Open mike 20/08/2011

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, August 20th, 2011 - 53 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post. For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the link to Policy in the banner).

Step right up to the mike…

53 comments on “Open mike 20/08/2011”

  1. Carol 1

    As Helen Kelly says the pay gap between many CEOs and the average pay of their employees is the moral issue of our time.

    Top chief executives are being paid up to 50 times as much as their average employees – and the gulf between boss and worker is widening.

    The first annual survey by BusinessDay of pay rates at NZX-listed companies also found that the best-paid boss was receiving more than $4.7 million.

    Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly called on well-paid bosses whose workers earned low wages to “reconsider their values”.

    Employees needed access to better collective bargaining to bring about improved employment conditions, she said, and a law change should be introduced to allow collective contracts to be adopted across an industry as the standard.
    “The pay gap is the moral question of our time. Not just the gap but the level of pay means many, many workers … are living in poverty.”

    And I wonder how long it will take for this story to slip from the top of Stuff’s home page and out of view to the majority?

    • chris73 1.1

      Just curious but what does she get paid?

      • The Voice of Reason 1.1.1

        NZ dollars, Chris. Any other pointless questions?

        • chris73

          I was just curious as to her pay vs that of cleaners or something

          But then I suppose no one would actually know that

          • Bored

            Orcusman, a good righty like yourself should know what I and every other employer knows…that the wages dont get disclosed unless they are over $100K on the company report. And we dont tell people. So on this issue you will either have to do the research or speculate.

            By the way dont you just love it when a Telecom or power bill comes, from an organisation with 1000s of employees and wonderful systems and it si huge…you say where is their economy of scale, their added value, and most pertinently why am I paying huge wages to the rentier class runnning the enterprise? Wheres my discount. As a good righty you should be questioning the bill.

  2. joe90 2

    Jon Stewart on right-wing class warfare.—warren-buffett-vs–wealthy-conservatives—the-poor-s-free-ride-is-over

    Kos has the transcript.

    NEAL BOORTZ (7/6/2011): It is all-out war on the productive class in our society for the benefit of the moocher class.
    JOHN STOSSEL (10/12/2010): The makers, and the takers.

    BILL O’REILLY (10/12/2010): They want to take it from somebody else.

    LAURA INGRAHAM (6/29/2011): Everyone’s jumping in the wagon, no one wants to pull.

    NEAL BOORTZ (6/22/2011): … parasites we have out there depending on government …

    NEBRASKA ATTY. GEN. JON BRUNING (8/18/2011): The raccoons, they’re not stupid, they’re going to do the easy way if we make it easy for them, just like welfare recipients all across America.

    ANN COULTER (8/15/2011): Welfare will create generations of utterly irresponsible animals.

    Yeah! Fuck those people… the poor. We’ll be right back.

    • Bored 2.1

      As the good book says “To those that have will be given”….

      • Locus 2.1.1

        In case you can’t stream on that link, here’s another link to Jon Stewart’s brilliant show about class warfare. Watch both parts to hear the foul beliefs about people on welfare. The US MSM give ever more air time to such aggressive, denigrating and poisonous views. We MUST do everything we can to counter this divisive trend in NZ.

  3. prism 3

    Interesting -could lead the way to a completely different way of doing things democratically at all levels. And we sure need that. Catch this interview on Radnz this morning with Kim Hill. Remember the term ‘dynamic governance’ it has vitality and promise just in the reading of it and is being used successfully, still in its early days.

    Twitterers – @RNZ_SatMorning on Twitter
    It won’t be downloaded to audio yet but no doubt later – I’m not sure how to give a direct audio link.

    8:35 John Buck
    John Buck is the chief executive of Governance Alive, part of an international consulting organisation headquartered in the Netherlands, and the coauthor of We the People: Consenting to a Deeper Democracy (Sociocracy.Info Press, ISBN: 978-0979282706). He is visiting New Zealand to run workshops about dynamic governance (known in The Netherlands as sociocracy), a sustainable system for organising and running organisations.

  4. EveryMan 5

    Well, here’s a surprise. Not what’s written but where and by whom.

    Not for nothing is the Telegraph known widely in the UK as the Torygraph

  5. Architects and Engineers for 911 truth just released this video presenting their case to a wider public. I challenge anybody to watch this and give me one good reason as to why I should call all of these Scientists,Fire fighters, Demolition experts, Architects and Engineers “conspiracy nutters”.

    One good reason based on real world science. Give it your best shot!!!

  6. aerobubble 7

    Autism and compulsive behavior. If it rains you don’t get angry, you don’t try to stop it
    raining, you don’t create a trap for yourself and waste your own time. You expect the rain
    and build a roof, or buy an umbrella. It is too be expected that all manner of brain
    injuries lead to oddity. A pommy accept sudden appears on a true blue southlander women
    after a heart attack. She can’t do anything about it. Criminalizing someone with a fascination
    for light bulbs seems like trying to stop the rain falling, its like creating a trap that will
    always snap close and criminalize a group of people. Police should have known better.
    But Police are not the only ones who can made the mistake, just they have a duty not
    to criminalize those who can’t help themselves (or can in ordinary circumstances but
    when the light bulbs are so easy to get at and nobody else wants them…).
    If we can learn anything, its to tolerate oddity and not get trapped in a self-manufactured

    • prism 7.1

      @aerobubble – The police have a responsibility not to get spooked in emergencies and turn a trivial offence into a jail holding offence, they have ability to divert and don’t have only one option. Where are there brains, efficiency, and humanity in that part of Christchurch. The whole thing was a major fail for them. Then there is the understanding that there are far more vulnerable mentally challenged people out there in the community, now that the government has decided it doesn’t want to try and have high quality residential and support care.

  7. Joe Bloggs 8

    After yesterday’s huffing, puffing, bluffing and posturing, the truth is starting to be revealed. Here’s some classic white anting from Phil’s backers:

    …He furiously denied reports in political newsletter Trans-Tasman that he asked his frontbench MPs whether he should quit.

    Several frontbench MPs backed Mr Goff, either describing the report as “bollocks” or insisting the discussion never took place. Others refused to comment.

    But one senior Labour MP said the conversation did happen. “[Phil] did consult the front bench over whether he should go.”

    Damned shame really. Phil’s the gift that keeps on giving for National…

    • RedLogix 8.1

      Oh for goodness sake. I’d be surprised if the conversation had NOT taken place. Of course the Labour caucas would have talked about their options.

      At the same time I believe Goff when he states that he never offered his resignation…. that seems deeply implausible as well for the obvious reason that no-one else wants the job at this point in time. Goff is the kind of man who if he could clearly see another contender who he believed would do a better job than him, he would quite possibly step aside. But that has not happened.

      Nah … this is just Tracy Watkins being a tory toe-rag as usual.

      • Joe Bloggs 8.1.1

        So you’d also be surprised then that Phil is furiously denying any such conversation might have taken place…

        Nah… it’s a report of Phil Goff saying one thing and a senior Labour MP saying something completely different…

        About par for the Goff course.

        • RedLogix

          The way I’m reading it Goff says he never offered to resign. That is a significantly different thing to exploring the options in which resigning and passing the leadership to someone else could have been an raised as an option. Given the circumstances I’d be surprised if they had not talked that possibility over.

          But that is still very different to going the next step and formally offering to resign.

  8. ropata 9

    Psychopaths and big money – it all adds up

    For some of us this isn’t news. Plenty of refs on Google Scholar. Glad the Herald has caught up

  9. Gina 10

    Hi All

    We need a new lefty party very quick I wreakon. Someone needs to do an Epsom in a poor electorate. I dont know about Hone. His appeal may be limited largley to maori.
    I have some great policy ideas that Labour and National would not be interested in but a lot of people Ive talked to about them really like em.

    Costs $300 to rregister a new party and applications close at the end of september. I’d do it but am in a dire financial mire right now. Unless anyone wants to back me to the tune of atleast the minimum wage plus expenses. I may not be the ideal candidate by way of appeal so would welcome anyone else using my ideas and doing this. I don’t really want ot waste those good ideas on a party that might not gain much support such as Mana. I hope they do well but we’ll have to see. It’l also be interesting to see how their policy direction and focus develops.

    Please excuse if I disapear soon as I’ve got a big personal disaster going on right now.

    • Gina 10.1

      I’d post these idea’s here but don’t want those crafty Nats to farm them out to their corporate and banker mates.

      Someone else here might be interested in doing this so even if I can’t maybe some of you here would like to discuss the possiblity of doing this.

    • Lanthanide 10.2

      Political parties need 500 members before they can be registered. Alternatively you can stand as an independent.

  10. Blue 11

    In The House finally has video up from the day Key ran away like a chicken during Question Time.

    The camera angles aren’t great, but you can see Key in the seat to the left of English when Peseta Sam Lotu-liga’s question begins, then he leans over to talk to someone, who obviously tells him that Phil is going to ask the scary question about youth unemployment, and he gets up and leaves.

