National has a discipline problem

Written By: - Date published: 12:03 pm, June 13th, 2020 - 28 comments
Categories: Maori Issues, maori party, national, racism, racism, same old national, uncategorized - Tags: , , , ,

It is interesting watching National disintegrate.

It used to be the party of discipline.  From the time that John Key took over in 2006 National has been this borg like structure.  It was totally united, always on message, and when Key drifted into left wing and centrist positions such as acknowledging that Aotearoa had an underclass and that National’s future would depend on the Maori Party it was formidable.

Fast forward to 2020.  The Maori Party now want to tear down a number of statutes and claims that the National Party is racist.  It is clear that the Maori Party will not be providing solace to National after the election if by some chance it gets over the line.

National’s historical reach to the middle has disappeared.  Now its reach appears to be to the extreme right.

As evidence can I present what happened yesterday.  Back bencher whose rank is 41 Chris Penk managed to have a book published about Covid 19 that effectively defined National’s position on the issue.  And he undermined National’s carefully constructed position that Jacinda has actually done a pretty good job.

Then hold my beer Simeon Brown, the junior member for Pakuranga, managed to dominate political discourse by saying stupid things about Hamilton City’s decision to take down a statute that was a major annoyance to local Tainui.

The statute is of John Hamilton and its presence has been of concern to Tainui since it was erected.  Charles Anderson in the Guardian has some of the detail:

Council chief executive Richard Briggs said in a statement that the decision to remove it from Civic Square was made after it received a request from local iwi (tribe), Waikato-Tainui. Briggs said it had become clear the statue was also likely to be vandalised.

“We know this statue is contentious for a number of our community members. It is the right thing for the council to take the opportunity to look at the long-term plan for this artwork and determine where and how it might fit in to the city’s future.”

He said there were public safety concerns as the statue is embedded into Civic Square and sits on top of an underground carpark.

“If the statue were to be forcefully removed from its current position, as has been indicated, it could severely undermine the integrity of the building below it.”

Local kaumatua (elder) Taitimu Maipi told news website Stuff he intended to remove the statue during a protest march on Saturday.

He said Hamilton was a “murderous arsehole” who was displayed in the city as though he was a hero. Hamilton was a captain during the battle of Gate Pā during the 19th century New Zealand wars, a series of bloody battles between Māori and the British government about disputed land purchases and colonial occupation. However, it is likely Hamilton never set foot in the city.

Hamilton is a strange person to celebrate.  The battle of Gate Pa has been described as a major disaster for the British Army.  And the Tainui settlement was so large because it was universally accepted that Tainui never rebelled but were attacked by British troops in direct violation of Article II of the Treaty of Waitangi.  To celebrate Hamilton and name a major city after him is offensive as well as absurd.

So taking down his statute at this time of heightened sensitivity and in the face of long standing objections voiced by Tainui is the right thing to do.

Which is why Simeon Brown’s leap into the issue is so bizarre.  He does not even represent the area.  I wonder how the Hamilton MPs felt about his intruding into their issue?

Here he is in full flight.

Sure he has a point. We should not tear down all statutes.  But those of people engaged in atrocities against local Iwi, why not?

I believe that Brown and National are on the wrong side of this issue.  Aotearoa New Zealand has come a long way since the days of Don Brash and the Orewa speech.  We are now much less tolerant of intolerance.

And while I am on the subject can I urge a review of current city names?

For a few years now I have seethed about the names of some of our major urban areas.  I mean Auckland?  It sounds like someone suppressed a cough half way through.  The alternative name, Tamaki Makaurau, which translates to Tamaki desired by many is so poignant.  Auckland in comparison loosely translates to living near a grove of Oaks.  How utterly irrelevant.

And Hamilton could use a rename as well.  How about Waikato City?

It would be good for us to have a debate about issues such as how we acknowledge our history and what names we should use for our largest urban areas.  But it looks like National has no desire to peacefully have such a discussion.

28 comments on “National has a discipline problem ”

  1. Matiri 1

    Statue not statute!

  2. Grafton Gully 2

    Akarana and Hamutana. The coming together of different traditions in Aotearoa and the eternal conflict.

  3. Roy cartland 3

    Wellington isn't much better, either: I never liked it. I guess it's a tribute to the sole of, whoever that was. But what is the literal meaning? Spring-field? Swamp-place? Water-ground? Surely we can do better (I'd even go with fish-head!)

  4. the Gnats cunning plan is working perfectly..

  5. Aaron 5

    They had a go at renaming Hamilton 20 years ago and Waikato City was the council's preferred option. The idea was met with derision, mostly because it was motivated by discomfort at Hamilton's lack of cool – but also because the initials W.C. also mean toilet.

    Someone suggested City of Waikato – or CoW – would be more appropriate, while a local radio station suggested renaming the city "Hamiltron – City of the Future". It was so absurd that it stuck with people referring to Hamilton as the Tron.

    HCC is currently looking at Kirikiriroa which would probably be a better option under the circumstances.

    • riffer 5.1

      Weird. I never heard anyone saying that about Wellington City. You could always call it just Waikato. Easier said for some people that Kirikiriroa, as nice as that name is. If we can reclaim a mountain's name we can reclaim a city's name. If enough people did that an official renaming would follow. I see it as an inevitable thing.

      • Rae 5.1.1

        If you wish to reclaim the name, then Kirikiriroa is it. I even have the catch cry for it, "You're going to hear us Roa"

    • Rae 5.2

      Well given that was the name before it was changed to Hamilton, it seems fitting to return to the original. I would miss being able to refer to it as "The Tron" however

      • Sacha 5.2.1

        Nothing to stop that nickname continuing long after its daft Anglo source is lopped.

        • In Vino 5.2.1.1

          Personally, I thought that army Hamilton guy was a bit of a nonentity. I always liked to think that our fair city was named after the illustrious Lady Hamilton (Lord Horatio Nelson's infamous but glamorous mistress).

          Now, if we had had a statue of Lady Hamilton at her glamorous best, maybe we would have had nobody wanting to rip it out of the ground….

          • Sacha 5.2.1.1.1

            Better still, make out that the city is named after the popular musical..

  6. observer 6

    I would certainly have concerns about the Government introducing the "Local Statues (Compulsory Removal without Consent) Bill" to Parliament. Especially the bit about over-ruling any local council decisions. If they ever proposed such a law, opposition MPs would have a duty to hold the government to account. Not sure there would be the numbers even to send the Bill to select committee.

    But since that hasn't happened and won't ever happen, it is unclear what on earth Simeon Brown thinks he is going on about.

  7. Andre 7

    Scott Yorke's take on Penk's book is deadly accurate and remarkably non-sarcastic.

    https://imperatorfish.com/2020/06/13/yes-chris-id-love-to-read-it/

  8. Gareth Wilson 8

    “If the statue were to be forcefully removed from its current position, as has been indicated, it could severely undermine the integrity of the building below it.”

    "I wouldn't take it down if I were you, it's a load-bearing poster."

  9. Anker 9

    Wtf. How many pages criticising our covid response?
    nz has nailed it. I know we have to remain vigilant about the boarders, but wandering around shops in the city, talking to retailers, they are doing a roaring fade, because people like me aren’t wary of going out. And I know that this might be a post lockdown spending bump and I know there is a heart breaking total of job loses,. But defeating covid the way we have gives us the best chance of recovery.

    my Aussie friend’s are somewhat tentative about activities outside the home and one of them still isn’t working cause bars are closed…..kiwis will know from the match last night with a live crowd, first in the world, that our strategy has been a roaring success.

    mr pinkish on a hiding to nothing

  10. Shanreagh 10

    Is the person rudely pointing standing next to Penk, who I assume if the one with the mic, one of the Nats as well?

    His smirk is annoying me like crazy…I know get out more.

    • Incognito 10.1

      Penk is the pointy one, Simeon Brown is the one holding the mike wondering what he’s doing.

      • mac1 10.1.1

        I suspect this is an auction, with auctioneer and spotter, flogging off the family silver………

  11. peter sim 11

    Levin has to be the most irrelevant name for any settlement in NZ. Relax, I live there.

  12. Peter 12

    With apologies to the Scaffold. ironic name I suppose:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2x8D4T–0v4

    We'll drink a drink a drink

    To Chris the Penk the Penk the Penk

    The saviour of the National Party

    For he came up with all of the answers

    Most efficacious in every case

    Mr Muller, a very strange fulla

    So boring and so gray

    So he brought in Matthew Hooton

    His supporters will have to pray

    Deputy Kaye, was often astray

    She would simply get things wrong ong ong

    But now that she’s got

    A silly Penk answer

    She’ll be really on her way

    We'll drink a drink a drink

    To Silly the Penk the Penk the Penk

    The saviour of Aotearoa

    For in the lockdown he found the answers

    To help them stay where they’re so low

    Judith the crusher is certainly husher

    Now she missed out once again

    It’s never curtains, you can bet for certain

    When Todd is wasted she’ll try to reign

    Gerry Brownlee would never be tardy

    He’d even jump an airport gate

    Pockets of lollies to get his jollies

    Now he’s never ever late

    We'll drink a drink a drink

    To Silly the Penk the Penk the Penk

    The saviour of Aotearoa

    For in the lockdown he found the answers

    To help them stay where they’re so low

    Amy Adams, totally random

    Changed her mind in just a tick

    She wanted some action

    And so in a fraction

    She’s back aboard the Titanic

    Paula and Simon once were their diamonds

    Heading to be at the top

    But they are a just like Penks wisdom and foresight

    Now they’re both just their party’s dross

    Up into heaven their souls ascended

    All the church bells they did ring

    Penk’s gormless effort born of the lockdown

    Hark the herald angels sing

    • peter sim 12.1

      A not unreasonable assessment (actually probably not too inaccurate).

      Also one of my favourite silly songs.

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  • The politics of managed retreat

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    5 days ago
  • Some changes are coming

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    6 days ago
  • About fucking time

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  • Climate Change: False accounting and wishful thinking

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    6 days ago
  • The Enemies Of Sunshine And Space.

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  • Still the 5 Eyes Achilles Heel?

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  • Britain's Devastating Electoral Slip.

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  • The Kākā's Chorus for Wednesday, July 17

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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Open Letter to Pharmac

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  • A blanket of misinformation

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    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 17

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    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 17

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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • “Shhhh” – National's 3 Waters is loaded with higher costs and lays a path to ...

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    7 days ago
  • Plugging a video channel: Dr Gilbz

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  • Some “scrutiny” again

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    1 week ago
  • Crashing New Zealand's health system is not the way to prosperity, Prime Minister

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  • Closer Than You Think: Ageing Boomers, Laurie & Les, Talk Politics.

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  • Come on Darleen.

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  • How the Northwest was lost and may be won

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  • The Kākā's Chorus for Tuesday July 16

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    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Tuesday, July 16

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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Tuesday, July 16

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    1 week ago
  • The second crisis; assumption was the mother

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    1 week ago
  • Can we air condition our way out of extreme heat?

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  • Media Link: AVFA on the Trump assassination attempt.

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    1 week ago

  • Sir Don to travel to Viet Nam as special envoy

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  • Grant Illingworth KC appointed as transitional Commissioner to Royal Commission

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  • NZ to advance relationships with ASEAN partners

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    4 hours ago
  • Backing mental health services on the West Coast

    Construction of a new mental health facility at Te Nikau Grey Hospital in Greymouth is today one step closer, Mental Health Minister Matt Doocey says. “This $27 million facility shows this Government is delivering on its promise to boost mental health care and improve front line services,” Mr Doocey says. ...
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    4 hours ago
  • NZ support for sustainable Pacific fisheries

    New Zealand is committing nearly $50 million to a package supporting sustainable Pacific fisheries development over the next four years, Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This support consisting of a range of initiatives demonstrates New Zealand’s commitment to assisting our Pacific partners ...
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    4 hours ago
  • Students’ needs at centre of new charter school adjustments

    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says proposed changes to the Education and Training Amendment Bill will ensure charter schools have more flexibility to negotiate employment agreements and are equipped with the right teaching resources. “Cabinet has agreed to progress an amendment which means unions will not be able to initiate ...
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    5 hours ago
  • Commissioner replaces Health NZ Board

    In response to serious concerns around oversight, overspend and a significant deterioration in financial outlook, the Board of Health New Zealand will be replaced with a Commissioner, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.  “The previous government’s botched health reforms have created significant financial challenges at Health NZ that, without ...
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    1 day ago
  • Minister to speak at Australian Space Forum

    Minister for Space and Science, Innovation and Technology Judith Collins will travel to Adelaide tomorrow for space and science engagements, including speaking at the Australian Space Forum.  While there she will also have meetings and visits with a focus on space, biotechnology and innovation.  “New Zealand has a thriving space ...
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    1 day ago
  • Climate Change Minister to attend climate action meeting in China

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    1 day ago
  • Oceans and Fisheries Minister to Solomons

    Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones is travelling to the Solomon Islands tomorrow for meetings with his counterparts from around the Pacific supporting collective management of the region’s fisheries. The 23rd Pacific Islands Forum Fisheries Committee and the 5th Regional Fisheries Ministers’ Meeting in Honiara from 23 to 26 July ...
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    3 days ago
  • Government launches Military Style Academy Pilot

    The Government today launched the Military Style Academy Pilot at Te Au rere a te Tonga Youth Justice residence in Palmerston North, an important part of the Government’s plan to crackdown on youth crime and getting youth offenders back on track, Minister for Children, Karen Chhour said today. “On the ...
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    3 days ago
  • Nine priority bridge replacements to get underway

    The Government has welcomed news the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) has begun work to replace nine priority bridges across the country to ensure our state highway network remains resilient, reliable, and efficient for road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.“Increasing productivity and economic growth is a key priority for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Update on global IT outage

    Acting Prime Minister David Seymour has been in contact throughout the evening with senior officials who have coordinated a whole of government response to the global IT outage and can provide an update. The Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet has designated the National Emergency Management Agency as the ...
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    4 days ago
  • New Zealand, Japan renew Pacific partnership

    New Zealand and Japan will continue to step up their shared engagement with the Pacific, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.    “New Zealand and Japan have a strong, shared interest in a free, open and stable Pacific Islands region,” Mr Peters says.    “We are pleased to be finding more ways ...
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    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure energises BOP forestry towns

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    4 days ago
  • 'Pacific Futures'

    President Adeang, fellow Ministers, honourable Diet Member Horii, Ambassadors, distinguished guests.    Minasama, konnichiwa, and good afternoon, everyone.    Distinguished guests, it’s a pleasure to be here with you today to talk about New Zealand’s foreign policy reset, the reasons for it, the values that underpin it, and how it ...
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    4 days ago
  • Delivering 24 hour pothole repairs

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    4 days ago
  • Peer Support Specialists rolled out in hospitals

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    5 days ago
  • Consultation opens for the Emissions Reduction Plan

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    5 days ago
  • Benefit stats highlight need for welfare reset

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    5 days ago
  • School attendance continues to increase

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    5 days ago
  • $22.7m of West Coast resilience projects underway

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    5 days ago
  • Migrant school leavers to get part-time work rights

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    6 days ago
  • Funding to support use of NZ Sign Language

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  • Inflation data shows progress in economic recovery

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    6 days ago
  • Experts to advise Minister on Oranga Tamariki

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    7 days ago
  • Expectations set for improved medicines access

    Associate Health Minister David Seymour says he has set clear expectations for Pharmac around delivering the medicines and medical technology that Kiwis need.  “For many New Zealanders, funding for pharmaceuticals is life or death, or the difference between a life of pain and suffering or living freely. New cancer medicines ...
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    7 days ago
  • Regional Development Minister to host summits

    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston

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    1 week ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety

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  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship

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    1 week ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality

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    1 week ago
  • 4000 more job seekers to get case managers

    A new over-the-phone employment case management service will see thousands more job seekers under the age of 25 supported to find work, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston has announced. “MSD case managers provide valuable support to help people into work, but less than a third of those receiving ...
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    1 week ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy

    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
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    1 week ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants

    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO

    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • District Court judges appointed

    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins

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    2 weeks ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended

    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
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