More questions for English

Written By: - Date published: 8:20 am, August 9th, 2009 - 76 comments
Categories: bill english, Parliament, parliamentary spending - Tags:

Yesterday, John Armstrong talked about the Auditor-General’s 2001 report into eligibility for a Wellington accommodation allowance:

the then Auditor-General David MacDonald scrutinised allowances after two ministers – Labour’s Marian Hobbs and the Alliance’s Phillida Bunkle – got into serious strife for claiming out-of-Wellington expenses when they had made Wellington their place of residence by virtue of registering to vote in the Wellington Central electorate.

What Armstrong doesn’t mention, is that in the report (online here, see Part 2, Page 61) the Auditor-General sets out a criteria as to whether a Wellington home should be considered an MP’s primary residence or not. This is important, because if Mr English hasn’t met those criteria, then he in no way can qualify for a Wellington accommodation allowance AT ALL.

Here are the criteria:

(a) the extent of the MP’s parliamentary duties, and the amount of non-parliamentary time available to the MP to return ‘home’;

(b) the locations where the MP spends most of that non- parliamentary time;

(c) the locations where the MP’s current spouse or partner and  family live, and where other dependent family members usually live (including where they spend most time, work, or attend school);

(d) the person in whose name (whether the MP, the MP’s spouse or partner, or some other individual or legal entity) each property is owned or rented, and the utilities (e.g., electricity, telephone) are supplied;

(e) the level of the MP’s financial commitment to meeting the financial outgoings on each residence, including property maintenance;

(f) the type of accommodation available to the MP at each residence (e.g., boarding, flatting, or full occupation), and who else lives there (other than the MP’s family);

(g) the availability of each residence for use by the MP at any time (e.g., whether it is rented out in periods of absence);

(h) the nature and extent of the MP’s ties to each local community in which he or she has a residence;

(i) the residence where the MP intends or expects to live should he or she cease to be an MP;

(j) the residence where the MP and members of his or her family are registered for electoral purposes; and

(k) for electorate MPs, the location of the electorate.

Each of these criteria is considered for every individual MP’s case. But if, as I said on Thursday that English signed a declaration that his primary residence is in Dipton, he must prove that he has met the above conditions.

Bill English owes the public a full explanation.

76 comments on “More questions for English”

  1. ghostwhowalks 1

    Fancy that the Auditor General setting a stricter standard than that followed in parliament.
    Where’s the precedent for making his ‘opinion’ stick…… but wait

    Could be a whole lot of paying back to come if this went any further

    • Sting 1.1

      Talking of opinion ghostly what does “you angry white middle aged male computer geekoids on Kiwiblog” mean?

      Can’t she understand English. Pollies pay back day is judgement day.

  2. Eric C. 2

    English told the Dom Post yesterday that he and his family have lived in Wellington for 10 years. So, this suggests that he could be up to repay all the money he took since 2001.

    Guess it comes back to what he told the speaker.

    • Smokie 2.1

      Shit – you’re right Eric C.

      If English has been living in Wellington for the last 10 years (that would make it pretty clearly his residence), he will be liable for returning every single dollar since 2001.

      No wonder he doesn’t wan to give way on this!

  3. Gooner 3

    Ha ha ha.

    The very same Auditor General the Labour government ignored which then went on and passed retrospective validating legislation!

    You guys add a lot of humour to an otherwise ordinary Sunday morning.

    • Ianmac 3.1

      Changed the legislation AND repaid the money $800,000 wasn’t it?

      • r0b 3.1.1

        No they didn’t change the legislation. Parliament retrospectively validated the spending of a government department (Parliamentary Services, who were in charge of Parties’ spending) which the Auditor General had retrospectively declared inappropriate (for all parties except the Progressives). This form of retrospective validation is the standard way of handling overspends and unforeseen occurrences and it has happened many times under both National and Labour governments, it happened on this occasion on the advice of Treasury to proceed in this way. Although not legally required to, Labour (and other parties) paid back the money judged to have been inappropriately spent.

        On the topic of questions for Bill, there was so much going on, but does anyone know what has happened over the apparently incomplete listing in the register of pecuniary interests, and what the situation is re listing a different address under the companies act? The sleaze was coming so thick and fast I can’t keep track.

