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National’s long history of intimidation

Written By: - Date published: 9:27 am, May 16th, 2017 - 36 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, national, same old national - Tags: , , , , , ,

Nat MP Alfred Ngaro is copping it in the media for threatening to withdraw funding from people critical of National. Steven Joyce tried to explain that “It’s not the way the government operates…”. Oh but it is. It always has been. National has a long history of attacking, intimidating, and trying to silence critical voices and facts.

Key set the tone in early 2008 with his attempt to get a Herald journalist sacked. This led to the unprecedented response of Herald journalists writing a letter of protest over Key’s political interference.

Soon after Bill English disgraced himself, lashing out at those covering the story of his double-dipping:

Radio New Zealand’s political editor reports that Mr English rang journalists from TVNZ and TV3 on Wednesday night and abused them about their coverage of the issue.

More here. Duncan Garner wrote even more plainly on English’s bullying:

English shouldn’t get a cent

He needs to drop the bitter and nasty attacks on the media. His language in private is unbecoming and unprofessional. He’s on $276,000 and he has a job to do. Get on with it Bill, but do the right thing, and stop trying to muscle up behind the scenes – it’s getting you nowhere.

And of course Paula Bennett:

Bennett won’t rule out releasing beneficiary details

Social Development Minister Paula Bennett is not ruling out revealing private details of beneficiaries in the future. It follows the Human Rights Commission telling Bennett that she breached the privacy of Natasha Fuller when she disclosed details of the solo mother’s benefit to media.

Gerry Brownlee is an embarrassment of bullying riches, attacking Geonet scientists, fire fighters and Civil Defence in Christchurch, Kaikoura quake victims, an annoying CEO, and folk he just doesn’t like the look of (did I miss anyone?). But let’s not forget Nick Smith:

Fish and Game accuse Nick Smith of bullying

Conservation Minister Nick Smith is considering legal action against claims he bullied Fish and Game into ending its campaign for clean rivers and lakes.

The Northland by election brought us this gem:

Dusty road group claim bullying

Whangarei dairy farmer Alex Wright said Whangarei National MP Shane Reti rang her last week and told her the Pipiwai advocacy group should keep quiet for the next two and a half weeks – or risk getting nothing. …

And then:

Nats: Roads in doubt if Winston wins

John Key is warning voters there is no “free lunch” in the Northland by-election, as National claims major roads and free-trade deals will be in doubt if Winston Peters wins. … “If the people of Northland want the Puhoi to Wellsford motorway extension, which is vital to open up Northland to our biggest market . . . if we want that, there’s only one choice, and that’s to vote for me,” Osborne said. If he lost the by-election there was a “real risk” the road might not go ahead.

Schools have been particular targets of intimidation. The Nats have threatened boards with loss of funding over national standards, and warned school principals not to speak out against them.

This kind of nonsense is corrosive to democracy and it could happen to anyone:

Ex-govt lawyer’s ‘bury bad news’ claim

A former high-ranking Customs lawyer says he resigned from his job after allegedly being told to bury information that could embarrass the Government.

Curtis Gregorash said he was told by senior Customs executives to refuse Official Information Act and Privacy Act requests, which he believed was at the direction of former Customs Minister Maurice Williamson.

It comes at a time the Prime Minister’s office is under inquiry over the release of intelligence material through the OIA and accusations that former Justice Minister Judith Collins was manipulating OIA responses for political purposes.

That includes the Problem Gambling Foundation:

[Tau Henare:] but why should Govt pay a group to be critical of it? Pay them to help but don’t pay them to bag the hand that feeds them.

It includes those working on rape prevention:

Rape prevention group ‘told not to speak out’

The departing head of a rape prevention group says she was told its funding was at risk if she continued to speak out against Government policy.

Rape Prevention Education executive director Dr Kim McGregor said the comment came in a phone call from a public servant and she was shocked by it.

“I had a phonecall when I was at RPE and our funding was threatened because we were being advocates, we were speaking out against Government and that was quite shocking to me at the time.”

Of course it includes academics and reporters, with attacks on the likes of Mike Joy and Jon Stevenson. It even includes the Human Rights Commission:

But Prime Minister John Key has hit back, saying the commission’s report is a poor piece of work that was submitted late, and it needed to do better if it was to continue to receive taxpayer funding.

And who could forget National’s finest hour?

Tea tape: Here come the police

Police are expected to descend on media organisations today in pursuit of material related to the “teapot tape”, while Prime Minister John Key digs his heels in and stands by allegedly defamatory statements about cameraman Bradley Ambrose.

Did I say finest hour? I forgot Dirty Politics. (And just in passing: High Court finds police raid on Nicky Hager was illegal.)

I could go on (and on and on an on). But enough wandering down memory lane. If you don’t want to believe a ranting leftie blogger, try reporter Dita De Boni – Government by intimidation, or have a read of 2013 New Zealander of The Year Dame Anne Salmond who wrote (in 2015):

Erosion of democratic rights

Over the past decade or so, politicians seeking to uphold their own power have abused democratic freedoms in New Zealand. Journalists including Jon Stephenson (for reporting on New Zealand’s involvement in Afghanistan), Andrea Vance (over a suspected leak of a report about the GCSB spy agency), and Nicky Hager (for exposing scurrilous relationships between senior politicians and muck-raking bloggers) have been intimidated and attacked.

While our leaders do not shoot people, they work with others to try to ruin the lives and careers of those who disagree with them. The means may be different, but the intent is the same. One way or another, their critics (however valid their points of view might be) must be silenced.

It is not just outspoken individuals who are at risk. Institutions that are the bulwarks of our democracy have been undermined.

Since the 1980s, the civil service, which is supposed to offer informed, impartial advice to politicians, has been brought under ministerial control, and instead of serving civil society now largely serves its political masters.

The freedom of the press has been compromised, for instance in the wake of the teapot tape scandal, when newspaper offices were raided in an effort to prevent the publication of those recordings, or when improper pressure is brought to bear on journalists and media outlets for partisan political purposes.

The independence of the judiciary and the rule of law have been eroded by the passage of a stream of acts that breach the Bill of Rights; by removing legal protections from citizens for economic or fiscal gain (protesters at sea, and family caregivers for the disabled, for instance); and by setting up politically appointed panels to bypass the Environment Court, for example.

Independent statutory bodies are brought to heel if they criticise the Government, by threatening or removing their funding, or by cancelling their powers (such as the current attempts to bring the work of the Human Rights Commission under ministerial control, and to cancel the positions of the Equal Opportunities Commissioner and the Race Relations Conciliator).

Radical extensions of the powers of the SIS and the GCSB to intrude into the private lives of citizens are justified by arguing a need to defend New Zealanders against terrorist attacks, although these powers have been abused for political gain. …

Oh and by the way, the Nats are still at it, as the recent nasty attacks on Jacinda Ardern show all too clearly.

In short, National has always used its power to threaten, intimidate and silence people who get in its way. Ngaro is just the latest example. He wasn’t an aberration, he’s completely typical. But the reaction against Nat bullying has been stronger this time. Interesting.

36 comments on “National’s long history of intimidation”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    When meeting your MP, always make sure to bring a recording device and pepper spray.

  2. Keith 2

    An excellent summary.

    But our economy is booming, even though we can’t fund things as our economy isn’t really booming, and voters don’t give this subject any thought. Hell, even the Heralds “Mikes Minute”, that bastion of critical analysis, has avoided the subject preferring to wank on about Andrew Little or something.

    However for a flip side of the intimidation and vendettas, I recall a few years back, an NGO out West Auckland got all grumpy about losing government contracts, threatening to take them/National to the High court. Now who will ever say if the following was connected but not long after that that NGO got a lucrative truancy contract they had no skills in and the silly old High Court thingy was never heard of again.

    National Party first, NZ last!

  3. mickysavage 3

    A tour de force r0b.

    I felt years of anger wash over me when I read it.

    • Enough is Enough 3.1

      Me too – Dating all the way back to the disgraceful treatment and intimidation of Erin Leigh

      • mickysavage 3.1.1

        Is she a charity that had her funding disallowed because she publicly criticised the Government?

        • Enough is Enough 3.1.1.1

          No Greg – She is someone who was bullied by the government.

  4. Skinny 4

    Poor ole Alfie just trying to gee up the downbeat party faithful crowd who were obviously suffering without the Teflon man. Reminded me of the Berlin bunker 1945.

  5. Anne 5

    And don’t forget the throat cutting gesture John Key made to Phil Goff in the Debating Chamber. That was intimidation of the nastiest kind.

    Just to recap: A mentally ill man tried to jump off the chamber balcony. The oppo. members directly below were in danger not John Key. What Phil Goff had to do with it is anybody’s guess but Key decided to blame him for the incident. He never apologised.

    Btw, what happened to Cathy Odgers?

  6. Skinny 6

    Poor ole Alfie just trying to gee up the downbeat party faithful crowd who were obviously suffering without the Teflon man. Reminded me of the Berlin bunker 1945.

    “Dusty road group claim bullying”

    “Whangarei dairy farmer Alex Wright said Whangarei National MP Shane Reti rang her last week and told her the Pipiwai advocacy group should keep quiet for the next two and a half weeks – or risk getting nothing. …”

    We still hear of Alex & her group suffering, after the by-election they were punished by that thug Reti for speaking out. Oh well her future will be looking brighter in a couple of weeks when Shane Jones goes into to railroad the woeful Reti in Whangarei.

    • Tamati Tautuhi 6.1

      Is this recent bullying as I have discussed this issue with Alex in the past ?

    • Skinny 6.2

      Speaking of Alex above just got this spam email to anybody who will listen. Poor women it is bad enough battling thug Reti and village idiot Simon Bridges, let alone also the national party shills in local government (Forlong is the CEO of Whangarei DC) ;

      Dear Mr Forlong,

      Thank you very much for your email with your answer and some clarification regarding the Whangarei District Council transportation expenditure.

