web analytics

No Right Turn: If police think this is lawful and ethical, why did they try to hide it?

Written By: - Date published: 6:05 am, September 1st, 2020 - 42 comments
Categories: police - Tags: , , ,

Idiot/Savant at No Right turn writes:

RNZ has a major scoop this morning: the New Zealand Police are trying to set up a live facial recognition system:

Police have been quietly setting up a $9 million facial recognition system that can take a live feed from CCTV cameras and identify people from it.This would push New Zealand into new territory for tracking citizens.

It will be run by a non-police contractor – US firm Dataworks Plus – and collect 15,000 facial images a year, with that expected to expand up to 10-fold.

[…]

Both said they did not tell the public as these are mere upgrades, and neither did a Privacy Impact Assessment – though Internal Affairs told the Privacy Commissioner about NeoFace, while the police did not.

That last bit is a giant red flag. The Privacy Commisisoner has said explicitly that any use of facial recognition needs a high level of scrutiny, which for a government agency, effectively means their approval. Police deliberately avoided doing that. From the article, they also explicitly lied in earlier OIA responses, saying that the system was only about analysing static images in their database, while redacting information showing that it was intended to work with live video feeds. Why did they do this? The natural conclusion is that despite all their claims to be lawful and ethical, they know that this project is not. So instead they spent $9 million of public money on it, in secret, while lying to us about what they were doing. And that shows us that we have an unethical agency, completely out of control, which has complete contempt for the people it is supposed to serve.Unmentioned in the article: this sort of use of facial recognition has recently been ruled unlawful in the UK, precisely because the police force using it ignored their privacy obligations and their obligations to not discriminate on the basis of race. And on this point, the New Zealand Police appear to be making exactly the same mistake:

The tender that Dataworks won for police here, does not mention “Māori” or “public” or “privacy” – in relation to specific safeguards on the public’s privacy – a single time in scores of pages.

Which I guess is the usual level of care the police show for their legal obligations. As far as they’re concerned, laws apply to other people, not to them.

42 comments on “No Right Turn: If police think this is lawful and ethical, why did they try to hide it? ”

  1. Sabine 1

    The Police did all of this on their own? Really?

    First question should be

    'who hired Dataworks

    followed by

    how much are we paying Dataworks

    followed by

    who authorized the payment

    and above all which minister is responsible for the Police?

    not quite as sexy as putting hte blame on the feet of "The Police" considering that 'the police' are public servants (supposedly in the best of all cases) and have ministerial oversight. Unless oversight is so yesterday.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      I suspect that the line item read Upgrade to existing software or similar. The reason being because it wouldn't require specific authorisation as it would simply be included in the daily running expenses.

      As I/S said, we have proof that the police have been acting unethically here and heads should roll.

    • weka 1.2

      there's an at distance relationship between the police and government (for obvious reasons). I'm hoping someone here will comment on depth on this and what are the appropriate controls from govt. Haven't had time to look at this in depth, but there was this from Little May,

      Minister of Justice Andrew Little says police failed to get any of the necessary clearance before trialling controversial facial recognition software.

      It follows RNZ revelations that police tested American company Clearview AI's programme without consulting their own bosses or the Privacy Commissioner.

      "I don't know how it came to be that a person thought that this was a good idea," Little said.

      "It clearly wasn't endorsed, from the senior police hierarchy, and it clearly didn't get the endorsement from the [Police] Minister nor indeed from the wider cabinet … that is a matter of concern."

      https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/416580/police-trial-of-facial-recognition-technology-a-matter-of-concern-andrew-little

  2. greywarshark 2

    edit
    How things appear to me concerning police methods and zeitgeist. The Police Force appears to have decided to go hard line on citizens who are thought to be 'risks'. They are followers of methods from other 5-Eyes countries and so we get dragged into the dirty wash of those countries, instead of trying our own methods using our brains, understanding of our problems, and the need to keep control of our Police Force direction so it does not become interchangeable with private security firms offerings.

    They are perhaps acting after heightened sensitivity from the disaster of the mosque shooting. If the police had been running solid control on guns and gun ownership, and keeping abreast of who were in gun clubs as regulars and invitees, the Australian would have been noticed. Whether he would have been stopped I don't know. It isn't guns that shoot people, it's people, may be their motto from now on as protests grow and conditions worsen which inflames resentment as people know that matters could be improved if financial instruments available were utilised to fund requirements if the PTB so wished.

    The police in Christchurch cornered an ex Russian soldier who had previously given them trouble, and who had a lot of guns, and they isolated him after one instance until he shot himself. They refused to allow his wife and child to speak to him before he killed himself. So they can go hard against gun owners when they choose. https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/111596809/exrussian-soldier-dies-of-suspected-suicide-after-police-standoff-in-christchurch

    Now they are going hard on speeding – no discretionary allowance on the upside of thelimit.
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/122616782/zerotolerance-speed-regime-a-hard-sell
    …The police website has updated its advice on speed enforcement and is defending its new posture by highlighting a 2004 report from the World Health Organisation (WHO). Yes, a report from 16 years ago! As is spelt out on the police website, the WHO review of speed studies in various countries showed that a decrease of 1km/h in mean traffic speed typically resulted in a 3 per cent decrease in the incidence of injury crashes, or a decrease of 4-5 per cent for fatal crashes.

    (That's applying one general survey to define the reality of particular laws in a particular place. But it gives police a lot of power to make ordinary citizens life hard, and approaches the problem punitively rather than educationally – that seems to be by-passed these days.)

    And are instant fines used as a money earner! What body gets them – government revenue and/or police? Neolib looks to turn all our government services into at least user pays, and better, a profitable enterprise. Does the Police Force keep part or all of the speeding fines to fund its work and is that a major reason for them? This would mean there is no real incentive to re-educate bad drivers and improve driving behaviour. This money-gathering approach is similar to citizen education being partially funded by overseas students paying for their education here.

    Speeding fines: New Zealand's multimillion-dollar camera earners revealed https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12310345 Feb/20 The fixed speed camera, placed on Tāmaki Dr between Solent St and Ngapipi Rd, pulled in $5.3m in 2019 from 60,141 fines.