        • burt 3.1.1.1

          But rOb

          The housing allowance is confusing and others were doing it too. It’s not fair to just prosecute one MP when there were others doing it. Parliamentary Services will be unsure what is allowable and what is not allowable now so validations will need to be passed under urgency to sort it all out.

          Naturally rOb I expecting you to support all the same reasons if it comes to this as you did last time. Sauce for the goose and all that…

          This is going to get really funny if National are in deep shit….

          • r0b 3.1.1.1.1

            But rOb

            Sorry Burt, I know you’ve been desperate for attention lately, but there’s only so often I can have the same dumb conversation with you.

            The housing allowance is confusing and others were doing it too.

            No. According to The Herald, rules had to be changed to make this special treatment possible. Others weren’t doing what Bill did.

            It’s not fair to just prosecute one MP when there were others doing it.

            No others did what Bill did.

            Parliamentary Services will be unsure what is allowable and what is not allowable

            Actually it seems to be the Speaker who is responsible here.

            now so validations will need to be passed under urgency to sort it all out.

            If that’s what Treasury recommends then fair enough. Don’t think it’s going to happen though.

            Naturally rOb I expecting you to support all the same reasons if it comes to this as you did last time. Sauce for the goose and all that

            Different cases entirely Burt, as above, Naturally I expect you to keep excusing any abuse of this government by claiming (incorrectly) that Labour did it too.

            This is going to get really funny if National are in deep shit .

            It’s already really funny Burt.

            • burt 3.1.1.1.1.1

              Of course it is different when Labour do it Rob.How could I forget that. Lets hope someone takes a case against English because then English can kill the case and you can explain to us why it was the right thing to do when faced with a choice between accountability for breaking the law and the expedient choice for parliament.

            • burt 3.1.1.1.1.2

              You could just admit that Labour were way way in the wrong when they validated themselves for stealing tax payers money and regain some credibility to attack English & National.

    • Eric C. 3.2

      They are all the same, National is just as bad as Labour. Just seems National is corrupting a lot faster!

    • Zetetic 3.3

      Oh right. That $800K that Labour paid back.

      Still good that you think it’s OK as long as you think Labour did it.

      • ghostwhowalks 3.3.1

        Why do you lot all ways forget the $112000 of GST for TV broadcasting money that National stole in 2005.

      • burt 3.3.2

        Zetetic

        It’s not normal in a democracy to call politicians who use the powers of parliament to kill court cases against them “good guys”. But Labour clearly don’t need to be measure against any test other the right party name. Move on…

  4. Lindsey 4

    I think the question is “when did he last live in Dipton”?

    • Eric C. 4.1

      True, and when he is in Dipton doing MP things, how often is his family in Dipton with him?

  5. ghostwhowalks 5

    Trouble is than even when Blinglish is back in his electorate we are paying for him to stay in Queenstown or Gore even though they are only an hours drive from Dipton.

    • Ianmac 5.1

      Good point GWW. He says Dipton is home but does he EVER stay in his Dipton home, or does he stay in rental or other?

      • Tigger 5.1.1

        And why do Clutha-Southland need an electorate MP who claims another city as ‘home’?

        Also who came up with Blinglish? I want to properly salute their genius.

  6. outofbed 6

    If he looses his job and becomes a back bencher how will he keeps his family together
    A Back bencher’s salary is clearly less then a minister and English/Key ‘s rationale for the rort of claiming 1000 per week was to keep the family together.
    So my question is how did English keep his family together when he was not on a misters salary?
    And if he gets demoted does that mean a return to Dipton ? where its cheaper to live then Wellie ?

    • Ianmac 6.1

      I guess $150,000 plus expenses would be pretty hard to live on with 6 kids and all, plus private school tuition. Maybe he could get the DPB and live in luxury. 🙂

  7. outofbed 7

    Conspiracy or cock up
    Who is the winner in “diptongate” ?
    Clearly John Key
    Ok popular leader J Key, everything is going swimmingly ,only problem your deputy hates you and thinks your job is rightfully his,
    You know he will stab you in the back at the earliest opportunity.
    What you going to do ? You have to take him out
    So release parliamentary expenditure just before the national conference and then leak to press Bills ” rort’
    You are squeaky clean ,Bill takes huge hit you muddy the waters with Labour did it too”
    Then to make yourself look good step in announce a review of expenditure ,
    Result, Bill completely taken out no chance of being leader now . You seen as a decisive honest leader blah blah

    Ok its Sunday I’m bored

    • Armchair Critic 7.1

      OOB – You could be right. If it is a conspiracy I don’t think that isn’t a very smart game for JK to be playing, considering the country is facing much more important issues. And if anyone can find a link between JK and Bill’s rorting, for example if JK approved it in some way, the conspiracy won’t work.
      Long term JK seems to be the sort who tries to please everyone, and he will end up pleasing no one. Judging by his performance over the last couple of weeks he has already started the pleasing no one phase of his tenure as PM.

      • Ianmac 7.1.1

        The Speaker authorises the MP’s spending. The PM authorises the Ministers spending. Helen Clark did so with great care and attention to detail. John Key authorised the benefits to his Ministers.It appears in the literature that a change from usual practice was made for Bill by John at the change of Government. Therefore if Bill gets marked by this then so should John. (I only know this from reading Blogs and news on-line.)

      • travellerev 7.1.2

        I think it’s just a little personal backstabbing from John Key.
        Conspiracies involve more than one person and that wasn’t necessary in this case.
        I was wondering why John Key would all of a sudden want to be “tranparent” about the perks. It was like squeezing blood from a stone to get it out in England and National hates giving information about their financial shenanigans. I think OOB makes a good case.

        • Zetetic 7.1.2.1

          nah. key’s seen what happened in england. just wants to nip it in the bud here

          • burt 7.1.2.1.1

            nip it in the bud – what a fool when he can arrogantly carry on and tell us to move on when people start catching him out. Key has a lot to learn about being self serving if he hasn’t realised that he can simply validate himself and his MP’s when the shit hits the fan. Surely he was watching Labour in their last term use parliament as a play thing for their own best interests. What a looser – playing by the rules is just so not how NZ politicians have always done this stuff.

  8. outofbed 8

    Anyway conspiracy or not English is never going to be PM now (unless Key snuffs it eh Bill:-))
    He of course, is arrogant enough not to accept this at the moment but
    slowly when the info seeps in
    He is going sure be one bitter and twisted man.
    Perhaps he should do himself a favour and go and lose himself in Dipton now, rather then later
    I would even feel a bit sorry for him if he wasn’t a bastard

  9. Armchair Critic 9

    What an agreeable thread this is. Where are all the NACT cheerleaders telling us that it’s okay because Labour did it too? Has Farrar not given them new lines yet?

  10. r0b 10

    Q: What’s Bill’s favourite position on the Parliamentary Rugby team?

  11. JD 11

    “This form of retrospective validation is the standard way of handling overspends and unforeseen occurrences”

    It’s also a violation of one of the basic principles of the rule of law.

    • felix 11.1

      Yeah burt used to say that too. Now though, he reckons it’s the amount of money involved that’s important.

      • burt 11.1.1

        felix

        I’ll be creating about National if they use the legislature’s pen to solve this issue. So will rOb I suspect and it will be just great to have someone else who agrees with me on this site that MP’s should not be allowed to put themselves above the law – particularly not laws they have written to counter corruption in their own ranks.

    • burt 11.2

      JD

      rOb likes to be economical with the truth when he says “This form of retrospective validation is the standard way of handling overspends…”

      You see there are ‘normal’ validations for unplanned or unexpected spending and they are passed with the budget. Labour’s validations for spending illegally on election advertising were outside the normal budget cycle, passed under urgency with great protest from the opposition. See the opposition don’t normally create when validations pass during the budget for flood relief in Fiji or Tsunami relief in Thailand etc. But naturally opposition create when validations are passed under urgency and they kill a standing court case.

      But rOb knows all that, he just likes to pretend to himself that Labour did noting out of the ordinary when they validated an unknown amount of money covering 14 years in their own best interests – under urgency!

      • r0b 11.2.1

        You see there are ‘normal’ validations for unplanned or unexpected spending

        Normal retrospective validations burt, don’t forget that part.

        an unknown amount of money covering 14 years in their own best interests

        If you do a little math burt you’ll soon see that 14 years covers both National and Labour governments. Once again, on the advice of Treasury, to cover anomalies created by the AGs retrospective ruling.

        Do you object to the use of urgency burt?

    • r0b 11.3

      It’s also a violation of one of the basic principles of the rule of law.

      Wrong. It is true that retrospective law is usually held to be morally wrong (you can’t create crimes in the past), but there are situations where it does make sense and is standard practice. There’s whole books written on the topic JD – see for example “Retrospectivity and the Rule of Law”:

      Validating Legislation
      Validating legislation is passed where someone, usually the executive arm of government, has acted in reliance on an erroneous view of the law, which action the retrospective statute is intended to validate. Thus, this sub-category include statutes designed to overcome more significant legislative defects than those considered in the routine revision category; often there are complicating factors such as a person’s reliance on the defective scheme. However, provided that no new (that is, unexpected) obligations are imposed on anyone, there is little that can be objected to in the retrospective curing of the defects. Indeed, the reliance on existing state of the law is an argument for retrospectivity, because the executive and others relied on what turned out to be a mistaken interpretation of the law.

      In these instances, it would be perverse not to perfect the law given that people have been led into error by the government. The retrospective legislation is concerned with making the law conform to that which people acting in purported reliance on the law believed to be the case. Failure to cure the defect and validate those actions in the circumstances could diminish respect the law rather than support it.

      Validating legislation is exactly what occurred in this case.

  12. JD 12

    I think RoB should elaborate on which countries and the nature of those regimes that use retrospective legislation to legitimise extra-legal activities, maybe some on the African continent perhaps?

    • r0b 12.1

      I think JD should learn more about the law, see above.

    • Armchair Critic 12.2

      Good idea, JD. Rather than a list of countries that use retrospective legislation, how about a list of countries that don’t or haven’t used it. As I am not a law student I have no idea what the outcome will be.

  13. tsmithfield 13

    I do have some sympathy for MP’s generally over this perks issue.

    It is a ridiculous situation if cabinet ministers who control the departments are getting paid less than the heads of those departments who are their subordinants.
    So I can understand why they would try to find ways to redress the balance. This sort of thing has been going on for quite a while under both National and Labour, which is why Labour is not making too much of a fuss about it at the moment.

    Being an MP is a bit similar to being a professional sports person. Careers tend to be time limited and can end at a fairly short notice. Therefore, what seems a high salary may not be that high when consideration is given to the fact that the MP who has just lost his job has to find a career in the real world again. So, it is fair enough that a good salary is given for the job.

    What I would like to see is that politicians in senior positions get paid a fair salary equivalent to their position so they don’t need to try and compensate by bending the rules. For instance, they should be getting paid more than heads of department under their authority. Then all anicallary perks can be eliminated and everything will be above board.

    • Eric C. 13.1

      Mostly agreed tsmithfield, but English is a different case that goes way beyond most MPs. English has changed trust structures, possibly lied on official documents, hidden behind his family and pretty much stubbornly said I’m right and everyone else is wrong.

      The Dipton Dipper totally rorted the system and deserves no sympathy.

    • Draco T Bastard 13.2

      Therefore, what seems a high salary may not be that high when consideration is given to the fact that the MP who has just lost his job has to find a career in the real world again. So, it is fair enough that a good salary is given for the job.

      Can we get that for builders, and carpenters, and drainlayers – actually, pretty much any job on the market. They ALL operate under the same conditions.

  14. JD 14

    “I think JD should learn more about the law, see above.”

    Thanks for that advice since I’m a 4th year law student I’ll take you recommendation.

    “but there are situations where it does make sense and is standard practice.”

    Yes, it’s all a matter of perspective really, especially if you’re a politician engaged in such behaviour or you’re a partisan supporter with no interest in upholding the rule of law.

    • The Voice of Reason 14.1

      I’m not sure why there’s even an argument here, JD.

      Retrospective legislation is entirely normal as I understand it. Isn’t the entire Treaty process retrospective? How about the pardoning of shell shocked WW1 soldiers who were shot for desertion? How about the proposal to remove cheap flights for life from Philip Feild?

      All of those examples involve the overturning of decisions or laws that were legal at the time, but now look dodgy in hindsight.

    • burt 14.2

      The Voice of Reason

      If you can find an example where retrospective validations have been used to excuse the behaviour of MP’s when a senior govt official has said their behaviour was illegal other than Labour protecting their own best interests after the ’05 election then please provide a link and an explanation.

      Additionally if you can find a comparable example where a court case against an MP has been shut down by retrospective validations (in a western democracy) then please provide a link and an explanation. I suspect some famous dictatorships and tyrants of the past will provide a rich source of comparison for this aspect of Labour’s behaviour where leaders have enjoyed their status of being above the law to protect their position of power.

      However if you are looking for examples where parliament have validated unplanned or unexpected spending (not spending in their own best interests that they were warned would be illegal) then there is plenty of examples and this is a normal feature of our govt and happens in most budgets. (note: In the budget – not out of normal cycle so as to conveniently kill an annoying court case)

      You might also want to read up on the separation of the powers of govt, most legal texts have a section describing this. Once you understand how the legislature are not ‘allowed’ to operate as the judiciary and the vice-a-versa you will be well on your way to understanding the difference between a democracy and a dictatorship. Best of luck with that journey.

      • The Voice of Reason 14.2.1

        Thanks, Burt. I completed that journey many years ago, ta.

        I will do a bit of research and see if I can find some examples as you suggest, but that may be later in the day. I reckon the Muldoon years will probably throw up a few and the pardoning of Nixon springs to mind, but I’ll see what else I can find.

  15. JD 15

    There is nothing normal about these examples and they are exceptional and deserve to be. There must be a moral criteria to justify retrospective legislation and if you see what labour did was justified I would suggest you look closely at you motives which are questionable and self interested.

    • The Voice of Reason 15.1

      JD, as a fourth year law student you should know better than assigning motives and asserting self interest without the facts being before you.

      I commented because I thought it was an interesting debate and Burt had the intelligence to reply thoughtfully to my understanding of the situation. His reply motivated me to want to look further into the matter. Your reply motivates me to suggest that you are probably in your fourth year at law school as a result of failing the first year three times.

  16. DavidW 16

    Would someone like to tell me where it is written (or even how is it logical) that an MP is required to have his family live anywhere specific at all. [Memo to Phil.: What is your address in Mt Roskill Phil?]

    AFAIK, English could have his home in Dipton while his family lived in Auckland – (coneivable if they went for schooling or similar) and he would still need a place in Wellington to live when (as Minister of Finance and Deputy Prime Minister don’tchaknow) he would be required in the office 4~5 days each week and also would have to cover for the PM when he was travelling as Cullen did for Clark so often.

    As usual there appears to be much more heat than light being thrown on this subject which I suppose shows where peoples loyalty lies but does little for rational discourse.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.1

      Point c in the criteria list requires that where is family live be taken into consideration. Children going away for schooling would inevitably go home for the holidays. In Bill’s case where they would go home to is Wellington and NOT Dipton.

      The other point is that Blinglish doesn’t go “home” to Dipton for the weekends – he goes to his Wellington address and that would be true if he was a politician or not. He has, after all, lived in Wellington since ~1987.

      As usual there appears to be much more heat than light being thrown on this subject which I suppose shows where peoples loyalty lies but does little for rational discourse.

      And ALL of the misdirection is coming from the right just like what you just wrote. More misdirection to help save your heroes.

    • lprent 16.2

      I don’t think it is where he lives that is in question. It is that he gets me as a taxpayer to pay for him living in Wellington where he has obviously been long settled.

      I don’t pay for Phil Goff to live out of Mt Roskill with his family. I can see no reason to pay anything for Bill English to live out of his electorate with his family

  17. JD 17

    “JD, as a fourth year law student you should know better than assigning motives and asserting self interest without the facts being before you.”

    It’s pretty clear really to any reasonable observer as to why one would take the position you have. It’s reasonably amusing to see commentators here talk about the law when they have no idea of what the law or its principles actually are.

    ” Your reply motivates me to suggest that you are probably in your fourth year at law school as a result of failing the first year three times.”

    So you are you are guilty of the offence you charge me of? Time to change you handle maybe.

    • The Voice of Reason 17.1

      I was right about your failing 3 times, wasn’t I? Presumably because you can neither read nor spell (3 posts, 3 uses of ‘you’ when the word is “your”). Re-read my first post, JD. I don’t assume any position, other than stating my understanding that retrospective legislation is normal. I provide some examples that seem to back my thinking and I’m not claiming to be right, but asking for alternative viewpoints. Don’t know why as the whole thing is a diversion anyway, but whatever …

      The functional difference between the Standard and the Sewer is that most posters here are capable of putting a case and providing examples or evidence to back themselves. A good number of the righties that post here get that and contribute intelligently because they know if they just put up crap they’ll just get shot down.

      If you have any facts to contribute, go to it. If not, hit the books, JD, you certainly seem to need the extra time in the library. And BTW, there are quite a few contributors here who make their living from interpretation, advocacy and enforcement of the law, me included. Ignorant, we ain’t.

    • BLiP 17.2

      It’s pretty clear really to any reasonable observer

      Code for: everyone that agrees with me must be reasonable and everyone else unreasonable.

  18. JD 18

    ” I don’t assume any position, other than stating my understanding that retrospective legislation is normal.”

    Your understanding is flawed because you lack a legal background and will read into whatever books you refer to what you want to based on political expediency not what the author actually says. Ask any public law specialist regarding retrospective law and they will give you the same answer as mine. Right or left is irrelevent in the issue. It’s a shame you can’t see how much damage this is actually doing.

    • The Voice of Reason 18.1

      Well, you’re starting to get it, JD. I wasn’t putting a left/right position, I was stating that I thought it was common practice. Still waiting for your examples to disprove my thesis. ‘Ask any public law specialist’ doesn’t cut it. I’m asking you.

  19. JD 19

    “Code for: everyone that agrees with me must be reasonable and everyone else unreasonable.”

    No, it’s a reference to the legal term that judges and other authorities use to determine a standard.

    “I was stating that I thought it was common practice. ”

    Rape, assault and other violent crimes appear to be a common practice from a casual survey of the weeks newspapers. Does this mean these acts are right if they are frequently perpetrated? As a future lawyer I believe strongly that there is professional obligation to educate the public so in this spirit I will indulge you. First s 10A for the Crimes Act states:

    “Criminal enactments not to have retrospective effect

    Notwithstanding any other enactment or rule of law to the contrary, no person shall be liable in any criminal proceedings in respect of an act or omission by him if, at the time of the act or omission, the act or omission by him did not constitute an offence.”

    Furthermore S26 of our Bill of Rights Act states

    “(1) No one shall be liable to conviction of any offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute an offence by such person under the law of New Zealand at the time it occurred.”

    Furthermore the courts have upheld these provision in R v King [1995] 3 NZLR 409 and other cases. These statutes illustrate what parliament thinks of retrospective laws and if you still consider them acceptable then feel free to wipe you ass on our bill of rights act if that makes you happy.

    Now obviously given the doctrine of parliamentary supremacy the parliament can override this but the point I’m making which you don’t seem to grasp is the damage this does to our system of govnt and law.

    Let me spell it out for you do you think it is good that the people who break the law have the power to amend the law to make their criminal act legitimate?

    It’s pretty much a yes or no answer which I don’t expect you to give either from lack of knowledge or because you really aren’t interested in giving an answer that disparages your beloved Labour party.

  20. The Voice of Reason 20

    Nice try, JD, but the selections are from the sections of the Act defining the concept of retrospective illegality, the opposite of what this diversion from the actual post is about. Hope the library’s warm, bud.

  21. burt 21

    The Voice of Reason

    How are you getting on comparing the last Labour govt to the Muldoon govt. Have you been able to justify their unconventional behaviour in Muldoon’s actions?

  22. Does anyone know if English’s Dipton house has been kept empty all these past 10 years? or does he rent it out? Would be interesting to know. I find it hard to believe that it sits there empty with the familt attending school, being a doctor, and an MP in Wellington???????

  23. JD 23

    “Nice try, JD, but the selections are from the sections of the Act defining the concept of retrospective illegality, the opposite of what this diversion from the actual post is about. Hope the library’s warm, bud.”

    It interesting how you once again avoid answering a direct question. It infers a lot about how far you are willing stretch morality to cover clearly illegal and unethical acts simply on the basis that those involved have the same political beliefs as your self. Sad really.