      I neglected to ask you when will the blocked culverts on Pipiwai Road be repaired ?

      The increase in roading operations expenditure information you have provided is rather interesting.
      Did you know that the Council roading budget has been losing $12 million each year for the last 10 years and when you add the lost Financial Assistant Rate (FAR) when attracting this subsidy from the New Zealand Transport Agency for the Whangarei District Council roading, the roading budget is actually losing $18 million each year ? Why is this ?
      Therefore where has the lost $120 million from roading been spent ?
      Did you know that 10 years ago the Whangarei District Council was doing approximately 30 kilometres of new sealing extension on Council roads ? Now, the Council does less than 5 kilometres of new sealing extension each year. Why is this ?

      While there is 705 kilometres of unsealed roads in the Whangarei District it is a very poor outcome to know that less than 2 kilometres of road will be sealed in the 2016/2017 Annual Plan.
      Please can you note that there is only $637 million for new seal extensions over the next 3 years in the Whangarei District Council Long Term Plan 2015-2025.
      At an approximate cost of $300,000 to seal 1 kilometre of road this will mean less than 1 kilometre of new sealing in the Whangarei District Council each year for the next 3 years.
      This I believe is an appalling state of roading affairs for our unsealed roading upgrade in the Whangarei District.
      Will you and your General Managers be able to give this serious situation some consideration for improvement in the very near future ?

      In the meantime, it is really good the see the maintenance work being done on Wright Road this week and we look forward to all the named roads being graded and metalled.

      Thank you.

      Yours sincerely,
      Alex Wright.

      • Skinny 6.2.1

        “While there is 705 kilometres of unsealed roads in the Whangarei District it is a very poor outcome to know that less than 2 kilometres of road will be sealed in the 2016/2017 Annual Plan.”

        Well Alex the simple reason the neglect of you and others with over 700 km’s of broken dusty roads in the region is the village idiot Simon Bridges is wasting it all on RON’s like $500 million on a 4 lane, 22 km highway for Nationals trucking donators.

        Good news is after the Sept election that wasteful idea will be axed along with a lot of their unwanted roads of maddness.

        • Jenny Kirk 6.2.1.1

          Yup – that’s the reason, Skinny – Roads of National Significance – taking funds from the essential – but obviously not National-voting material or funders – local roading system which badly needs upgrading in the north.

          • tc 6.2.1.1.1

            It’s NZ wide with the plunder of all district council road road and transit NZ state highway funding.

            Combine that with ever heavier trucks, even when legal, and you have crumbling shoulders with cut up surfaces.

            Colleagues went to Rotorua a few weeks back and were appalled at the condition of the state highways which are centrally funded for one of our major tourist routes.

            Told them to get out more and wake up to the reality of 3 terms of plunder.

  7. Tamati Tautuhi 7

    Heard through the grapevine Key had influenced the Police and the SAS for his own purposes through ex law enforcement personnel, only gossip mind you and I can’t substantiate or verify this, just hearsay and pub talk.

    • tc 7.1

      Kim dotcom is possibly waiting on all the court affairs to be settled before he loads up and fires. Surveillance and data capture work both ways.

      • WILD KATIPO 7.1.1

        And Kim Dotcom was a CLASSIC case of how this National govt can be / are a house of thugs.

        What happened to Kim Dotcom was deplorable in so many ways.

        More evidence of the National party thug culture. And without reaming off screeds of past misdeeds and ill treatment of fellow New Zealanders , – suffice to say we need to get rid of National quick smart. And I’m not joking nor am I necessarily trying to be political about it. They just simply need to be gone .

        • tc 7.1.1.1

          They know they’re gone that’s one of the reasons key left and blinglish is making the most of the big chair he’d never get elected for.

          Note there’s no real efforts to hide the arrogance, plunder and destruction that will continue right up to the GE. Games up and they’re going to go out slinging shit all the way across to the opposition benches.

  8. What . A. Bunch . Of . Thugs.

    WOW!

    And these are the sort of scum that are in governance over our country ?!!?

    THESE are the sort of people we appeal to in order to ensure the common people’s best interests are being served ?!!? , – NO WONDER we have family’s sleeping in cars and garage’s !!!

    They couldn’t give a flying rats shit !!! They seriously do not – otherwise they would have done something after 9 bloody long years about our creeping third world poverty wages and housing.

    They are nothing but lying , bullying thugs. They deserve no respect. And here we have their garbage neo liberal belief in ‘ small government’. We can see here what they mean by that , – so long as they can slash public funding then abdicate responsibility barring facilitating large corporations ( preferably foreign owned ) . That’s their idea of small government.

    But woe betide any criticizing of their agenda or their pandering to the big boys and all of a sudden that cozy ‘small government ‘ notion goes out the back door and what we then see is a massive multi headed Lernaean Hydra bearing down on its latest political victims.

    Fuck them.

    And as for that English character, – its been him all along. He was the one behind John Key . The social stagnation and the funding cuts , the starving of our social services so he could bring about private institutions instead of publicly funded ones. Its been him all along.

    What a total piece of slimy weaselly shit.

    Like attracts like and its no wonder the core members of that party maintain such a thug culture , – anything less would be devoured.

    We’ve got to get rid of them this coming September. This country can no longer tolerate or accommodate that sort ilk in control . They are reprehensible. Well did Hugh Price get it so very , very right in the not so distant past …

    New Right Fight – Who are the New Right?
    http://www.newrightfight.co.nz/pageA.html

  9. Tricledrown 9

    Stephen Joyce Chief Bully.
    Using media connections to destroy Critics.
    Withdrawing funding of researchers who’s research shows govt policy not working or damaging to New Zealanders.
    Diabetes researcher’s complained about Nationals overturning of healthy food in schools while we are in the mists of an Diabetes epidemic.
    National exposed in Dirty Politics /Whaleoil Katherine Rich food industry funding a smear campaign to undermine public health for profits.
    While National get more funding from these Cronies.

  10. weka 10

    Such an important post r0b, thanks for all the work that went into that. Maybe we should update it once a month for the next 4 months 😈 Or have a running series of them.

    • Skinny 10.1

      I kinda only pop in now and again, you guys are in ya own click and don’t really mix with those that bother to add the odd comment, becomes boring talking to ones self. Don’t get that on facebook though.

  11. ropata 11

    Great work r0b, a damning litany.
    No wonder we are slipping down the “press freedom” rankings.

    Hang your heads in shame, National Party dirty politics apologists

    • Stuart Munro 11.1

      Better that we have some kind of judicial response that hangs their heads for them – you’ll wait a long time before these blackguards and scofflaws go straight voluntarily.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 11.1.1

        This ^^^

        Edit: I wonder whether examination of the relationship between the Oaths and Declarations Act and the crime of perjury might bear fruit.

  12. SMILIN 12

    The rotten stench of Natzional political bullying

  13. mosa 13

    What about Judith Collins releasing personal information about civil servant Simon Pleasants to Cameron Slater.

    Slater then went on to attack Mr Pleasants on his web site and the man has had death threats.

    Mr Pleasants refused to let the privacy commissioner investigate.

    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/253088/call-for-collins-to-go-over-latest-gaffe

    Great post r0b

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    The Justice Committee has reported back on its Inquiry into the 2017 General Election and 2016 Local Elections, with a host of recommendations about how to improve our electoral systems. Some of their recommendations are already incorporate din the Electoral Amendment Bill currently before Parliament, but there's also a recommendation ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The Greens abandon NeoLiberalism
    Back in 2017, in order to make themselves "electable" in the eyes of rich people who oppose everything they stand for, the Greens signed up for NeoLiberalism, adopting a restrictive set of "Budget Responsibility Rules" which basicly prevented them from using government to make things better. Now, they're finally abandoning ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Lying about a failed war
    Since invading in 2001, the US has consistently claimed that their war in Afghanistan has been going well, even when it continued year after year after year. Of course, they were lying, and thanks to the Washington Post and the US Freedom of Information Act, we get to see just ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Artificial Intelligence and You
    How should we think about artificial intelligence and the implications that it has for our work and leisure? There are many articles on artificial intelligence and its potential impacts on jobs, and the ethics of applications. These are important topics, but I want to focus on some less discussed aspects, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
    I love data. It’s amazing the sort of “discoveries” I can make given a data set and computer statistical package. It’s just so easy to search for relationships and test their statistical significance. Maybe relationships which ...
    7 days ago
  • More lies on the Twitter (Dan Hodges edition)
    The other big story concerning Leeds Hospital is Boris Johnson's bizzare behaviour at Leeds Hospital, where he was confronted by a journalist and challenged about a four year old boy with suspected pneumonia who was left sleeping on the floor, rather than getting  abed like a sick kid would in ...
    7 days ago
  • LabourActivistPunchedMattHancock’sSPADGate
    So, for a brief period of history, it was alleged that a protester had punched Matt Hancock's SPAD (not a euphemism; special adviser) when Hancock visited Leeds Hospital.This was reported by the likes of Robert Peston and Laura Keunssberg, as well as the less credible Guido Fawkes.  It also quickly ...
    7 days ago
  • France’s anti-Zionism is anti-liberté
    by Daphna Whitmore Last week France passed a law that equates anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism. It is based on a definition of anti-Semitism that includes criticism of Israel such as: “Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, e.g., by claiming that the existence of a State of Israel is a racist ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Another bus lockout
    Over the past year we've seen major bus problems in Hamilton and Wellington, as drivers have sought better wages and an end to the bullshit of split shifts, which basicly see them "married to the job". And now its Auckland's turn. When NZBus's drivers planned low-level strike action of not ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Showing us how its done
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. But those targets are insufficient. Meanwhile, Denmark is showing us how its done:Denmark’s parliament adopted a new climate law on Friday, committing to reach 70% below its 1990 emissions in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Public sector dysfunction should not be allowed to undermine freedom of information
    Another day, another piece of legislation with a secrecy clause. This time its the innocuous-seeming Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill, which (after establishing a new body and making it subject to the OIA in three different ways) includes the rapidly-becoming-standard clauses enabling it to request information from other public ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • “This is England, this knife of Sheffield steel…”
    The state of the United Kingdom is fractured, torn up, shredded. The Empire is gone, it died a long time ago. And yet, the country is still tracking with a lead in favour of the ones who play to the ingrained, class-bound division for political gain. It is a disgrace ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • CORSIA, coming soon to an airport near you
    On 27 September, Greta Thunberg addressed a crowd of 500,000 at the School Strike for Climate in Montreal, saying: “You are a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And Sweden is also a nation that is allegedly a climate leader. And in both cases, it means absolutely nothing. Because ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Cloaking hate speech and fake news in the right to free expression.
    It should be obvious by now but let’s be clear: The same folk who regularly traffic in disinformation, misinformation and “fake news” are also those who most strongly claim that their freedom of expression rights are being violated when moves are made to curb hate speech (as opposed to protected ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Physics (and Economics, and Politics) of Wheelchairs on Planes
    Michael Schulson When Shane Burcaw flies on an airplane, he brings along a customized gel cushion, a car seat, and about 10 pieces of memory foam. The whole arsenal costs around $1,000, but for Burcaw it’s a necessity. The 27-year-old author and speaker — who, alongside his fiancée, Hannah ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • To Advance Civil Rights, Oppose Transgender Extremism
    We are very pleased to publish this submission is from Lucinda Stoan. She is a social justice activist, mother, and educator, based in Washington State in the  US.   This detailed and comprehensive source-linked overview of trans issues and what is at stake will be useful for many people, especially in ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Faafoi should be fired
    Newshub last night reported that Broadcasting Minister Kris Faafoi had apparently promised to help out a mate with an immigration issue. While its normal for people to approach MPs for assistance in this area, when you're a Minister, the rules are different: as the Cabinet Manual says, Ministers must "at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Adrian Orr – The Reserve Bank’s Revolutionary Governor?
    New Zealand's Underarm Banker: It bears recalling that the “independence” of the Reserve Bank Governor was for decades held up by neoliberal capitalists as the most compelling justification for passing the Reserve Bank Act. Interesting, is it not, how the ruling class’s support for the Bank’s independence lasted no longer than ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Driving Us Up The Poll.
    Rubbish In, Rubbish Out: Put all this together, and it’s difficult to avoid the conclusion that anyone who responds positively to a pollster’s request to “answer a few questions” is just ever-so-slightly weird. Desperately lonely? Some sort of psephological train-spotter? Political party member primed to skew the poll for or against ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordan Williams, Colin Craig podcast series announced
    “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.” ― Martin Luther King Jr. A long and bitter court feud between former Conservative Party leader Colin Craig and Jordan Williams has been settled, with an apology and compensation from Williams. On Tuesday, Craig sent out ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 weeks ago
  • How plant-based meat is stretching New Zealand’s cultural and legal boundaries
    Samuel Becher, Victoria University of Wellington and Jessica C Lai, Victoria University of Wellington Earlier this year, the New Zealand-based pizza chain Hell Pizza offered a limited-edition “Burger Pizza”. Its customers weren’t told that the “meat” was plant-based. Some customers complained to the Commerce Commission, which enforces consumer law in ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
    Some people seem to want to close down any critical discussion of the current research into the relationship between water fluoride and child IQ. They appear to argue that claims made by researchers should not be open to critical review and that the claims be accepted without proper consideration ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The shameful reality
    The government has been congratulating itself over the passage of the Zero Carbon Act, which sets out long-term emissions targets. Meanwhile, Climate Action Tracker has the shameful reality: those targets are insufficient:While New Zealand is showing leadership by having passed the world’s second-ever Zero Carbon Act in November 2019, under ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • More secrecy
    The government introduced a Racing Industry Bill today. As an urban who horse racing as pointless-to-cruel, and gambling as a tax on stupidity and/or hope, this isn't normally a bill which would interest me in the slightest, beyond grumpiness at more government money for a dying industry. But there is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir
    Check. Check. One, two, three, four. Is this thing ON? Hello readers, I logged in last night (yeah, it’s been a while) to mark THE END of the landmark legal case, Jordan Williams v Colin Craig, which (gulp) reached The Supreme Court, in which New Zealand’s most-defamed man was suing the politician he ...
    The PaepaeBy Peter Aranyi
    2 weeks ago
  • The Birth Of Israel: Wrong At The Right Time.
    Before The Birth: Israel’s most fervent supporters set their clocks ticking in Biblical times. They cite the kingdoms of David and Solomon as proof that, in the words of the Exodus movie’s theme-song: “This land is mine.” The majority of Israel’s backers, however, start their clocks in 1933 – the year Adolf ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Public Address Word of the Year 2019: Korero phase
    In an unreliable, strange and confusing world, Public Address is proud to present a measure of comfort and stability by annually asking everyone what words or phrases sum up the year that's been – and then giving some of them consumer goods as prizes for being clever or simply lucky.Well, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Generalist to specialist
    Both my parents are pretty handy – and they seem to have the right tools for most jobs in the garage and they know how to fix practically anything. A similar story could be told about their generation’s experience in the workforce – being a generalist was not unusual and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A “coincidence”
    When it was revealed that NZ First had tried to enrich itself from public office via the Provoncial Growth Fund, the Prime Minister assured us that everything was OK as Shane Jones, the Minister responsible for the fund, had recused himself. Except it seems that that recusal came very late ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, and probably the last one of the year. After the marathon of the End of Life Choice Act, most of the bills up for debate today are uncontentious. First up is the second reading of Chlöe Swarbrick's Election Access Fund Bill. This will be followed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Worse than I thought
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has reported back on the government's odious and tyrannical control orders bill. As expected, the fraudulent select committee process has made no significant changes (partly because they couldn't agree, but mostly because it was a stitch-up from the start, with no intention of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The cannabis bill and the referendum
    Yesterday, the government released its draft Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, which will be put to a non-binding referendum at the next election. I'm not a drug policy expert, but Russell Brown is, and he thinks its pretty good. And pretty obviously, it will be a massive improvement on the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: The Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill: pretty good so far
    As you're probably aware, the draft bill outlining the proposed legal cannabis regime to be put to a referendum late next year was published yesterday, and has already attracted a flurry of comment. It's notable that a good deal of the comment is about proposals that aren't actually new.A minimum ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Alignment
    One of the big problems in New Zealand climate change policy is the government working at cross-purposes with itself. It wants to reduce fossil fuel use, but encourages oil and gas exploration. It wants to reduce transport emissions, but then builds enormous new roads. The problem could be avoided if ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change will affect food production and security
    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 According to the United Nations, food shortages are a threat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • More bad faith
    Last year, the government announced it was ending offshore oil exploration by no longer issuing new permits. The idea was that the industry would then die off as permits expired. Except almost immediately the government revealed its bad faith, by saying they would extend permits and alter conditions to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Banning foreign money from our elections
    The government has said it will ban foreign donations to political parties and candidates, and will be introducing legislation to be passed under all-stages urgency this afternoon. While I agree with the goal, I don't see a particular case for urgency, unless the government is concerned about a flood of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Reforming the Education Acts
    The government introduced the Education and Training Bill to Parliament yesterday. Its a massive bill, which replaces both existing Education Acts, as well as various other bits of legislation (including some which are still proceeding through the House). I'll leave the serious analysis to teachers and people who actually know ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Bite-sized learning
    Amelia SharmanThere’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to micro-credentials, those bits of bite-sized learning that can help workers stay on top of technological change.  What’s a micro-credential? While definitions vary, micro-credentials can be understood as short courses that allow people to learn new skills or have an existing competency recognised. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • “Not The Labour Party We Once Knew.”
    All Smiles Now: Claire Szabo is taking up her presidential role after serving as the CEO of Habitat For Humanity. Which is absolutely perfect! After KiwiBuild was so comprehensively mismanaged by Phil Twyford, the party has not only elected a new president from a thoroughly respectable not-for-profit, but one who ...
    2 weeks ago

  • New Zealand will continue to showcase ambitious climate action
    With the global climate change talks closing overnight, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said New Zealand will continue to show the world what meaningful, ambitious and lasting climate action looks like. “Lasting action on climate change demands that we keep working every single day. This is the only ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • More progress in delivering te reo Māori in schools
    600 new te reo advocates are being sought following the success of a programme that supports the Government’s plan to integrate te reo Māori into education, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Registrations for Te Ahu o te Reo Māori 2020 are now open, with courses starting from February ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Maori voice to help shape tertiary education
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins has announced the members of Te Taumata Aronui, a group to work with Government on tertiary education policy from a Māori community and employer perspective. “Te Taumata Aronui is an opportunity for Māori and the Crown to work more closely on changes to the tertiary education ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Courthouse redesign a model for the future
    The Government will invest $100 million on a new courthouse in Tauranga which will be a model for future courthouse design for New Zealand, Justice Minister Andrew Little has announced. The courthouse will be designed in partnership with iwi, the local community, the judiciary, the legal profession, court staff and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Government enables early access to 5G spectrum
    The Government has given the go ahead to enable further development of 5G networks by making appropriate spectrum available. The Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has confirmed Cabinet approval for the allocation of short-term rights to an unused portion of 3.5 GHz spectrum. 3.5GHz is the first ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Record export highs picked for primary sector
    Sustained high growth in primary industry exports looks set to continue over the next two years with strong prices predicted for farmers, fishers, growers and rural communities. Minister of Agriculture and Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor today released the latest Situation and Outlook report for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New partnership to boost screen sector job opportunities
    Auckland’s growing screen sector is the catalyst for a new partnership between the Ministry of Social Development and Auckland’s economic development agency Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED). The launch today at FilmFX in Henderson, is to celebrate the partnership which looks to capitalise on the social and economic development opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • A minute’s silence for Whakaari White Island victims
    A minute’s silence will be observed at 2.11pm on Monday 16 December in honour of the victims of the Whakaari White Island eruption, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed. “Wherever you are in New Zealand, or around the world, this is a moment we can stand alongside those who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ to help fund fight against measles in the Pacific region
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced New Zealand will contribute NZ$1 million of funding towards the joint United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) and World Health Organisation (WHO) Pacific Regional Action Plan for Measles.   “Prevention through vaccination is the most effective way of avoiding illness and a costly health emergency. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand remembers Sir Peter Snell
    New Zealand is today remembering one of our true sporting heroes, triple Olympic gold medal winner Sir Peter Snell. “He was a legend, here and around the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “Our thoughts are with Sir Peter’s wife Miki and their family.” “Sir Peter is recognised as New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • PM congratulates Boris Johnson on election victory
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory.  “New Zealand and the United Kingdom are close friends and despite our distance we are strongly connected by our history and people,” Jacinda Ardern said.  “I look forward to continuing to work with Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Building a platform for the future of rail
    The Government has released its long term vision for a sustainable 21st Century rail network that gets our cities moving, connects our regions and gets more freight off the roads.   Deputy Prime Minister and State Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters said the Government is committed to rebuilding New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister statement Whakaari White Island recovery operation
    I want to start by acknowledging the families who have experienced such grief and such loss since the extraordinary tragedy on Monday. Today was all about reuniting them with their loved ones. We've just come from the airport where many of them were gathered and in amongst what you can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand medical specialists to provide further support to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters today announced further support for Samoa’s longer term needs as it continues to respond to a devastating measles epidemic. “Samoa’s health system has experienced massive strain in the wake of the measles epidemic. The volume of patients needing care during this outbreak, and the number of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Discounted electric-bikes offered to public sector workers
    Discounted electric bikes will be offered up to public sector staff across the country as part of the Government’s work to reduce transport emissions and support healthier transport options.  Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter officially launched the new initiative at Wellington Hospital today.  “The Government has negotiated bulk-purchase ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Australia and New Zealand confirm joint bid for FIFA Women’s World Cup
    The Australian and New Zealand Governments today launch an historic joint bid to bring the FIFA Women’s World Cup to the Southern Hemisphere for the first time. Australian Minister for Youth and Sport, Richard Colbeck and New Zealand Minister for Sport and Recreation Grant Robertson will announce the bold campaign, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Blackwater gold mine gets PGF boost
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) has approved a $15 million loan to help re-establish a gold mining operation at Blackwater Gold Mine, near Reefton, Rural Communities Minister and local MP Damien O’Connor announced at an event on the West Coast today. “This is great news for the Coast that could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being
    Papakāinga model inspires whānau well-being A housing project by Kohupātiki whānau in Hastings is an outstanding example of a Māori-led housing initiative that can reduce financial pressure and reconnect whānau to their whakapapa says the Minister for Māori Development Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Minister Mahuta officially opened the Aroha Te Rangi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government provides more funding for major community wetland restoration project
    Restoration efforts for a significant wetland in the Hawke’s Bay are getting more support announced Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage. “Wetlands are vital to healthy landscapes and ecosystems. They function as nature’s ‘kidneys’, filtering and protecting water quality, acting as nature’s sponges after rain and are home to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Housing First to help Nelson Tasman homeless
    Nelson has today seen the launch of Housing First Nelson Tasman. Today’s launch marks the expansion of the Government’s homelessness programme, Housing First, to the top of the South Island. “Housing First is a proven programme that puts people who are experiencing homelessness and multiple, high and complex needs into ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New funding to support Environment Centres working for sustainable local solutions
    New Government funding announced today will help communities make a difference in tackling environmental issues Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage announced in Hawkes Bay today. The Ministry for the Environment’s Community Environment Fund is dedicating $243,101 to growing the capacity and capability of the Environment Hubs Aotearoa’s (EHA) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government takes bite out of loan sharks
    The days of vulnerable consumers falling victim to loan sharks, truck shops and other predatory lenders are numbered, following the Credit Contracts Legislation Amendment Bill passing its third reading tonight. “Too many Kiwis are being given loans that are unaffordable and unsuitable, trapping them in debt and leaving their families ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand safer as Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders Bill) becomes law
    A Bill that prevents terrorism and supports the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas has passed its third reading, Justice Minister Andrew Little says. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill is a carefully targeted response to manage the risk posed by a small number of New Zealanders who have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Foreign Minister and Pacific Peoples Minister to visit Samoa
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio will travel to Samoa on Friday, where New Zealand medical teams are helping Samoa respond to an outbreak of measles. “New Zealand has been working closely with the Government of Samoa and offering our assistance from the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Pastoral Care Code will support tertiary students in 2020
    The Government has changed the law to improve student safety and welfare in university halls of residence and other student accommodation. The Education (Pastoral Care) Amendment Bill passed its third reading this afternoon and details of an interim Code of Practice setting out the Government’s expectations of tertiary providers have also been released. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New infrastructure funding tool to build housing developments faster
    A new tool to help councils fund and finance infrastructure could mean some housing developments happen a decade earlier than currently planned, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford said today. “This new tool, developed by the Government in partnership with industry and high-growth councils, will allow councils to access private debt ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Vision to unite the primary sector launched today
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has welcomed the release of a bold new vision for the country’s vital food and fibre sector. “I’m delighted that New Zealand’s major farmer and grower organisations are today supporting the Primary Sector Council’s vision – Fit for a Better World,” he said. “The international consumers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ congratulates PNG and Autonomous Bougainville Government on referendum
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has congratulated the Government of Papua New Guinea and the Autonomous Bougainville Government for completing a well-conducted referendum on the future political status of Bougainville. “New Zealand supported the referendum process by providing technical advice through the New Zealand Electoral Commission and leading a Regional Police ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Next steps for Upper North Island logistics
    In light of Cabinet’s position that freight operations on prime land in downtown Auckland are no longer viable, the Government will now embark on a short work programme to enable decision-making in the first half of next year, Associate Transport Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones is today releasing the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Surgical mesh restorative justice report received
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter has received the report back from a surgical mesh restorative justice process undertaken by Victoria University. The process heard stories, either in person or online submission, from more than 600 people affected by surgical mesh. “The report made for heart-breaking and confronting reading,” says ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai a milestone for drinking water safety
    The Water Services Regulator Bill – Taumata Arowai , introduced to Parliament today, is a milestone for drinking water safety in New Zealand and will help improve environmental outcomes for urban waterways, rivers and lakes.  “This is a breakthrough for New Zealanders in terms of providing safe drinking water throughout ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to new direction for criminal justice reform announcement
    Kia ora koutouE ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā matā wakaTēnā koutou katoaHaere ngā, moe maiKoutou ma ngā Rangatira Ko Anaru ahauKo au te Minita mo ngā TureHe Honore tino nui kei roto I ahau No reira tena koutou katoa Today, we are releasing two reports that are the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New direction for criminal justice reform
    The Government is looking to turn around the long-term challenges of criminal justice by taking a new approach to break the cycle of offending to ensure there are fewer victims of crime. Justice Minister Andrew Little released two reports today, Turuki! Turuki! from Te Uepū Hāpai I te Ora, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New law sets up $300m Venture Capital Fund
    New Zealand firms expanding beyond the start-up phase are set for more support after today’s passage of the Venture Capital Fund Bill, Associate Finance Minister David Parker said. The Bill, which establishes a $300 million Venture Capital Fund, puts in place a key initiative of the Wellbeing Budget’s economic package. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand’s National Statement to COP25
    E ngā mana, e ngā reo, e ngā iwi, e ngā rau rangatira mā. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa. Señora Presidenta, Excellencies, Delegates. International action A common thread that runs through the Paris Agreement is the commitment we have made to each other to do what we can to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • $12 billion in extra infrastructure investment
    The Government is lifting capital investment to the highest level in more than 20 years as it takes the next step to future-proof New Zealand. Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced $12 billion of new investment, with $8 billion for specific capital projects and $4 billion to be added to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Strong economy, careful spending gives $12bn of surpluses
    The Government is forecast to run $12 billion worth of surpluses across the four years to 2023/24 as the economy continues to grow. The surpluses will help fund day-to-day capital requirements each year. These include fixing leaky hospitals, building new classrooms to cover population growth and take pressure off class ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Priorities for 2020 Wellbeing Budget outlined
    Budget 2020 will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also investing to future-proof the economy. When the Government took office in 2017 it was left with crumbling infrastructure, severe underinvestment in public services, degraded rivers and lakes, a housing crisis and rising ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Minister welcomes data-rich coastline mapping tool
    The Minister responsible for the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Act 2011 (te Takutai Moana Act 2011), Andrew Little has welcomed the launch of an online geospatial tool that provides data-rich, dynamic coastline maps that will significantly boost research and evidence-gathering under the Act. Te Kete Kōrero a Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Chief Victims Advisor reappointed for a further two years
    The Chief Victims Advisor to Government Dr Kim McGregor, QSO, has been reappointed in her role for a further two years. Dr McGregor has held the role since it was established in November 2015. She provides independent advice to government on how to improve the criminal justice system for victims. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago