Open mike 11/12/2014

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, December 11th, 2014 - 219 comments
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cut-the-crapOpen mike is your post.

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219 comments on “Open mike 11/12/2014”

  1. Manuka AOR 1

    In defense of Andrew Little:

    Following the passage of the warrantless surveillance bill “under urgency”, some people are blaming A.L for this. Andrew has been on the job for how long? Three weeks or so? Certainly less than a month. While the dastardly ones have been refining their devious tricks of the trade for years – They are in their 3rd term, remember. AL was caught between a rock and hard place – I’m not sure what more he could have done.

    Significant concessions were achieved. The original wording of the bill, according to Jacinda (link below) was “to detect activities prejudicial to security or for the purpose of gathering foreign intelligence information that is essential to security.” In other words, just about any activist for any cause, if they wished to spin it that way. Now they at least have to bring in a ‘foreign fighters’ link if they want legitimacy.

    • Paul 1.1

      Labour should stand for the people, not deep power.

      • Manuka AOR 1.1.1

        The Labour movement arose from the people. I believe that Andrew is representing we – the people, not ‘the power’.

        • Paul

          So why give more powers to the SIS, who have already been found to be spying on NZers illegally..for the US?

          • The Al1en

            It’s labour playing the same hand of cards they have done for six years – Sacrificing principals to appear nat lite in an attempt to appeal to the narrow band of middle voters who may (or not as has been the case) switch in a general election.

            Bad look for little’s labour after such a good start.
            Perhaps Andrew can ‘cut the crap’ and get labour representing the constituency who voted for him.

            • les

              and stay stuck on 25% and an eternity in opposition.

              • The Al1en

                “and stay stuck on 25% and an eternity in opposition.”

                My first paragraph explains away your ‘point’, but two questions.

                How did they sink to that level in the first place?
                Is backing this spy bill going to get them more votes?

                • les

                  they sunk to that level by not being pragmatic.NZ’ers rejected their policies as has been debated endlessly since the elections.Will backing the bill get them more votes,probably not,but it shouldn’t lose them any either.The positive side is that this legislation has a sunset clause and a new Labour Govt can put it to bed.

                  • The Al1en

                    Not being pragmatic or not being true to the movements ideals that went before it. I pick the latter.

                    • les

                      many will.That banishes ideology to the wilderness.Even the Greens have woken up to the reality of pragmatism.

                    • The Al1en

                      Did the greens not oppose the spy bill?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Of course Les, your political analysis is BS.

                      The truth is this: NZers are waiting for a real alternative to the neoliberal paradigm. They are waiting for Labour to get its shit together.

                      And the more the Greens drift towards upper middle class market led centrism, the weaker and weaker they will get.

                    • Draco T Bastard

                      many will.That banishes ideology to the wilderness.Even the Greens have woken up to the reality of pragmatism.

                      What a load of bollocks.

                      Pragmatism is about doing what can be done rather than what should be done or what you’d like to do. In politics that means staying within the dominant political paradigms limits.

                      To put it another way: Pragmatism in politics is pure bloody ideology.

                    • TheContrarian

                      “Pragmatism in politics is pure bloody ideology”

                      As opposed to…actual ideology?

                  • Maisie

                    In a nutshell. Bravo les.

              • Paul

                As if you’d ever vote for a left wing party.

                • les

                  depends how you define left wing I guess.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    I guess to you anything left of Margaret Thatcher is positively Marxist.

                    • les

                      what gives you that impression?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Don’t you agree? Feel free to define what a left wing party is to you then, if you have an honest wish to clarify.

                      Stop tip toeing.

                    • les

                      So you decided to make a guess based on nothing of any substance.I do not have to justify myself to you.And you must know you are not fit to judge me.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Quit tip toeing and be upfront for a change. What is a left wing party to you?

                    • les

                      ‘The truth is this: NZers are waiting for a real alternative to the neoliberal paradigm. They are waiting for Labour to get its shit together.’…………you are deluded.NZ’ers are voting right wing ,more and more based on the election results….Natz,NZ First,Conservatives,ACT,UF.

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      National won the election by maybe 80,000 votes.

                      If Labour and Greens hadn’t been so strategically stupid about MMP, National’s winning margin would have been under 40,000 votes.

                      That’s a knife edge buddy. And your electoral analysis (like everything else) is shite.

                      Now, stop tip toeing. What’s a left wing party to you.

                    • framu

                      “NZ’ers are voting right wing”

                      yet traditional left wing concepts still rate very highly in polling

                      so is it the policy or the package?

                    • batweka

                      “NZ’ers are voting right wing”

                      You mean 30% of people allowed to vote, voted National.

                    • The Al1en

                      “You mean 30% of people allowed to vote, voted National.”

                      What does this mean? Specifically the “allowed” bit.

                    • batweka

                      Anyone 18 or over and who is a NZ citizen or resident of x years (or whatever the exact criteria are. Irrespective of being on the roll).

             (looks like roughly 33% voted on the right across parties).

                      Just sick of righties claiming that National has a mandate.

            • Manuka AOR

              @ The Al1en: No, you have it the wrong way around. Had they gone for the appearance rather than the reality, and made loud noises of apparent opposing, the reality is that many more people would now be vulnerable to surveillance.

              • The Al1en

                I don’t get what you’re saying.
                Opposing the shockingly poor spy bill is for appearance only and not in any way protecting the rights of New Zealanders?

                • Manuka AOR

                  In real terms, the DID oppose it, both while it was going through – by requiring concessions, and by saying exactly what they thought about the bill at the end – That many aspects are still wrong.

                  “Opposing” is meaningless if it achieves nothing. They had no power to stop the bill going through, so any loud claims to oppose it, while doing nothing, would have been meaningless.

                  • and this is all why they voted for it..?

                    ..and since when did opposition become ‘meaningless’..

                  • tracey

                    does the leader of the Labour party and all other parties get access tot he secret service to provide oversight that the basis for the warrantless surveillance was justified?

                    • Manuka AOR

                      @Tracey: There is an odd bit in Jacinda’s speech where she says something to the effect that she “accepts there is some security information that the Opposition should not have access to”. That is a paraphrase from memory – I’ll check it out again at the link. But it left a sense that ‘Something is not right here’. Too much power was being placed in the hands of too few, and those few have already shown they will act from partisan motives at times.

                    • Mainlander

                      Good question Tracey
                      But somehow i doubt they will be involved in that part of the process, probably something they should have thought about while haggling down they surveillance time, and far more important imo

                    • tracey

                      That would be one way to ensure the oversight and the process is trustworthy.

                      John Key saying “trust us” just doesnt fill me with confidence.

                  • The Al1en

                    Really? Opposing when you haven’t got the numbers is meaningless? I thought it was demonstrating to your constituents you purport to represent that you are indeed representing them.
                    I’d guess that why labour has issues with retaining votes. If there own people can’t trust them, who will?

                    Simple fact that you start with “in defence of Andrew Little” shows that he directed the party in a piss poor way and are trying damage limitation exercises to minimise the fallout.

                    • les

                      having an erection and nowhere to stick it…is little different to …impotence.

                    • The Al1en

                      Except Little waved it around a bit and then stuck it in jk’s (got that adam) back pocket.

                    • Manuka AOR

                      @ The Al1en: “Simple fact that you start with “in defence of Andrew Little” shows that he directed the party in a piss poor way and are trying damage limitation exercises to minimise the fallout.”

                      The Al1en seems to be suggesting that I am in some way working for the Labour Party. This is absolute rubbish. I am neither affiliated with nor working for any political party (though I am keenly observing and generally supportive of all the parties of the Left).

                      When the surveillance bill passed I felt anger and despair for NZ, and left comments to that effect. Then I followed up on it all a bit more and today made the initial comment above.

                      The fact that The Al1en would try to turn my comment into a political party action makes me wonder if he is one of the 288 spin doctors presently employed by the Nats:

                    • The Al1en

                      Firstly, if you’re going to make a point about me, you should really direct it at me rather than an invisible audience, mainly because it’s rude and childish, but mostly because it immediately undermines your position. But anyway…

                      I don’t think you’re working for the party, which is why I didn’t post or imply or infer it, but I do think you’re spinning on their behalf for the reason stated originally. It was a piss poor show from the, for now, main opposition.

                      Is voting in the house a party political action? Yes! Unless it’s a conscience vote. To my knowledge the spy bill was not a personal vote, but you may be able to clarify that if so inclined.

                      Am I working for the nats? No, no I am not. 😆

                  • ankerawshark

                    Manuka AOr 100+

                  • tracey

                    Have you heard any justification, from anyone who voted for the Bill, as to why we had to rush it through when the UK, itself victim to many acts of terrorism, is taking months to put theirs through?

