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Networks of influence

Written By: - Date published: 8:45 am, April 14th, 2013 - 55 comments
Categories: accountability, business, capitalism, democracy under attack, film, internet, john key, slippery, Spying, telecommunications, trade, us politics - Tags: , ,

Under under John Key’s watch, the GCSB has become more focused on commerce and intellectual property issues (as I previously posted and reinforced by this speech last month by Ian Fletcher).  The GCSB has also become more integrated with the domestic intelligence services (SIS).  The moves towards these changes are evident since 2009, when Key claims he was first interested it attracting Ian Fletcher to a top publc sector job.

An underlying strategy of deal-maker, and ex-bankster, John Key, is to insert himself into networks of influence.  His sister Sue once said that, when John was 10 years old, he decided to learn to play golf, because:

“He’d figured out that business guys have golf lunches,” says Sue. “He told us ‘I have to start working on those skills now so when I need them they’re in place’.”

As many news articles show, Key seems to have followed through with this plan.  For instance. Fran O’Sullivan’s April 2012 article, reporting on Key’s visit to Indonesia, shows him to be in schmoozing mode with “top Indonesian politicians”:

“It’s what I used to do when I came here years ago for Merrill Lynch,” he explained after playing golf with Gita Wirijawan on his first afternoon in the Indonesian capital.

2009: Overseas connnections

Since the first year of his time in government  John Key has been connecting with influential people involved in intellectual property and the entertainment industry in 2009.  The same year he was surreptitiously reogranising the separate NZ intelligence services into one entity under his ultimate control, as explained by Chris Trotter.

In 2009, intellectual property was already a hot issue in NZ, in relation to the Internet, digital copyright and online file sharing.  Writing on the TPPA in October 2012, Jane Kelsey said:

Hollywood is determined to succeed. The movie and music industries are the two most powerful copyright lobbies in America. Their dominance of the global entertainment industry is threatened by rapidly evolving technologies they cannot control and competing production centres in India, South Africa and Brazil.

To stem their decline, they have invested substantial financial and political capital in securing global rules that protect their power and profits into the 21st century.

The industry tried and failed to achieve this in hard fought negotiations for an international copyright agreement known as the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement or ACTA. After the secret text was leaked in 2009, massive protests broke out around the world, including in New Zealand.

In 2009, Key traveled overseas to several countries, no doubt,investing time on networking.  He may have had the first of his more formal meetings over a meal with Ian Fletcher when he was in Australia in August 2009 .

In September 2009 when he went to the US, most of the press attention focused on Key meeting with Obama, appearing on Letterman, and visiting the UN. On September 26 he  delivered a speech to the UN.  On the same day, relatively unnoticed, Key was guest at a KEA (“NZ’s Global Network”) lunch. The KEA online report on this ends thus:

The World Class New Zealand event was held later that evening at Time Warner. The event was hosted by Mr. Mark D’Arcy and attended by the Prime Minister who was welcomed by Time Warner Chairman and CEO Mr. Jeff Bewkes.

This hook up with some Key Warners’ people occurred a year before the Hobbit dispute. D’Arcy is an ex-pat  Kiwi high-flyers of the AUT alumni, who specialises in advertising.  He was later part of the team of Warner’s execs involved in the Hobbit negotiations in NZ.

2010: international connections in NZ

In March 2010, back in Auckland, it is almost certain that Key nurtured his connection with Ian Fletcher when Fletcher attended a conference there (see my post, “The Key-Fletcher trail‘).

In October 2010, Warners’ execs (including D’arcy and top Warner’s exec Kevin Tsujihara) came to NZ for the Hobbit negotiations. This was one of two high profile times when prime minister Key, directly intervened in significant proceedings (the other was in relation to Fletcher’s appointment to the GCSB).

There is evidence of the way Key re-connected with previous contacts in the Hobbit negotiations, in his answer to a written question from Winston Peters:*

Rt Hon Winston Peters to the Prime Minister (27 Mar 2013): Who was the senior Warner Brothers executive he reportedly had a conversation with on 24 October 2010?
Rt Hon John Key (Prime Minister) replied: It is not recorded in my diary but to the best of my recollection it was Mark D’Arcy [Key’s KEA connection from September 2009 in New York].
Key then met Kevin Tsujihara at Premier House on 26 and 27 October 2010. On 27 October the memorandum between Key’s government and Warners was signed.  The next day, “the SIS lifted a hold on Kim Dotcom’s residency application.”
Beyond 2010
For John Key, networking with the wealthy and influential is now almost second nature.  Since becoming PM in 2008, this has been applied to his focus on the entertainment industries, intellectual property, commerce and national security.   Yet, prior to 19 January 2012, when he was briefed on the impending arrest of Kim Dotcom, Key seems to haveshown remarkably little curiosity about a big German internet entrepreneur, living in his own electorate.
Perhaps Key just decided the big German was more interested in playing Internet games than golf?
Questions, questions, questions…..
TO BE CONTINUED
* The links/URLs to Peters’ questions for written answer were working up to last night, but don’t seem to be working this morning.

55 comments on “Networks of influence”

  1. ianmac 1

    Great stuff again Karol.
    “The next day, “the SIS lifted a hold on Kim Dotcom’s residency application.”
    I have read that several times and cannot quite see why it is significant.
    Is it just that Mr Key must have then known about Dotcom?
    Is it because they wanted Dotcom to be resident and therefore within their zone to be able to pursue ?

    • Anne 1.1

      I, too am confused about this ianmac.

      The Andrew Williams press release states:

      Mr Key met with the SIS on 12 October 2010. That was a day before the SIS put a hold on Dotcom’s residency application.

      We can take it then that John Key DIRECTED the SIS to put a hold on Dotcom’s application?

      Then Key meets with Warners on the 26th & 27th October 2010 and a memorandum between the govt. and Warners is signed on the 27th. Then a day later (must have been the 28th Oct.) the SIS lifted its hold on the residency application.

      We can take it that John Key also DIRECTED the SIS to lift the hold?

      So the hold on Dotcom’s application lasted 15 days and is clearly closely linked to the timelines above?

      Therefore:
      Is it now the role of the PM to directly interfere with specific day to day SIS operations based on nothing more than political expediency and – in all probability – some sort of personal gain for Key et al?

      In my view, this goes to the heart of the matter, and once again we’re indebted to karol for putting these timelines together in such a cogent form.

      Edit: it still doesn’t answer why the ‘hold’ was lifted immediately following the meeting with Warners. later in the month.

      • ianmac 1.1.1

        But why would Mr Key want to “lift the hold?” I still don’t get it.

        • Anne 1.1.1.1

          I added an edit saying the same thing. Why? If someone knows please enlighten us. 😕

          • felix 1.1.1.1.1

            Why did Key want Dotcom to be here? So he could be caught here.

            To the Industry groups Key was helping, it doesn’t matter whether they nab Dotcom in NZ or in Guatemala.

            But to Key it does.

        • joe90 1.1.1.2

          But why would Mr Key want to “lift the hold?” I still don’t get it.

          Like the hïnaki, a tight entrance with the bait within.

          • ianmac 1.1.1.2.1

            Do you mean Mr Key wanted him in the country so that the system could “get him?” If residency had been with-held wouldn’t it be even easier to “get him”?

            • Anne 1.1.1.2.1.1

              Did the FBI (and Warners) want him to stay in NZ because Key et al were playing ball on the matter so it suited them to have the ban lifted and he become a NZ citizen. They could then do anything they liked and the NZ Govt. could be trusted to turn a blind eye?

              For what its worth that’s my best and only guess 😕

            • rosy 1.1.1.2.1.2

              Do you mean Mr Key wanted him in the country so that the system could “get him?””

              I’ll go with the simpler theory they wanted him in the country because he was a high net worth individual that is targeted for residency by the government. Key would have known the German living in the Chrisico property in his electorate not as Mr Dotcom but as Mr Loadsamoney.

          • joe90 1.1.1.2.2

            Yeah, I reckon that the shyster in chief guaranteed his masters that end runs could be made around legislation so residency was granted to deliberately lull KDC into a false sense of security.

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        Edit: it still doesn’t answer why the ‘hold’ was lifted immediately following the meeting with Warners. later in the month.

        It would ensure that the FBI initiated raid on .com was carried out in NZ. The question then becomes: Why was in seen as being necessary that the raid occur in NZ? Was it because the National led government were on the side of Big Business and not Kiwis?

  2. dumrse 2

    Conspiracy, the theory to use when all else fails.

    • joe90 2.1

      Nah, not a conspiracy, just business as usual.

    • ianmac 2.2

      Conspiracy? Avoidance of accountability? Remember how though Mr Key was filmed meeting the Bretheran, he escaped accountability? Mr Brash didn’t.

    • Anne 2.3

      Actually dumrse is spot on.

      There was a conspiracy between the FBI, Warner Bros. and John Key (with input from Joyce and Brownlee) to put down a savvy NZ citizen of German birth who was threatening their global and financial hold on copyright and other related issues… and was using one of our security agencies to gather the so-called evidence against him. At the same time our govt. lied through their teeth about what was going on, and in the process pulled the wool over our eyes.

      Yep. I call that a conspiracy.

      • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.3.1

        Specifically, a conspiracy to commit offences under the Crimes Act (illegal surveillance) and to subvert the provisions of the GCSB Act.

        Oh, and unlike most “conspiracy theories”, this one comes with sworn evidence.

    • vto 2.4

      if you think about it dumrse you will realise that conspiring is the first and oldest play in pretty much every event to occur in the history of manwomankind.

      would you agree?

  3. infused 3

    And you lot think the anti-climate change skeptics are crazy…

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.1

      Not crazy: lacking the cognitive capacity to recognise their own incompetence. Typical wingnuts, in other words.

    • Murray Olsen 3.2

      Climate change sceptics – some are crazy, some are just dumb, some are happy to spout crap for reward, some have no idea but think they are being anti-establishment, and some have absolutely no expertise in the area, which they compensate for by speaking more loudly.
      Infused – a mixture of dumb and annoying.

  4. starboard 4

    “An underlying strategy of deal-maker, and ex-bankster, John Key, is to insert himself into networks of influence. ”

    But you gota admit…he’s doing bloody well especially with the Chinese..it all bodes well for NZ inc.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      …it all bodes well for NZ inc.

      No, it doesn’t.

    • vto 4.2

      Yes starboard, why would you think it bodes well for NZ inc.? Got any specifics? Like reasons and evidence in support? Or just empty nothings?

      • starboard 4.2.1

        Looks all good from here…

        http://www.beehive.govt.nz/speech/speech-new-zealand-china-partnership-forum

        Now you can tell me why its not good?

        • Anne 4.2.1.1

          What’s that got to do with Warner Bros., FBI, Hobbit saga, Dotcom saga and the GCSB?

          Nothing! A wingnut attempt at diversion?

        • MrSmith 4.2.1.2

          Or you could argue we/he are now reaping the benefits of the last governments hard work, and as this goverment likes to blame the last government for just about every pot hole they fall into then don’t you find it funny how they are very quiet about yelling about the great free trade agreement with china.

          But really Key is up to his eyeballs in this and now people are really starting to dig.

          • starboard 4.2.1.2.1

            yes, credit where credit is due..Thank you Labour for laying the ground work..

        • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.3

          Because free-trade actually causes us to be worse off – as we’ve come to know over the last few decades.

  5. Populuxe1 5

    The only things missing are the Atlantean Illuminati, aliens, the Bilderberg and the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. This is some seriously imaginative paranoid shit.

    • felix 5.1

      “This is some seriously imaginative paranoid shit.”

      Which part, precisely?

    • Colonial Viper 5.2

      Don’t you believe in influential people networking and co-ordinating in order to make best use of business opportunities?

      Did you grow up in a convent?

      • Populuxe1 5.2.1

        No, but I didn’t grow up in a paranoid cult either

        • felix 5.2.1.1

          Have you found an example in the post of “seriously imaginative paranoid shit” yet?

          • Pascal's bookie 5.2.1.1.1

            “Have you found an example in the post of “seriously imaginative paranoid shit” yet?”

            I’d like to see that too.

            I wonder if it’s more paranoid and imaginative, or less, than the idea of North Korea launching an attack on New Zealand and the UN not responding because we aren’t a part of NATO.

        • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.2

          What’s paranoid about influential people networking and co-ordinating?

          What do you think all those business conferences and board meetings are for?

          It’s really just business as usual mate.

          • karol 5.2.1.2.1

            Yep – and it’s not just business people that do coordinating & networking – sheesh, we’ve been told by our managers that we are encouraged to attend xxxx meeting, and that it will be a great opportunity for networking.

            What’s interesting about Key is the specific networks he likes to engage with, nurture and draw on for his policies – as with us all, it says a lot about his values, preoccupations and aims. As with everything, he treats government as a corporation rather than being by for and of the people.

            And I’ve tried to put it in context of relevant things happening around the same time, in politics, etc.

            I’m not close enough to the activities of the significant people to do more than that. However, there’s questions to be answered, and I’m interested to see what others come up with – lawyers, politicians etc.

            • ghostrider888 5.2.1.2.1.1

              you write pretty Close Up most of the time karol, just no cigar required.

  6. Epping Road 6

    In March 2010, back in Auckland, it is almost certain that Key nurtured his connection with Ian Fletcher when Fletcher attended a conference there (see my post, “The Key-Fletcher trail‘).

    Wrong Karol. Your earlier post provides no such almost certainty. You earlier post claims that Fletcher was in Auckland, and that Key might have been in Auckland. Nowhere in your post is there evidence that Key was even at the Conference. Yet again you are making very dubious connections, and now you are claiming certainty over those connections. Dodgy writing from you.

    • Anne 6.1

      Yes, Epping Road you are right to be worried. There’s more to come too. Not looking good for wingnuts.

    • karol 6.2

      Epping, Key has stated that he met with Fletcher for some meals since some time around 2009. For that to happen the two men need to be in the same city. The most likely time for one of those meals is when Key and Fletcher were both in Auckland at the same time, in early March 2010. It doesn’t require that Key have attended the conference.

      Not dodgy, just simple deduction based on the known facts.

      • Epping Road 6.2.1

        In that case Helen Clark may have met George Bush when they were on the same continent and secretly hatched a plan to invade Iraq, there is no record of any of their conversations on this but it is as plausible as your silly claims.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 6.2.1.1

          Apart from the lack of any statement from Clark that they did so, in contrast to Key’s statement that he and Fletcher met for breakfast.

          As for the rest, the increased GCSB focus on intellectual property is a matter of public record. Unless you think Fletcher was making it up, that is.

  7. The Devil's Advocate 7

    What other country lends it’s spy agencies out to private enterprise? That seems just plain wrong. Especially in exchange for favourable consideration in having the hobbit movies made here.

    Selling out our citizens to over sea’s corporations for profit is not what these agencies were set up to do. Judas John Key should be ashamed of himself for even considering it, let alone actively doing it.

    He’s too corrupt, he’s been caught out and is now so desperate that he’s pulling the “weapons of mass destruction” trick.

    He must go

  8. The Devil's Advocate 8

    It makes you wonder what other little missions he’s been sending our spooks on?. An inquiry needs to be set up. With full disclosure to those who have had their privacy breached, as is their right under law.

  9. My two cents on the subject but hey conspiracies don’t happen right?

    To Conspire comes from the Latin word Conspirare which in its essence means: to breath together.
    John Key knows a lot about breathing together. Every time he meets his mates in back rooms at breakfast or tea tables ( here, here and here) they breath together and funny stuff happens such as this and this and perhaps this. So when John Key says they didn’t TALK about important stuff remember this: They did BREATH together and formed a united front and communal story and you and me are losing out because of it!

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    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    1 week ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    1 week ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Holy bin chickens: ancient Egyptians tamed wild ibis for sacrifice
    Sally Wasef, Griffith University and David Lambert, Griffith University These days, not many Aussies consider the ibis a particularly admirable creature. But these birds, now colloquially referred to as “bin chickens” due to their notorious scavenging antics, have a grandiose and important place in history – ancient Egyptian history, to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    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 The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    1 week ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    1 week ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • New measures for wood processing boost
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Forestry The Government will further strengthen New Zealand’s wood processing sector as part of our focus on ‘value over volume’ in our forestry industry, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones will today meet with forestry representatives in Northland to signal new measures to help the ...
    2 hours ago
  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    1 day ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    2 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    3 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    3 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago

  • PGF approves wind turbines funding for Stewart Island
    Stewart Island/Rakiura has been granted $3.16 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help build two wind turbines, putting the island on a path to sustainable electricity generation, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “Stewart Island is our third largest island, after the North and South Islands, and it is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
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