    • felix 23.1

      Perhaps if you ask a question pertaining to the issue being discussed you might get a better answer.

      Just a thought.

      Also, that’s not what “infer” means. You’ll need to know that as a lawyer.

      • Sting 23.1.1

        IrishBill: You forgot you’re banned, Dad.

      • burt 23.1.2

        felix

        Let me spell it out for you do you think it is good that the people who break the law have the power to amend the law to make their criminal act legitimate?

        I say NO!. I’ll say no irrespective of which stripe of govt want to position themselves above the law and adjudicate on alleged breaches of the law in their own best interests

        See there is a process called a judicial review to deal with situations where the law is ineffective or unworkable. A court could have easily ruled there was no case to answer because the rules were confusing etc. Had the court made that ruling then the conventions that define our govt as a democracy would not have been stomped all over.

        But all the harsh reality aside, please explain what is so hard to answer about JD’s question? It is indeed a simple yes or no.

        • felix 23.1.2.1

          “(1) No one shall be liable to conviction of any offence on account of any act or omission which did not constitute an offence by such person under the law of New Zealand at the time it occurred.’

          That’s what JD quoted. If you think that’s applicable to the situation being discussed then you can answer his questions.

          • burt 23.1.2.1.1

            Sorry felix, I just picked the sentence with a question mark following it to be the question rather than the context (which may or may not have been relevant). Silly old me eh.

            • felix 23.1.2.1.1.1

              Oh sorry burt, I was following his argument rather than just selecting the first part of it which suited my stock response.

              Crazy shit, huh?

  24. JD 24

    “But all the harsh reality aside, please explain what is so hard to answer about JD’s question? It is indeed a simple yes or no.”

    Because Voice of Reason doesn’t believe in principles, like the rule of law, only what is necessary for their particular political party to gain power.

    • r0b 24.1

      I fear for the state of our universities if this is the quality of thought that is coming out of our law schools these days. Once upon a time a 4th year law student would make at least a token attempt to put their political bias aside when studying and interpreting the law. JD you’re going to be the worst kind of lawyer if you can’t learn that skill.

      The question that you’re all fired up about is one Burt has been banging on about here forever:

      Let me spell it out for you do you think it is good that the people who break the law have the power to amend the law to make their criminal act legitimate?

      Let me spell it out for you. In most circumstances no, in some circumstances yes. Like most questions of law its complicated, and that’s why there are books written about it. I’ve already referred you to a relevant book above, but since you are doing your best to ignore its existence I’ll repeat myself, see “Retrospectivity and the Rule of Law’:

      Validating Legislation
      Validating legislation is passed where someone, usually the executive arm of government, has acted in reliance on an erroneous view of the law, which action the retrospective statute is intended to validate. Thus, this sub-category include statutes designed to overcome more significant legislative defects than those considered in the routine revision category; often there are complicating factors such as a person’s reliance on the defective scheme. However, provided that no new (that is, unexpected) obligations are imposed on anyone, there is little that can be objected to in the retrospective curing of the defects. Indeed, the reliance on existing state of the law is an argument for retrospectivity, because the executive and others relied on what turned out to be a mistaken interpretation of the law.

      In these instances, it would be perverse not to perfect the law given that people have been led into error by the government. The retrospective legislation is concerned with making the law conform to that which people acting in purported reliance on the law believed to be the case. Failure to cure the defect and validate those actions in the circumstances could diminish respect the law rather than support it.

      Validating legislation is exactly what occurred in this case. And it wasn’t political parties / MPs that “broke the law”, it was Parliamentary Services, so the validating legislation was not in fact legitimising the actions of MPs at all. And the legislation can’t have been so bad, because National extended its term.

      Other retrospective legislation occurs quite often. National does it and does it again. ACT get in a muddle about it. The Auckland city council does it.

      In short retrospective legislation is not an uncommon practice. Your childishly black and white view of the world seems to be driven by your political hatred, and once again I warn you in all seriousness, that is not going to do you any good as a lawyer.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    14 hours ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    17 hours ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    19 hours ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    20 hours ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    24 hours ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    1 day ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    2 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    2 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    3 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    3 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    4 days ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    4 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    4 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    4 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    1 week ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago