity life in his constituency? Now its dirt.

        Open door for Craig Colins.

        From all that I’ve heard McCully has done anything except deal with mistakes of his ministry.

        • aerobubble 1.5.1.1

          Look this is obvious a gaff of the tired Key Government. Key was dumb enough to call the election early and leave every would be bureaucrat with an axe to grind to play election politics.
          This one more likely a pro-National supporter.

          But its dumb to have parliament sitting while a election campaign is occurring.

          • freedom 1.5.1.1.1

            The House will rise on Thursday 31 July.
            As you say, why Key called the date so early is still a bit of a puzzle to many

            • aerobubble 1.5.1.1.1.1

              One word. Banksie.

              Timing of the Banks prosecution.

              That’s my opinion.

              Second reason.

              Time. National need time to play the system and stitch up deals. Spot polling needs time to do, stats on electorates need time to analyze, panels need to be quizzed about spin slogans, etc.

              Look Cunliffe has been paddling, getting name recognizition, with all this time to go, by the time the election gets hot everyone will be thinking Cunliffe is getting beaten up. He will be the victim, he will be the under dog, and people will be ready to start listening to policies.

              So what about McCully? Takes news cycle of Cunliffe. beats up on McCully standing in his electorate, readying it for Craig Colins.

              • freedom

                yup, Nats went all in on a pair of jacks, when there is a broken straight still on the table

    • bad12 1.6

      Gosman, the Minister in any portfolio must bear the ultimate responsibility for the actions of the Ministries employees,

      The Minister, and this again is not specific to McCully or this case, might have a legitimate defense if the Ministry went behind the back of the Minister while not informing the Minister that there was an issue at all,

      McCully has no such defense, He knew of the serious allegations and adopted a laissez fairre attitude to letting His Ministry act in the manner it did,

      Instead of calling the High Commissioner into His office and strongly expressing the wish of New Zealand for the court action to proceed McCully simply allowed the accused to be removed under the auspices of diplomatic immunity and it is only when the press had the suppression orders removed via further court action that McCully belatedly expressed any concern,

      Did McCully order MFAT officials to adopt an attitude of not allowing diplomatic immunity to be used in this case, No,

      Did McCully at any time attempt to ascertain the wishes of the victim as to whether diplomatic immunity should be extended to the alleged offender, No,

      Did McCully personally apologize to the alleged victim at any time or cause MFAT officials to apologize to the alleged victim at any time, No,

      Unfit to be a Minister is my conclusion as far as McCully goes, He should resign…

    • Tom Gould 1.7

      Surprisingly, the Herald agrees with you that the blame rests on the shoulders of “a mid -grade official in the protocol division of the New Zealand ministry who led the Malaysians to believe the New Zealand Government would not object to that course of action.” Now according to the Herald Malaysia has “done the right thing” and is sending the diplomat back. Poor Murray, and poor John, both innocent victims of this “mid-grade” official.

      • Matthew Hooton 1.7.1

        The “mid-grade official in the protocol division of the New Zealand ministry” was appointed by someone – or at least was entrusted to handle something beyond their capability by their boss. Either way, their boss is responsible.

        • Kapplan 1.7.1.1

          If you ignore that we had a minister who was aware of the situation for a long period of time.

          Did he ask any questions?
          Did he follow up to find out what was happening?
          Did he issue any instructions?
          Did he just ignore it all and hope it would all resolve itself?

          All questions we shouldn’t have to ask.

          • Tracey 1.7.1.1.1

            ywe get told people get paid big money cos they have big responsibilities.

            If allen and mccully didnt know, it means they didnt follow up or didnt think it was important. In any event taking responsibility doesnt mean throwing a mid level official under a bus.

            Remember the leaked emails
            opening of rwc
            Appointment of sky lobbyist and friend to antarctic authority

        • Michael 1.7.1.2

          Are we entitled to infer that you don’t rate McCully’s executive abilities?

          • the pigman 1.7.1.2.1

            You always have to pause for thought when the RW commentators start denigrating one of their own.

            Remember the prolonged and nasty campaign that WhaleOil ran against then-Employment Minister “Commie Kate” Wilkinson? (It’s ok if you don’t, since reading his blog is akin to pulling teeth.)

            And Key sacked her for “nothing much”. Yeah, right.

        • Anne 1.7.1.3

          And who gutted them to the point where they lost experienced senior personnel and left MFAT in a vulnerable position, with staff having to handle cases for which they were not qualified or experienced enough to handle? You’re beloved NAct govt. MH that’s who! Moreover, I well remember public warnings about what was likely to happen at the time.

          • Weepu's beard 1.7.1.3.1

            The right wing’s answer to this is a further clear-out apparently. Who would they replace them with though? Even less qualified people, I presume.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 1.7.1.4

          Me thinks its a bit unusual for Malaysia to have a low level military office ( NCO) as part of their Embassy.

          You could hardly speak to Colonels and above in NZ on military issues if you are a Warrant Officer. And hes not going to be a driver for the Military Attache.

          Im thinking he was a cyber expert for the senior embassy staff, keeping an eye on computer systems and maybe even cryptology for coded communications

          Could it be the real reason he was shuffled out of the country quickly AND McCully kept at arms length, it was arranged with NZ Security services

    • Tracey 1.8

      how do you know they didnt inform the minister?

      Do you agree that ministers and ceos get paid so much because they have to shoulder so much responsibility?

      Does the buck ever stop with a ceo or minister gosman, and this is not the first fuck up by, or under, mccullys watch.

    • mccully is in no danger..

      ..he is the consigliere of the national party..

      ..he knows where all the bodies are buried..

      ..and could take down the whole rotting infrastructure with him…

      ..for him..knowledge really is power..

  2. Once was Tim 2

    The whole thing is a bugger’s muddle and it’s obvious MFAT’s reorganisation is a big part of the problem. The excuse that Ministers shouldn’t interfere with ‘operational issues’ – the all-too-often trotted out response doesn’t wash either.
    But this is what you get with corporatisation of the Public Service across all departments and quangos. Any moral or ethical compass takes second, or last place, to the preoccupation with ‘deliverbles’, ‘fiscal responsibility’, budgets and KPIs. It’s been a cultural change that needs to be undone.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1

      Roll everything back to public services and utilities including all the SOEs.

      • infused 2.1.1

        You’re a funny one oab.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1.1

          The vaunted benefits have not materialised, and there is a significant downside. The neo-liberal experiment (corporatisation/privatisation of public utilities) has failed. The Emperor has no clothes.

          There is no alternative.

          • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1.1

            😯

          • Gosman 2.1.1.1.2

            Except no mainstream political party in NZ is advocating that sort of radical policies.

            • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.1.1.2.1

              Mainstream lackeys are too busy admiring the gold thread. Such light material, it’s barely there.

    • Gosman 2.2

      Why is it obvious that the reorganisation is the cause? Unless you have evidence linking the decision to some structural change in the organisation impacting on that decision (e.g. unclear reporting lines) then you are just expressing your biased opinion on the topic.

  3. dimebag russell 3

    I dont know the answer to that.
    But in the end Mcully is RESPONSIBLE.
    Is that concept too difficult for you goosman?

  4. BM 4

    It’s either a fuck up by MFAT officials or the labour faction within MFAT throwing a spanner into the works to make the government look bad.

    After the bullshit with Goff and the leaked info from a ex labour staffer and what came to light after the inquiry within the MFAT organization, it wouldn’t surprise me it it was option 2.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      Labour forced McCully to issue a public apology to the Prime Minister before offering any such courtesy to the complainant?

      Are you drunk?

      • Once was Tim 4.1.1

        …. and of course BM has just admitted that MFAT has somehow become politicised – something all that corporatisation of the public service (along with ‘fishinsey & fectiveness’, greater accountability, etc., etc.) was supposed to fix. There was no alternative apparently.
        In my opinion (and commented on way back when – I think Anne also) and experience, it’s done exactly the reverse.
        It’s the situation where CEOs and Snr Management run their little feifdoms on excessive salaries; the vast majority work in spite of them rather than because of them; where those staff have successes accredited to their chiefs whilst they get blamed for any failures; and where the only time any accountability takes place is when there is the potential for embarrassment – either to the Munsta or the chiefs.

        How about we have a KPIs that indicate the number of employment disputes; or one that measures the number of times the chiefs ask the peons to do little favours such as splitting invoices to square up operational versus capex and make themselves look good; the number of leaked cabinet papers; how many are familiar with the ps code of conduct – etc., etc.
        Corporatisation of things public – GIGANTIC fail – it’s even a contradiction in terms

        /end rant (well not quite but don’t tempt me)

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1.1.1

          MFAT has somehow become politicised

          Not ‘somehow’ – it was deliberate, and profoundly stupid.

          If foreign policy is subject to the partisan whims of whoever occupies the Treasury benches we’ve got serious problems. Any country that behaves that way deserves to be betrayed.

    • felix 4.2

      Jesus BM, this is why you’re supposed to wait for the talking points to come through.

      Go sit in the fucking corner and wait for the smart kids to give you your opinion.

      • Tracey 4.2.1

        Lol

        Shit, am glad wasnt drinking my tea when i read that. Nominated for post of the month.

  5. Ad 5

    Key will award McCully the Prime Ministerial Medal for Shuffling off to a Post So The Conservatives Get East Coast Bays.

    And it will be done as quietly as possible.

    Nice unintended election-securing move, McCully.

    • MrSmith 5.1

      Lets hope National are trying to push him overboard to make way for Craig, because he’s decided he won’t jump as requested.

  6. hoom 6

    An unmentioned thing is that this has to have a big negative impact on our chances of getting that Security Council seat.

    Quite aside from Keys’ public fawning to the US, if we can’t even handle a straightforward Diplomatic Immunity incident without causing a very public disagreement with a fairly friendly & cooperative country, how could we possibly handle the kind of intrenched complex issues currently being seen by the UNSC??

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      Other countries are in no position to be intolerant of wingnut trainwrecks. They’re global and endemic.

    • Tracey 6.2

      the usa want us to get that seat. Thats what the love in is all about. Other countries know if we get on there we will be like those nodding dogs on the dashboard, whenever the usa speaks

      • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.1

        …for as long as the National Party occupies the Treasury benches. After that we’ll have fences to mend and a reputation to re-establish.

      • phillip ure 6.2.2

        we won’t get that seat..

        ..nz has gone from (seeming) independant..

        ..to being a total vassal-state of america..

        ..with key as obamas’ satrap..

        ..there is no way the third world votes needed will go to nz now..

        ..we are no longer trusted..

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2.2.1

          Undoing right wing vandalism is something of which the Left has lots of experience.

    • freedom 6.3

      Malaysia is also going for the same seat and it could be said they come out with more diplomatic integrity even though it was a member of their staff who is accused.

      • phillip ure 6.3.1

        i wondered about that..

        ..how malaysia comes out of it looking good..

        ..and just how quick would we have been to send one of ours back to malaysia to face charges..?

        • freedom 6.3.1.1

          I would suspect it has cost us votes in Asia

          and on your second point I hope we never have to find out

  7. Sanctuary 7

    If McCully looks in any trouble, the guy he’ll throw under the bus is his hand-picked creature, MFAT head John Allen. Because dumping the guy who you picked to do your dirty work in order to save your own skin is just how Muzza rolls.

  8. freedom 8

    “Malaysia’s disinterest and failure to pay for Mr Ismail’s legal representation is a strong hint that it was totally indifferent to what happened to him.”

    On the contrary I think it shows how the Malaysian Government were sending a strong message, showing they wanted NZ Justice to be seen to be applied in its fullest by letting their Diplomat be treated as any other offender facing charges for attempted rape.

    The actions of our Government seem to be the root of the indifference.

    • veutoviper 8.1

      +1.

    • Tracey 8.2

      certainly the speed with which they have agreed to send him back suggests they had no particular interest in saving his skin. Which supports the view they thought nz was leaving it to them to decide.

  9. Craig Glen Eden 9

    So the evidence suggests when John Key is not able to give our rights away to be closer friends with another Nation he actually is a diplomatic stuff up. #incompetence John Key.

  10. Wonderpup 10

    Shearer sounded strong, composed, compassionate and in charge this morning on national radio. Between the senior greens and labour, there is some astonishing talent there for our next cabinet.

    • veutoviper 10.1

      I agree re Shearer on Morning Report this morning. He also gave a good speech in the Urgent Debate in the House yesterday afternoon. Jan Logie was excellent with her focus centered fully on the young woman involved and her rights being overridden. I am becoming more and more impressed with Jan.

      And Phil Goff also gave an outstanding passionate speech – it almost made me wish he was still Leader. But he looks 10 years younger than when he was.

      As for the National speakers, enough said. McCully weak, Groser only just hiding his arrogant disregard, and John Hayes was appalling.

    • hoom 10.2

      Yes, he floundered (snappered?) around a lot as leader but he seems to be doing very well as a spokesperson with more limited scope where he can keep focus.

  11. veutoviper 11

    “On May 12, which was coincidentally Budget Day, John Key was briefed. ”

    Sorry to be a pedant, but Budget Day was actually 15 May 2014 – three days later.

    Also, it is worth putting this alleged offence and the early stages of its aftermath into context of what else had taken place or was about to take place at that time. Obviously, the Government would not have wanted any distractions from the impending Budget announcements.

    BUT the alleged offence also took place:

    — just over a week after the resignation of Maurice Williamson as a Minister on 1 May and all the negative publicity in the lead-up and aftermath of that resignation.

    — and in the midst of when the Judith Collins Oravida saga was also dominating the headlines and questions in the House.

    These issues may well have affected how Key and co decided to handle the situation – eg wishing to avoid publicity etc.

    • freedom 11.1

      +1

    • mickysavage 11.2

      Right you are VV. I will correct. And you are right about the surrounding circumstances. Could it be that there was a conscious decision by the Government to try and keep the situation quiet? It is also interesting that the Police agreed with the continued name suppression.

      • veutoviper 11.2.1

        It certainly has crossed my mind that they may have made a conscious decision to try to keep the situation quiet. I have had experience in the diplomatic arena albeit quite some decades ago, and I am appalled at what McCully has been saying about not being briefed etc.

        I don’t believe for one moment that he – and Key – would not have been briefed on an onging ‘ no surprises’ basis. And if they were not, then they have been at serious fault for not asking and ensuring they were. (And that goes for any PM and Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade of whatever political persuasion.) I would also have thought that the Justice and Police Ministers would have also been thoroughly briefed on an ongoing basis.

        Such briefings are not a Minister interfering in operational or judicial matters, as one of their weak excuses has been. It is simply the Ministers being kept in the picture in view of the wider intergovernment diplomatic implications. Obviously if they then attempted to interfer or influence the judicial process, that would be a totally different matter.

        • Tracey 11.2.1.1

          +1

          John key knew about a letter written in 2003 by cunliffe weeks before the public, but no knowledge of this?

          He said he heard rumours that liu had given hundreds of thousands of dollars to the LP but he didnt know about this?

          He reads whaleoil but he didnt know about this?

          I suspect Mr McCully will now accept the post to washington, but is that position going to be off the table after more diplomatic bungling?

          • halfcrown 11.2.1.1.1

            Yeah too right Tracey. Key’s government has stuffed up big time AGAIN. I am looking forward to an article in the Herald by Armstrong calling for Keys resignation over this fiasaco.

  12. bad12 12

    There need be a full inquiry into all aspects of this case including what pressure was put upon Police to seek the suppression orders that they did and by whom was that pressure applied,

    The rights of the alleged victim should now be fully canvassed in that Her view of where the alleged offender should serve any sentence, if found guilty, should be conveyed to the High commission concerned, the Courts and the Minister,

    My view is that aside from the convention that allows for diplomatic immunity a contract must be reached between all Embassies, Consulates, and High Commissions who wish to have diplomats posted in this country where it is specifically agreed that any official accused of crimes specifically against a citizen of the host country, ie: crimes that cause or intend physical harm, should have diplomatic immunity waived by their sending countries…

  13. David H 13

    It is looking more and more like a jackup to let crazy colin into east coast bays. Surely there will be a revolt if this happens.

    • cogito 13.1

      Exactly! Crazy Colin will be rubbing his hands – freebie seat coming up…

      When it comes to the assassin bit of “smiling assassin”, Key certainly seems to find a knife whenever he needs one.

      • Colonial Viper 13.1.1

        +1 And never leaves his prints on it

        • cogito 13.1.1.1

          @ Colonial Viper

          Prints are probably there, but there are those who prefer not to look too hard for them. In the end, though, the trail becomes hard to ignore.

      • Tracey 13.1.2

        that is scary to contemplate…

    • blue leopard 13.2

      +1 David H,

      This thought crossed my mind too.

  14. Puckish Rogue 14

    Well done to the left, this is a very good play by them to throw McCully under a bus. Well played.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 14.1

      😆

      It was me: McCully was about to pick up the phone to call the complainant but I possessed him and forced him to make a public apology to the PM instead.

      Sorry about that.

    • bad12 14.2

      Are you suggesting Puckish rogue that McCully is ”an innocent” in this whole sordid mess, if anyone should ”go under the bus” as a result of the misuse of diplomatic immunity McCully who knew of the allegations and Did Not Direct the MFAT officials to oppose the granting of diplomatic immunity must take responsibility…

      • Puckish Rogue 14.2.1

        Don’t get me wrong I admire it as a very good piece of skullduggery

        • One Anonymous Bloke 14.2.1.1

          I’m coming for you next.

          • Puckish Rogue 14.2.1.1.1

            If you can then well done

            • One Anonymous Bloke 14.2.1.1.1.1

              Ok Ok, you got me: I don’t have the power to possess you. Not sure that gets Murray off the hook but…

        • bad12 14.2.1.2

          You must then also admire Puckish the ability of the Press, when acting as a free press should, in pulling apart Slippery the Prime Minister and McCully’s ”skullduggery” via an appeal to a higher court which both the PM and McCully seem not to have factored into the equation when they decided to attempt to sweep this alleged crime as far under the carpet as possible…

    • taxicab 14.3

      The wheels on the bus go round and round , round and round , round and round . Next tory please ….splat !!

  15. Gruntie 15

    I can’t wait to read the next column by Jane Clifton

  16. ianmac 16

    Mr Muhhammed Rizalman Bin Ismail is now being returned to NZ to face the Justice System isn’t he?

  17. dv 17

    The Herald needs to get credit for breaking and following the story.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      Yep. Uh, not that it helps get Colin Craig into Parliament or anything…

  18. bad12 18

    Applause must be directed at the Malaysian Government for offering to in effect ”do the right thing” and send the alleged offender back to this country to face the accusations made,

    This i would contend fully reflects the community of Malay’s i have had the pleasure to meet in this country and they should be now accorded every respect for their Governments decision and No reflection should be implied or applied to any Malay living or visiting this country with respects to the alleged offending,

    There are other victims of this alleged offending also, and, i can only hope that the Malaysian Government extends every help possible to the family of the alleged offender who have had their lives essentially ripped apart by these allegations whether they are proven or not…

    • Colonial Viper 18.1

      Yes, the Malaysian Govt supposedly socially conservative and male dominated, is not participating in reinforcing rape culture. Our Govt – and I’m not just talking Cabinet level here – you can’t say the same thing.

      • Te Reo Putake 18.1.1

        Yes, the Malaysian Govt supposedly socially conservative and male dominated, is not participating in reinforcing rape culture (in this instance).

        FIFY, CV.

        • Colonial Viper 18.1.1.1

          Agreed. But they don’t try and preach social liberalism as one of their core national values either.

      • cogito 18.1.2

        Interesting how a (at times quite heavily criticised) South East Asian Islamic government can put NZ to shame!

        Good on them – keep it coming.

        Sick of the hypocrisy that seems to be the trademark of NZ these days.

  19. veutoviper 19

    I only just noticed this part of MS’ post

    “I am intrigued. I had thought that the National Party List for this election was going to be announced last weekend and I wonder why is there a delay? “

    I am also intrigued. Has this situation caused the delay, or are there other factors?

    In terms of McCully, this situation could likely affect whether he still stands as an electorate candidate – but it may also negatively affect the possiblity of him being offered the carrot of an overseas ambassador post (Washington DC?) for him to step aside to allow Colin Craig a clear run.

    Key has said that he will be announcing possible accommodations to ACT etc at the end of July, so perhaps they are now holding the National candidate list until then – and to let this situation die down.

    Perhaps Key has decided to go list only – but wants to hold announcing this until later in the campaign.

  20. bad12 20

    Further questions need be asked of both Slippery the Prime Minister and McCully as the Minister responsible,

    What steps did they take amidst the busy broom sweeping that effectively swept this alleged crime firmly under the carpet to ensure the needs of the alleged victim were met in any way,

    None appears to be the answer,

    Was the alleged victim given aid from victim support or simply ignored,

    Simply ignored seems to be the answer,

    Was any thought what-so-ever given to the alleged victims ability to be able to seek further support from the likes of ACC by having the alleged offense to all extents and purposes not a matter of record,

    Simply ignored seems to be the answer…

  21. Over It 21

    Mickey Savage, 3 of your points stand out for me:

    1. Are we really meant to believe that the most serious diplomatic immunity incident in decades
      was going to be met with complete indifference by McCully and by Key?
    2. There are obvious attempts to blame the public servants for what has happened
    3. Timing regarding National lists

    I know and have seen how similar Government Departments operate. As long as the machines image is not tainted the upper proles are expendable (I would have thought diplomatic staff etc are required to take the fall if need be).

    Key and McCully should have been all over it, they were not. Now they blame (not saying that there might be some xxxx kicking to do). When international trade (money) is of concern it is amazing how we drop our pants as a country.

    I have no respect for Key and McCully, when push comes to shove, they are just Hollow Men.

    Would I join up and fight for my country, especially with reptiles like this in the background…….

    Yeah Naaaaa, they have sold it all anyway.

    • Tracey 21.1

      remember the israelis after the chchch earthquake, that seemed quite serious at the time and within the last decade

      • ghostwhowalksnz 21.1.1

        Thats a good point:
        Mossad Spy Ring Unearthed by Christchurch Earthquake

        They included the fact that Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, made four calls to John Key, his New Zealand counterpart, on the day of the earthquake.
        Shemi Tzur, Israel’s ambassador to Australia and New Zealand, travelled from his base in Australia to Christchurch, where he visited the temporary morgue set up to cope with earthquake victims.
        Meanwhile, Israel’s defence chief also flew to the earthquake-ravaged city.
        In a further move, a search and rescue team arrived in Christchurch from Israel, but the squad’s offer of help was rejected by New Zealand authorities because it did not have the necessary United Nations accreditation.
        Despite that rejection, members of the Israeli team were confronted by armed New Zealand officers after being discovered in the badly damaged sealed off “red zone” of the city centre, the Southland Times said.
        http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/australiaandthepacific/newzealand/8649223/Mossad-spy-ring-unearthed-because-of-Christchurch-earthquake.html.

        Key said nothing here, move on, because the security services said all ok

  22. Jack 22

    The Malaysian Sex Scandal reminds me of the Fonterra Botulism Fiasco, it appears Key was fully briefed on the Labour Donation Scandal with Dong Liu, and was aware of David Cunliffe’s letter of support and the $100k donations, but was left out of the loop on the Malaysian Sex Scandal, just like he was left out of the loop on the raid on Kim Dotcom’s Mansion by the NZ Police & the CIA.

    Seems to me that slagging off the opposition parties and David Cunliffe is more important than making the right decisions for the country and its people.

    • dimebag russell 22.1

      yes it is becoming more and more clear and evident that John Keys is nothing more than a spoilt brat who spits the dummy everytime he doesn’t get his own way.
      New Zealanders deserve more than banal tantrums from their leader.
      whoever is advising him has got it wrong and he will find out in the polls just how much kiwi voters are getting sick of this childish and more to the point boorish behaviour.

  23. Michael 23

    In response to the remark about the Nats’ “eating their young” – I hardly think that applies to McCully. It’s more a case of he who lives by the sword dies by it. It would be great to see the back of him but I doubt Key has the bottle for that, given McCully’s track record in the dark arts.

    • Tracey 23.1

      mccully was brashs and englishs strategist and a hard man but joyce is john keys karl rove, if joyce says mccully goes, and he may have said it a few weeks ago, key will see mccully gone… Hence the under publicised delay in nationals List announcement

      • Weepu's beard 23.1.1

        We were assured by various right wing blogs that the delay in releasing the Labour list a week ago was indicative of Labour not being fit to govern.

        Does the same hold true for National?

        No, of course it doesn’t.

        • dimebag russell 23.1.1.1

          nothing rings true for national.
          give it a tap and it goes clunk!

  24. Wisdumb 24

    I suggest that we should also look at John Allan. He was appointed CEO of MFAT after being CEO of New Zealand Post. This followed a career in commercial law and to some extent, trade. See: (I think you will have to cut and paste):

    http://www.mfat.govt.nz/About-the-Ministry/Our-structure/2-Senior-leadership.php

    He has no background in professional diplomacy. Remember, there was rather a fuss when he was appointed from outside the diplomatic corps. For example:

    http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/mfat-culture-change-be-led-nz-post-ceo-john-allen-101811

    He probably would not have even faintly recognised the sensitivity of this Muhhammed Rizalman affair, either as a diplomatic or as a human issue. It wasn’t about trade so why should he give it any particular attention.

    Nor does Allan’s revealed indifference in any way excuse McCully, whose squirming to avoid accountability is only too typical of National ministers.

  25. freedom 25

    Here is the official press release from the Malaysian Government
    “PRESS STATEMENT: THE ALLEGED OFFENCES COMMITTED BY A MALAYSIAN DEFENCE STAFF ASSISTANT AT THE HIGH COMMISSION OF MALAYSIA IN NEW ZEALAND, 1 JULY 2014”

    http://www.kln.gov.my/web/guest/home?p_p_id=101_INSTANCE_Yt06&p_p_lifecycle=0&p_p_state=normal&p_p_mode=view&p_p_col_id=column-3&p_p_col_pos=1&p_p_col_count=5&_101_INSTANCE_Yt06_struts_action=%2Fasset_publisher%2Fview_content&_101_INSTANCE_Yt06_urlTitle=press-statement%3A-the-alleged-offences-committed-by-a-malaysian-defence-staff-assistant-at-the-high-commission-of-malaysia-in-new-zealand-1-july-2014&_101_INSTANCE_Yt06_type=content&redirect=%2Fweb%2Fguest%2Fhome

    Let’s remember, soon after this (alleged) crime occurred, Malaysia and New Zealand were at the Ending Sexual Violence in Conflict Summit lobbying for their respective bids for the UN Security Council Seat

  26. lurgee 26

    I think Labour are in danger of looking like they are focusing on attacking National, rather than demanding justice for the victim. They need to pursue this carefully, and the post here is a really good example of how not to do it. There isn’t a single reference to the victim of the attack in the whole post. It comes across as being written by someone who doesn’t really care about that aspect, and who is only interested in scoring points off National, and completely forgetting the real issue.

    • BM 26.1

      Yep, it’s really looking like who gives a fuck about the victim, scoring political points far more important.

      Lets be honest, this will blow up in labours face once again, the fuckwittery within the party is hard wired in so you just know it’s going to go pear shaped.

      The clanging of the warning bells should be just about deafening them, not that they’ll take any notice,

    • the pigman 26.2

      🙄

    • freedom 26.3

      Lurgee, there are two other posts which are addressing the victim’s situation more directly and this post is about McCully. Your rather obvious attempt to feign outrage is as baseless as your conclusion.

      Or is it just you would rather the more direct questions such separation allows, were not asked?

      • lurgee 26.3.1

        First, he could still have made it clear he remembered there was a human being at the bottom of all this, not just an opportunity to discomfit National.

        Second, combining the total comments on the other two threads leaves you with less than half the comments on this thread. Tells you everything you need to know about the mindeset of posters here.

        Thirdly, go and boil your head. I’m not outraged, just disappointed. You’ll know when I’m really outraged.

        • dimebag russell 26.3.1.1

          bowsie wowosie @ lurgee.

        • Delia 26.3.1.2

          Yeah I know the whole thing is Labour’s fault. How you people make me laugh, except you vote these useless people into parliament.

      • Chooky 26.3.2

        @freedom …obviously a very sensitive issue for the National Party and John Key and McCully…John key was very terse with a reporter over the issue

        lurgee is very sensitive about it as well…”go boil your head”!?!!!

        …not a good look good for Nactional…especially not a good look for the young voters and women…and men who care

        • karol 26.3.2.1

          Link to key being terse?

          • Chooky 26.3.2.1.1

            radionz news clip report…sorry cant remember when…reporter brushed aside( it was remarked upon)..i dont think Key said anything except audibly brushed them aside..i think yesterday or day before …maybe mid day or afternoon ?

  27. Clemgeopin 27

    This.important matter has been so murky, shady and dodgy, with lots of spin, blame shifting, abrogation of responsibility, misleading of the public and passing the buck, that I think an urgent parliamentary privileges committee investigation is necessary to question the people involved and to flush out the real truth.

    What do you think?

  28. Jrobin 28

    Haven’t got a link Karol but it was on RNZ on checkpoint, he pushed past their reporter grunting under his breath when they asked him ? on this fiasco …..not so relaxed after all….. poor slippery.

  29. Jrobin 29

    karol it’s on RNZ website Checkpoint. “Murray McCully accused of negligence”. Near end of item.

  30. dimebag russell 30

    the real gloss out of this is this government is sinking.
    mccully blew it but he can stay and collect his pension.
    tough titty.
    If key fires him now then craig will start trying to make demands and key knows or should know by now that his government has been driven by nutters some of whom are adequate I suppose but the real trouble are the weirdos who want to do crazy things to the ‘system’.
    And the government has been negligent to the real factors of production.
    combined with the ones driven by freidmanite randian nonsense they sort of f*ck up every thing they try.
    In new zealand every time these fools have had the chance they tried to disband government and completely corparatise the public sector with disastrous results which require massive readjustments to correct and rectify when a sane government has been elected.
    so key is on the horns of the dilemma right now.

    • tc 30.1

      The only dilemma shonkey faces is which actions are most likely to get the hollow men back in power.

      Consequences will be dealt with when and if, its win at any cost.

      Key will do as advised and if it all gets too hard or they lose he will get gone in a flash as hes already done his job by flogging assets and tipping the field even more towards the top end.

  31. RedBaronCV 31

    What sort of culture in any of these places actually gives rise to the attitudes that any of this was okay or ever going to be okay.

    There are a couple of things that puzzle me thought, if anyone can supply an answer.
    The initial court hearing before the JP.

    The lawyer said to stuff that she was instructed to ask for name suppression, remand without plea and legal aid. Who instructed her? Why legal aid? Had the embassy said they were not going to pay? Why would they decide not to pay?

    Bail was granted, as was name suppression because it was a serious offence. Now either it is serious or it is not but this looks like to different stances. I would have though that for charges of this nature (and the possibility of flight) the police would oppose bail. Did they and if not why not?

    Whatever they did ask for as bail conditions (passport surrender?) we do not know but the bail conditions were revoked on the 15th of May when the police requested the court do so. What did the police know on the 15th that they didn’t know on the 12th? If they asked for passport surrender then they would have known earlier it was diplomatic. If they didn’t ask for the passport then they also must have known it was a diplomatic one. So why did the police go softly on this from the outset?
    Did the police advise their minister or any other minister of anything at all?
    When was the police commissioner advised?

  32. RedBaronCV 32

    BTW don’t forget this whole mess has been created by the law n’order party (who doesn’t think attempted rape is a crime) and the party that picks the best person for the job (and women need not apply). So Murray is a top pick – the best person- really?

  33. Once was Pete 33

    on a post such as this it would be good to have an update especially since there have been quite significant developments in the interim, which will have altered everyones understanding of what happened.

  34. Gruntie 34

    From Scoop’s Gordon Campbell

    “Terrific. I’m glad that Murray McCully is well and truly determined to get to the bottom of who screwed up the Malaysian diplomatic immunity case, and when he finally finds out who was Foreign Affairs Minister at the time…boy, I wouldn’t want to be in that guy’s shoes.”

    Excellent !

  35. Sable 35

    McCully seems have a pretty good line as apologist for the foreign interests in New Zealand. How would McCully excuse this I wonder, “cultural insensitivity’ perhaps? A failure to understand “Malaysian male culture”?

  36. Populuxe1 36

    You sound really gleeful at the prospect Colin Graig might have an electoral seat open up. Scary.

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  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
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    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
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    1 week ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
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    2 weeks ago
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  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
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    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
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    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
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    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
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    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
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    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
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    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
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  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
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    2 weeks ago
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    2 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
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    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
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    3 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
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    3 weeks ago
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Planet History: Taking Tea with Quentin
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    3 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #1, 2020
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    3 weeks ago
  • Donald Trump’s strategic gamble
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    3 weeks ago
  • Is the prostitute the seller or the sold?
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: 2020
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    4 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
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    5 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
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    5 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
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    6 days ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
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    1 week ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
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    1 week ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
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    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
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    2 weeks ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
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    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
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    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
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    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Ron Mark asks NZDF to conduct fire risk assessment from defence point of view
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    3 weeks ago

  • PM announces election date as September 19
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    2 hours ago
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund supports Waikato youth into construction
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • New Zealand to support Pacific Public Sector Hub
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    8 hours ago
  • Minister pays tribute to journalist, author and broadcaster, Gordon McLauchlan
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    1 day ago
  • Minister wishes best of luck to those heading back to school
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    1 day ago
  • Health staff to meet flights from China as precautionary measure
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    2 days ago
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    2 days ago
  • Log trains to begin on Wairoa-Napier line
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    3 days ago
  • Minister of Defence concludes successful visit with his US counterpart
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  • New Zealand acknowledges ICJ decision on Myanmar
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    4 days ago
  • NZ’s trade aims advanced at Davos meetings
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  • Great news for New Zealanders with cystic fibrosis
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  • New Zealand least corrupt country in the world
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  • Boost for Rēkohu/Wharekauri/Chatham Islands Community Conservation
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  • Rātana Pā goes high-tech with UFB
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  • Govt’s strong financial management acknowledged
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  • Boost in Whānau Ora funding to keep changing lives
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  • More people getting into work
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  • Major Events support for creative and cultural events
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to fund Waipukurau cultural development and tourism
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  • 21 new judges boost diversity, improve access to justice
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  • Minister of Defence to visit counterparts in US and Canada
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