NZ spies on its Pacific neighbours

Written By: - Date published: 6:29 am, March 5th, 2015 - 170 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, Deep stuff, International, john key, national, Politics - Tags: , , ,


The Herald this morning has reported on the latest analysis of New Zealand’s data gathering role based on Eric Snowden’s files.  The story is bound to have a profound effect on New Zealand’s relationship with its Pacific neighbours.  Essentially New Zealand has been collecting data en masse from them and handing it over to the Americans.

From the Herald:

New Zealand’s spies are targeting the entire email, phone and social media communications of the country’s closest, friendliest and most vulnerable neighbours, according to documents supplied by United States fugitive and whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Snowden’s files reveal a heavy focus on “full-take collection” from the Pacific with nearly two dozen countries around the world targeted by our Government Communications Security Bureau.

Information from across the Pacific is collected by New Zealand’s GCSB but sent onto the United States’ National Security Agency to plug holes in its global spying network, the documents show.

Our beloved Prime Minister tried yesterday to usurp the claims.  It appears his office was approached for a response and it adopted the standard “we do not know that the documents are true but the claims are false” line.

From Stuff:

Today Key went on the attack, giving “very strong advice” for New Zealanders not to believe Hager, whose Dirty Politics book was a major theme of the September election.

That book alleged that National used a strategy of making Key the friendly face of the government while using right-wing blogs, most notably Whale Oil, to attack opponents. It was based on correspondence hacked from Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s computers.

Key claimed the material in Dirty Politics was wrong, and the same would be the case this time.

“Last time he came out with all this stuff, he was categorically wrong, he’ll be wrong this time as well, because information changes, we review things all the time, different actions are taken,” Key said this afternoon.

It had never been in doubt that New Zealand gathered and shared intelligence, he said.

“What a bizarre time to be coming out making the case that New Zealand either gathers and shares information or gets information from other intelligence agencies.

“Well, of course we do, and we do that to keep New Zealanders safe. We’re in the situation where we’ve got ISIL [Islamic State] reaching out to cause harm to New Zealanders, I think New Zealanders would expect me to share information,” Key said.

“My very strong advice to New Zealanders is [to] discount massively everything you hear from Nicky Hager. He was wrong last time, he’s wrong this time, his interests are his own self-serving interests, not the rest of the country.”

Key did not confirm or deny that New Zealand’s spy agencies were spying in the Pacific.

“I’m not going into who we gather information from, or why, but I can tell you we do gather information, we have over successive governments across a range of different places, but we do that for really, really good reasons.”

We don’t do that loosely or randomly, and actually, those situations change dramatically.”

I cannot imagine a more random gathering of information than collecting all of it and providing it to the Americans.  And it will be interesting for Key to explain how the handing over of the data of kiwis living or holidaying in the Pacific to the Americans is legal or complies with previous promises that there is no mass surveillance of New Zealanders.  As a minimum it would appear that Kiwis in the Pacific Islands have been subject to mass surveillance.

I suspect that National will look rattled on this issue for a few days.  Until the focus group results are in.

170 comments on “NZ spies on its Pacific neighbours ”

  1. Tinfoilhat 1

    I expect that most of the population just won’t care what with all the rugby and cricket on at the moment.

    • Pascals bookie 1.1


      Caring what people care about is a damn fool way to go about your business I reckon.

      • Peter 1.1.1

        …… not if you want to win elections, keep power and do as you please. Fooling most of the people most of the time appears to be an outrageous success for National.

        • Pascals bookie

          Can assure you my name wasn’t on the voting paper. I’m a citizen. I’m not looking to be elected, but to elect.

          Horse race journalism has fucked how we think.

          It should make no difference to you what others think. Think for yourself.

      • tinfoilhat 1.1.2

        Don’t know what you’re so uppity about.

        I was just making comment as to what my perception is of the likely public response to this revelation.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          Ahhhh, but we don’t need most members of the public to care today. This is a process of shifting opinion which will take a few years. And it is well underway.

          Just like the thousands of people who turned up to the Auckland Town Hall to hear Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden speak, we only need to have the small percentage of awake, active people care enough to wake up the people closest to them.

          • Chooky

            +100 CR

          • Molly

            This is true. Over the last few years, a few of the non-political acquaintances and family have started reading alternative news sources, and conversations and discussions are much more political and current.

            This discourse continues to grow.

    • saveNZ 1.2

      Yep actually people do care. Love that line ‘no one cares’ discourse gets trotted out every five minutes with each expose of Keys lies. Even if MSM does print a lie, they tend to end with, but the public doesn’t care.

      One day there will be a dossier of Brand Key’s lies. They are so plentiful.

      If the public don’t care, why was only 48 hrs given for public consultation on the surveillance bill and why, even in that time frame many members of the public submitted submissions?

      Why is there no parliamentary vote on sending troops to Iraq?

      Actually people care, there is just erosion of democracy in this country under our noses.

  2. Whateva next? 2

    “…his interests are his own self serving interests, not the rest of the country…..”
    Bit ironic

  3. wyndham 3

    Why has Ian Fletcher resigned from his position as head of the GCSB ?

    • Anne 3.1

      Because he knew what was coming? Hager spoke of… he and a colleague spending months going through all the documents… so that probably means the GCSB has known about it since well before Xmas. Fletcher announces he’s resigning just before Xmas. He left exactly one week ago today.

      • Chooky 3.1.1

        +100 Anne…but Fletcher probably knew other things too and couldn’t stomach them

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2

      Pure conjecture: he was forced out because the Gwynn inquiry found out what he’d been up to. Consideration was given to the timing.

  4. Pasupial 4

    John Key’s crimes against Journalism

    Killing off Public Broadcasting TV by shutting down TVNZ7 and having Minister’s lie about how many people watched the station.
    Raiding newspapers and broadcasters to stop them publishing the tea pot tapes.
    Defaming investigative journalist Jon Stephenson who questioned if NZs SAS had committed war crimes in Afghanistan by handing civilians over to known torture units.
    Defaming investigative Journalist Nicky Hager by calling him a communist conspiracy theorist when Hager opened up the Dirty Politics black ops team working within Key’s office.
    Calling award winning Journalist Glenn Greenwald and whistle blowers Julian Assange and Edward Snowden ‘Henchmen’ when they revealed the truth of Key’s mass surveillance plans.
    Having all of Andrea Vance’s emails and phone records taken.
    Using far right hate speech merchant and Fascist Cameron Slater to smear public servants the Government didn’t like.
    Falsifying SIS information and working with the state spy service to smear Phil Goff in the media months before the 2011 election.

    • framu 4.1

      and he dropped another clanger today saying that the last time nikki hagar made claims it all turned out to be lies

      shame that JKs stories kept changing on a day to day basis during that time

      and frankly – media shouldnt be able to broadcast blatant lies from our MPs without some sort of context or further facts added. (im not saying they should tell us what to think gosman)

      • SHG 4.1.1

        Well then, all Nicky Hager has to do is prove that the claims in his book are true. That’s called “journalism”.

        • framu

          so nicky hagar presents the news now and/or gets right of reply every time the MSM lets JK spread lies?

          Is Hagar the subject of all JKs lies?

          Is Hagar employed as the media’;s fact checker?

          its about the MSM repeating things they know arent true – is that clear?

        • Tracey

          did not the release of the hacked emails by the hacker put evidence to the claims?

        • Naturesong

          Proof as in, confirmation of authenticity from the person whose emails they were?

          Like that time that the oily one confirmed that the emails were true when he went to court to try and get them suppressed.

          Is that the sort of proof you were after?

    • Chooky 4.2

      +100….good points Pasupial

  5. vto 5

    John Key is a bare-faced liar yet again


    john key is a liar

  6. Gosman 6

    Isn’t this what a foreign intelligence agency is meant to do?

    • mickysavage 6.1

      How would you feel if the Russians were collecting all of our digital data?

      • Roflcopter 6.1.1

        Of course they do, as well as every other nation with capability to do so, but I don’t see you making a big song and dance about it.

      • Naturesong 6.1.2

        I think the analogy is “what if the Australians were collecting all of our digital data?”

        But of course that isn’t necessary since we hand it all over to them anyway.

      • Gosman 6.1.3

        I’m pretty confident that is exactly what the Russians attempt to do.

        • Once was Tim

          @ Gosman ….
          There is an article on Stuff which no doubt you’ve read by Michael Field.
          The headline doesn’t do it justice and is a little at odds with the content because the point he is making is that although we’re hoovering up all communications (i.e. hearing), we’re not actually ‘listening’.
          It’s all a bit pointless and driven more by political paranoia than anything – which begs the question WHY do it in the first place? All that’s being achieved is we’re pissing off our neighbours from whom we then expect ‘loyalty’ (when we go for things like Security Council seats). We seem to get it wrong every time.
          All that’s quite apart from issues of the State warehousing personal information for ‘future use’ (just as the Stasi did).
          No doubt you’re fine with that but don’t expect cooperation from the spied on when there’s a need to go groveling to them.

        • wtl

          Yes, and it is STOPPING the Russians and Chinese from collecting this data is exactly what the GCSB is meant to be doing, not collecting the data themselves.

          • Gosman

            No its not
            That is the role of counter intelligence. The GCSB’s main focus us on intelligence gathering.

            • tricledrown

              Knowing the Russians and Chinese they won’t need to collect any thing as the Yanks will do it for them the Yanks have never been able to keep any secrets.So the GSCB handing info to the US will probably be seen in China first as it still requires huge manpower to desciminate vast volumes of Data.
              The US claims to have better technology to keep its secrets when its made in China.
              While New Zealand’s National party had signed up Huawei to set up its broadband .
              Huawei have been caught many times doing espionage stealing state and coporate secrets.
              So Goose man.
              As per usual you are full of it.

      • nadis 6.1.4

        The russians and the chinese are , or at least attempting to. The state surveillance mechanism within Russia and China are way more intrusive than 5 eyes. We just don’t hear about them via Snowden, wikileaks or similar.

        Russia’s system has been described as “Prism on steroids”. Google “Sorm” for more details.

        Ron Deibert, a professor at the University of Toronto and director of Citizen Lab, which co-operated with the Sochi research, describes the Sorm amendments as “Prism on steroids”, referring to the programme used by the NSA in the US and revealed to the Guardian by the whistleblower Edward Snowden. “The scope and scale of Russian surveillance are similar to the disclosures about the US programme but there are subtle differences to the regulations,” says Deibert. “We know from Snowden’s disclosures that many of the checks were weak or sidestepped in the US, but in the Russian system permanent access for Sorm is a requirement of building the infrastructure.”

        For instance Russian internet and telephone providers have to pay for and install a system that records all information (not jhust meta but also content) and make it available to 7 different government agencies without warrant or notification to the customer.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          I think you are correct and the Russian spy systems are far more intrusive and overt within their own borders. However they do not have anywhere near the access to western telcos and fibre optic networks terminating on US territory as the NSA and FVEY nations have.

          What this tells me is that our intelligence agencies are far more interested in mass surveillance of their own citizens, probably for the purposes of political control.

          I am pretty sure that Snowden’s offices in Hawaii will have had direct access to all data travelling on NZ’s Southern Cross cable. The Ruskies wouldn’t have that.

          Another example is how the NSA sets up interception rooms in the middle of telco switch centres. In these rooms, beam splitters are used to take a full copy of a fibre optic cable’s contents. We’re talking many gigabits per second taken and stored. These facilities were installed across the USA.

          One difference to the Russian scenario you mention is that I understand that the NSA pays telcos handsomely to have NSA facilities on site. All part of the money go round intrinsic in the heart of the Security Surveillance Industrial Congressional Complex.

          • nadis

            I’m not sure your making a logical point here – you might want to re-read what you have written.

            The two sentences in para 1 are logically inconsistent with each other for instance.

            Yes I’m sure the americans have access to to the southern cross cable terminating on their terrotiry and the Russains probably don’t. But the russians do have access to cables terminating in Russia or their satellites. So again the point you are making is logically inconsistent.

            The only point you make that makes sense is that NSA pays telcos for access, whereas the FSB charges the telcos for giving access.

            Heres how I’d summarise:

            – Hagars revelations today are a big yawn and nothing new – shades of Dotcoms big reveal. Oversold and under-delivered. Where is the promised proof of domestic surveillance?
            – Every major government does this or aspires to do so. It’s just easy to point fingers at the USA because more information flies around
            – There appears to no suggestion the Governments of the Pacific nations are being spied on by 5 eyes – that would be at least a little bit explosive. (BTW I think they probably are being spied on especially in their dealings with China).
            – What Snowden released probably undersells what NSA is capable of and does

            • Colonial Rawshark

              Every major government does this or aspires to do so

              Mass surveillance is directly against the US Fourth Amendment. And until the last decade and a half, only Soviet police states have aspired to conduct mass surveillance on their own citizens.

              – There appears to no suggestion the Governments of the Pacific nations are being spied on by 5 eyes – that would be at least a little bit explosive. (BTW I think they probably are being spied on especially in their dealings with China).

              As one of the FVEY nations NZ is passing their data on to other FVEY nations. That is clear in Fisher’s write up.

              – Hagars revelations today are a big yawn and nothing new – shades of Dotcoms big reveal. Oversold and under-delivered. Where is the promised proof of domestic surveillance?

              Remember that there are a series of Herald articles coming out. Also this is not about the hype – this is about the reality of mass surveillance on ordinary people and the gradual undermining of democratic institutions.

              • nadis

                I think the technical position of the US government is that they do not engage in mass surveillance of US citizens, and therefore the actions of the NSA are within US law. (The reality may or may not be different).

                US constitutional protections do not apply to non-citizens.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  Given that the US intelligence services is building hundreds of thousands of square metres worth of data storage facilities eg. at Bluffdale, Utah (and there are several more facilities), they’re definitely spying on a very, very large number of people re: both metadata and content.

            • Murray Rawshark

              “– There appears to no suggestion the Governments of the Pacific nations are being spied on by 5 eyes”

              You mean apart from the fact that they collect everything?

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.2

      Never mind that deploying military personnel against civilians is a war crime.

      • Gosman 6.2.1

        So spying is now a war crime is it?

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          Did you twist my words because you don’t understand them or because you agree with them?

          • Roflcopter

            What’s this got to do with spying?

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Roflcopter, spying is a military activity. Like any military activity it has legitimate targets. Targeting civilians is outlawed by the Geneva conventions.

              When there are grounds to spy on civilians, that is carried out by the civilian authorities as part of a court ordered procedure.

              Or is that just lip service you Righties pay to your Lawnorder idol?

              • Gosman

                A question for you on that. If I read a newspaper in a foreign country and gather intelligence from that to be used by intelligence services here or in a third country would you regard that as a war crime?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  I’m not playing your stupid twenty questions game Gosman. if you’ve got something to say, say it.

                  • Gosman

                    My point is that your attempt to claim that gathering intelligence from non military sources somehow breeches the Geneva convention is not grounded in reality as that is how Intelligence agencies have always operated.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Yes, because reading newspapers is exactly the same as intercepting people’s phone calls.

                    • felix

                      What if Gosman ate a cake while on holiday, and it remained with him all the way home. Would that be the same as stealing the recipe or is he just full of shit?

                    • emergency mike

                      Gosman thinks reading a newspaper is ‘intelligence gathering’. Go home, you’re stupid.

                • DoublePlusGood

                  How exactly is publicly available information like a newspaper in any way similar to hacked personal communications?
                  I mean really, please think before you write.

                  • Gosman

                    I didn’t state is was the same. I pointed out trying to claim spying on civilians is against the Geneva convention is not based in reality as Spy agencies have done this since they were first set up.

                • Murray Rawshark

                  “A question for you on that. If I read a newspaper in a foreign country and gather intelligence from that to be used by intelligence services here or in a third country would you regard that as a war crime?”

                  No Goosemann, if you gathered anything intelligent I’d regard it as a miracle.

              • Jones

                Spying is also a commercial activity.

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Not when military personnel do it.

                  • Murray Rawshark

                    It probably is actually a mixture of both, OAB. The Pentagon basically works on behalf of US corporates and has since the days of Smedley Butler. I don’t think there is a real distinction between military and commercial any more.

          • Gosman

            Have you ever read or heard about WWII publicity campaigns such as ‘Loose lips sink ships’ ? What do you think they were about? Perhaps they were about spies gathering important intelligence from civilian members of the public. In fact I’m pretty sure spies have always gained valuable intel from general (i.e. civilian) sources.

            • framu

              so you favor a stasi like approach to how the govt treats its citizens?

              that does appear to be what you are providing semantic cover for – maybe you could clear up any confusion in a clear and concise manner?

              • Gosman

                Massive leap there. The Stasi kept dossiers on most of the citizens of that poor communist dictatorship. That is not the same as sifting through data to identify potential threats.

                If you have evidence that the security services have individual dossiers on all or even a significant portion of us then you have my 100 percent support to overthrow the brutal dictatorial regime we obviously live in as a result.

                • framu

                  so you disagree that the NSA keeps all the data we send it?

                  your being quite obvious on this one gos – we all know your not this thick so just stop it ok

                  but as usual – your avoiding. Can you clear up what exactly you mean in a clear and concise manner without the side steps and goal post shifting?

                  • Gosman

                    I work in IT and have experience with data collection and storage. The idea that there is a system in place that collects and stores all our individual communication in a manner that could be easily accessed from a single location is fanciful. For one it would likely require Servers more powerful that what Google uses. For another it wouldn’t really help intelligence agencies having so much information. They want relevant detail not everything. Of course you can construct a giant conspiratorial fanstasy world where we are all secretly being manipulated and controlled by dark sinister forces. I believe they are shape shifting reptillian aliens last time I looked.

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      The fact that they boast about it doesn’t register with Gosman. That they outline the hardware by which it is achieved doesn’t raise a ripple. The fact that it’s a war crime doesn’t either.

                      Then there’s the ridiculous notion that collecting everyone’s data means you have to read all of it.

                      Look! A cycleway!

                    • framu

                      so your calling the the US senate/congress, nsa, greenwald, hagar, JK and numerous other insiders and commentators liars now?

                      all of these people/groups have admitted/exposed/acknowledged that mass meta data collection and storage happens.

                      unless your making some cute little distinction between meta data and message contents of course

                    • Gosman

                      “Then there’s the ridiculous notion that collecting everyone’s data means you have to read all of it.”

                      That is my point. If you don’t read it you are wasting your money if you then store it. They sift through a massive amount of data to identify the bits that are relevant and then likely dump the rest.

                    • Skinny

                      Oh I see now, “your in IT” and an expert in spying by the sounds of it.

                      I thought someone was watching me if I take my phone into the bathroom when I shower ‘,’ you flithy little animal. Thought you would have a complex by now Gosman.

                    • Kaplan

                      Gosman. You may claim to work in IT but you have had nothing to do with big data if you believe what you have typed here. Storing and reporting on massive amounts of data is not hard in the slightest.

                      In terms a layman can understand:
                      Google continuously crawl and index the entire internet. Most content is crawled and indexed with twelve hours of creation, usually much quicker.
                      Once the data is indexed user searches can return relevant data in a few milliseconds To do this with communication data is a formality, with the added bonus that it’d be totally acceptable to have the operator batch queue their searches and return data in minutes rather than seconds.

                      You can say what you like about the morals and consequences of storing communication data but trying to argue the job is ‘too hard’ is factually incorrect.

                    • Gosman

                      Google has massive server farms which cost hundreds if not billions of dollars to set up and operate. They manage to do this because the generate billions in revenue. The US Military is well resourced it is true but I doubt even they could justify the huge expenditures required to maintain a Google size infrastructure especially if most of the data is never used and therefore useless.

                    • Pascals bookie

                      “but I doubt even they could justify the huge expenditures required to maintain a Google size infrastructure especially if most of the data is never used and therefore useless”


                      This would cost more or less then the f-35?

                      And they prob use this for getting an edge in MoH


                    • thatguynz

                      I suggest you get into some googling about the NSA datacentres then Gos – you may be surprised.

                    • tricledrown

                      Go StasSIS man.
                      Spinning your pathetic web of lies cynicism and deceit.
                      So we have example of those who expose the Truth.
                      Private Manning totured held in solitary confinement locked up for the rest of his life.
                      His whole life ruined for exposing a multiple murder by US marines.
                      Those perpetrators muderers have never been brought to justice.
                      Now we complain when the enemy retaliate in just as gruesome manner.
                      A 13 year old Arab boy non combatent is kidnapped by Jewish fundamentalists and burned alive in a similar manner to Jordanian pilot combatent.
                      Key uses one example but not equally horific other example.
                      Go goostepper.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      The FVEY citizen surveillance system is orders of magnitude more powerful than what the Stasi could even dream of.

                      I laughed at Gossie’s use of the word “dossiers” as that is a weasel word that Clapper, Hayden and other head spooks sometimes use to confuse the issue.

                      Of course the FVEY agencies don’t keep “dossiers” or “folders” on individual citizens like the Stasi did. These things are now generated instantaneously via automated database queries, including transcripts of all your phone conversations. (ahhh, Dragon naturally speaking dictation software, how you have fallen).

                      Just another BS Gossie distraction in other words.

                    • nadis

                      I’m pretty sure the NSA isn’t struggling for budget, though it is pretty hared to tell becuase much of its’ budget is secret.

                      Recent spending:


                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Worth remembering that Snowden was a Booz Allen consultant. The security and surveillance state has been throwing massive amounts of money to the private sector.

                      Where former NSA chief Gen Keith Alexander has just gone to work for millions, incidentally, as a consultant helping high tech corporates get NSA and Pentagon contracts.

                    • Tracey

                      I am sorry you work in IT, it makes me nervous to think of someone with your lack of ethics and understanding of privacy in charge of anything.

            • tricledrown

              Goostepper they haven’t gained any intelligence from you.

              • Colonial Rawshark

                Unfortunately though we have found out that Gosman appears to enjoy being watched.

              • tricledrown

                Booze Allen is a CIA fronting company only set up to give the appearance of a private contractor.most likely funded by CIA clandestine money laundering through drug trade corruption clandestine activities (like the disappearance of US billions in Iraqis )etc tto o avoid oversight by govt agencies.

        • Sabine

          The Gestapo and the Stasi and the KGB said all the same thing 🙂

          • Gosman

            Have you just Godwin’d this thread?

            I have already explained why there is a difference between what the Stasi did and what is suggested happens here.

            Another question for you. What level of Spying is acceptable to you/

            • framu

              actually buddy – if your going to play godwin i think that was me (unless godwin only applies to gestapo and not stasi)

            • DoublePlusGood

              It’s not actually a Godwin if mention of Nazis is relevant to the discussion, as it is here with reference to a historical example of a totalitarian surveillance state.
              I mean, otherwise World War II History scholarship just wouldn’t work, as peer review would consist of “I disagree with the author here, as I do not consider Godwinning during a discussion of occupied Belgium to be appropriate”

      • nadis 6.2.2

        Selective reading of the Geneva convention. It is not a war crime to “deploy military personnel against civilians”. It’s a war crime to use military force against non-combatants (which includes surrendered combatants), use torture, deny them medical aid, use summary justice. But the mere fact that a soldier interacts with a civilian is not a war crime.

        I’m also not sure whether the NSA is military or civilian. It is part of the DoD, but has mostly civilian employees, although the head has always had a rank of at least General. The CIA is certainly a civilian organisation.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          “Interacts with” is exactly the same as illegal surveillance is it? The distinction between the GCSB and SIS is military.

    • framu 6.3

      i dont think “spy on everyone” is what an intelligence agency is meant to do – do you?

      • Gosman 6.3.1

        I don’t believe they have such restrictions placed on their activities overseas. Their remit is to gather intelligence from foreign sources. This they seem to be doing.

        • framu

          aww look – hes pretending he doesnt understand how five eyes operates vis a vis info sharing and spying on behalf

          • Gosman

            Your point ?

            • framu

              your playing your role here on purpose

            • Tiger Mountain

              “GCSB is just doing their expected job” according to resident snout Gosman; well dear leader has previously offered to resign if mass surveillance of ‘noo zilundas’ was revealed and it appears that it has been.

              Lots of Pasifika people and Pacific tourists and business people are NZ citizens so the GCSB has undie sniffed beyond the brief, no pun etc.

              Nat HQ and Crosby Textor took a while to cough up todays line that the Penguin and others are now regurgitating online.

    • fisiani 6.4

      Foreign intelligence is about ….wait for it……getting intelligence about foreigners. Quelle surprise!
      This is a storm in a D-cup. What a tit.

      • Bill 6.4.1

        And NZ is playing the role of faithful lieutenant for the US….why?

        Gathering info on individual foreigners who are ‘of interest’ is a bit different to monitoring Pacific government ministers and senior officials, government agencies, international organisations and non-government organisations, no?

        And it’s a bit different to collecting economic info. And it’s a bit different to collecting all communications that are interceptable and passing it all to the US, no?

      • Tracey 6.4.2

        foreign intelligence

        This is what intelligence and independent thinking is to Fisi.

    • Colonial Rawshark 6.5

      Isn’t this what a foreign intelligence agency is meant to do?

      Mass surveillance is a totalitarian activity which puts all of us in danger. It does that by disempowering elected officials and subverting democratic processes. A ‘secret government’ (usually made up of a few men in various closed committee meetings) ends up with excess power, making all key decisions, with only a veneer of democratic legitimacy placed as a cherry on top as an after thought.

      Make no mistake – all the metadata AND content related to NZers is being captured as well.

      • Gosman 6.5.1

        Do you think Andrew Little or anyone in Labour will make the case that we should change what is happening?

        [ Congratulations on hitting moderation. Your comments may or may not be released as and when a moderator gets around to clearing out the queue – Bill]

    • Tracey 6.6

      Hi John, thanks for commenting on The Standard. Just yesterday you said you weren’t doing this, that the claims are lies.

    • Murray Rawshark 6.7

      No, it’s not what an intelligence agency is supposed to do. It would be akin to the police interrogating every citizen on a random basis because they may have committed some crime. Nothing to hide, nothing to fear, eh? It’s not even intelligent and it’s done on behalf of the seppos. FJK.

  7. Sabine 7

    Maybe we could – and that includes me – just ignore the one that is just here to ejaculate over his keyboard.

    It makes for better discussions.

  8. Gosman 8

    They just had a Pacific Islands correspondant (I presume for Radio NZ) on Nine to Noon. He mentioned that this sort of thing is pretty standard. China for example has had a major spy base on Kiribati which has been doing similar activities. What do people think a external intelligence organisation should do if not gather intelligence on other countries?

    • Bill 8.1

      Okay Gosman, I’ll attempt to make this simple for you. The NZ Government isn’t collecting ‘intelligence’ – it’s collecting everything.

      • Colonial Rawshark 8.1.1

        Yep including piles of dross producing far too much data for their analysts to wade through. Which is why the much vaunted security services keep missing terrorist plans until after they occur.

        As Bill Binney (former NSA Technical Director ‘of the world’, a rank equivalent to a 1 star or 2 star General within the NSA) has repeatedly said – they keep the problem going in order to keep the funding flowing.

        TL:DR they use “terrorism” to gain budget and power, but create a system which targets everyone, not terrorists.

        • Tracey

          this point requires major highlighting and repetition. it is part of the crux, that and the feeding of information received/gathered for the benefit of the kinds of corporates who are “advisors” to the USA TPP team.

    • Once was Tim 8.2

      You actually missed the point he has been trying to make – i.e. we’re gathering and hearing but NOT actually listening.
      The spooks are all very chuffed at their ability to gather and keep for future use, but they fuck it up in its interpretation EVERY time!
      What’s the point in being able to prove Frank is unfaithful to Mere (say for example) – only for effective future blackmailing in the future. I mean we know the answer to that already (or rather the diplomatic corps do, or SHOULD do).
      And what is the point of being able to do that on NZ citizens visiting the Pacific other than being in a position to blackmail them or kick them into line sometime in the future. Of course, you’re utterly perfect without any human failings, so it won’t affect you. The intent is ‘compliance’, but as we see elsewhere in the world – the exact opposite is more often the case.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 8.3

      All you have to do to see the wrong in this is turn the tables. A frigate from Iceland docks in Wellington. Sailors from that frigate, once they’ve ticked all the customs boxes, can come and go as they please.

      If they come and go as they please while systematically tapping our phones and opening our letters, they’re criminals. If they were tourists they’d get arrested. So the police arrest them.

      “Ah,” they argue, “we were only following orders.”

      War crimes, just like other crimes, come in different degrees of severity. This isn’t as bad as murdering people at weddings, and it’s still a war crime.

  9. framu 9

    In the 1970s the government realised that more crimes were being committed than was technically possible. This was partly due to the fact that 31% of crimes were fabricated by the government to keep citizens in a constant state of anxiety. To maintain its own credibility, the government banned the use of contraceptives for 3 months per year in the hope that the population would rise and thus generate the citizens required to meet the implausible high crime figures.

    The scheme backfired when the new population proved to comprise largely blameless, model citizens. However, the government was not convinced of their apparent virtue and created a special, combined investigation & prosecution squad. It invested birds, insects and other animals with the full power of a law court and trained them to spy on citizens, assuming that guilt would inevitably be detected.

    In addition to pigeons (see below), there were crack teams of sparrows, cats, butterflies, stoats and tuna, but there were also ‘lone wolf’ operatives, the most infamous of which was a ladybird who everyone knew as Two-Spots Bailey, though his real identity remains a mystery to this day.

    • Gosman 9.1

      This has just gone to prove the fact that 76.4% of statistics are made up to try and influence an argument.

      • framu 9.1.1

        i see what you did there – look gosman ive told you a million times – stop exaggerating 🙂

        • Gosman

          Have you got a link to your 31% of crimes being fabricated by the government claim?

          • framu

            yes – but its not what you think it is

          • Once was Tim

            I do – I’ll put it up on Wiki and get a couple of mates to peer review just as soon as I can translate the BS-speak (going forward)

            Just as an aside Gozzzz-boi

            Do you ekshly have an ego the size of a bus, or are you more a kind of Jamie-Lee Ross type fella.
            I’m just a little curious after that claim above about your IT creds and database knowledge (or rather ‘knowism’).

            If you don;t want to answer, fair cop. It’s just that you are one of the reasons I don’t ‘engage’ with The Standard other than to read and occasionally comment (i.e. you’re one the reasons I flick to ‘elsewhere’ and I suppose that’s mission successful for you.
            (Don’t think it’ll add an inch to the length or girth tho’ Goz – I ain;t the meat – it’s the motion ….. something I reckon you’d even have to check with your masters before even attempting)

    • David 9.2

      Best lolz of the day, Two-Spots Bailey?

      • framu 9.2.1

        go to the scarfolk link – sure its really just one big add for a freelance graphic designer – but its damn funny in a douglas adams/monty python esque sort of way

  10. Bill 10

    From an accompanying Herald article that appears a wee bit more informative…

    Leaked Snowden files show most of GCSB’s targets are not security threats to New Zealand, as Government suggests.

    And the countries include Tuvalu, Nauru, Kiribati and Samoa, Vanuatu, the Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Fiji, Tonga and French Polynesia.

    • Gosman 10.1

      You don’t think the French are a potential threat to NZ?

      • Bill 10.1.1

        I think you’re being a threat to my good will and patience. Up your game, engage intelligently and stop with the mostly irrelevant and potentially derailing one-liners or risk being neutralised (ie, copping a ban on this post), yes?

        • Gosman

          There has been only one act of State sponsored terrorism carried out in New Zealand and it was perfomed by the French. I’m not sure why pointing this out would incur a ban when you posted a list of countries that included territories controlled by France with the implied assumption being why should we target these nations. I merely asked why would the French not be a threat.

          • Bill

            It wouldn’t. The “mostly irrelevant and potentially derailing one-liners” in conjunction with what I pointed out in my previous comment and compounded by wasting my fucking time will though.

          • tricledrown

            Goostepper is now frog marching this discussion.

            [ Nope. All comments he attempts to make on this thread have been hitting (and staying in) moderation since about 10.30.] – Bill

  11. Sable 11

    First of all its Edward Snowden not Eric. As to the rest, well I’ve said it before but Ill go on saying it because it needs to be said; this government are “traitors” selling us all out to US interests.

    • Colonial Rawshark 11.1

      Apparently most of our leadership class are too keen to get in bed with the 0.1% to really worry about looking after the rest of our interests.

      Make no mistake, this mass collection of data and metadata will have been occurring (or prepared for) during Helen Clark’s time. (The NSA started mass collection of American citizens’ data in October 2001, and gradually gave their tools to the rest of the FVEY nations.)

      • Murray Rawshark 11.1.1

        I’m willing to be charitable and think that the squirrels may have done it behind Helen’s back. Goff, Jones, and Mallard may have been the only government members who knew.

  12. Anne 12

    While the GCSB has always had a role carrying out surveillance on the Pacific, the Snowden documents show it grew massively from 2009.

    If my memory is right, the head of the GCSB was Sir Bruce Ferguson in 2009. He had been appointed by Helen Clark some 3 years sooner, and his term was due for renewal that same year. To everyone’s surprise his position was not renewed by the new govt. (or he was advised it would not be renewed) and he was forced to go into premature retirement. At the time I assumed his ‘crime’ had been that he was elevated to the position by the Labour govt. so therefore he had to go. It is now more likely to have been the proposed increases in surveillance activity, and they assumed – correctly I’m sure – that Sir Bruce would not tolerate such massive increases.

    It also suggests to me that given all this happened within months of Key becoming PM, he had been having private discussions with the Americans when he was still the Leader of the Opposition? Now, that scenario, if correct, would raise some very interesting questions indeed!

    • Chooky 12.1

      +100 Anne…good points…New Zealand is rapidly losing its sovereignty and becoming an instrument to outside interests ….under John Key

      ….and I hope Little Labour is not party to this

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 12.1.1

        Taking this line of thought further, what incentives have been given to John Key if he implemented the US plan? I am thinking aloud on hidden campaign funding as well as string pulling.

        • Anne

          That was my line of thought too. It would also account for his gaining access to Obama with such remarkable ease virtually from Day One. A very, very, very, very good friend indeed!

          When you think about it, he always came across as slightly uneasy whenever he was questioned about his (and NZ’s) sudden increase in ties to the US. It was almost as if he was wary of questions in case he let something slip.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          I am thinking aloud on hidden campaign funding as well as string pulling.

          Possibly – although these days the “bribe” of choice is a plum multi-million dollar private sector “consulting” position after leaving public office.

          • Anne

            I have always been suspicious of Key’s decision not to delay his departure to Los Angeles (for a matter of some 12 hours or so) at the time of the memorial service for the 3 soldiers killed in combat in Afghanistan. The son’s baseball match was crap because it transpired it took place 4 days after the event. We also learnt later that on his way to the baseball he had a pre-arranged dinner in LA… purportedly at the invitation of the Warner Bros. moguls. Who else was present I wonder…?

    • Gosman 12.2

      Why don’t you, or someone else, go and ask him? He has been interviewed on matters of security on numerous times since 2009 so he isn’t shy giving his opinion.

      • Tautoko Mangō Mata 12.2.1

        He was shy this morning- no interview on RNZ

        • tricledrown

          Key wouldn’t have had his spin doctors briefing from Cosby trickster the Aussie Lizard bellied low life lying company who will not be taking advice from goostepper.

      • miravox 12.2.2

        Yep, clearly it would be for

        really, really good reasons.

      • marty mars 12.2.3

        He’d just lie like he always does

      • tricledrown 12.2.4

        Cosby tricksters make Rolf Harris look good.

      • Tracey 12.2.5

        he is very shy on giving facts and truth though

      • Murray Rawshark 12.2.6

        It’s not worth asking Key anything because he lies. He may not be shy about giving an opinion, but it’s not guaranteed to be his, nor to be honest. This is why we need people like Snowden and Hager. It’s the only way we find out what our government is doing.

        • Colonial Rawshark

          How can an uninformed and misled electorate participate in democracy? Of course, it cannot, so all we have left really are the superficial trappings of democracy while all the ‘serious decisions’ are made by the in-crowd in the back rooms well out of sight.

    • Tracey 12.3

      Interesting timeline, thanks

  13. Do we have free and fair elections in this country? Or do we have so much money swilling around that in effect we have “bought and paid for ” elections?

    And does some or most of that money come in from the large corperations that want to own this country?

    Was the ‘economic coup’ of Roger Douglas a one off or the beginning of a trend?

    Why NZ?

    We have resources, many of them under our sea bed.

    Many of the 1% consider NZ to be a type of life boat for when their policies have completely stuffed the rest of the Planet.

    And we have form…we once showed the World, that a small aware population can give the Empires a two fingered salute.

    Spying of the type revelaed already is not for the security of the State, unless the State is now defined as the 1%. The “sniff it all” spying we are now paying for instead of fixing leaky hospitals say is to get info to blackmail people …to add another tool to the control kit.

    Why else would the SIS have people behind the scenes in the casinos?

    • Colonial Rawshark 13.1

      Do we have free and fair elections in this country? Or do we have so much money swilling around that in effect we have “bought and paid for ” elections?

      I think our elections are free and fair, but I also think that we must NEVER go to online or electronic voting.

      It’s the “dirty politics” before the election which is definitely not free and fair. For instance, any MP in Parliament who is having an extra-marital affair – if you’ve used txt or email to arrange an illicit meet up, or had a smart phone on you when you went to that meet up – you are already compromised to the intelligence services.

      The suspicion is that they screwed General Patreaus in exactly this way. No one is safe once you get off side.

      This is how actual democracy ends and a surveillance and security state which appears like a democracy is quietly installed in place.

      • nadis 13.1.1

        What happened with Petraeus? What did he do to get offside with “them? He was so integral to the development of the US approach to intelligence and counter-terrorism I can’t imagine he is offside withthe US establishment. In fact the clamour from reppublicans and democrats for his pardon and reinstatement is notable. It is actually the US army who (publicly at least) has said see you later.

        I thought the simple story was that he got led astray by his dick, his mistress went psycho at another women she was jealous of and the cyber stalking of that women led to the mistresses email account being investigated by the FBI which led to the discovery of classified information sent to her by Petraeus. If anything the initial response of the FBI and the US Army – victimising Jill Kelley, looks like an attempt to protect Petraeus rather than hang him out.

        Looks like Petraeus has just reached a plea bargain:

        My bet is that he will be pardoned by Obama next year, and will be back as a special adviser and eventuaqlly as a politician.

      • saveNZ 13.1.2

        Totally agree. Electronic voting is not safe under any circumstances.

        I don’t think the last election was free and fair. 3 prominent sports people tweeting for National when they had been given funding. Not acceptable!

        Everyone has a private life that should be private unless it involves some sort of corruption.

        Democracy has been eroded in this country and just like other measures, often freedoms won, have to be fought for again and again.

    • thatguynz 13.2

      I’m truly interested in knowing more about “Why else would the SIS have people behind the scenes in the casinos?”. Do you have more details?

    • Colonial Rawshark 13.3

      Many of the 1% consider NZ to be a type of life boat for when their policies have completely stuffed the rest of the Planet.

      Bear in mind that most of the 1% are unremarkable, though successful professionals and small business people. If you like, they are the (disposable) enablers of the true multi-millionaire and billionaire class.

      It’s the 0.01% and especially the 0.001% that we need to watch out for.

  14. ankerawshark 14

    And this from my hero at the Herald, David Fisher. One of the few journalist’s there with integrity.

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 14.1

      +1 Great job David Fisher.

      It is clear that NZ is simply an outpost of the US as regards surveillance.
      The signing of the TPPA would virtually complete the takeover. Look for the stars and stripes as a flag option!

    • Colonial Rawshark 14.2

      The one point that Fisher doesn’t quite get around to mentioning is that mass surveillance *weakens* anti-terrorism efforts by burying intelligence agencies in so much data that their analysts are simply overwhelmed. That is why things like the Boston Bombing, the Fort Hood shootings, the Charlie Hebdo killings and the UK school girls running away to Syria after talking to a known terrorist on FaceBook still occur and will keep occurring.

      Mass surveillance is great for targeting problem people you already know about or after the fact, though.

      • Tracey 14.2.1

        ^^^^^^ this

        scattergun is wasting time and energy and defeating the alleged purpose

  15. Tautoko Mangō Mata 15

    It would appear that trying to save your own country from exploitation both environmentally and politically is now considered potentially treasonous by an agency, (GCSB) which we, the public, fund. We are the enemy and need to surveilled!

    If you are incensed by the scope of the surveillance exposed today and realise that John Key has allowed this to occur, then you need to seriously consider the fact that signing the TPPA will even further reduce our ability to make our own laws in NZ as additional pressure can be applied by large multicorporations which have largely taken over USA. We don’t want to give away any more rights. We need to take back the rights to privacy that have been secretly stolen from us with the help of John Key in exchange for who knows what?

    Please join in the anti TPPA protest marches on Saturday, 7 March.

    Auckland –
    Hamilton –
    Whitianga –
    Tauranga –
    Rotorua –
    Napier –
    Gisborne –
    Palmerston North –
    Whanganui –
    Levin –
    Wellington –
    Nelson –
    Hokitika –
    Christchurch –
    Timaru –
    Dunedin –
    Invercargill –

    • Gosman 15.1

      Massively off topic i would suggest as spying on people in the Pacific has nowt to do with the TPPA.

      • Murray Rawshark 15.1.1

        Wrong Goosemann. Both tie us more firmly to the American empire, although I’m not surprised that you can’t see it. Or more likely, see it and celebrate the tendency.

    • saveNZ 15.2

      For those of all political creeds, unite as TPP will be the sale of NZ on a massive scale.

      Even the right wingers in the US don’t agree with it.

      So if both right and left don’t agree, and the public don’t agree, and nobody is allowed to know what is being agreed, why are governments thinking of signing it?

  16. Ian H 16

    There is a byelection on and … oh look. It’s Nicky Hager trying to screw the political scrum. What a surprise.

    • vto 16.1

      John Key is talking and … oh look, nothing but bullshit and absolute lies. What a surprise.

      Good on Hager for getting all required information into the public arena so people can make informed decisions, rather than uninformed knee-jerks

    • Colonial Rawshark 16.2

      There is a byelection on and … oh look. It’s Nicky Hager trying to screw the political scrum. What a surprise.

      Please explain how you think telling the truth about mass surveillance on our friends affects the Northland by-election.

      Take your time to go into detail.

    • tricledrown 16.3

      Surprise all the right wingers are screwing John Keys bum.

    • Tracey 16.4

      Surprise, a Key supporter has no idea what is really important to Northlanders and doesnt care that Key and the National party screwed Northlanders by keeping a VERY big secret about their candidate prior to and after the election. What a surprise.

  17. Chooky 17

    This puts it all quite well i think…NZ spies for USA ..and USA is beholden to whom?

    …as some of the comments indicate….not necessarily the American people

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    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • The Greater Of Two Evils.
    Not Labour: If you’re out to punish the government you once loved, then the last thing you need is to be shown evidence that the opposition parties are much, much worse.THE GREATEST VIRTUE of being the Opposition is not being the Government. Only very rarely is an opposition party elected ...
    4 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #39 2023
    Open access notables "Net zero is only a distraction— we just have to end fossil fuel emissions." The latter is true but the former isn't, or  not in the real world as it's likely to be in the immediate future. And "just" just doesn't enter into it; we don't have ...
    4 days ago
  • Chris Trotter: Losing the Left
    IN THE CURRENT MIX of electoral alternatives, there is no longer a credible left-wing party. Not when “a credible left-wing party” is defined as: a class-oriented, mass-based, democratically-structured political organisation; dedicated to promoting ideas sharply critical of laissez-faire capitalism; and committed to advancing democratic, egalitarian and emancipatory ideals across the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    4 days ago
  • Road rage at Kia Kaha Primary School
    It is not the school holidays yet at Kia Kaha Primary School!It can be any time when you are telling a story.Telling stories about things that happened in the past is how we learn from our mistakes.If we want to.Anyway, it is not the school holidays yet at Kia Kaha ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Road rage at Kia Kaha Primary School
    It is not the school holidays yet at Kia Kaha Primary School!It can be any time when you are telling a story.Telling stories about things that happened in the past is how we learn from our mistakes.If we want to.Anyway, it is not the school holidays yet at Kia Kaha ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Road rage at Kia Kaha Primary School
    It is not the school holidays yet at Kia Kaha Primary School!It can be any time when you are telling a story.Telling stories about things that happened in the past is how we learn from our mistakes.If we want to.Anyway, it is not the school holidays yet at Kia Kaha ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Hipkins fires up in leaders’ debate, but has the curtain already fallen on the Labour-led coalitio...
    Labour’s  Chris Hipkins came out firing, in the  leaders’ debate  on Newshub’s evening programme, and most of  the pundits  rated  him the winner against National’s  Christopher Luxon. But will this make any difference when New  Zealanders  start casting their ballots? The problem  for  Hipkins is  that  voters are  all too ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    4 days ago
  • Govt is energising housing projects with solar power – and fuelling the public’s concept of a di...
    Buzz from the Beehive  Not long after Point of Order published data which show the substantial number of New Zealanders (77%) who believe NZ is becoming more divided, government ministers were braying about a programme which distributes some money to “the public” and some to “Maori”. The ministers were dishing ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    4 days ago
  • MIKE GRIMSHAW: Election 2023 – a totemic & charisma failure?
    The D&W analysis Michael Grimshaw writes –  Given the apathy, disengagement, disillusionment, and all-round ennui of this year’s general election, it was considered time to bring in those noted political operatives and spin doctors D&W, the long-established consultancy firm run by Emile Durkheim and Max Weber. Known for ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • FROM BFD: Will Winston be the spectre we think?
    Kissy kissy. Cartoon credit BoomSlang. The BFD. JC writes-  Allow me to preface this contribution with the following statement: If I were asked to express a preference between a National/ACT coalition or a National/ACT/NZF coalition then it would be the former. This week Luxon declared his position, ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • California’s climate disclosure bill could have a huge impact across the U.S.
    This re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Andy Furillo was originally published by Capital & Main and is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story. The California Legislature took a step last week that has the potential to accelerate the fight against climate ...
    4 days ago
  • Untangling South East Queensland’s Public Transport
    This is a cross post Adventures in Transitland by Darren Davis. I recently visited Brisbane and South East Queensland and came away both impressed while also pondering some key changes to make public transport even better in the region. Here goes with my take on things. A bit of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    4 days ago
  • Try A Little Kindness.
    My daughter arrived home from the supermarket yesterday and she seemed a bit worried about something. It turned out she wanted to know if someone could get her bank number from a receipt.We wound the story back.She was in the store and there was a man there who was distressed, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • What makes NZFirst tick
    New Zealand’s longest-running political roadshow rolled into Opotiki yesterday, with New Zealand First leader Winston Peters knowing another poll last night showed he would make it back to Parliament and National would need him and his party if they wanted to form a government. The Newshub Reid Research poll ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • September AMA
    Hi,As September draws to a close — I feel it’s probably time to do an Ask Me Anything. You know how it goes: If you have any burning questions, fire away in the comments and I will do my best to answer. You might have questions about Webworm, or podcast ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Bludgers lying in the scratcher making fools of us all
    The mediocrity who stands to be a Prime Minister has a litany.He uses it a bit like a Koru Lounge card. He will brandish it to say: these people are eligible. And more than that, too: These people are deserving. They have earned this policy.They have a right to this policy. What ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • More “partnerships” (by the look of it) and redress of over $30 million in Treaty settlement wit...
    Buzz from the Beehive Point of Order has waited until now – 3.45pm – for today’s officially posted government announcements.  There have been none. The only addition to the news on the Beehive’s website was posted later yesterday, after we had published our September 26 Buzz report. It came from ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • ALEX HOLLAND: Labour’s spending
    Alex Holland writes –  In 2017 when Labour came to power, crown spending was $76 billion per year. Now in 2023 it is $139 billion per year, which equates to a $63 billion annual increase (over $1 billion extra spend every week!) In 2017, New Zealand’s government debt ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • If not now, then when?
    Labour released its fiscal plan today, promising the same old, same old: "responsibility", balanced books, and of course no new taxes: "Labour will maintain income tax settings to provide consistency and certainty in these volatile times. Now is not the time for additional taxes or to promise billions of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • THE FACTS:  77% of Kiwis believe NZ is becoming more divided
    The Facts has posted –        KEY INSIGHTSOf New Zealander’s polled: Social unity/division 77%believe NZ is becoming more divided (42% ‘much more’ + 35% ‘a little more’) 3%believe NZ is becoming less divided (1% ‘much less’ + 2% ‘a little less’) ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on the cynical brutality of the centre-right’s welfare policies
    The centre-right’s enthusiasm for forcing people off the benefit and into paid work is matched only by the enthusiasm (shared by Treasury and the Reserve Bank) for throwing people out of paid work to curb inflation, and achieve the optimal balance of workers to job seekers deemed to be desirable ...
    5 days ago
  • Wednesday’s Chorus: Arthur Grimes on why building many, many more social houses is so critical
    New research shows that tenants in social housing - such as these Wellington apartments - are just as happy as home owners and much happier than private tenants. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The election campaign took an ugly turn yesterday, and in completely the wrong direction. All three ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Bennie Bashing.
    If there’s one thing the mob loves more than keeping Māori in their place, more than getting tough on the gangs, maybe even more than tax cuts. It’s a good old round of beneficiary bashing.Are those meanies in the ACT party stealing your votes because they think David Seymour is ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • The kindest cuts
    Labour kicks off the fiscal credibility battle today with the release of its fiscal plan. National is expected to follow, possibly as soon as Thursday, with its own plan, which may (or may not) address the large hole that the problems with its foreign buyers’ ban might open up. ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Green right turn in Britain? Well, a start
    While it may be unlikely to register in New Zealand’s general election, Britain’s PM Rishi Sunak has done something which might just be important in the long run. He’s announced a far-reaching change in his Conservative government’s approach to environmental, and particularly net zero, policy. The starting point – ...
    Point of OrderBy xtrdnry
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – How do human CO2 emissions compare to natural CO2 emissions?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • How could this happen?
    Canada is in uproar after the exposure that its parliament on September 22 provided a standing ovation to a Nazi veteran who had been invited into the chamber to participate in the parliamentary welcome to Ukrainian President Zelensky. Yaroslav Hunka, 98, a Ukrainian man who volunteered for service in ...
    6 days ago
  • Always Be Campaigning
    The big screen is a great place to lay out the ways of the salesman. He comes ready-made for Panto, ripe for lampooning.This is not to disparage that life. I have known many good people of that kind. But there is a type, brazen as all get out. The camera ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • STEPHEN FRANKS: Press seek to publicly shame doctor – we must push back
    The following is a message sent yesterday from lawyer Stephen Franks on behalf of the Free Speech Union. I don’t like to interrupt first thing Monday morning, but we’ve just become aware of a case where we think immediate and overwhelming attention could help turn the tide. It involves someone ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Competing on cruelty
    The right-wing message calendar is clearly reading "cruelty" today, because both National and NZ First have released beneficiary-bashing policies. National is promising a "traffic light" system to police and kick beneficiaries, which will no doubt be accompanied by arbitrary internal targets to classify people as "orange" or "red" to keep ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Further funding for Pharmac (forgotten in the Budget?) looks like a $1bn appeal from a PM in need of...
    Buzz from the Beehive One Labour plan  – for 3000 more public homes by 2025 – is the most recent to be posted on the government’s official website. Another – a prime ministerial promise of more funding for Pharmac – has been released as a Labour Party press statement. Who ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Bryce Edwards: The Vested interests shaping National Party policies
    As the National Party gets closer to government, lobbyists and business interests will be lining up for influence and to get policies adopted. It’s therefore in the public interest to have much more scrutiny and transparency about potential conflicts of interests that might arise. One of the key individuals of ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    6 days ago
  • Labour may be on way out of power and NZ First back in – but will Peters go into coalition with Na...
    Voters  are deserting Labour in droves, despite Chris  Hipkins’  valiant  rearguard  action.  So  where  are they  heading?  Clearly  not all of them are going to vote National, which concedes that  the  outcome  will be “close”. To the Right of National, the ACT party just a  few weeks  ago  was ...
    Point of OrderBy tutere44
    6 days ago
  • GRAHAM ADAMS: Will the racists please stand up?
    Accusations of racism by journalists and MPs are being called out. Graham Adams writes –    With the election less than three weeks away, what co-governance means in practice — including in water management, education, planning law and local government — remains largely obscure. Which is hardly ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on whether Winston Peters can be a moderating influence
    As the centre-right has (finally!) been subjected to media interrogation, the polls are indicating that some voters may be starting to have second thoughts about the wisdom of giving National and ACT the power to govern alone. That’s why yesterday’s Newshub/Reid Research poll had the National/ACT combo dropping to 60 ...
    6 days ago
  • Tuesday’s Chorus: RBNZ set to rain on National's victory parade
    ANZ has increased its forecast for house inflation later this year on signs of growing momentum in the market ahead of the election. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: National has campaigned against the Labour Government’s record on inflation and mortgage rates, but there’s now a growing chance the Reserve ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • After a Pittsburgh coal processing plant closed, ER visits plummeted
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Katie Myers. This story was originally published by Grist and is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story. Pittsburgh, in its founding, was blessed and cursed with two abundant natural resources: free-flowing rivers and a nearby coal seam. ...
    6 days ago
  • September-23 AT Board Meeting
    Today the AT board meet again and once again I’ve taken a look at what’s on the agenda to find the most interesting items. Closed Agenda Interestingly when I first looked at the agendas this paper was there but at the time of writing this post it had been ...
    6 days ago
  • Electorate Watch: West Coast-Tasman
    Continuing my series on interesting electorates, today it’s West Coast-Tasman.A long thin electorate running down the northern half of the west coast of the South Island. Think sand flies, beautiful landscapes, lots of rain, Pike River, alternative lifestylers, whitebaiting, and the spiritual home of the Labour Party. A brief word ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Big money brings Winston back
    National leader Christopher Luxon yesterday morning conceded it and last night’s Newshub poll confirmed it; Winston Peters and NZ First are not only back but highly likely to be part of the next government. It is a remarkable comeback for a party that was tossed out of Parliament in ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    7 days ago
  • 20 days until Election Day, 7 until early voting begins… but what changes will we really see here?
    As this blogger, alongside many others, has already posited in another forum: we all know the National Party’s “budget” (meaning this concept of even adding up numbers properly is doing a lot of heavy, heavy lifting right now) is utter and complete bunk (read hung, drawn and quartered and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • A night out
    Everyone was asking, Are you nervous? and my response was various forms of God, yes.I've written more speeches than I can count; not much surprises me when the speaker gets to their feet and the room goes quiet.But a play? Never.YOU CAME! THANK YOU! Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago

  • New Zealand resumes peacekeeping force leadership
    New Zealand will again contribute to the leadership of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, with a senior New Zealand Defence Force officer returning as Interim Force Commander. Defence Minister Andrew Little and Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced the deployment of New Zealand ...
    1 hour ago
  • New national direction provides clarity for development and the environment
    The Government has taken an important step in implementing the new resource management system, by issuing a draft National Planning Framework (NPF) document under the new legislation, Environment Minister David Parker said today. “The NPF consolidates existing national direction, bringing together around 20 existing instruments including policy statements, standards, and ...
    4 hours ago
  • Government shows further commitment to pay equity for healthcare workers
    The Government welcomes the proposed pay equity settlement that will see significant pay increases for around 18,000 Te Whatu Ora Allied, Scientific, and Technical employees, if accepted said Health Minister Ayesha Verrall. The proposal reached between Te Whatu Ora, the New Zealand Public Service Association Te Pūkenga Here Tikanga Mahi ...
    5 hours ago
  • 100 new public EV chargers to be added to national network
    The public EV charging network has received a significant boost with government co-funding announced today for over 100 EV chargers – with over 200 charging ports altogether – across New Zealand, and many planned to be up and running on key holiday routes by Christmas this year. Minister of Energy ...
    1 day ago
  • Safeguarding Tuvalu language and identity
    Tuvalu is in the spotlight this week as communities across New Zealand celebrate Vaiaso o te Gagana Tuvalu – Tuvalu Language Week. “The Government has a proven record of supporting Pacific communities and ensuring more of our languages are spoken, heard and celebrated,” Pacific Peoples Minister Barbara Edmonds said. “Many ...
    1 day ago
  • New community-level energy projects to support more than 800 Māori households
    Seven more innovative community-scale energy projects will receive government funding through the Māori and Public Housing Renewable Energy Fund to bring more affordable, locally generated clean energy to more than 800 Māori households, Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods says. “We’ve already funded 42 small-scale clean energy projects that ...
    4 days ago
  • Huge boost to Te Tai Tokerau flood resilience
    The Government has approved new funding that will boost resilience and greatly reduce the risk of major flood damage across Te Tai Tokerau. Significant weather events this year caused severe flooding and damage across the region. The $8.9m will be used to provide some of the smaller communities and maraes ...
    4 days ago
  • Napier’s largest public housing development comes with solar
    The largest public housing development in Napier for many years has been recently completed and has the added benefit of innovative solar technology, thanks to Government programmes, says Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods. The 24 warm, dry homes are in Seddon Crescent, Marewa and Megan Woods says the whanau living ...
    5 days ago
  • Te Whānau a Apanui and the Crown initial Deed of Settlement I Kua waitohua e Te Whānau a Apanui me...
    Māori: Kua waitohua e Te Whānau a Apanui me te Karauna te Whakaaetanga Whakataunga Kua waitohua e Te Whānau a Apanui me te Karauna i tētahi Whakaaetanga Whakataunga hei whakamihi i ō rātou tāhuhu kerēme Tiriti o Waitangi. E tekau mā rua ngā hapū o roto mai o Te Whānau ...
    6 days ago
  • Plan for 3,000 more public homes by 2025 – regions set to benefit
    Regions around the country will get significant boosts of public housing in the next two years, as outlined in the latest public housing plan update, released by the Housing Minister, Dr Megan Woods. “We’re delivering the most public homes each year since the Nash government of the 1950s with one ...
    1 week ago
  • Immigration settings updates
    Judicial warrant process for out-of-hours compliance visits 2023/24 Recognised Seasonal Employer cap increased by 500 Additional roles for Construction and Infrastructure Sector Agreement More roles added to Green List Three-month extension for onshore Recovery Visa holders The Government has confirmed a number of updates to immigration settings as part of ...
    1 week ago
  • Poroporoaki: Tā Patrick (Patu) Wahanga Hohepa
    Tangi ngunguru ana ngā tai ki te wahapū o Hokianga Whakapau Karakia. Tārehu ana ngā pae maunga ki Te Puna o te Ao Marama. Korihi tangi ana ngā manu, kua hinga he kauri nui ki te Wao Nui o Tāne. He Toa. He Pou. He Ahorangi. E papaki tū ana ...
    1 week ago
  • Renewable energy fund to support community resilience
    40 solar energy systems on community buildings in regions affected by Cyclone Gabrielle and other severe weather events Virtual capability-building hub to support community organisations get projects off the ground Boost for community-level renewable energy projects across the country At least 40 community buildings used to support the emergency response ...
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 funding returned to Government
    The lifting of COVID-19 isolation and mask mandates in August has resulted in a return of almost $50m in savings and recovered contingencies, Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Following the revocation of mandates and isolation, specialised COVID-19 telehealth and alternative isolation accommodation are among the operational elements ...
    1 week ago
  • Appointment of District Court Judge
    Susie Houghton of Auckland has been appointed as a new District Court Judge, to serve on the Family Court, Attorney-General David Parker said today.  Judge Houghton has acted as a lawyer for child for more than 20 years. She has acted on matters relating to the Hague Convention, an international ...
    1 week ago
  • Government invests further in Central Hawke’s Bay resilience
    The Government has today confirmed $2.5 million to fund a replace and upgrade a stopbank to protect the Waipawa Drinking Water Treatment Plant. “As a result of Cyclone Gabrielle, the original stopbank protecting the Waipawa Drinking Water Treatment Plant was destroyed. The plant was operational within 6 weeks of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt boost for Hawke’s Bay cyclone waste clean-up
    Another $2.1 million to boost capacity to deal with waste left in Cyclone Gabrielle’s wake. Funds for Hastings District Council, Phoenix Contracting and Hog Fuel NZ to increase local waste-processing infrastructure. The Government is beefing up Hawke’s Bay’s Cyclone Gabrielle clean-up capacity with more support dealing with the massive amount ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taupō Supercars revs up with Government support
    The future of Supercars events in New Zealand has been secured with new Government support. The Government is getting engines started through the Major Events Fund, a special fund to support high profile events in New Zealand that provide long-term economic, social and cultural benefits. “The Repco Supercars Championship is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • There is no recession in NZ, economy grows nearly 1 percent in June quarter
    The economy has turned a corner with confirmation today New Zealand never was in recession and stronger than expected growth in the June quarter, Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. “The New Zealand economy is doing better than expected,” Grant Robertson said. “It’s continuing to grow, with the latest figures showing ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Highest legal protection for New Zealand’s largest freshwater springs
    The Government has accepted the Environment Court’s recommendation to give special legal protection to New Zealand’s largest freshwater springs, Te Waikoropupū Springs (also known as Pupū Springs), Environment Minister David Parker announced today.   “Te Waikoropupū Springs, near Takaka in Golden Bay, have the second clearest water in New Zealand after ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More support for victims of migrant exploitation
    Temporary package of funding for accommodation and essential living support for victims of migrant exploitation Exploited migrant workers able to apply for a further Migrant Exploitation Protection Visa (MEPV), giving people more time to find a job Free job search assistance to get people back into work Use of 90-day ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Strong export boost as NZ economy turns corner
    An export boost is supporting New Zealand’s economy to grow, adding to signs that the economy has turned a corner and is on a stronger footing as we rebuild from Cyclone Gabrielle and lock in the benefits of multiple new trade deals, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. “The economy is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Funding approved for flood resilience work in Te Karaka
    The Government has approved $15 million to raise about 200 homes at risk of future flooding. More than half of this is expected to be spent in the Tairāwhiti settlement of Te Karaka, lifting about 100 homes there. “Te Karaka was badly hit during Cyclone Gabrielle when the Waipāoa River ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Further business support for cyclone-affected regions
    The Government is helping businesses recover from Cyclone Gabrielle and attract more people back into their regions. “Cyclone Gabrielle has caused considerable damage across North Island regions with impacts continuing to be felt by businesses and communities,” Economic Development Minister Barbara Edmonds said. “Building on our earlier business support, this ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New maintenance facility at Burnham Military Camp underway
    Defence Minister Andrew Little has turned the first sod to start construction of a new Maintenance Support Facility (MSF) at Burnham Military Camp today. “This new state-of-art facility replaces Second World War-era buildings and will enable our Defence Force to better maintain and repair equipment,” Andrew Little said. “This Government ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Foreign Minister to attend United Nations General Assembly
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta will represent New Zealand at the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in New York this week, before visiting Washington DC for further Pacific focussed meetings. Nanaia Mahuta will be in New York from Wednesday 20 September, and will participate in UNGA leaders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Midwives’ pay equity offer reached
    Around 1,700 Te Whatu Ora employed midwives and maternity care assistants will soon vote on a proposed pay equity settlement agreed by Te Whatu Ora, the Midwifery Employee Representation and Advisory Service (MERAS) and New Zealand Nurses Association (NZNO), Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. “Addressing historical pay ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand provides support to Morocco
    Aotearoa New Zealand will provide humanitarian support to those affected by last week’s earthquake in Morocco, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. “We are making a contribution of $1 million to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to help meet humanitarian needs,” Nanaia Mahuta said. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government invests in West Coast’s roading resilience
    The Government is investing over $22 million across 18 projects to improve the resilience of roads in the West Coast that have been affected by recent extreme weather, Prime Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today.  A dedicated Transport Resilience Fund has been established for early preventative works to protect the state ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government invests in Greymouth’s future
    The Government has today confirmed a $2 million grant towards the regeneration of Greymouth’s CBD with construction of a new two-level commercial and public facility. “It will include a visitor facility centred around a new library. Additionally, it will include retail outlets on the ground floor, and both outdoor and ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Nanaia Mahuta to attend PIF Foreign Ministers’ Meeting
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta will attend the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, in Suva, Fiji alongside New Zealand’s regional counterparts. “Aotearoa New Zealand is deeply committed to working with our pacific whanau to strengthen our cooperation, and share ways to combat the challenges facing the Blue Pacific Continent,” ...
    3 weeks ago

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