    • RedBaronCV 2.1

      Pack of little authoritarians. Don't agree with the facial recognition and said so yesterday.

      But the speeding stuff is authoritarian too- the community is reeling under the financial stresses and insecurities of covid – so they decide to heap more financial grief on their head by upping the enforcement of speeding fines to a level never used before. And without a campaign to notify the public first.

      Also speedo's tend to read not spot on so a small tolerance removes that risk.

      There seems to be an element there that does what it likes without consequence or control from anyone.

  3. Maurice 3

    Don't worry …. It is only Gun Nutters, Boy Racers and right-wing extremist white supremacists being targeted.

    … Good solid left-wing people are safe in the all embracing arms of Cindy!

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    Don't really have a problem with it myself. Same as I don't have a problem with cameras being everywhere public nor of the data collection. I see it as a tool that can be used to solve crime and to help people.

    The concerns I have is with access to that data. That needs to be seriously curtailed with access to it only after a court warrant is explicitly issued. What I mean by that is that no one should be able to access the data without a court order being in existence and they won't be able to access any data outside of the times and places listed upon the court order.

    • RedBaronCV 4.1

      Okay – you are happy to collect but with access strictly controlled. Until the next right wing government decides to do away with the access control? I'm not happy with that level of trust – the cops really used those police production orders well didn't they – when they should have used warrants.

      But the wider issue is that this is mass surveillance of the whole community going about it's lawful business in a public place. So what crime will it stop – well not white collar crime, drug deals, money laundering, drug importing, domestic violence, burglary, assaults on wait staff in high end restaurants and cafes by the well heeled etc etc. What it will pick up are a few public disturbances fuelled by alcohol probably by the lower paid and some out of date rego's and a few low level drug deals which very soon may not even be criminal. I see no justification in any of our crimes stats for this level of surveillance or expenditure to back it up but I do see a skew towards some groups being overpoliced.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        But the wider issue is that this is mass surveillance of the whole community going about it's lawful business in a public place.

        Yes, in a public place meaning that it is public information. Public information is, by definition, public and not secret. If you're doing something that you don't want publicly known then don't do it in a public space.

        So what crime will it stop

        It is pretty close to impossible to stop a crime which is why I didn't say that. No amount of making murder illegal has ever stopped murders.

        But having information available has certainly helped the murderers be apprehended.

        What it will pick up are a few public disturbances fuelled by alcohol probably by the lower paid and some out of date rego's and a few low level drug deals which very soon may not even be criminal.

        Police use public information to help catch criminals all the time. Requests for sightings of vehicles and people come across the news channels quite frequently. A camera network is the same thing but no longer reliant upon unreliable human memory.

        Okay – you are happy to collect but with access strictly controlled. Until the next right wing government decides to do away with the access control?

        Yes, I'm worried about access and how right-wing governments tend to do things that are bad for the majority of people but good for their funders is one of those concerns. Its one of the reasons why I think a written constitution (this view has changed over time) that holds the government to laws and principles higher than itself may be needed.

        • Incognito 4.1.1.1

          Just as with Covid, you cannot and must not rely on one single tool in isolation to protect personal privacy and human rights, for example. A written Constitution only takes you so far. In addition, you’d need a functioning Opposition, a functioning Fourth Estate, a functioning Citizenry, and plenty of tools and means for the people to speak up, take action, and exercise their democratic rights (e.g. freedom of speech and congregation). All these need to work well and together (integrated) to achieve the best outcomes for the people. Democracy is holistic.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.1.1

            Just as with Covid, you cannot and must not rely on one single tool in isolation to protect personal privacy and human rights, for example.

            Agreed. That's why I said processes, plural.

            A written Constitution only takes you so far.

            And written constitutions can be abused if they're written poorly as we've seen in the USA.

            In addition, you’d need a functioning Opposition, a functioning Fourth Estate, a functioning Citizenry, and plenty of tools and means for the people to speak up, take action, and exercise their democratic rights

            As we've seen an opposition can be corrupt and self-serving and the MSM biased in favour of one side (usually the self-serving side). What sort of processes can we implement to ensure that such does not happen?

            Same with citizenry, how do we get people to meaningfully engage with the political process?

            All these need to work well and together (integrated) to achieve the best outcomes for the people. Democracy is holistic.

            Agreed but it still comes down to processes and the problem that we have at the moment is that our democratic processes aren't fit for purpose because they don't have what's needed to make it truly holistic.

            • Incognito 4.1.1.1.1.1

              Agreed and good questions. I cannot see any meaningful change in the foreseeable future and we have to do the best we can under the circumstances. Sorry for the short answer but with something as complex and multi-factorial as democracy it takes a multi-pronged approach. Maybe a slow evolution in which various options are tried and rejected – it might not feel like we’re progressing and possibly even regressing – until we reach a point, serendipitously or coincidentally, where things seem to ‘fit’ together in a cohesive (stable) way and something novel can emerge. This could be called a paradigm shift or a revolution – the system’s intrinsic stability will resist radical changes by design. The point is that we don’t really know what the novel system would look like. If we did, we would already be doing or implementing it. Like biological evolution, nobody seems to fully understand how it works although we have an inkling, or at least we think we do 😉

        • RedBaronCV 4.1.1.2

          Yeah Nah I'll agree to disagree.

          Yes it is in a public place but if I watched the same scene I do not have access to databases supplied by the public for other purposes to compare the images with, identify people and nor can I go out and arrest them or question them. It is surveillance and storage of all of us with the ability to detect on a mass scale who these people are without human intervention. That argument is a variation of the why do you care if you have nothing to hide. Some things are still private. People still do semi private things in public places , go for medical treatment , visit a political party headquarters, go see a lawyer. Imagine if the camera's are used to track journalists meeting sources – like they tried to track Nicky Hager.

          Yes the police appeal for public help but unless we cover every inch of the country with these cameras that will still happen. Shaded car windows will prevent some people being identified but maybe not the car so back to zero.

          And on a strictly cost benefit analysis – yes it may add a little to the information available on a few crimes but most of these will not be major incidents and frankly I can't see going down that track stacking up in any meaningful way dollar or time wise.

          I'd just ban facial recognition.
          I’d also need a lot of convincing that it wouldn’t overpolice some classes of minor offending.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1.2.1

            Yes it is in a public place but if I watched the same scene I do not have access to databases supplied by the public for other purposes to compare the images with, identify people and nor can I go out and arrest them or question them.

            This may come as a surprise but that's actually a meaningless distinction as you can certainly help those with such powers (or more likely, hinder).

            That argument is a variation of the why do you care if you have nothing to hide.

            No, really, its not.

            1. Its a public space and thus public information
            2. Processes need to be put in place to ensure that its not abused as you suggest

            Shaded car windows will prevent some people being identified but maybe not the car so back to zero.

            You didn't read the article on the unreliability of human memory did you?

            Here's another one:

            Nothing brings this home better than the memories of witnesses in trials, one of the cornerstones of our legal system. All too many people have been put behind bars on the testimony of witnesses, who when challenged by more objective data have been later proved to be misremembering.

            Dunno about you but I certainly don't want to go behind bars because of human error.

            And on a strictly cost benefit analysis – yes it may add a little to the information available on a few crimes but most of these will not be major incidents and frankly I can't see going down that track stacking up in any meaningful way dollar or time wise.

            1. Cameras and memory are cheap.
            2. It's not just crime that it applies to. Think of traffic planning as well.
            3. It won't be people looking at the images but the computers – which are also cheap and we seem to have a lot of power coming available shortly

            I’d also need a lot of convincing that it wouldn’t overpolice some classes of minor offending.

            That already happens. Adding computers to it should actually balance things out – as long as the algorithms are good:

            To get exam results, the regulators used an algorithm that combined grades given by teachers with a student’s past performance and the past performance of their school as a whole.

            In many cases, as many as 40 percent of the total, the qualifications authorities marked students down, below the grades recommended by teachers.

            Take from the poor, give to the rich

            There was one huge problem with the exercise. It was skewed towards giving students from the ‘better’ schools a shift up and those from the underperforming [sic] schools a penalty.

            Adding the use of computers isn't bad by default as you make out but, as I said, to make something like this work we need good processes to ensure that access to the data/information is properly restricted and prevents abuse and that the algorithms aren't biased.

            • McFlock 4.1.1.2.1.1

              Upon reflection, the thing about facial recognition is that it requires the identified suspect to go to extreme lengths to prove their innocence and explain why the ID was incorrect. It immediately primes investigators that person X is the person on the video. It's easier to explain how Derek is mistaken than for a "usual suspect" and their legal aid lawyer to demonstrate that the lighting and condensation made the computer think it was Jim rather than some other dude.

              The defense has the footage, but not the algorithm by which the recognition program made the selection.

              And a basic knowledge of issues around facial recognition would include the difficulties many systems have distinguishing between people of colour. They work great with white people, so the false positives will be way lower for Pakeha than Māori. That right there is a problem.

              And that's if the role of the recognition systems don't expand just as sneakily as they were introduced.

              • Draco T Bastard

                The defense has the footage, but not the algorithm by which the recognition program made the selection.

                Hypothetically, the defense would have the algorithm and the research on it.

                As a world first NZ has the Algorithm Charter for Aotearoa New Zealand. So, its even hypothetically possible that face recognition may be up to standard for all shades of people before it gets implemented.

                And that's if the role of the recognition systems don't expand just as sneakily as they were introduced.

                Again, that means putting in place the processes that prevent it happening or stopping it before it goes too far. Which, when you think about it, is what happened and we know about it because those processes worked.

                • McFlock

                  The charter that the cops seem to have sidestepped?

                  It's all very well pretending that imaginary policies will be impregnable against abuse by the state even under a government led by someone like Judith Collins, but the technology is being implemented without those safeguards right now.

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    The cops tried to side step. I suspect that now that the product is in the open, caught by those not impregnable policies, such things will be put through the charter.

                    I don't think that they'll be impregnable but I do think that it is better to have them in place rather than not and to have the benefits that come from the advancements that they're there to prevent abuse of.

            • RedBaronCV 4.1.1.2.1.2

              Citizens going about their private business ( presumably lawful) in a public place really don't need to be spied upon by facial recognition surveillance. Attending say a union meeting. or think China surveilance of some of it's populations.

              I really wasn't discussing traffic flow cams as such just facial passenger recognition attached to them. – any side benefits of information to solve the odd crime sounds like the sort of overblown excuse used by those who want to put it in. The benefits would have to be huge to justify the cost – so that infers large parts of the population are going about criminal offences on a day to day basis. At which point camera's would be moot – self defeating argument if every second person walking past is a crook on a mission.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Generally speaking, it would still be just as private. After all, no one would be looking at it or running facial recognition on it unless a crime had been committed in that area.

                • McFlock

                  Dude, I used to monitor cameras for a living, including in public areas. It happens a lot as a matter of routine.

                  Now patch in someone vaguely curious about a "suspicious person". At the moment that slightly bored operator can follow the person on camera for a bit, but we all know this shit creeps. Soon, maybe, that bored operator will have a "submit to FR" option.

                  Now imagine that the "suspicious person" has just hugged the operator's ex-wife, and all the fun that can lead to.

                  Now let's imagine how many people would not be identified if facial recognition is not an option. The cops currently put the picture in the paper, people see it, an arsehole in one place has usually pissed off other people who know his name.

                  So what we're missing is a demonstrable need for a technology that still has significant shortcomings and is being implemented by an organisation that has a history of sneakily expanding the use of technologies bought for one narrow purpose.

                  But you thing policiy and processes could hypothetically be put in place to prevent abuse. /sarc

                  • Draco T Bastard

                    And my point is that the cameras wouldn't be controlled by people. That the coverage would only become available for investigation of a crime.

                    Which makes your suppositions wrong.

                    Yes, the processes that we have now, what caught this abuse by the police, works.

                    • McFlock

                      And my point is that the cameras wouldn't be controlled by people. That the coverage would only become available for investigation of a crime.

                      that's sweet, but it doesn't seem to reflect the NZ reality. I'll italicise and colour the relevant bits:

                      Auckland authorities have been working quietly for months to unify the city's CCTV systems, boost camera numbers from about 5000 to more than 6000 – with an upper cap set by technology for 8000 – and let police access more of the live camera feeds.

                      The new cameras are capable of facial recognition but Auckland Transport (AT) said this function was not used.

                      However, police are interested in it.

                      "Police does not currently have the ability to run facial recognition off live CCTV cameras," a police spokesperson said in a statement.

                      "However, we would always be open to using new and developing technologies in the future, balanced against relevant legislation."

                      So the cops who want this technology are and will continue to pressure-test the legislative (not just procedural) constraints, the infrastructure is being put in place to do so simply with the expansion of current software licensing agreements.

                      Now, we can lobby for and hope your idealised procedures and processes are put in place and maintained regardless of the government du jour, or we can lobby for and hope that the currently-governing parties roll back the cops' plans.

                      One of those looks decidedly plan b, to me.

                    • RedBaronCV

                      per McFlock – 6000 cameras they must be literally everywhere – that must be costing an absolute packet they are not cheap – glad I'm not an Auckland ratepayer.

                      I can understand static traffic flow cameras on the main flows so if we have say 200 motorway ramps plus other main arteries I could see tops maybe a 1000 needed so what exactly are the other 5000 being used for.

                      That is one camera for every 250 people in Auckland.

                      How are they distributed, emphasis on poorer suburbs perhaps, and just what is the massive harm are they supposed to be guarding against? It must be intense and very expensive potential harm to surveil people at that level and on that basis. I don't see that saving a few landlords from a bit of graffiti justifies ratepayers or taxpayers shelling out like this to cover their private interests.

                      This is a system that doesn't have mission creep it's got mission gallop based on snooping and a complete disregard for civil liberties not on any balance of community benefit. Time to ban facial recognition

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      Now, we can lobby for and hope your idealised procedures and processes are put in place and maintained regardless of the government du jour, or we can lobby for and hope that the currently-governing parties roll back the cops' plans.

                      /facepalm

                      The tech is in place now so we better make sure that the processes, even the un-idealised ones that are in place and which have proven to work, are in place.

                      One of those looks decidedly plan b, to me.

                      Yeah, your one. Which looks like a plan F to me. You'll continue bloody squawking and nothing will happen.

                      6000 cameras they must be literally everywhere – that must be costing an absolute packet they are not cheap

                      • That's less than 1/km.
                      • Cameras are cheap. I just bought a phone with five on it, three of which are 16 mega-pixel, for less than $200.

                      How are they distributed, emphasis on poorer suburbs perhaps, and just what is the massive harm are they supposed to be guarding against?

                      Your speculation is stupid as per all you other lack of arguments.

                      And, as I said, nothing can prevent harm but the culprits can be caught after if there's information available which the cameras provide.

                      This is a system that doesn't have mission creep it's got mission gallop based on snooping and a complete disregard for civil liberties not on any balance of community benefit. Time to ban facial recognition

                      Your last statement there is, unsurprisingly, a non sequitur.

                      And the mission gallop that you mention has just been brought to a halt by the very systems that I say need to be in place and improved upon.

                      And, yes, there's also other benefits.

                      • Traffic planning
                      • Disaster relief
                      • Keeping an eye on protests (crime does happen in these things whether we like it or not)
                      • Keeping an eye on police at protests (because they can't be trusted)

                      And, if I had my way, none of it will be available without the necessary clearance and ability to backtrack on who saw it.

                    • McFlock

                      The tech is in place now so we better make sure that the processes, even the un-idealised ones that are in place and which have proven to work, are in place.

                      One of those looks decidedly plan b, to me.

                      Yeah, your one. Which looks like a plan F to me. You'll continue bloody squawking and nothing will happen.

                      Not all the tech is in place now. And things like live feed to the cops can be rolled-back, including in hardware. Pull a plug. None of your "benefits" require live feed to a police incident room, let alone facial recognition. Separation of roles is good.

                      The main process we should follow is to not give cops everything they want, only what they can clearly demonstrate they really need. Not toys they even admit to wanting to expand to the absolute limit, especially when those toys have a history of being most accurate only for the most privileged.

                      I'd much prefer squawking ineffectually than cheerleading trial by algorithm.

    • weka 4.2

      The previous National govt were already, actively making changes to privacy in NZ, and were planning to reform our Privacy legislation. You might not have noticed because most of that was aimed at beneficiaries and poor people.

      Please tell me how a left wing govt could tory proof the tech (assuming they wanted to). Saying 'should' doesn't count.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1

        You might not have noticed because most of that was aimed at beneficiaries and poor people.

        Assumptions are really bad.

        Please tell me how a left wing govt could tory proof the tech (assuming they wanted to).

        Its not about Tory proofing the tech but about putting in place processes will tend to prevent abuse of the system and make it possible to catch those who do abuse it.

        Also, as I don't want to take up too much space, read my reply to RedBaronCV.

        • weka 4.2.1.1

          We already know that processes can't be tory-proofed. The US is a good example of where a constitution can easily fail.

          • Draco T Bastard 4.2.1.1.1

            We already know that processes can't be tory-proofed.

            But we should still try. Not trying and thus leaving things as they are simply leaves things in favour of those who already abuse the systems.

            The US is a good example of where a constitution can easily fail.

            The US is a good example of a constitution done badly. This does not mean that a constitution cannot be done well. Its a question of how do we do one well that manages to prevent the abuse inherent in the US Constitution.

  5. Sacha 5

    they also explicitly lied in earlier OIA responses, saying that the system was only about analysing static images in their database, while redacting information showing that it was intended to work with live video feeds.

    That section jumped out at me. Conniving bastards.

    • RedBaronCV 5.1

      Very good point and if they lie about that then what else have they lied about. maybe we need the police to test these camera's internally first to catch the ones not bothering to follow the rules.

      Or won't facial recognition be used on these sorts of crimes because the perpetrators don't fit the obvious profiles.

    • gsays 5.2

      That goes to the crux of the issue, the diminishing trust in the police.

      I am not aware of any pursuit were the pursuers or the comms controller faced charges, especially where the chase ended in a death.

      The lack of consultation and poor reporting of their recent armed police trials.

      "Of the 2141 events responded to in the first five weeks of the trial, 647 were for vehicle stops."

      https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12335829

      Nicky Hager had serious issues with the police. Issues they apologised for and paid a substantial amount of our money to settle, and yet none faced charges.

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/104638742/police-apologise-to-nicky-hager-over-dirty-politics-raid-as-part-of-settlement?rm=a

      Its a cultural lack of accountability.

      • Anne 5.2.1

        Nicky Hager had serious issues with the police. Issues they apologised for and paid a substantial amount of our money to settle, and yet none faced charges.

        Of course they didn't face charges. It was the bosses who ordered the constables to raid his home. What sticks in my throat is that these right wing, red necked thugs (because that is what some of them are) never face punishment and are allowed to continue in their positions of power.

        It would be interesting to know how many former cops were forced to leave the force due to bullying by their superiors.

  6. Stuart Munro 6

    I have some reservations about the tech – but I can think of a few occasions when it might have resolved cases that became fraught for want of evidence, or poor discipline in gathering evidence.

    I am in fact happier with the police tracking my whereabouts than some of the large corporates who are doing so already. Just so long as it is used to clear suspects as readily as it is to impugn them. That might conceivably require access to camera network data for defense teams.

    The potential for abuse is troubling however. It is not unheard of for staff to use such resources for their own ends, or to share resources, perhaps with private security, who are less responsible to the public interest.

    • RedBaronCV 6.1

      I'd forgotten about those outsourced contracts. And I don't really think that a few resolutions justify the wholesale surveillance – some crime does go undetected, unsolved or unnoticed anyway.

      And the lack of accountability – somewhere a while back I saw a police morale survey story. IIRC morale wasn't good and that can be a sign of disconnect within the organisation. Decent cops feel threatened and pushed sideways because there is a wild west culture operating in parts of the organisation that doesn't get challenged. So where is our new commissionar of police on this – hiding?

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Yep, this is something that definitely should not have been contracted out to a private firm. The data is far too sensitive to allow access through the typical lackadaisical security of the private sector.

Leave a Comment

Use WYSIWYG comments on next comment (inactive new feature)