                    Because Key has used the secret services for his political ends he has essentially cried woolf on the NZ citizenry making it hard to swallow that we are a genuine haven for terrorists

              • Murray Rawshark

                How has the number of possible targets changed? Do you mean the Labour caucus won’t be spied on now, since they’ve shown which side they’re on?

          • Manuka AOR

            @pu: They did not “Give more powers to the SIS”. Labour lacked the numbers and the time to prevent the bill going through. Had they not worked for concessions, we could now all be under “legitimised” surveillance.

            • Colonial Rawshark

              And this is what our broken political system has come down to (we can give you an option which is mildly less shite than the blue team), and why Labour constantly gives up chances to differentiate itself and position itself in voters minds as a source of true political alternatives.

              The irony of course is that Labour supporters and politicians will be the first ones targeted by these increased powers.

              Secondly, if you think linking people to foreign fighters is in the least bit difficult for the intelligence services, you don’t understand the realities of surveillance. You are linked to a foreign fighter if anyone within 2 degrees of internet or comms separation from you has shown the slightest inclination towards sympathy towards the issue of foreign fighters. That’s 2 degrees on phone lists, email lists, facebook friends, twitter followers etc.

              That’s almost every fucking person they decide they want to target. But you didn’t know that did you.

              • Chooky

                CR +100 …the irony is that Labour by supporting this Bill is now seen by New Zealanders to have endorsed it….which is exactly what John Key wanted…support from other major opposition Parties in Parliament ( so he and the Nacts didnt carry the burden alone of bringing in a Police State)

                …Labour has supported unwarranted surveillance on who ever John Key and friends want….on any hidden personal trumped up reason …because there is NO accountability.

                The potential for personal intrusion and blackmail of opponents is huge ( no matter how upright and innocent the target and how justified their opposition is to this government and policies)…and have we not seen in recent weeks how Labour was disadvantaged by the twisting of hidden knowledge and the way Goff was played by the SIS and John Key’s office and Slater just before a General Election?..Goff was made out to to be incompetent or a liar…It probably lost Labour that Election.

                Labour has endorsed unwarranted surveillance on New Zealanders….but New Zealanders can refuse to endorse Labour….unless Labour changes its position

              • Clemgeopin


              • Manuka AOR

                @Colonial: “The irony of course is that Labour supporters and politicians will be the first ones targeted by these increased powers.”

                True. In the lead-up to the next election, the new model Ede will have a far easier and more colourful cruise through the lives of, well, anyone they wish to ‘investigate’.

                And yes, I agree that it is simplicity itself to link just about anyone to some perceived ‘foreign fighter’. Look at what happened in Sydney – the guy apprehended had been the recipient of a phoned message from someone, which left him mystified. The guy who made the ph call, apparently exhorting him fight, was an actor. He had been an actor in Melbourne, so for all anyone knows, he thought he was auditioning for his next role.

                As you say, it is the System itself that is broken. For now, we are all caught within that system.

                • Colonial Rawshark

                  And we will remain being caught in it as long as we continue to justify, rationalise and support politics and political behaviour which fucks us over as citizens.

                • tracey

                  And the plastic sword, brandished by the police in the media, that is part of most practising muslim homes…

          • Manuka AOR

            @Paul: See my reply to pu. They did NOT “Give more powers to the SIS”. There was simply no way they could stop that bill going through. They were able to concede lesser powers than were in the original bill.

            • The Al1en

              That’s weak politics from a fucked up opposition.

              • framu

                amen – especially when just before hand they were giving the nats quite a bit of shit in public over it – then they turn around and vote for it, while saying it was a terrible bill and a terrible way to treat the public and democracy

                considering that

                1) “what the fuck does labour even stand for now anyway?” was a major issue for them in the elections
                2) theyve given the nats a PR stick to beat them with now
                3) theyve yet again sent mixed messages to the public
                4) they cant back peddle from this in the future without a lot of long winded explanations that no one will listen too
                5) if they back peddle in future they will gift the nats yet another PR stick to beat them with
                6) the MSM is hardly going to report them honestly anyway

                trying to claim that they somehow made a win for NZ by being party to a slightly less shit law isnt just silly – its insulting.

              • greywarshark

                @ The Allen
                That’s fucked-up politics from a weakened opposition. FIFY

                Labour had been weakened by years of game-playing by Labour pollies and strategy wonks, when they should have been dealing with the realities out there and keeping faith with their core membership. Then it refused to use the political ploys available to it in the run-up to the election to maximise the left bloc.

                It’s getting better though I see Bryan Gould talking about it looking and behaving as if it wants to be a leader of the left. I think that a sports strategist might be more useful advisor in what feints and game plans to make than going for this simplistic shtick.

                At present it is doing as well as it can to protect us from the barbarous right. We knew that if Labour did not sharpen up it would be the loser from the election and we would be fighting this type of shitty policy.

            • phillip ure

              @ manuka..

              or..they cd have opposed it..and promised to repeal it/roll back the surveillance state when elected..

              (and puhl-eeze..!..the cut from 48 hrs to the grand scheme of s.f.a..and certainly not reason to support it..f.f.s..!..)

              ..but that is the thing with labour..

              ..when push comes to shove…

              ..they always sell you out…

              ..and it is not only national who have built this surveillance-state..

              ..come on down..!..helen clark..!

    • “.. AL was caught between a rock and hard place – I’m not sure what more he could have done..”

      he/labour cd have flat-out opposed this further erosion of our civil liberties..

      ..(‘civil-liberties?..what civil liberties?’..)

      ..but no..little continued on as labour has always done..

      ..worked in collusion with national to create a police-state..

      ..(and that is all pretty much now a done-deal..) matter how ya fucken spin it..

      ..little/labour sold us out…again..

      • Manuka AOR 1.2.1

        @pu: “he/labour cd have flat-out opposed this further erosion of our civil liberties..”

        And achieved .. what exactly?

        Had the concessions not been won, you yourself could well be targeted, for example, with your pro-active stance on dope smoking.

        • phillip ure

          “..And achieved .. what exactly?..”

          oh..!..i dunno..!..a moral-victory..?..the moral high-ground..?

          ..the promise of a ‘new labour’..?

          ..there’s three reasons..


          “ yourself could well be targeted, for example, with your pro-active stance on dope smoking..”

 so much for pot-advocacy..but that i am vegan/arguing animal-rights..

          ..means i am one of those ‘with a chip on my shoulder’..who finlayson says they target..

          ..and because i am arguing against dairy/factory-farming..

          ..this makes me an ‘economic-terrorist’ their eyes..

          ..there’s two reasons..

          ..face it are trying to defend the indefensible..

          ..on this matter..little/labour both suck and blow..

          (and i say that more in sadness..than in anger..)

          • Manuka AOR


            AL will bring about actual changes for the better in Aotearoa.
            PU’s arrogant pontificating… not so much (imo)

            • framu

              but they can never repeal this law without a big bullshit fight and gleeful mischief making from the nats – thats the problem

              If you vigourously oppose a law, then vote for a very slightly watered down version you cant come in and criticise it later and change back without looking like you dont have a fricken clue what your doing

              the law is still bad – they voted for it – now they own this bad law as much as those who wrote it

              • Manuka AOR

                @framu: Why do you say they can never repeal it? It runs out in 2017, and a comprehensive review of security services is to get underway next year, I believe.

                • framu

                  “If you vigourously oppose a law, then vote for a very slightly watered down version you cant come in and criticise it later and change back without looking like you dont have a fricken clue what your doing”

                  i never said the cant repeal it and my explanation is pretty clear – im saying theyve made a rod for themselves and gifted the nats yet another free pass to make them look like they dont have a clue

                  if a say bananas are bad – then vote for a bill to increase the banana supply – whats going to be your reaction when i turn around and say “bananas are bad” in two years time?

                  ” and a comprehensive review of security services is to get underway next year, I believe.”

                  seriously? – you have faith in that? considering what the nats and now labour are doing thats somewhat overly trusting to me. Skepticism of those who hold or seek power isnt just good for you – its vital

                • BassGuy

                  The Patriot Act is still alive and kicking, years after it was due to expire. Unless Parliament is under some kind of restriction I’m not aware of (which is quite possible), there’s no reason to believe it will be allowed to expire.

                  There will always be some emergency requiring those extra powers, they aren’t particularly hard to manufacture.

                  Oh, and he didn’t say they can’t repeal it, he said they can’t repeal it without a big fight: National will easily be able to mock them for not knowing what direction they want to take.

                  • Manuka AOR

                    “There will always be some emergency requiring those extra powers, they aren’t particularly hard to manufacture.”

                    True that.

                  • Colonial Rawshark

                    The Patriot Act is still alive and kicking, years after it was due to expire.

                    Correct. The intrusive and civil liberties degrading aspects of the Patriot Act which were regarded as very controversial at the time quickly became normalised behaviour.

                    Nowadays, every time the Patriot Act is due to expire, it is rubber stamped renewed with virtually no debate, and utterly unopposed through the House.

                    Lefties are really stupid and naïve about this stuff. Unpicking the security and surveillance state once you have let it grow stronger than all other arms of government?

                    Good luck.

            • phillip ure

              @ manuka..

              ..and you walk off with todays’ false-equivalence award..

              ..(i can’t see anyone bettering that one..)

            • Chooky

              “Get a Warrant!”!….Warrantless surveillance = Police State =unaccountability = human rights violations = political undermining of NZ democracy and law



              Vote Green or NZF or Mana or Maori

      • Murray Rawshark 1.2.2

        I agree with you on this one. There is nothing positive in Labour voting for this law, either for them or for us. They have once again confirmed their weakness and uselessness in the eyes of many voters.

    • Morrissey 1.3

      I’m not sure what more he could have done.

      He could have voted against it. Principles, morality, legality, human rights and justice do not seem to count for a great deal in your view.

      Significant concessions were achieved.

      They certainly were. Labour conceded its moral authority and the political power it would have had if it had combined with the parties that did have the courage to oppose this bill. Labour, under its dynamic new leadership, supported the government, and Andrew Little lamely assured us that “next time” he won’t be such a pushover.

      The fact is: Labour—and Little—failed dismally. Yet again.

      • Paul 1.3.1

        Things the Labour Party could have done…
        1. Not voted for it.
        2. Called a press conference and explained why the Labour Party voted against.
        3. Pulled their support of the speaker.
        4. Organised talks around the country against it.
        5. Mobilised their supporters and led marches around the country.
        6. Go to the Waihopai spy base and picket it.
        7. Invite worked experts over to talk on the subject to NZers

        Or they could give in and vote for it.

        • Chooky

          +100…Labour is either naive or culpable

          • Paul

            or scared
            or compromised

          • Puckish Rogue

            No, Little wants to win and hes going a long way towards doing just that*

            *I don’t wan’t Labour to win as it still needs a big clean out but I think Little is doing the right thing to get into power

            • CATMAN

              No-one cares what you think, creepy pr guy

            • Draco T Bastard

              *I don’t wan’t Labour to win as it still needs a big clean out but I think Little is doing the right thing to get into power

              Translation: You think that Little is doing the right thing turning Labour into National.

              • McFlock

                pr thinks that if he repeats the lie enough he can reignite the divisions of the last few years, just as Labour seem to be getting a bit more discipline.

                What he doesn’t understand is that his credibility is equivalent to the greasy cetacean’s. Labour will rise or fall on their own merits, not on anything the puckwit has to say

              • Puckish Rogue

                Translation: You think that Little is doing the right thing turning Labour into National.

                Thats a different kettle of fish

                • Draco T Bastard

                  Nope. Every time that Little does something you approve of it’s taking Labour further to the right or just not challenging the neo-liberal paradigm.

              • tricle up

                Draco the problem is in the language or is the language.Any ideology that doesn’t have sensible values and some conscience should be kicked at the bin reducing the moral compass to nothing but a better way of doing things is ambiguous to as it is not defined in a structure..sorry to annoy you its just that there are two branches, the defining and the problems in ideology

        • CATMAN

          Paul, you forgot to add number 8 to your list:

          Do all that, then watch National pass the bill they were definitely going to pass anyway, which allowed more spying on more people for more reasons than the one we have now

          You’re castigating Labour for doing what they could to get a better outcome for NZ, preferring that they had put on a good show and achieved a worse outcome

          • les

            your last line nails it….how people cant see that amazes me.

            • framu

              so they made a pathetically small and virtually irrelevant gain for a much greater and long term loss


              • les

                how is it a long term loss?The legislation can be repealed in 2017.

                • framu

                  If you vigourously oppose a law, then vote for a very slightly watered down version you cant come in and criticise it later and change back without looking like you dont have a fricken clue what your doing

                  do you think the nats and the MSM wont enjoy sticking it labour on this one in a huge way when that happens?

                  And we still have warrentless spying – its in, its not going away anytime soon, and labour will be made to look like fools the second they discuss any kind of change to what is considered just re: the populace. Ergo – its not changing – ever

                  weve had six years of “labour dont know who they are or what they believe” – welcome to several more but now with yet even more increased spying on you and me

                • BassGuy

                  I notice you say “can” and not “will,” why is that? Is it perhaps because similar “temporary” law changes overseas have gone from a limited duration to indefinite?

                  We’re going to have to fight tooth-and-nail to get these changes out again, if it’s at all possible.

                  Paul is quite correct to be annoyed with Labour. It’s like someone telling you they will take your pay for the year, but the guy you hired for protection talks them down to only taking half of it. Why does it matter how much he talks them down by? You’re still losing your pay.

                  As I say, 24 hours of surveillance without a warrant is still surveillance without a warrant. You may worship Isis, from the faith Kemet. You may consider unions to be a necessity to combat exploitative employers. You might be a political opponent, or a student activist. It doesn’t really matter what you are, as long as you oppose the mook in charge, you will be a target.

                  We are now stuck with this law, and only a few minor parties will be uncontested in their opposition to it. Labour voted for it, and as a result they will be easy to deflect because they’ve lost their moral high ground when calling for the changes to be reverted.

                  • CATMAN

                    So you’d rather “the guy you hired for protection” refused to negotiate and you get no wages? Because like it or not, that was the other available option

                    Also, forget the 24/48 hr thing – you’re right, it’s irrelevant, the important thing is that now they can’t do *any* warrantless surveillance that isn’t related to terrorism/foreign fighters

                    Without Labour’s efforts the warrantless surveillance would have applied to anyone, anytime, for just about any reason – that’s what you’re saying they should have let pass

                    • McFlock

                      yeah, it’s a thorny one.

                      It all depends, really, on whether Labour are going to go into 2017 with a blanket repeal list for most of the shit over the previous 9 years, and preferably 35 years.

                      If they are, then Little’s made the best of a temporarily bad situation.

                      If they just hem the edges like they largely did under Clark, then basically we’re all just as fucked in the long run.

                    • CATMAN

                      Clark’s govt was the first Labour govt post-neoliberalism, let’s hope the next one has learned from the mistakes

                    • BLiP

                      . . . Without Labour’s efforts the warrantless surveillance would have applied to anyone, anytime, for just about any reason – that’s what you’re saying they should have let pass . . .

                      That’s what we have now. Labour’s efforts have amounted to zero in terms of who the SIS can spy on or for what reason. What restrictions do you believe apply under the new legislation?

                    • CATMAN

                      Have a look at the changes noted under 4IB (3), (a) vs (aa)

                      These are the changes Labour inserted, and which everyone here seems unaware of


                    • BLiP

                      . . . Have a look at the changes noted under 4IB (3), (a) vs (aa) . . .

                      There is no definition of “terrorism” or “terrorist”. Those terms, as the law stands, mean whatever the Director says they mean. As far as the Attorney General is concerned, those terms apply to “alienated people with a chip on their shoulder”. The lack of definitions renders the so-called moderations Labour is crowing about as cosmetic, except for those sections which increase the fine for not complying with the instructions to enable warrantless spying from $1,000 to $10,000. If anything, that particular tweak makes the law *more* extreme.

                    • CATMAN

                      The lack of definitions is a concern, but I disagree that the difference is cosmetic

                      It’s the difference between having something to hold a minister answerable for and not having it

                    • McFlock

                      the absence of a definition in that act simply means that if an issue comes before a court, the court would apply the definitions from other acts, e.g. the terrorism suppression act or the international terrorism emergency powers act.

                      And if the DG hadn’t been using the same definition as the court does, then the surveillance would have been unlawful. Not that that means a fucking thing under this government, but never mind. The point is that it’s not like the meaning of the term is a clean slate for the security services to surveil anyone without warrant.

                    • BLiP

                      . . . It’s the difference between having something to hold a minister answerable for and not having it . . .

                      “Mr Speaker – the question asked deals with matters of national security”.

                    • BLiP

                      . . . The point is that it’s not like the meaning of the term is a clean slate for the security services to surveil anyone without warrant . . .

                      That’s exacltly what it means and exactly why the terms have not been defined. Other definitions do not, legally, apply. Even Assistant Cheer Leader David Shearer admitted as much in his Third Reading speech.


                    • McFlock

                      Other definitions do not, legally, apply.

                      If shearer said that, he’s wrong.

                      If there is no definition of a key term, and no other definitions do not apply, then the key term means nothing and the entire act means and enables nothing.

                    • mickysavage

                      Felix has hit the fulcrum point really well. I thought Labour should be more staunch but he has a point …

                    • BassGuy

                      Actually, I’d rather the police arrest the guy who took all my wages and prosecute him to the fullest extent of the law, and I’d certainly never hire the security guard again because he’s bad at his job.

                      As for the duration being unimportant, what is important is that our rights are still being violated. It’s that simple.

                      Let’s approach this another way: are our human rights being violated? Yes.

                      Does a reduction in the duration of said violation stop it from being a violation? No.

                      Conclusion: it’s a violation, and you are supporting it.

                      Now, let’s look at your claim that it may only be used on terrorists and foreign fighters. Are you aware that, under the Terrorism Suppression Amendment Act 2007, the Prime Minister gets to designate who is a terrorist? Not so hard now, is it?

                      Also, let’s stop twisting what I said into something I didn’t: I didn’t say Labour should let the bill pass, as it was going to pass regardless.

                      What Labour should have done was taken advantage of the opportunity to skewer National for bringing us closer to being a Police state.

                      Duration is irrelevant, it’s still a violation of our rights.

                      The PM gets to decide who’s a terrorist, so they can watch anybody.

                      Labour didn’t have a choice in the matter, so why support it? We gained nothing and they lost the moral high ground.

                    • CATMAN

                      Sorry Bass Guy, but Labour are not the police in your analogy. There was no possible course of action Labour could have taken that could have stopped the bill being passed.

                      However much you wanted Superman and the Hulk to save the day, there were only two available outcomes here, regardless of the politics in between.

                      Scenario 1 (your preferred outcome) is that teh SIS spy on you, you complain, and they say fuck you, we’re allowed.

                      Scenario 2 (which I happen to think is a lot better) is that the SIS spy on you, you complain, and someone has some ‘splaining to do to show how you were actually a terrorist and they were allowed to.

                      It’s not ideal, and I never said it was. It’s just better than the only available alternative.

                  • les

                    so what would have prevented the Natz passing the bill then?

                    • Colonial Rawshark

                      Nothing. But you then paint the NATs as absolutists, alarmists and authoritarians, setting up the narrative for 2017.

                    • McFlock

                      Yes. That “narrative” will work when raiding the media, the gcsb/echelon, blatant corruption, dirty politics, and outright lying still didn’t stop the nats being reelected. /sarc

                      Mighty thin angle to justify allowing blanket 48hr warrantless surveillance when it could have been stopped.

        • Matthew Hooton

          If Labour did what you suggest, most voters would think they were utterly paranoid and obsessed on a single issue, and they would have go down in the polls.

          • RedBaronCV

            Well if JK had nothing to fear and nothing to hide he would have put the SIS/GCSB (and the warrantless survey too ) under the control of a small parliamentary committee of one NACT, one Labour & one from the minor parties so they no longer just report to the ruling party. Why didn’t he do that?

          • mickysavage

            It is a strange day in hell when Felix and Hoots agree …

          • framu

            or they could have said the only way they would support it was to allow proper public submissions and a democratically just timeline, just like in places with far greater and pressing terrorist threats

            which puts the ball squarely back in the nats court and makes the issue the method, timing and reasons

            thats the kind of standing on principle i would have expected. It would have worked by not making them look like flip floppers or paranoid hysterics and instead made them look like they give a shit about NZers

          • Paul

            Really Mr Spinner?

      • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 1.3.2

        Little was badly advised on this Bill. Was he on the select committee?

        Who were the Labour MPs who were responsible for this Bill?

        What was done, or not done, in terms of the public communication and internal party messaging for this Bill?

        • Karen

          Shearer and Goff were on the select committee and it was inevitable that these two would concede to National.There are some important concessions that Labour got through, but my suspicion that National were always willing to accept these.

          My preference would be for Labour to have stood its ground on the warrantless surveillance in particular, but there are too many in the caucus who would have agreed with Goff. Little still has to pick his fights unfortunately. This bill was going to pass anyway so perhaps he decided it wasn’t worth it.

          • Colonial Rawshark

            Shearer and Goff were onboard with this. How surprising. Putting them on the Select Committee was a tacit tick from the start.

            • tracey

              Agree… Goff would sign TPP in a heartbeat too

              • goff initiated tpp..he was the one who first invited america into what up until then was a regional discussion/plan..

                ..of course he wd ‘sign up in a heartbeat’..(and that is one of the main reasons he is still there/so loath to just fuck off..(as he shd have done a long time ago..)..he wants to make sure ‘his’ tpp goes thru..

                ..just as he has a long history of eroding our human rights/tightening the screws of the surveillance-state..

                ..’signing’ that away in (serial)-‘heartbeats’..

                ..goff is part of the problem..(with shearer not far behind him..)

          • Murray Rawshark

            Who decides the makeup of a select committee? I can’t think of any worse candidates than Shearer and Goff in terms of protecting civil rights. Goff’s instinct is to back law agencies to the hilt, and Shearer probably thinks the SIS will be able to catch a few roof painters. FJK and FAL too.

    • tracey 1.4

      Do you know what, if any, sanction is in place for those wrongly surveilled for 48 hours withoyt a warrant? Who oversees the destruction of information wrongly gathered?

  2. Paul 2

    Recession now being predicted.
    Wonder how all those muppets feel who believed the crap the Key cult said about our wonderful economy.
    I feel sorry for farmers.
    Key’s banker friends must be licking their lips as they plan a fire sale of NZ’s farm lands as vulnerable farmers crash into debt.

    ‘The cut to Fonterra’s milk price payout could push some regions into recession, an economist says.

    Fonterra yesterday slashed its forecast for this season’s farmgate milk price from $5.30/kg milksolids to $4.70/kg, 44 per cent down from last year’s record of $8.40/kg.

    This would mean a $6.8 billion reduction in payout to the nation’s dairy farmers, according to Infometrics senior economist Benje Patterson.’

  3. millsy 3

    No “chair of caucus” moment from Little in the past 3 weeks. So far, apart from the SIS bill, no foot wrong. The true test of his leadership will come next year. He probably has a very small amount of time to get some movement in the polls.

  4. les 4

    with the Auck and Chch housing mkts in particular,this needs addressing urgently.. Institute of Economic Research principal economist Shamubeel Eaqub also wants a better deal for tenants.

    He believes New Zealand has some of the most restrictive rules in the developed world for renters.

    “New Zealand is strangely different in that we have made this almost special provision around renting of residential property versus other types of renting,” he said.

  5. Communist outlaws in a Papatoetoe cave: Public Films releases a promo for its study of the suppressed left-wing history of Auckland:

    • Sans Cle 5.1

      Interesting – is the whole film about lava caves, or about underground communist activities….or both?

  6. Morrissey 6

    “A bit of torture [snort]“….”A triumph for American values”
    Two leading thinkers grapple with the problem of evil

    The Huddle, NewstalkZB, Wednesday 10 December 2014
    Larry “Lackwit” Williams, Jordan Williams, Maria Slade

    While it was all bleeding heart liberals on National Radio yesterday*, over at NewstalkZimBecile, there is never any problem finding shills for anything, whether it be the Chinese regime oppressing dissidents, the mass murder of civilians in Gaza, drone strikes in Afghanistan and Yemen, street killings of Māori children, or (this afternoon) the kidnapping, torture and killing of captives by government terrorists…..

    LARRY LACKWIT WILLIAMS: [with exaggerated delicacy] First up, ummmm, ahhhhh, this Seeeee Aiiiiiii Aeeeeeee report. There’s been a bit of waterboarding going on, a bit of torture. [snort] What do you think, Jordan?
    JORDAN WILLIAMS: Well I just thought: what a triumph for American values. This came out in a public inquiry. I can’t imagine that happening in China or Russia or North Korea.
    LARRY LACKWIT WILLIAMS: Yeah. You can’t imagine that happening in China, Maria.
    MARIA SLADE: It’s WRONG. You don’t torture. It’s barbaric. A modern democracy does not torture. It’s wrong. And as the report shows, it’s useless. It doesn’t work.
    LARRY LACKWIT WILLIAMS: Y-y-yes, but….
    MARIA SLADE: Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded one hundred and eighty-three times and he still didn’t crack. It doesn’t work.
    JORDAN WILLIAMS: Yes that’s right Larry. If someone is deluded enough to want to fly passenger jets into skyscrapers, they’re not going to break under torture.
    LARRY LACKWIT WILLIAMS: [confused] Hrrumph.
    MARIA SLADE: Modern, democratic states do not torture. There is never any excuse for it.
    LARRY LACKWIT WILLIAMS: But the CIA are denying the report. They say they don’t torture.
    MARIA SLADE: Of course. What do you EXPECT them to say?
    LARRY LACKWIT WILLIAMS: This Sheikh fella, you’d just give him a hug and a cuddle, would you?
    MARIA SLADE: Torture is wrong. There is no excuse for it, ever.
    LARRY LACKWIT WILLIAMS: [befuddled] Back after the break.

    ….…..[COMMERCIAL BREAK]………

    LARRY LACKWIT WILLIAMS: Some of your texts and emails: “The CIA didn’t cut off any heads did they.” That’s RIGHT! “Larry, you’re sounding like a fascist Cheney and Rumsfeld USED the 9/11 attacks to enrich themselves.” ….. [extended pause for effect, then a burst of hysterical derisive laughter]…. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! Ohhh, dear. “I’m all for torturing these SAVAGES. All power to the CIA.” Thank you for that, Dale….

    ….ad nauseam, ad absurdum, ad infinitum…..

    * /open-mike-10122014/#comment-938187

    • miravox 6.1

      Man these Williams people are sick. Thank you Maria Slade.

      I’m looking for someone to start mentioning sanctions against this rogue state until they bring the perpetrators to ‘justice’. Iran, Russia do you want to start the ball rolling? I mean, that’s how the West sorts out States who won’t conform to civilised values isn’t it?

      Maybe NZ might be the little State who could – especially given our Security Council profile?

    • alwyn 6.2

      There was discussion on this topic on Morning Report today.
      The general opinion, at least from those quoted, seemed to be that anyone involved with this could be charged with war crimes. The way it was being discussed seemed to be arguing that anyone who was even peripherally connected could be charged.
      Given that we had troops in Afghanistan throughout the Bush era and that they handed captives over to the US forces does that mean the Helen Clark, Mark Burton and Phil Goff, who all visited the area and obviously knew exactly what was going on become liable for prosecution?
      Remember the various photos of then in the country wearing uniforms as if they were front line soldiers?
      Will they consider what was being recommended for Dick Cheney, that they take their vacations locally in the future to avoid being arrested and charged?

      • Anne 6.2.1

        Except they didn’t know what was going on. If you had read Hager’s “Other People’s Wars”, he made it crystal clear the govt. of the day did NOT know that certain NZ Defence Force officials were clandestinely working hand in glove with the Americans in a combative-type role.

        As for the photos. Of course they were wearing fatigues. Everyone in a war zone area has to wear them.

        Did Jason Ede give you lessons in the art of dirty politics alwyn? I have to say you’re quite good at it – sometimes.

        • Morrissey

          Anne, you’re on a hiding to nothing trying to defend Clark and her ministers for their craven behaviour. Clark was bullied and harangued into sending NZ personnel into both Iraq and Afghanistan. I wish I had a dollar for every time I heard, a decade ago, some National Party politician or media drone repeat the propaganda phrase “New Zealand is not pulling its weight.”

          She had the option of resisting the American pressure, as her predecessors had done in 1984. Instead, she played a minor—but, for U.S. “diplomatic” purposes, invaluable—role in the aggression against and destruction of two countries.

          Her menacing, angry demeanour while she participated, reluctantly perhaps but dutifully nonetheless, in the (discredited) campaign of her secret service agencies against Ahmed Zaoui, and her snarling display of unmitigated fury against the Catholic peace protestors who sabotaged the dome at Waihopai show how committed to peace and justice she and her government were.

          Open mike 06/01/2014

          • Clemgeopin

            I was under the impression that NZ sent troops to Afghanistan as it was under UN decision, but that NZ did not sent troops to Iraq as it was opposed by UN.
            Are you sure in what you are claiming about Helen Clark?

      • Murray Rawshark 6.2.2

        If there is evidence that they knew the captives might be tortured then, yes they should be in the dock. I’d suggest that the main offenders went first though. Trials of Bush, Rumsfeld, Cheney et al. would help clear up who had known what and what the culpability of Clark etc. was. Given that the US and A doesn’t invade countries without committing war crimes, they could at least apologise and resign from their public positions.

    • Paul 6.3

      You are a brave person to listen to ZB’s Williams.
      Just the sort to facilitate a totalitarian state.
      A miserable and wrethced man.

      • phillip ure 6.3.1

        i sometimes feel i listen to national radio more out of a sense of duty..

        ..but having to voluntarily listen to the likes of williams/leighton smith/hosking et al..?..(as in that not being a form of torture/formalised-punishment..)


        ..that is above and beyond the call of duty..

        ..and a step farm too far for me..

        (i am a total radio-snob…my radio-listening arc has been bfm to nat-rad…i just cant listen to that other crap..

        ..without wanting to run headfirst into a wall/gouge out my ears..)

        • Morrissey

          Sadly, Phillip, National Radio uses largely the same pool of commentators. Jordan Williams is not a bit more restrained or sensible when he is on Jim Mora’s programme than when he is talking to Larry Lackwit Williams. Other Panel regulars that are often on NewstalkZimBecile include: Jock Anderson, David Farrar, Chris (Haw Haw) Trotter, Ellen Read, Josie Pagani, and Tim Watkin.

          What they say on one is pretty much indistinguishable from the other. The only difference is in the quality of the host: Larry Lackwit Williams is not nearly as intelligent or as witty as Jim Mora.

          • phillip ure

            the latest addition to that roster of fools is perhaps the worst of them..

            ..tau (never had an original thought in my life) henare..

            ..he appeared on the panel..heralded as a new regular..

            ..and he was as gobsmackingly awful as he always is..

            ..w.t.f. were they thinking..?

            • tracey

              Do they pay the panel members? If RNZ pays them, why isnt jordan williams on behalf of the Taxpayers Union railing against the appalling misuse of taxpayer money?

            • Benad

              Tau is an idiot. An imbecile. Don’t know which is worse!
              The fools that invite him in are pretty stupid too!

  7. Paul 7

    With new anti worker employment laws in place, I am hearing more and more stories about students and the young being exploited over this Christmas period with dodgy employers using people working short term.
    But I don’t want to rely on my anecdotes as Paula Bennett on this.
    Anyone heard of any stats on this subject or heard of similar stories?

  8. Paul 8

    New Zealand ………

    Land of the haves

    and have nots

    Shame on the governments of the past 30 years to sell this country.
    Micky Savage would not believe what has happened to the state he built.

    • BassGuy 8.1

      That second link, I’m just speechless:

      “…a 20-year-old solo mum cradling her 5-month-old son Te Kahurangi, pays $400 a week rent and usually has only $20-$40 a week for food.”

      $400 a week? Is the rental made of gold and magic? For that price it better be doing more than just keeping the rain and wind off them.

      After skimming that article, all I can say is “Merry f**king Christmas.” My jaw is so tight my dentist would have a fit. “Angry” doesn’t begin to describe my mood.

      • phillip ure 8.1.1

        then there are all those who don’t get there..

        ..who don’t get that food-parcel/help..

        ..there are many many more of them…

      • Wonderpup 8.1.2

        $400 a week rent is why the Nasty Nats want to sell state houses. So their slumlord friends are not being undercut by the state.

        Though I applaud Little’s recent appeals to the petite bourgeoisie (the small business owners) I think special attention needs to be paid to landlords. Housing warrants of fitness, rent appeals through a third party – especially for those receiving any kind of state support – and if renting is to become a way of life rather than buying, European style tenant protections so people can rely on stable homes for life for them and their families.

      • Clemgeopin 8.1.3

        Who is the minister of housing? He should be looking into this with lightning speed if he has any sense, decency, sense of duty or integrity!

  9. greywarshark 9

    Education is the answer to progress. There is no need to look at any other indicator for wellbeing. Just say that you are pouring $millions into it and the Government can sit down and look smug. End of story.

    I heard someone analysing the report from the OECD and finding it used information and techniques in a confusing way. Nothing useful to learn from it. Who was it. Why the Man from Initiative NZ. My response from LIARNZ (Lack of Initiative and Reason NZ)
    is that his analysis is woefully inadequate and not fit for the purpose of helping NZ rise to the demanding challenges of this century to help our population and country thrive.

    Luckily for the reason side Tim Hazledine was on hand and mentioned that after education there need to be stable jobs.

  10. “..Serious Question: Should Humans Extend Personhood to Animals?..

    ..We know more about the complex inner lives of animals than ever before.

    Are we ready to recognize their right to be free?..”


    • les 10.1

      Outlaw Zoos but -do you want to give them the vote as well?

      • phillip ure 10.1.1 you’ve played yr silly-card.. anything else..?

        • les

          I have actually…enough work to do about mans inhumanity to his fellow man without worrying about the animals atm.

      • phillip ure 10.1.2

        and maybe not ‘give them the vote’..outright/as it were..

        ..but if/when the mmp threshold becomes more democratic in nature..

        ..and drops to 3%..

        ..well then consideration wd have to be given to the viability of an animal rights party..

        ..(let’s give it the working-name of a.r.p…)

        ..and this all will happen.. in a sense..then they will get ‘a vote as well’..

        ..they certainly are in need of one..

        and as an aside..the similarities between human-slavery and animal slavery are potent/real.. only have to look at how owners of both..

        ..spoke/speak of those sentient-beings they enslave/abuse for profit..

        ..both are ‘de-humanised’ every way possible..

        ..their common sentience denied..

        ..the pig is such an animal..intelligent/funny beautiful animals..

        ..if i think for too long how they are treated..

        ..tears start rolling down my cheeks..)

        • b waghorn

          How doe’s keeping a pet and probably a desexed pet at that fit with you animal emancipation views. Not to mention denying a dog a bone.

          • phillip ure

            one dog..not desexed..(male..)

            ..and as one who makes his money from animal exploitation..

            ..questioning the joys of real animal/human relationships is a bit

            ..(and you never have any internal questions..?..about what you do..? you load the bobby-calves(veal) into the trucks taking them to the slaughterhouse..?

            ..and that crying/keening from the cows/calves after they are separated..for you can get their milk to sell..that anguish doesn’t effect you at all..?..)

            ..and as for ‘bones’..if dog finds old bone in park..and chews on it for awhile..?


  ’ll be able to judge him for yrslf soon..

            ..he’s about to get his own youtube-channel..(as am i…)

   his endearing idiosyncrisies can receive the attention they deserve..

            ..(him blissing out riding on the scooter with me is as funny as fuck..

            ..and his screaming-complaints when/if left behind/at home..

            ..are a sight to behold in themselves..kinda ‘awesome’..

            ..and also as funny as fuck..)

            ..his name is ‘bo’…

            • b waghorn

              I couldn’t do my job with out a real relationship with my team of dogs , and I do get sympathetic feelings at times it would take a cold person not to and that sort shouldn’t be around animals anyway.
              The point I’m getting at is you’re dog hasn’t got the free will true freedom would give him infact if man hadn’t interfered he’d still be a wolf.
              A little experiment for you put some mince down and put some what ever you feed bo beside it and see what he choose’s.

            • Chooky

              re dogs and bones… an anecdote….we once had a spaniel called Wags or Wagifer …and after our cat Myrtle McCaw was run over and then buried with ceremony in the garden, Wagifer went and dug up her friend and horror of horrors ate her….no Vegan that dog!….but then Wagifer also went and dug up a row of carrots and ate them!….so not strictly carnivore either…just a disgusting doggy

    • BM 10.2

      Zoos are about breeding programs, the entertainment side pays for it.

    • The Al1en 10.3

      “Should Humans Extend Personhood to Animals?..”

      Just as soon as they ask for it.

      ” “..Serious Question: ”


      And what’s with all the flourishing, capitalist, upper class capital letters? Won the lotto or the pension plan mature?

  11. Once wasTim 11

    @les (above)
    except that the politician’s definition of pragmatism is often more one of expediency – it’s become their buzzword.
    No doubt the Kenyan administration consider extra-judicial killings as ‘pragmatic’, as do ISIS in their warped quest to convert their opposition. Obama’s reluctance to prosecute rogue CIA operatives is “pragmatic” (Not)
    Pragmatism – use with caution!

    • les 11.1

      How can you change things without the power of govt?Revolution?

      • phillip ure 11.1.1

        we don’t need ‘revolution’ per se here in nz..

        ..we are fortunate in that thanks to mmp..

        ..we can have our ‘revolution’ at the ballot-box..

        ..taking power/making in our hands..

        ..and in that we are far more fortunate than most..

        • adam

          I think a non-violent revolution is a very real possiblty in this economic environment. As the just in time economy, has lots of vulnerability.

          • adam


          • Puckish Rogue

            Yes but its not like National are a minor party that cobbled together a coilition is it

            47% of voters decided they wanted National back so thats a pretty big hurdle to overcome right there

            • McFlock


              A touch over a third of voters actively supported the current government.

              Of those, quite a few would have been unaware just how much they’ve been lied to by fuckwits like you.

              • Puckish Rogue





                I’m going to go with them rather then you on this one

                However the point is its difficult to start a revolution when the ruling party is as popular as National still is

                • McFlock

                  Your fundamental error, other than being a fucking liar, is that “Voters who voted in the general election” != “all voters”

                  If you weren’t a lying piece of shit you’d have looked at the turnout statistics, rather than focusing on the subset of voters who haven’t been completely alienated from non-compulsory parts of the electoral system.

                  One element you need for a revolution is a disenfranchised section of the society who see no effective means to improve the system using conventional means.

                  Another element that is required is substantial economic and social inequality to go alongside that lack of means of substantive change.

                  Personally, I don’t think we’re yet on the cusp of a revolution – but fuckwits like key might sleep easier having their little Marcos-style shelters to flee to, just in case.

  12. greywarshark 12

    I’m assuming that my inability to see any of my comments after 25 November is due to the fact that I haven’t updated my Firefox. But does anyone else have this problem. It would be useful to know – would you note if you do.

    • Olwyn 12.1

      That is the same for me and I use Chrome, but don’t update all that often.

      • Anne 12.1.1

        I haven’t been able to read mine since 25 Nov – both Chrome and Firefox.

        Umm… what do you mean exactly by “update?” Occasionally I will be told there’s an update available, and I will hit the ‘go ahead’ (start) button, but that hasn’t happened for either of them for some time. Is that what is being referred to?

        • phillip ure

          i’ve never read mine..should i..?..why..?

          • Anne

            Some of us are no longer in the first bloom of our youth and we forget what we’ve said. 😉

            • Chooky

              @Anne…aiming for consistency are we?…or non-repetition?….lol…quite frankly i dont think people remember much what we say …just the general gist..or the more outrageous comments

          • Chooky

            @ pu…yes you would be ( or should be) embarrassed if you read yours!

            ….and this is the reason i dont go anywhere near trying to read what i have said…die of embarrassment ( it was another me that said that )

            …lol… greywarshark is a brave man

            • Anne

              Well my problem is I sometimes forget I said anything at all, then somebody replies and I need to go back to see what they are replying to…

              Oh dear… 🙁

        • Olwyn

          Yes it is. I tend to ignore those signs if I am busy with something and don’t want the interruption.

    • BassGuy 12.2

      Sometimes I can’t see my replies, but it hasn’t been a problem this week (that I can remember).

      I can only sometimes see the replies tab, just now and once last night.

      edit: I forgot to mention, Firefox 34 (Mozilla Firefox for Ubuntu canonical 1.0)

    • Draco T Bastard 12.3

      The only reason why you wouldn’t be able to see them that is related to the server is if they’d gone to spam but then no one else would be able to see them either. If you can’t see them then there’s probably something wrong at your end.

      My suggestion would be to update Firefox (A new version came out yesterday) and then to delete all cookies and cache.

  13. miravox 13

    5.25tn plastic particles in the oceans

    You put a net through it for half an hour and there’s more plastic than marine life there,” she said. “It’s hard to visualise the sheer amount, but the weight of it is more than the entire biomass of humans. It’s quite an alarming problem that’s likely to get worse

    • Draco T Bastard 13.1

      Yep, we’ve really got to start thinking up ways of cleaning the plastic out of the oceans. While also not dumping any more into them.

  14. Paul 14

    Ireland in revolt.

    ‘Thousands of demonstrators surround Irish Dáil in protest over water charges
    Missiles thrown at police lines as up to 100,000 protesters bring Dublin to a standstill over imposition of water charges.’

    Is this Ireland’s Cochabamba protest?

    • Colonial Rawshark 14.1

      What Ireland really needs now are some new anti-terrorism and security/surveillance laws, to enable the authorities to really put down these protests. In the name of freedom, stability, democracy, etc.

  15. Morrissey 15

    Leighton Smith: “Fruit and veges are the perfect market”
    NewstalkZB, Monday 5 July 2010 (from the Archives)

    The following took place a few minutes ago on NewstalkZimBecile. While it is largely banal, it is interesting in as far as it reveals the poverty of thought and analysis, and the condescension, that Leighton Smith routinely inflicts on NewstalkZB sufferers….

    LEIGHTON SMITH: It seems to me that the fruit and vege market is the market working in its purest form. Take avacadoes for example. In the summertime you can buy five for a dollar, but yesterday I saw ONE selling for three dollars and sixty-seven cents. That suggests that avacadoes are in short supply right now, hence the high price. It’s a perfect market.

    Unlike Smith, a caller called Hayden actually has some knowledge of the fruit and vege markets, and is having none of this nonsense…

    HAYDEN: I used to work in a New World store and it bothered me when I found out that the markup on fruit and veges was 20 per cent or more. And the manager told me it was because they were selling Coke and rubbish like that as loss leaders, and they made up for it on things like vegetables.

    LEIGHTON SMITH: Why would they DO that? Tell me, WHY would they do that? Why would they put a huge margin on health foods which many of their clientele just by-pass anyway? That makes no SENSE!

    Of course, the idea that people actually DO have to buy fruit and vegetables does not seem to have occurred to Smith. In spite of his bafflement and sneering condescension, nearly all people, even the poor, do actually buy fruit and vegetables and do not eat a diet exclusively of hot dogs and fish and chips.

    The thought that the selling of fruit and vegetables is anything but a perfect market and that the supermarkets ruthlessly manipulate the prices, does not seem to have occurred to Leighton Smith.

    • Paul 15.1

      You listened to Leighton Smith as well as Larry Williams.
      Beyond the call of duty.

    • greywarshark 15.2

      20% markup seems very reasonable. I understand that often it is much higher than that. A point to remember is that fruit and veg selling is a very labour intensive product, ie needing care and rotation and is perishable. Tins of things are so much easier to market, and even biscuits (which can have a period of a year to the best before date).

      Supermarkets play around with their specials, and that is why it is not going to make a huge difference pushing for no GST on food, as there wouldn’t be a clear and straight-forward set markup on any particular item based on its cost price at all times.

      And Leighton Smith has an addictive quality, he acts as a magnet to people not strong enough to pull away and maintain their own perspective. Perhaps babies have heard him while in the womb and grow up attuned to his wavelength, and his voice goes straight past their thinking brain to their hypocritical campus and resonates there.

      • Morrissey 15.2.1

        That’s a fine piece of analysis, greywarshark. Thanks very much.

        • greywarshark

          Hey thanks Morrissey. Do you actually mean that positively or are you giving me irony or sar/? You often don’t like my comments.

          • Morrissey

            Hey thanks Morrissey. Do you actually mean that positively or are you giving me irony or sar/?

            No, I mean it. I usually try to avoid sarcasm, what with it being the lowest form, etc. I’m also not too keen on irony, which seems to me to be a cop-out most of the time, part of a strategy of avoiding serious grappling with an issue.

            You often don’t like my comments.

            Actually, I often DO like your comments. I’ve clashed at some stage with nearly everybody on this board, including the headmaster Mr Prent—who has banned me on three separate occasions. Just this morning I even had a disagreement with the venerable Anne.

  16. adam 16

    If you have any late Christmas shopping to do may I suggest you read this report

    It’s a report on new LUX leaks. Yes that’s right, more corporations looking for ways to not pay tax.

    Do yourself, and working people a favour this Christmas – Don’t buy anything from this collection of corporations.

  17. Pat O'Dea 17

    A bold move by Andrew Little. My congratulations go to Matt McCarten in being reappointed Labour Party Chief of Staff.

    Matt’s first task I would suspect, is to organise a campaign to challenge the recently passed anti-worker legislation around the right to smoko breaks and employer cancellation of negotiations.
    If Matt knows his history, and I know he does. He knows the Labour movement was invigorated by the campaign for proper smoko breaks by the Blackball miners.

    It is time to repeat history.

    As we used to say back in the day:
    “Workers who fight Left, Vote Left”
    Because it is only in struggle that workers can properly identify their political allies and enemies.

    • swordfish 17.1

      Yeah, Blackball led directly to the rise of The Red Feds and hence the reinvigoration of Trade Unionism, then to the formation of the Social Democratic Party, and ultimately to the Labour Party in 1916. All led by some great (and mainly Aussie, it has to be said) Unionists-turned-politicians. Pat Hickey (my personal favourite) being the only Kiwi amongst these leaders.

  18. aerobubble 18

    So the US after 9/11 goes off the rails and starts torturing, given many Muslims in the world a new cause. Now we rush a video in homes law, of suspected individuals, who are likely to be muslim and have a religious thing about others watching their spouses.

    Now I loath religion, especially my local library who cant help themselves or so frustrate in their beliefs like playing the same damn christmas tape over and over,god is great music it seems, despite the obvious breach of my religious freedom… but hey, more power to the state to target religion, maybe they will hopeful start investigating the local christisns sects who seem quite intolerent. I mean, that the actions of pesting others, in unwarrented ways, is a sign of extremism and cause for the state to use the 24hr seek and peek.

    So I get it CIA over stepped, now we are, tis the season for overzealous state security.

  19. aerobubble 19

    Key government MInister, in answer to a question, declares that those who lost their life savings to Hanover, alledgedly, should get over it. Last day before recess for xmas.
    What a sentiment! “move on!”

  20. The Chairman 20

    Grant Robertson said the OECD report highlights the need for redistribution of taxes and benefits to prevent inequality.

    Is this a sign Labour plan to increase taxes to then increase benefits?

    Or is it merely lip-service?


    • aerobubble 20.1

      neither. its about undermining neolibs economics of just worrying about profits which eans foregoing having govern middle and lower incomers needs. i.e. rich people values matter, not the rest.

  21. greywarshark 21

    Tom Lehrer commented a while ago on the upturning of social mores. He said that when he was younger it was bad to swear in front of a lady. But time moved on and now it was okay to swear in front of a woman but bad to call her a lady.

    Last century there were rules instigated about fair fighting called the Queensberry rules.
    These were instigated by the Marquess of Q. who was the father of young Lord Alfred “Bosie” Douglas, the third son, for whom Oscar Wilde had a passion. Oscar was imprisoned for his unlawful passion and died in prison soon after. (Wikipedia says about the father. He was notorious for his abuse, immorality, and his reputation as a lunatic.)

    Now homosexuals are free to have relationships without these unreasonable controls, but the Queensberry rules of fair play are being abandoned. A sportsperson can break another person’s jaw, be forgiven and not go to prison, because it will harm his career. This was the decision given today in Dunedin and I think it is a disgrace, and that sport is being allowed to degenerate into bullying brutality, which demeans both the sportspeople involved and the audience, with each incident being used to publicise the games and arouse controversy and interest, for monetary gain by the promoters and sports management.

    From google – I can’t get a link in my normal way to Pressreader, can’t get extract. It all seems sewn up tight as a fish’s a..e there.
    PressReader – The New Zealand Herald – December 11, 2014
    8 hours ago – At Dunedin District Court this week, Judge Kevin Phillips said a conviction would end … Dr Chris Gallavin, dean of law at University of Canterbury, said sportspeople were the …

    • Murray Rawshark 21.1

      I remember a case back in the 90s when a club league player was convicted of disorderly behaviour, or maybe affray. The judge went into a huge rave about rugby league violence and thuggery, and spoke about how the defendant demanded a deterrent sentence. Union players get discharges and often name suppression, but then FJK is the All Black captain.

      • greywarshark 21.1.1

        @ Murray R 2.23 a.m.
        The Standard never sleeps! The Russians decided against putting an eye of Saurun up on a high building. Too symbolic for any government? But here we have Te Standard.

  22. Morrissey 22

    How to belittle and sideline the reaction to the Senate Investigations Committee report: Treat it not as genuine outrage, but as political posturing

    “Afghanistan, China, Russia and Iran are some of the countries condemning the United States….”
    —-Al Jazeera news, 6 p.m., Thursday 11 December 2014

    Of course, many other countries have condemned the United States regime’s program of terror, torture, kidnapping and murder. But Al Jazeera highlights China, Russia and Iran, which might lead some people to infer that the protests are nothing more than political posturing.

    We need to remember that Al Jazeera is the organ of the utterly undemocratic Qatari regime, and its “news” coverage is often as slanted as that of the BBC, the ABC, DW, RT, Fox News or any other outlet.

  23. rawshark-yeshe 23

    Our inheritance from the bloody awful Tony Ryall and the filthy money-grubbing Nat government … try getting well on this mess …

    and here come the Mekong Delta farmed catfish to nourish sick Southlanders … yuk.

    • b waghorn 23.1

      Not only is it probably poor nutrition but its more tax payer dollars leaving the country instead of supporting local growers and fishermen not to mention food miles .

    • RedBaronCV 23.2

      and I believe washed in formaldehye and oversprayed so that it keeps. Urrg. Given that gardening is the main national sport beyond a certain age why don’t they ask for local garden surplus for a small price topped up with local purchases.

    • Colonial Rawshark 23.3

      Bet you it’s Jenny Shipley and Pansy Wong’s Chinese contacts behind this shite

    • Murray Rawshark 23.4

      Vietnamese sewerage cod. Yum!
      Over here in Brisbane I saw something in a fish shop labelled fresh water dory. Having never heard of it, I did a bit of research and found out it was basa, a catfish farmed in sewerage downstream of Saigon. They had a bit of an investigation of it and it is not the sort of thing that should be fed to sick people.

  24. batweka 24

    Twitter rumour is that SST left wing counterpart to Collins is Phil Goff.

    • Olwyn 24.1

      Not just a rumour – from the horse’s mouth:

      Finally, for those who believe commissioning Judith Collins was an outrage, I have more bad news … as foreshadowed, I’ve taken on a second MP, too. Phil Goff will go toe-to-toe with Collins in the Sunday Star-Times every week. Goff, once the leader of the Labour Party, has now been moved off new leader Andrew Little’s front benches. Like Judith Collins, he is freed of the constraints of collective responsibility – both of them can call it like they see it. If that means they sometimes criticise their own leaders, so be it. This weekend, the former foreign affairs minister will examine whether Kiwis should be allowed to go take up arms in foreign wars like those in Syria and Iraq.

      A bit uneasy about the second-to-last sentence, as well as Goff being touted as a “hard-hitting left winger.”

  25. adam 25

    Big ups to the English firefighters for their actions yesterday.

    Never think you’re alone.

  26. Colonial Rawshark 26

    IMF house price and rental charts

    Just for you, RL. NZ is shite on just about every count.

  27. Pat O'Dea 27

    “You will not get your coal mine… Believe it in your hearts”

    On the Monday of the 26th day of August 2013, the above promise is the one I gave to the high powered Fonterra executives and engineers and their crack team of expensive lawyers, who had gathered at the Mangatangi Marae that morning to begin the hearings for consent from the Waikato Regional and District Councils to establish a new open cast coal mine in Mangatangi. I wasn’t bluffing, I was deadly serious, I meant it, and I believed it.

    Hearings for Fonterra’s new coal mine begins

    “The concept is simple, we all understand it. Coal is putting a pane of glass over the world.”

    “To the Commissioners and representatives of Fonterra gathered here. I would like to say to you before the paepae, that whatever the outcome of these hearings and the decisions you make, you will not get your coal mine.

    “We are the people who stopped nuclear ships. We are the people who stopped racist sporting tours. We are the people who stopped the sub-division of Bastion Point.

    “To the Commissioners especially. I would like to say, that if you approve the consents for this coal mine your names will be all over this economic, environmental and political disaster.

    “If there is one message I would like you to hear, it is this: We will stop your mine. It will never go ahead. Believe it in your hearts.”


    Mana Spokesperson for Climate Change and member of Auckland Coal Action. August 26, 2013

    Despite gaining all the consents they sought, Fonterra’s coal mine at Mangatangi has been stopped.

    This isn’t a fluke. I did not make my promise before the Paepae at Mangatangi to Fonterra’s gathered executives, and the Regional politicians and resource commissioners lightly.
    Like many others I have come to realise, that climate change is a deadly threat to humanity, and that we must do everything within our power to stop it. Coal has been identified as the number 1 single greatest cause of climate change. This is the reason Green Party and Mana Movement official policy is to oppose all new coal mines. Myself and many others know that we must prevent all new coal mining in this country, at any and all personal cost. We were determined to stop this mine and we succeeded.

    Many people ask me, why coal? Why not some other fossil fuel?
    My usual answer is this: ‘We all know how addicted we are to oil and petrol and how hard it is to give up our cars. But coal is something that is rarely required in modern life and is something we could easily do without. As well as being the most dangerous of the fossil fuels, coal is the most easiest to get rid of.’

    And rid of it we must. James Hansen formerly a director at NASA has said, that if we can’t get rid of coal it is all over for the climate.

    But there is another reason. Australia.

    Australia is the world’s biggest exporter of coal, and unlike New Zealand, a major emitter. Being another English speaking settler country, and also containing a strong unquenchable indigenous culture, our nearest neighbor Australia is a close cultural cousin. If we can get rid of coal they can too. And they want to, many Australians are frightened by the devastating affects of climate change that is ravishing their country.

    But the battle against new coal mines here, is not over yet, not by a long shot. Despite Auckland Coal Action presenting Fonterra a rigorous scientific study showing that they could use sustainable wood chips to fire their dairy plants. Fonterra refuse to take us seriously and are determined to use coal and ignore our submissions.

    Fonterra despite saying a number of times that they would not buy coal from Solid Energy because it is too expensive. Now, with the confounding of their plans to mine at Mangatangi, Fonterra plan to do just that.

    Fonterra have gone to Solid Energy to supply them. In response Solid Energy who are “Technically Insolvent” have been given a lifeline by Fonterra to reopen an old coal mine that they abandoned in the ’90s to provide Fonterra with the coal fix they crave. Just 5ks up the road from Mangatangi at Maramarua, Solid Energy plan to reopen the old Kopuku open cast mine that once supplied coal to the decommissioned Meremere coal fired power station.

    Stopping this second mine will not be as easy as stopping the first one, but it can be done. But it will require more than just the resources that Auckland Coal Action can muster. This is why I am writing this, to appeal to all groups who are concerned about climate change to add your strength and numbers against the reopening of the Kopuku open cast coal mine at Maramarua.

    If you join us, I can again promise “We will stop your mine, believe it in your hearts”


    Government announces another bail out of “Technically Insolvent” Solid Energy:

    Solid Energy continues round of savage layoffs:

    Green Party on First Solid Energy Bail Out. October 1, 2013

    “Coal is not going to be the fuel of our future if we are to stabilise our climate.

    “New Zealanders and Solid Energy workers need a just transition into more sustainable jobs – jobs that don’t fry the planet.”

    2012 Fonterra says developing Mangatangi Mine cheaper than reopening Kopako

    2009 Solid Energy Kopako reopening plan.

    Kopako-Whangamarino Wetland. Threatened plants/birds/animals

    2006 consent to reopen Kopako

    2014 Solid Energy Annual Report – Mysterious unnamed “new customer”?

    “We renewed long-term contracts with key North Island customers, New Zealand Steel and Genesis Energy and concluded a thermal coal supply agreement, for more than 100,000 tonnes a year, with a new customer.”

    Solid Energy job advertisement: Closing date for applications, December 16, 2014

    “The site has seen considerable historic opencast mining activity and was first developed in 1958 to deliver coal to the Meremere Power Station. This power station was decommissioned in 1991 but the original mine continued to deliver coal to industriall customers until the late 1990’s.
    Plans to recommence mining withing this area are underway. There is a large remaining coal resource at Maramarua and the recommencement of mining here should be the start of a long life operation.”

    Solid Energy job advertisement: Closing date for applications, December 10, 2014

    “Plans to resume mining in this area are now under way. There is a good immediate coal resource available and we have potential at Maramarua to consent and develop further resources if this is supported by customer demand.”

    A just transition away from coal

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    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    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 Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago

  • Government invests in Te Reo, environmental data research
    The Government is investing in ambitious research that will digitise Te Reo, grow the low-carbon protein efficient aquaculture industry, help interpret environmental trends, and large data sets says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The four projects range from teaching Siri to speak Te Reo to crunching large environmental ...
    2 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps as part of a comprehensive plan to fix skills gap
    A new education-to-employment brokerage service to strengthen connections between local employers and schools. Funding for more trades focused ‘speed-dating’ events to connect schools with employers. Promotional campaign to raise profile of vocational education. The Government is taking action to increase the number of young people taking up vocational education and ...
    3 hours ago
  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    17 hours ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    20 hours ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    23 hours ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    1 day ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    2 days ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    2 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    5 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    5 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    5 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    5 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    5 days ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    5 days ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    5 days ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    6 days ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    6 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    6 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    6 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    6 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    6 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    7 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    7 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    7 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    7 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    7 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    7 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    7 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    1 week ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    1 week ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    1 week ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    1 week ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    1 week ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    1 week ago