  11. Gina 12

    “Political parties need 500 members before they can be registered. Alternatively you can stand as an independent.”

    Thanks Lanthanide. 10 days to get 500 members maybe a tall ask but possible.

  12. jackal 13

    On Your Bike John Key

    You might be aware that National has failed to uphold many of their campaign promises. They’ve failed to close the wage gap with Australia for one, mainly because they had no intention of affecting business profits. This policy failure alone has been very detrimental to New Zealand. Under a National government, inequality has markedly increased because they’ve ensured inflation is high and wages are kept low. This means those lucky enough to be employed often still need welfare… effectively gifting billions of dollars in wage subsidies to private businesses…

    • Gina 13.1

      It amazed me that Kiwi’s fell for Nationals promises/lies before the last electtion. National have always tried very hard to keep wages down as you say which only helps exporters. Businessess not involved in the export sector struggle when workers cannot afford to buy.

      Compulsory unionism is a remedy to low wages. i.e. In hard times employment contracts force wages down as busnesses cannot afford to pay employees more than the competition to remain competitive. However with a nationwide based system all employers have to pay the same rate for certain skills thus keeping wages level rather than a corporate competition to get the lowest labour costs. The problem that flows from that is that lower wages means workers don’t spend and companies close due to that lack of spending. The tax take sinks lower and lower. This may be adding to Nationals deficit problems.

      Free trade ofcourse undermines any wage increases as much of that money goes off shore. As long as we have free trade with slave labour economies wage increases here will be boosting China’s jobs and the chinese government’s tax take, instead of NZ’s local economy.
      Unless this is addressed the New Zealand economy will continue to be swallowed up by vulture corporations who are behind the free trade scam being pushed on us by international bankers.

  13. Ed 14

    “Yet older people are surrounded by messages that age 65 is too young to retire. If a Labour-led government is elected in November, we even face the possibility that the age of qualification for New Zealand Superannuation will be raised, adding to the demographic logjam that is contributing to the problem of youth unemployment today. Indeed many Generation Xers, disadvantaged throughout their working lives, are already assuming that they will not qualify for a pension until they are aged maybe 70.

    National are no better than Labour. They, with their program of welfare reform, are prioritising getting sole parents and disabled people into employment. This, in a low-spending environment, inevitably comes at the expense of young people. Indeed some sole parents and disabled people have advantages over new labour force entrants, because they have substantial work experience.”

    I know that there has been debate about the possible need to increase the eligibility age of NZ Superannuation, but I had seen this as being led by National for cost cutting reasons (they also floated changes to the indexation basis, and make it partially or fully means assessed, and I think Peter Dunne proposed options for retiring later and getting higher NZ Super payments), but I had not heard of proposals to raise the eligibility age from Labour. Have I missed something?

    • Bill 14.1

      Yup. Labour support it, alongside a fairly broad slice of the left. But what you missed was that it’s a con. There is no demographic time bomb. None.

      The people retiring now were financially supported through their first 18? years of life. So if they could be supported then, they can be supported now. Some of those people have died. So there are fewer of them to support than when they were below 18. The average life expectancy is not beyond 83 (65 + 18)

      And while they were being supported for those first 18 years, woment weren’t generally accepted into the workforce to the degree they are now. So 45 years ago, there was ‘half’ the working age population being supported as well as under 18s being supported plus retired workers being supported.

      In other words, it would seem that in times gone by there was a far greater proportion of the population being supported than is ever likely going forward.

      Nowadays, fewer people are being born = less support needed for those under 18.

      Women are now expected to be in the workforce = not being financially supported as in the past.

      Retirees don’t (on average) live beyond 83 years of age (about 78.4 for men and 82.4 for women)

      And how often do we hear that current parents and /or grandparents are going to outlive their children because of all types of maladies? So the number of retirees in the future will drop off sharply. (More people will die during their working life if health predictions are to be believed.)

      Like I say. Demographic time bomb, my arse!

  14. D-D-D-Damn! 15

    New Zealand’s latest Mossad Affair – Some Context

    Predictably, John Key’s extraordinary about-face at his afternoon press conference of July 20 – where he offered a series of blank denials, contradicting not only his own earlier assertions but also, unbelievably, those of the Israeli ambassador himself – all but killed the latest Mossad scandal.

    Much of the media and blogosphere reacted in the same way: Key’s morning press conference was characterised as some sort of ‘gross misjudgement’, with some speculating he was ill-prepared and ill-informed, while his afternoon performance was widely touted as a welcome improvement, with the PM supposedly finally taking a full and frank approach to the matter.

    For Danyl at The Dim Post, Key’s afternoon denials were “pretty comprehensive”. Indeed, “given the choice between believing the PM or an unnamed SIS source”, Danyl proudly asserted “I’m gonna believe Key every time.” Similarly, Pundit’s Andrew Geddis was almost giddy with excitement that his own doubts about the case had apparently been proven entirely justified by Key’s denials: “I’d like to say ‘I told you so’. But that would be immature and graceless. So I won’t say ‘I told you so’, even though I did. Tell you that is. That it was so.” Apparently, Key’s denial is supposed to be the end of the matter, in one stroke tying up all the loose ends and suggesting a round of grovelling apologies to the poor hard-done-by Israelis is called for.

    Well, like John Roughan and others, I see all this as extremely naive. Certainly, Key’s morning performance could be considered ill-advised from a crisis-management perspective. But one would have hoped that the main interest of journalists, here, was not in how adept Key was at closing the story down, but rather in the actual veracity of the story itself.

    Far from ill-informed and ill-thought-out, Key’s morning press conference of July 20 actually appeared quite honest, nuanced and revealing. He accepted some very specific points put to him by various journalists, while very carefully demurring over certain other facets, sometimes citing ‘the national interest’, sometimes asserting ‘I can’t confirm all of the details you presented are correct.’ I’d suggest all this revealed a good deal more than some journalists and bloggers apparently realised.

    Then, in the afternoon, we suddenly get this extraordinary series of blank denials where he contradicts both himself and Israeli ambassador, Shemi Tzur.

    So, what on earth was the motivation behind Key’s blank denials ? (see next two comments, below).

  15. D-D-D-Damn! 16

    New Zealand’s latest Mossad Affair – Wider Context

    Over the last few weeks, I’ve spent a bit of spare time reading about recent overseas Mossad scandals. Four basic themes keep reappearing:

    (1) Mossad activity in western countires is normal/on-going/business-as-usual rather than some sort of bizarre “abberation” or unfortunate, one-off “mistake”,

    (2) Following detection of Mossad activity, Israel frequently gives categorical assurances that it will never happen again, before rapidly resuming Mossad operations in the very same Country,

    (3) More often than not – to avoid open conflict with both Israel and Washington – western governments in general (and Centre-Right administrations in particular) decide to handle Mossad espionage by sweeping it under the carpet – resolving things quietly, diplomatically, often with little more than symbolic gestures and, if possible, away from the public eye,

    (4) Some degree of tension appears to exist within the intelligence services of various western countries between those who prioritise maintaining close links with Mossad and the western alliance (and are thus compliant to resolving things quietly and symbolically) and those who believe the priority should be to overtly defend their Country’s sovereignty and diplomatic integrity.

    • Gina 16.1

      Here’s an excerpt from a speech by Norways Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg.

      I found it in an article by blogger Winter Patriot which you might be linterested in reading at

      “I have a message to the people who attacked us, and those behind them. This is a message from all of Norway:
      You will not destroy us.
      You will not destroy our democracy nor our quest for a better world. We are a small nation, but we are a proud nation.
      No one shall bomb us into silence or shoot us into silence. Nothing will frighten us out of being Norway.
      This night we will comfort each other, talk with each other, and stand together. Tomorrow we will show the world that Norway’s democracy grows stronger when it is challenged. We shall find the guilty and hold them responsible. “

    • Colonial Viper 16.2

      I still dont understand what Mossad objectives might be accomplished by operating out of ‘friendly’ countries. Whats more worrying is that Israel has roughly 300 nuclear warheads. About the same as China, and likely more than France and the UK.

  16. Gina 17

    Hello Viper


    Maybe Israel’s Mossad like America’s CIA are under the control of the International Bankers who are trying to establish a world order. Many of these bankers are Zionist Jews or just plain filthy rich. They want complete control and western democracy is a threat to that. At any stage democrcies can elect to not use their banking services and they could loose their corrupt little golden goose so those democracies must be curtailed. People must be impoverished or they might rise up. They seek austerity for us all so that they are not threatened by the massive throng of incredible talent that surrounds them, and might swallow them up.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      It surprises me because globalisation is an inevitable failure. A hundred years from now, travelling from Auckland to London is going to again take three to four months, for the vast majority of people. Only a very few elite will be flying.

      • Gina 17.1.1

        Youv’e read about Obama’s John Holdren and the radical environmentalist agenda then? And deindustrialisation which we are now in the throws of.

        Anyone interested can search youtube with the search term “webster tarply, Ecoscience”

        The talk is about Obamas apointment of John Holdren to a top post. Mr Holdren wrote a book called ecoscience which has some radical ideas which seem to be materialising in th form of policy coming from the National Party and to a differing and lesser degree labour.

        • Colonial Viper

          Hmmmm after a quick Google it seems that Holdren is (was) a bit of an extremist wild card. I’d like to know who in the background it is who *nominates* these people to Obama.

          Actually I didn’t pick my ideas up from Holdren; more like John Michael Greer’s Archdruid Report (which I highly recommend)

          • ropata

            Great link, this piece is a classic:

            The Twilight of Meaning

            But there’s a further dimension to the dynamics of—well, let’s just call them cultural narratives, shall we?—unfolding in America today. When the shared narratives from the past break apart, and all you’ve got is popular culture spinning feedback loops in the void, what happens then?

            What happens is the incoherence that’s become a massive political fact in America today. That incoherence takes at least three forms. The first is the rise of subcultures that can’t communicate with one another at all. We had a display of that not long ago in the clash over raising the deficit limit. To judge by the more thoughtful comments in the blogosphere, I was far from the only person who noticed that the two sides were talking straight past each other. It wasn’t simply that the two sides had differing ideas about government finance, though of course that’s also true; it’s that there’s no longer any shared narrative about government that’s held in common between the two sides. The common context is gone; it’s hard to think of a single political concept that has the same connotations and meanings to a New England liberal that it has to an Oklahoma conservative.

            It’s crucial to recognize, though, that these subcultures are themselves riddled with the same sort of incoherence that pervades society as a whole; this is the second form of incoherence I want to address. I wonder how many of the devout Christians who back the Republican Party, for example, realize that the current GOP approach to social welfare issues is identical to the one presented by Anton Szandor LaVey in The Satanic Bible. (Check it out sometime; the parallels are remarkable.) It may seem odd that believers in a faith whose founder told his followers to give all they had to the poor now by and large support a party that’s telling America to give all it has to the rich, but that’s what you get when a culture’s central narratives dissolve; of course it’s also been my experience that most people who claim they believe in the Bible have never actually read more than a verse here and there.

            • RedLogix

              That’s two great links today…thanks.

              John Michael Greer is on my bookmark toolbar right next to The Standard. And I know I’m not the only one here who regards him as required reading. No two thinking adults are going to agree 100% with each other, there’s something wrong if they do. But Greer always appeals to me, both rationally and emotionally… he’s got a great compass.

          • RobM

            Good ideas and good prose. This statement, a few posts down, shows the pointlessness of Key’s stats fiddling:

            “Politicians and ordinary people alike have taken to insisting, along these lines, that the solution to joblessness is to send people to college to get job training, on the assumption that this will somehow make jobs appear for them.”

            • Draco T Bastard

              Yep, I’ve been thinking lately that the solution to joblessness isn’t to create more jobs but to have a better distribution of the work and wealth available. Increasing productivity, which we have, should result in less work needing to be done to maintain present living standards. Instead we have decreasing living standards for the majority and an increasing transfer of the communities wealth to the already rich.

  17. randal 18

    good article this morning in dompost on the idiocy of the ACT party and their wonky legislation.
    See the thing is they dont really care what happens just as long as people are confused.
    Pretty crummy I know but that is their schtick.
    They know that they can afford to pay for no mistakes and supposedly the best quality but the rest can just wallow in the crap that they create.
    Basically this is very nasty stuff wrapped up in a sugar coated pill of smarmy words they learned in America from other nutters.

  18. D-D-D-Damn! 19

    New Zealand’s latest Mossad Affair – An example from Canada

    Here I provide a summary/synthesis of some recent Mossad activity in Canada (the main points from a whole range of Canadian media reports).

    When considering the motivation behind Key’s afternoon press conference (and his series of blank denials), it may be especially useful to look at the Canadian response to (2) the Leslie Lewis affair and (3) the Shehadeh Assassination (particularly given (a) the contradictions inherent in Key’s afternoon press conference performance and (b) the inconsistencies between Key and Tullet’s intelligence informants regarding whether or not SIS investigations had been fully completed or were still on-going).

    (1) Botched Khaled Mashaal Assassination

    Date: September 1997

    Mossad Activity: Israeli agents, posing as Canadian tourists, are caught using fraudulent Canadian passports in the botched assassination attempt on Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal in Jordan.

    Canadian Response: On this occassion, the Canadian Federal Government refuses to resolve things quietly, fearing the Mossad operation might prompt vigilante attacks against ordinary Canadians living in the Middle East. Canada expels the Israeli ambassador from Ottawa and recalls its own ambassador from Tel Aviv until receiving a promise that Mossad would stop using canadian passports for covert operations. Israeli PM Netanyahu subsequently apologises and gives “iron-clad assurances” that the spy agency will cease using Canadian passports in the future.

    (2) Leslie Lewis Affair

    Date: Late 1997

    Mossad Activity: Yet only a few weeks later in late 1997, Israel allegedly broke this promise when a Canadian living in Israel was approached for his passport by a Mossad front organisation – The Bureau of Immigration Affairs.

    Leslie Lewis, a Canadian Hasidic Jew who had lived in Israel for several years, said Israeli agents approached him to hand over his passport just weeks after Netanyahu’s promise to Ottawa. They also asked for permission to fly his daughter to Canada where she would obtain a Canadian passport and then hand it over to Mossad on return to Israel.

    Lewis refused and alerted the Canadian embassy in Tel Aviv.

    Canadian Response: In stark contrast to its attitude a few weeks earlier, Ottawa now displayed a marked reluctance to investigate, eventually ordering a probe into the allegations more than a year later in November 1998 (presumably after coming under sustained pressure to do so).

    However, by August 1999, Canadian intelligence sources were telling the media that the investigation had been stopped prematurely because Ottawa wanted to avoid upsetting Israel. The Canadian Foreign Affairs Ministry had quietly closed the file on the investigation with Minister Lloyd Axworthy announcing it had ended with the conclusion there was “insufficient evidence” to prove that Israel had broken its pledge. A Ministry spokeswoman said that Israel had given assurances that Mossad agents were not involved in such an operation and the Canadian Government had decided to accept these assurances.

    The media, however, quoted a number of intelligence sources denouncing the investigation as “half-hearted”, “shoddy” and “incomplete”. The sources argued that Canadian officials, fearful of upsetting Israel and Washington, “got the answers they wanted from the Israelis and ended it right there”, failing to thoroughly check-out the explanations offered. “Some investigation !”, one intelligence official is quoted as saying. Or, as another put it, “It’s a farce”.

  19. D-D-D-Damn! 20

    (3) Shehadeh Assassination

    Date: 2001-2002

    Mossad Activity: And then, 2 years later, explosive new allegations suggested Mossad agents had been posing as Canadians (using false Canadian identities) during a “false flag” operation that ultimately resulted in the July 2002 assassination of Hamas leader Sheik Salah Shehadeh (an Israeli F-16 fired a one-tonne missile at the Gaza apartment building, killing not only the Sheik but also 14 bystanders, including 9 children. Israel was widely criticised for the attack).

    Knowing Canada was heavily involved in aid work in Gaza at the time, Mossad agents had posed as Canadians to lure a young Palestinian man into informing on the movements of both Shehadeh and other Intifada leaders in return for (false) promises of ressettlement in Canada. Once they’d revealed their true Mossad connections, the agents reportedly used sexual blackmail against the man (using fake photographs) to ensure his continued compliance.

    Canadian Response: Once again, Ottawa seemed more than eager to accept Israeli denials, telling Toronto’s National Post they were satisfied the claims were false. Canada’s ambassador to Tel Aviv had asked Israel for an explanation of the incident and was told it did not happen.

    Asked by journalists whether the Israelis could be hiding something in order to avoid another diplomatic firestorm, a Canadian Foreign Affairs spokesman replied: “They gave us their word and we take it as it is.” Indeed, journalists were assured that Ottawa had been convinced all along that the claims were false.

    However, what Canadian government officials said in public and private were clearly two very different things. In December 2002, the Canadian media obtained newly-released official government documents showing that in the weeks following Ottawa’s September announcement of the end of the investigation, the matter had in fact continued to cause a good deal of official concern, resulting in on-going, behind-the-scenes diplomacy with Israel.

    In a confidential report, officials expressed concerns that Israel was indeed “misusing Canada’s identity” and thus endangering Canadian travellers and undermining the integrity of the nation’s passports. This resulted in a Senior Canadian Cabinet official questioning the head of Israel’s Security Service as well as discussions between the Assistant Deputy Minister for Africa and the Mideast and Israel’s ambassador to Canada, Haim Divon.

  20. Draco T Bastard 21

    Voting simulator for the proposed electoral systems in this years referendum. Clearly shows the benefits of MMP

  21. jackal 22

    Another Flip Flop

    Kate Wilkinson is now increasing the mining inspectorate despite repeatedly denying there was a problem. National has up until now been adamant that one mine inspector for the entire country was enough and they wouldn’t make changes until the royal commission reported…

  22. For everyone on Facebook – a group you should join –

  23. jackal 24

    The Fake World Cup Tour

    There were rumors this week that the prime minister might be fake. Experts say his IQ was affected during the cloning process and that he’s no longer able to count how many youth unemployed there are or shares he holds with Transrail or the Bank of America.  Unfortunately nobody knows where the real John Key is, although reports say that he’s all over the place…

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    11 hours 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 ...
    12 hours 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 day ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    1 day ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    1 day ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    2 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    3 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    4 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    4 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    4 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    4 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
    The construction sector is being freed up to allow more homes to be built more quickly as the Government cuts through some of the red tape of the Building Act.  “Every New Zealander deserves a warm, dry, safe home and old inefficiencies in the Building Act make building slow and ...
    4 days ago
  • Further details of Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall visit to New Zealand
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has welcomed further details on the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall’s visit to New Zealand next month. Their Royal Highnesses will visit New Zealand from 17-23 November – their third joint visit to New Zealand and first in four years. They arrive in Auckland ...
    4 days ago
  • O’Connor in Thailand to push for RCEP deal
    Minister of State for Trade and Export Growth and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, heads to Thailand today to attend the final Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) Ministerial meeting, as negotiations enter their final stages. “The RCEP Agreement would anchor New Zealand in a regional agreement that covers 16 countries, ...
    4 days ago
  • Young Pacific people can access earning and learning opportunities in Hawke’s Bay, Otago and South...
    Pacific young people living in the Hawke’s Bay, Southland and Otago regions will have access to support services that have proved successful in helping young people find new earning and learning opportunities. “Tupu Aotearoa is about changing Pacific young peoples’ lives. Our young people are talented, they are smart, they ...
    5 days ago
  • Protecting wellbeing – ACC HQSC Trauma Forum
    Introduction As the Minister for ACC I thank you all for the work that you do supporting New Zealanders in their literally most vulnerable moments. From those who hold people’s lives in their hands, to the people who research technique, technology and trends, your work is highly valued. A special ...
    5 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape – notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch
    Notes prepared for speeches in Christchurch – Wednesday 9 October 2019 Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There ...
    5 days ago
  • World Mental Health Day a reminder of the importance of mental health work
    Minister of Health Dr David Clark and Associate Minister of Health Peeni Henare say this year’s World Mental Health Day theme is a reminder of why the Government’s work on mental health is so important. “This year the World Federation for Mental Health has made suicide prevention the main theme ...
    5 days ago
  • Cultural Ministers Meeting
    Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni will represent the government at Australia’s Meeting of Cultural Ministers in Adelaide this week. “This year’s meeting is special because New Zealand is expected to become an International Member of the Meeting of Cultural Ministers at this Australian forum,” Carmel Sepuloni said. “The meeting is an opportunity to ...
    6 days ago
  • 608 claims resolved by GCCRS in first year
    The Greater Christchurch Claims Resolution Service has resolved 608 insurance and EQC claims in its first year in operation, Minister Megan Woods has announced. The government service, which celebrates its first birthday today, provides a one stop shop to help Cantabrians still battling to get their homes repaired or rebuilt ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ economy in good shape
    Today’s topic, “trends and opportunities for the New Zealand economy,” is certainly one getting a great deal of commentary at the moment. Looking across the media landscape lately you’ll notice we aren’t the only ones having this discussion. There has been an increasing amount of attention paid to the outlook ...
    6 days ago
  • NZTA to refocus on safety following review
    The Government is acting swiftly to strengthen NZTA’s regulatory role following a review into the Transport Agency, and Ministry of Transport’s performance as its monitor, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. An independent review by Martin Jenkins has found NZTA failed to properly regulate the transport sector under the previous ...
    6 days ago
  • Joint Cooperation Statement on Climate Change between the Netherlands and New Zealand
    The Netherlands and New Zealand have a long-standing and close relationship based on many shared interests and values. We value the rule of law, our democracies, and multilateralism.  And we value our environment – at home and globally. Right now there are major global challenges in all of these areas – ...
    1 week ago
  • Government putting right Holidays Act underpayment in Health
    The Government is putting right a decade’s worth of underpayment to nurses, doctors and other health workers, says Health Minister Dr David Clark.  Initial sampling of District Health Boards payroll records has found that around $550-$650 million is owed to DHB staff to comply with the Holidays Act. It’s expected ...
    1 week ago
  • Government accounts show strong economy
    A strong surplus and low debt show the economy is performing well, and means the Government is in a good position to meet the challenges of global economic uncertainty. “The surplus and low levels of debt show the economy is in good shape. This allows the Government to spend more ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministers approve application to expand Waihi mine
    New applications from mining company OceanaGold to purchase land in Waihi for new tailings ponds associated with its gold mines have been approved. Minister of Finance Grant Robertson and Associate Minister of Finance David Parker considered the applications under the Overseas Investment Act. Earlier this year, applications from OceanaGold to ...
    1 week ago
  • Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla launches with tribute to tangata whenua
    New Zealanders in Tūranganui-a-Kiwa / Poverty Bay will witness Māori, Pākehā and Pacific voyaging traditions come together today as the Tuia 250 Voyage flotilla assembles for the first time, Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti Minister Kelvin Davis says. “Tuia 250 is a national commemoration and an opportunity for honest conversations ...
    1 week ago
  • Visit to advance trade agenda with Europe and the Commonwealth
    Minister for Trade and Export Growth David Parker leaves tomorrow for Dubai, London and Berlin for a series of meetings to advance New Zealand’s trade interests.  In Dubai he will visit New Zealand’s Pavilion at Expo 2020 where construction is underway.  There he will meet Minister of State for International Cooperation, Her ...
    1 week ago
  • More cancer drugs confirmed – even more on horizon
    Confirmation that PHARMAC will fund two new cancer drugs is further evidence of the good progress the Government is making to improve the treatment of New Zealand’s leading cause of death, Health Minister David Clark says. From 1 December PHARMAC will fund alectinib (Alecensa) for ALK positive advanced non-small cell ...
    1 week ago
  • Boost for women in high performance sport
    An additional $2.7 million has been announced for the Government Strategy for Women and Girls in Sport and Active Recreation on the first anniversary of the strategy’s launch. Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson gave the opening address to the first Sport NZ Women + Girls Summit in Wellington today, ...
    1 week ago
  • Parent support to help retain skilled migrants
    As part of its work to ensure businesses can get the skilled workers they need, the Coalition Government is re-opening and re-setting the Parent Category visa programme, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. The move will: support skilled migrants who help fill New Zealand’s skills gaps by providing a pathway for ...
    1 week ago
  • Senior NZDF Officer to lead Peacekeeping Mission in the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has today announced Major General Evan Williams of the New Zealand Defence Force has been selected as the commander of a significant, longstanding peacekeeping mission in the Middle East. In December, Major General Williams takes over as Force Commander for the Multinational Force and Observers ...
    1 week ago
  • Nurses star as Govt rebuilds health workforces
    A record number of nurses are now working to deliver health services to New Zealanders as the Government’s increased funding and new initiatives rebuild key workforces start to show results, Health Minister Dr David Clark says. •    1458 more DHB nurses since the Government took office •    106 more midwives ...
    1 week ago
  • New agricultural trade envoy appointed
    Farmer and former Nuffield scholar Mel Poulton has been appointed New Zealand’s Special Agricultural Trade Envoy, Minister for Trade and Export Growth, David Parker, and Minister of Agriculture, Damien O’Connor, announced today. The position supports key Government objectives, including raising the value of New Zealand agricultural goods and services. Mel is ...
    1 week ago
  • Pacific and Māori voyaging heritage celebrated for Tuia 250
    New Zealand’s Pacific and Māori voyaging heritage is acknowledged and celebrated today as waka of the Tuia 250 voyage flotilla arrive in Tūranga / Gisborne. “Today we celebrate Tangata Whenua, the first people of Aotearoa, and the triumphs of the voyaging tradition that brought our ancestors here from Polynesia 1000 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Pacific languages are a root from which prosperity will grow
    “Fijian Language Week starts on Sunday and the theme reminds us how important it is that we each have something to anchor ourselves to, something that can help us pause and feel in control in a rapidly changing world,” says Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio. “Family, culture, faith, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • NZ Government establishes innovative, industry-focused Airspace Integration Trials Programme
    The Government is establishing an Airspace Integration Trials Programme to support the safe testing and development of advanced unmanned aircraft and accelerate their integration into the aviation system, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods announced today. The Government will work with leading, innovative aviation industry partners to test and ...
    2 weeks ago