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • LIVE: Jacinda Ardern vs. Judith Collins, First Debate
    Tonight, The Civilian will be live-blogging the first of too many debates between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Judith Collins, and also the last fifteen minutes of the news. Be sure to tune in from 6:45pm for regular updates, which can be accessed by refreshing this page ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 hours ago
  • Hundreds of Aucklanders arrested after illegal mass gathering on Harbour Bridge
    An enormous drive-in party, shown here, was held this morning on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, where police were forced to intervene. Hundreds of Aucklanders were arrested this morning on public health grounds, after an apparent illegal mass gathering on the city’s Harbour Bridge. Police say hundreds of Aucklanders gathered in their ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    3 hours ago
  • The Looming Fight.
    Social Distancing Be Damned - It's Jacinda! Shortly after ascending to Labour’s leadership, Jacinda described herself as a “pragmatic idealist”. It was an inspired oxymoron – packing into just two words the essence of the social-democrat’s dilemma. It was good to know that she knew what lay ahead of her. ...
    7 hours ago
  • Climate Change: Moving faster
    Back in 2017, the UK announced that it would ban the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles by 2040. Its a basic climate change measure, aimed at reducing emissions by shifting the vehicle fleet to cleaner technologies. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, they're planning to bring it forward ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    8 hours ago
  • The Australian courts have had enough of refugee detention
    For the past decade, Australia has had a racist, anti-refugee policy. Those claiming refugee status are imprisoned without trial and left to rot in the hope they would "voluntarily" return to be tortured and murdered. When the courts have granted them visas, the government has immediately revoked them on racial ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    8 hours ago
  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
    There are a fair few misconceptions about conditions within New Zealand’s Quarantine Hotels. Madeline Grant’s misplaced accusations being one prominent example, though she is not alone. Today, I thought I’d share the inside word, so to speak. A friend of mine has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas, and ...
    10 hours ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    11 hours ago
  • This is not kind
    New Zealand has a serious homelessness problem, due to skyrocketing rents and a lack of state houses. One of the ways we stick a band-aid on it is to put people up in motels. Previously, they were charged full commercial rates, saddled with odious debt due to the government's failure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    12 hours ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
    by Ani O’Brien In the absence of a better word with which to refer to the rabid activists who claim progressivism while demanding adherence to an increasingly prescriptive set of political beliefs, I call them “woke”. With its roots in Black American slang, the term originally denoted a person or ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
    Over the weekend, the Ministry of Health reported a case of Covid-19 in Auckland that is not related to the current Auckland cluster. Before we start to panic, here’s how I think the case happened and how we can strengthen our current border controls. The new Covid-19 case is someone ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 day ago
  • Neuralink and You: A Human-AI Symbiosis
    Becky Casale Elon Musk reckons his Neuralink brain implant is much more than a medical device–that one day it will drive a symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence. “Good morning! I’m Dr Benedict Egg and I’ll be supervising your Neuralink insertion today. Do you have any questions?” “Yes, Doc. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • Liam Hehir: Our obsession with American politics
    Many New Zealanders take a strong interest in US politics, with the death of Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg being the latest example. Liam Hehir wonders if it very wise for New Zealanders to get so worked about it.   Many politically engaged New Zealanders are now furiously ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 day ago
  • COVID: Back to Level 1
    After stamping the Coronavirus out via strict lockdown between March and May, New Zealand went through a good three months without any community cases. Then a local outbreak in Auckland rather buggered things up last month. Auckland’s been in level 3 and level 2.5 for the past six weeks. ...
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: Climate injustice
    Who's causing our skyrocketing emissions? As with most of our other problems, It's the rich: The wealthiest 1% of the world’s population were responsible for the emission of more than twice as much carbon dioxide as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015, according to new ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Good riddance
    The border closure and resulting lack of foreign slave-workers is driving the fishing industry out of business: One fishing company is effectively out of business while others are bracing for large financial hits as the deepwater New Zealand industry, unable to get skilled foreign workers into the country, have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by ...
    2 days ago
  • Anyone for Collins?
    In the absence of national public opinion polls, we have had to make do in recent weeks with other guides to voter intentions. Those guides, such as the Auckland Central poll, the incidence of google enquiries and the responses to Vote Compass questions, have suggested, not unexpectedly, that Labour is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
    Crusher Collins - National Party leaderWe all know that the National Party is desperate to gain some traction during this election campaign and have been throwing pretty much everything at the Labour Party in order to try and undermine Jacinda Ardern and what the Coalition Government has achieved. But unfortunately ...
    2 days ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 days ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh goloing@gmail.com (19/09/2020) Che Guevara said that a true revolutionary is motivated by love i.e. love of the oppressed, the poor, the children dying from preventable illnesses. This phrase of his is true but has been used by reformists and their more hippy wing have taken advantage ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    3 days ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
    With the National Party this week announcing a new policy of tax cuts to spice up the election campagin. MyThinks went along to the launch and afterwards we spoke to the party’s finance spokesperson Paul “Golden Touch” Goldsmith. MT: Thanks for speaking to us Mr Goldsmith. PG: No. Thank you. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    4 days ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
    Always to islanders danger Is what comes over the seas ‘Landfall in Unknown Seas’ (Allen Curnow)Six economic issues external to New Zealand, which will greatly impact upon us. 1.         The Diminishing Global Dominance of the US. Since 1941 America has dominated the world economically and politically. Probably it could ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    4 days ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    4 days ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
    It would be a great time to reform the benefit system, according to former Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, Tony Burton. He argues the complexity of benefit system means that it’s failing to achieve its difficult three core objectives, which form an “iron triangle”.   New Zealand’s benefit ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
    Tax Justice UK, September 2020 Serious tax reform is on the political agenda for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus crisis. As this debate hots up it is important to understand what people think about public spending, wealth and tax. Tax Justice UK, along with Survation and ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    5 days ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    6 days ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
    Barbados is planning to remove the queen as head of state and become a republic in time for the 55th anniversary of its independence in 2021: Barbados has announced its intention to remove the Queen as its head of state and become a republic by November 2021. [...] Reading ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    6 days ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
    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 What is the impact of temperature increases in the tropics? ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons It felt like 100 degrees in my in-laws’ Grass Valley, California, kitchen, but at least the lights were on and for the moment we were safely “distanced” from the Jones Fire. We’d just finished dessert, after pizza and a movie ...
    7 days ago
  • COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease New Zealand wants to eliminate, and genome sequencing is...
    Nigel French, Massey University Genome sequencing — the mapping of the genetic sequences of an organism — has helped track the spread of COVID-19 cases in Auckland, but it also plays an important role in the control of other infectious diseases in New Zealand. One example is Mycoplasma bovis, a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime
    A key part of our electoral funding regime is a requirement for some transparency around donations, on the basis that if we can find out who has bought our politicians (typically after we have voted for them) then everything is alright. There are a lot of problems with that regime ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Don’t Steal This Book
    On “In Defense of Looting” Matt Taibibi takes an entertaining look at this generation of woke activists and how they compare with Abbie Hoffman the iconic anti-Vietnam war counter-culture figure of the 1960s On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Carbon prices must rise
    When Parliament introduced the Emissions Trading Scheme, it was worried that carbon prices might get too high. So it introduced a "fixed price option", allowing polluters to pay the government $25 in the place of surrendering credits. The result was predictable: after we were thrown out of international carbon markets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosure
    The government will finally be requiring large New Zealand companies to disclose their climate change risks: New Zealand finance companies will be made to report on climate change risk, Climate Change Minister James Shaw has announced. The policy will force around 200 large financial organisations in New Zealand to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Tackling the hard issues – trust and relationships
    By Claire Grant, Genomics Aotearoa Communications Manager Community consultation is becoming an increasingly important aspect of research programmes in New Zealand, and with that comes the art of relationship building. Engagement between scientists and user-groups is certainly nothing new. But as stakeholder involvement becomes more of a requirement for science, ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Equality Network – September Newsletter
    Read the Equality Network newsletter here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • The Left’s Lost Allies.
    Rebels In A Wrong Cause: The truly frightening thing about Jami-Lee Ross’s and Billy Te Kahika’s success in persuading thousands of New Zealanders that Covid-19 is just another trick, just another way of stealing away their power, is realising just how many of them once marched at the Left’s side. ...
    1 week ago
  • Legal Beagle: Low-Hanging Fruit
    In a couple of months, the 53rd Parliament will meet in Wellington, and approximately 120 MPs will be sworn in, many of them for the first time.They will all have political goals, some aligning with their party platforms, some not, some complex, and some simple, but they will gain one ...
    1 week ago
  • Closing the Gap thinks that Labour’s proposal to raise the top tax rate is great but………
    Media Statement For Immediate Release 10th September 2020 The income and wealth inequality lobby group, “Closing the Gap” thinks the Labour proposal a great start says Peter Malcolm, a spokesperson for the group. But they need to be aware of what many of the rich do and of what do ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: No nonsense
    ACT is pushing a "no-nonsense climate change plan". What does it involve? Repealing the Zero Carbon Act and Emissions Trading Scheme, reversing the fossil-fuel exploration ban, and allowing mining on conservation land. In other words, repealing any policy which might actually reduce emissions. Which is the very definition of nonsensical. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • My Climate Story: Coming full Circle
    This blog post is a follow up to my recap of Al Gore's Climate Reality Leadership Training I recently participated in. One of the exercises we were asked to complete was to write about our respective "Climate Story". This is a slightly updated version to the one I had submitted during ...
    1 week ago
  • A bill to criminalise wage theft
    Wage theft is a problem in New Zealand, with a widespread practice of forcing employees to work without pay, and regular cases of underpayment and exploitation. One reason why its such a widespread problem is impunity: rather than a crime, wage theft is merely a tort, dealt with by the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Liam Hehir: What the voting age debate tells us about our disconnected political media
    New Zealand’s media and online politics often reflect the values of liberal and progressive agendas. According to Liam Hehir, the current proposals to lower the voting age to 16 years – which the media overwhelming supports – is indicative of a wider mismatch with society, which is not good for ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Why Pay Taxes?
    My wife and I, through a combination of good luck and good management, have managed to retire in comfortable circumstances. We celebrate our good fortune by making relatively small but regular donations to a range of good causes – to rescue services like the rescue helicopters, St John’s Ambulance and ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Now everyone’s a statistician. Here’s what armchair COVID experts are getting wrong
    Jacques Raubenheimer, University of Sydney If we don’t analyse statistics for a living, it’s easy to be taken in by misinformation about COVID-19 statistics on social media, especially if we don’t have the right context. For instance, we may cherry pick statistics supporting our viewpoint and ignore statistics showing we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • More timid bullshit from Labour
    Over the weekend, Labour released its welfare policy: an increase in benefit abatement thresholds. And that's it. Faced with clear evidence of ongoing hardship among beneficiaries and a call from its on Welfare Expert Advisory Group to raise core benefits by between 12 percent and 47 percent, Labour's response is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Police Kill as Part of their Social Function
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (Bogota; 09/11/2020) The murder of Javier Ordoñez in the neighbourhood of Villa Luz in Bogotá, Colombia at the hands of two policemen brings to the fore the issue of police violence and its function in society. First of all we should be clear that we are ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #37
    Story of the Week... La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS...  Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... Story of the Week... Humans exploiting and destroying nature on unprecedented scale – report Animal populations have plunged an average of 68% ...
    1 week ago
  • The 2019 measles epidemic in Samoa
    Gabrielle Po-Ching In November 1918, the cargo and passenger ship Talune travelled to Apia, Samoa from Auckland, carrying a number of passengers who had pneumonic influenza. From these passengers stemmed the biggest pandemic Samoa had ever seen. With around 8,500 deaths, over 20% of the country’s population at the ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Shifting all Isolation/Quarantine Facilities to a Single Air Force Base: The Need for a Critical Ana...
    Prof Nick Wilson*, Prof Michael Baker In this blog the arguments for and against shifting all COVID-19 related isolation/quarantine facilities to a single air force base at Ōhakea are considered. The main advantage would be a reduction in the risk of border control failures, which can potentially involve outbreaks ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • The difference between Green and Labour: a tale of two Finance Ministers
    So the Greens co-leader James Shaw recently made a mistake. In his role as Associate Finance Minister approving funding for “shovel-ready” projects, he fought hard for a private “Green school” to get funding to expand their buildings and, therefore, their student capacity. There are many problems with what he did: ...
    Cut your hairBy calebmorgan
    1 week ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup – The missing election policy on free dental visits
    Over the last three years there have been growing calls for the government to provide dental services under the health system – universal free dental care. This is because at the moment there’s an anomaly in which teeth are regarded as different from the rest of the body which means ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #37
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 6, 2020 through Sat, Sep 12, 2020 Editor's Choice With California ablaze, Newsom blasts Trump administration for failing to fight climate change Trinity River Conservation Camp crew members drown ...
    1 week ago
  • Letter to the Editor
    Dear Sir, As we head into the run up to the upcoming election I feel it is my duty to draw your attention to the lack of fun we are currently forced to ensure by the Adern regime. In their efforts to keep the nation’s essential workers, health compromised people, ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago
  • Participating in Al Gore’s Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training
    It finally happened: about 13 years after first watching Al Gore’s documentary “An Inconvenient Truth” (AIT) in 2007 when it became available in Germany, I recently completed the Climate Reality Leadership Corps Training! Participating in this particular training had been on my to-do list for quite some time but it ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Dysfunctional Design
    Windows 95 is famous for requiring the shutting down the system by clicking ‘start, like stopping your car by turning the ignition key on. Why are so many interfaces so user-unfriendly? The Covid app to register your entering premises can be so clumsy. Sometimes I have signed in, sat down ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • Josh Van Veen: Can we trust the polls?
    Is the 2020 election result really the foregone conclusion that the polls and commentators are suggesting? Josh Van Veen suggests otherwise, pointing to some of the shortcomings of opinion polling, which could ready some politicians to say “bugger the pollsters” on election night.   In November 1993, opinion polls foretold ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    2 weeks ago
  • The UK wants climate action
    Back in 2019, six select committees of the UK Parliament established a Citizen's Assembly to investigate how to respond to climate change. The Assembly's deliberations were forced online by the pandemic, but it has finally reported back, and overwhelmingly supports strong action: Taxes that increase as people fly further ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • In the US, the End of Days.
    I am feeling a bit impish today and so for no particular reason I thought I would share this thought, which I first posted over on twitter: “Hurricanes, wildfires, floods, heatwaves, street protests, armed vigilante militias, a lethal pandemic and a corrupt authoritarian using the federal government for partisan and ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Government too slow in deploying military to assist with Covid-19 response, former defence minister ...
    Wayne Mapp (Photo: Tsmith.nz via Wikimedia) A former Minister of Defence says the government was too slow to involve the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) in New Zealand’s response to Covid-19. But Wayne Mapp, a National MP from 1996-2011 who served as Minister of Defence for three ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    2 weeks ago
  • Underwhelming
    Transport is our second biggest polluter after agriculture, making up 17% of our national emissions. Cars and trucks emit 15 million tons of CO2 every year. So, if we're serious about tackling climate change, we need to eliminate this entirely. Public transport and better urban design will be a key ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Five things we know about COVID-19, and five we don’t
    Five things we’ve learnt 1. We know where the virus ultimately came from We know that the virus originally came from bats, and most probably a species of horseshoe bat in South East Asia. However, the spike protein in SARS-CoV-2, which allows the virus to attach to cells and infect ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Stewardship land is conservation land
    The Greens' greatest disappointment while in government this term has been the failure to implement a ban on mining on conservation land. Promised by Jacinda Ardern immediately after gaining power, it had long been assumed that the problem was NZ First (who have a long history of environmental vandalism). But ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The price of Green co-operation just went up
    If they get into Parliament, everyone expects the Greens to form a coalition with Labour. But James Shaw has said that that might not be the case, and that they might instead choose to sit on the cross-benches: The Greens are prepared to forego a coalition or confidence and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
    Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years, have been supported by Government today, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
    A new digital hub and development centre in Murupara will be instrumental in growing the region’s productivity, said Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau at the official opening of two community initiatives today. “I’m pleased to be here celebrating a significant milestone for two projects set to make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast
    PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast Unemployment to peak at 7.8%, down from 9.8% forecast in the Budget Year-to-June accounts show tax revenue, debt and OBEGAL better than forecast Global forecast downgraded as COVID-19 second waves and uncertainty grows Balanced plan to support critical public services, manage debt and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Spruce-up for Ōtaki community facilities
    The Kāpiti Coast town of Ōtaki will receive $1.4 million in Government funding for two projects providing scores of jobs for locals while improving community facilities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Māoriland Charitable Trust will receive a $900,000 Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) grant to upgrade the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • PGF funding for Jobs for Nature programme
    The Provincial Growth Fund will provide $11.88 million to fund fencing and waterway projects nationwide that will improve the environment and create jobs in their communities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. “These projects will create more than 100 jobs nationwide with work starting within the next couple ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Procurement to promote jobs, Māori and Pasifika businesses and sustainability
    As part of the COVID-19 recovery, the Government has strengthened its procurement rules to ensure its annual $42 billion spend creates more jobs, uses more sustainable construction practices and results in better outcomes for Māori and Pasifika, Government Ministers announced today.   Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford says the $42 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Timaru’s Theatre Royal to be upgraded and new heritage facility built
    The Government is supporting a major upgrade of Timaru’s iconic Theatre Royal and the construction of a new connected Heritage Facility museum and exhibition space with $11.6 million from the Government’s Infrastructure Fund, Jacinda Ardern announced today. “We heard the call from the community and the council. The Theatre Royal ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • District Court judge appointed
    Chrissy Montague (formerly Armstrong), barrister of Auckland has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Wellington, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Montague commenced practice in Auckland in 1987 and went into general practice dealing with Wills, Estates, Trusts, Conveyancing, Relationship Property ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Approval given to Commercial Film and Video Production Proposal
      A Proposal to provide for the development and operation of commercial film and video production facilities in areas of Christchurch has been given the go ahead. Hon Poto Williams, Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, has approved the Proposal, which was prepared and submitted by Regenerate Christchurch. Minister Williams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Supporting a thriving wānanga sector to benefit Māori learners
    As part of the Government’s focus on building closer partnerships with Māori and enhancing the quality of, and access to, Māori medium education, a payment of $8 million will be made to Te Wānanga o Raukawa in partial recognition of its Waitangi Tribunal claim (WAI 2698), Associate Education Minister Kelvin ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Jobs for Nature boosts efforts to restore Kaimai-Mamaku
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has announced a $19 million investment over four years in an important forest restoration project involving a partnership between the Department of Conservation, iwi/hapū, the Bay of Plenty and Waikato Regional Councils, community conservation groups and organisations such as Forest and Bird across the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand first in the world to require climate risk reporting
    New Zealand will be the first country in the world to require the financial sector to report on climate risks, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The changes build on the huge progress this Government has made to tackle the climate crisis. “Today is another step on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Economic data highlights impact of Auckland moving out of Level 3
    Economic activity across the Auckland region and the country bounced back to levels experienced under Alert Level 1 following Auckland’s move out of Alert Level 3, analysis in the Treasury’s latest Weekly Economic Update shows. The analysis of economic data since Auckland’s move out of Level 3 shows: Auckland card ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM statement on Cabinet COVID-19 Alert Level review
    Takiri mai te ata, ka ao, ka ao, ka awatea, tihei mauriora! Tātou katoa ngā iwi o Aotearoa, tēnā koutou! Tēnā tātou e whakanuia ana i te wiki nei, te wiki o te reo Māori Greeting to you all from Otepoti, Dunedin.  This week is the Māori Language week and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More mental wellbeing services for young people in regions
    More mental health and addiction services are available for young New Zealanders in Rotorua and Taupō, Wairarapa, South Canterbury, Dunedin and Southland from next month, Health Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter say. “The Government is serious about making sure New Zealanders struggling with mental health ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government joins forces with Central Otago communities to clean up waterways
    The Manuherekia catchment in Central Otago is the third exemplar catchment to be targeted as part of the Government’s plan to clean up waterways by supporting community-led programmes.   Environment Minister David Parker said the Manuherekia catchment is vitally important to the people of Central Otago.  “The Manuherekia rises in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government confirms new Dunedin Hospital design
    The Government has agreed on a preferred design for the new Dunedin Hospital featuring two separate buildings, and has provided funding for the next stages of work.   Minister of Health Chris Hipkins says Cabinet has approved in principle the detailed business case for the new hospital, giving people in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Join the one in a million reo Māori moment
    New Zealanders across the country are set to mark history as part of the Māori Language Week commemorations led by Te Taura Whiri i te reo Māori this year.  Māori Development Minister, Nanaia Mahuta says the initiative will mark history for all the right reasons including making te reo Māori ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Education initiatives add to momentum of Te Wiki o te Reo Māori 2020
    More than 1000 teachers, support staff and school leaders have graduated from a programme designed to grow their capability to use te reo Māori in their teaching practice, as part of the Government’s plan to integrate te reo Māori into education, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Being trialled ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • The Toloa Tertiary Scholarships for 2021 aims to increase Pacific participation in STEM
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says the Toloa Tertiary Scholarships which aims to encourage more Pacific student numbers participating and pursuing STEM-related studies in 2021, are now open. “These tertiary scholarships are administrated by the Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP), and are part of MPP’s overall Toloa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Financial support for timber industry
    Four Bay of Plenty timber businesses will receive investments totalling nearly $22 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to boost the local economy and create jobs, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. Rotorua-based sawmill Red Stag Wood Solutions will receive a $15 million loan to develop an engineered ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand seeks answers to the Gulf Livestock 1 tragedy
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that New Zealand is exploring the viability of working with partners to conduct a search for the black box on the Gulf Livestock 1. “We know how much it would mean to the families of those on the ship to understand more about ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago