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Open mike 29/11/2014

Written By: - Date published: 7:00 am, November 29th, 2014 - 158 comments
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John Key must goOpen mike is your post.

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158 comments on “Open mike 29/11/2014”

  1. just a heads-up to all mana people..

    ..the agm is on today @ the marae @ auckland uni..

    ..10.00 am to 7 pm..

    ..c u there..

    • Te Reo Putake 1.1

      Looking forward to hearing how it goes, Phil. I’m interested to know how mana will approach the non-parliamentary future. It’s a major task to get over a blow like that (I think only Social Credit and NZF have returned to Parliament after losing all their seats). But the name is mana ‘movement’ not ‘party’, so that doesn’t necessarily spell the end.

      • weka 1.1.1

        “(I think only Social Credit and NZF have returned to Parliament after losing all their seats)”

        Compared to who who didn’t? Am curious what the ratio is.

        • Te Reo Putake

          Well, I’m struggling to remember, but there were two christian parties and the various bits of the alliance in recent times. Probably have to go back to the twenties and thirties for the others.

          • swordfish

            You’d probably need to distinguish between:

            Elected Parties
            Parties elected to Parliament under their own steam and then subsequently losing their seat/s

            The only 2 that I can think of, off-hand, are:
            (1) The Alliance – which loses parliamentary representation in 2002 (although slight complexity because their former leader, Jim Anderton, (who was, no doubt, partially/largely responsible for the Alliance being in Parliament in the first place) is of course re-elected in 2002 under the Progressive banner).

            (2) The Country Party – elected to Parliament 1928, loses representation 1938. Stood entirely in Upper North Island rural seats, with its core support-base in the various Northland seats. Leader Captain Rushworth won Bay of Islands at the 1928 Election and held it until 38. Another CP candidate, Sexton, won the Franklin seat in 1935, before, like Rushworth, losing in 38. The Country Party emerged from the Auckland Farmers Union and was influenced by the Social Credit movement of the time (in those days called Douglas Credit) and became mildly aligned with the Labour Party, generally voting with it during the first term of the Savage Government. (And of course the Social Credit League later rises in those same areas in the 50s and 60s, with Vern Cracknell coming a close 2nd in the Northland seat of Hobson in 1960 and 63 before going on to win in 66).

            Manufactured Parties
            Major Party MP forms own Party while in Parliament (due to schism with major party or after being thrown out because of scandal or taking new opportunities to create niche party during early phase of MMP)

            (1) Brendon Horan – NZF List MP elected 2011 / expelled 2012, forms New Zealand Independent Coalition which is, of course, unsuccessful at 2014 Election.

            (2) Taito Phillip Field – Labour MP 1993-2007. Expelled from party due to corruption charges, forms New Zealand Pacific Party and loses seat to Labour 2008.

            (3) Tau Henare – NZF MP for Northern Maori / Te Tai Tokerau 1993-98. NZF pulls out of coalition with the Nats in 98, Henare and some other NZF MPs become independents supporting Shipley Government, then in late 98 forms Mauri Pacific Party with other former NZF MPs (including 2 of the “Tight Five’). Henare comes a poor 3rd in his seat at the party wins less than 0.1% of vote.

            (4) Graeme Lee – National MP for Hauraki / Coromandel / Matakana 1981-94. Forms the Christian Democrats in 94 while still MP for Coromandel, (then in 95 aligns his party with the supposedly more doctrinaire Christian Heritage Party to put up joint candidates as the Christian Coalition). Wins more than 4% of the Party-Vote but fails to cross the threshold – so Lee out. The Christian Democrats continued as a party and later merged with Dunne’s United Party to form United Future in 2000, which, in turn, wins 8 seats in 2002 (with a number of its MPs conservative/fundamentalist Christians). They’re now of course gone – but, in an extremely vague sort of way, you could say the party’s still in Parliament given the Toupee’s on-going support in Ohariu.

            (5) John A Lee – Labour MP for Auckland East / Grey Lynn 1922-40. Expelled from Party 1940 (my grandmother was a Labour Party activist at the time and was part of the sizeable minority that voted for him to stay). Forms the Left-Wing Democratic and Soldier Labour Party, the Party does quite well in one or two seats at the 1943 Election (with quite a significant vote from soldiers fighting overseas) but fails to win a seat. Lee narrowly loses in Grey Lynn, so out of Parliament.

            Former Major Party MPs stand as Independents

            (1) Mel Courtney – Labour MP for Nelson 1976-81. Wins 76 Nelson By-Election for Labour, very much a Right-leaning maverick within the Party, and strongly opposed to Rowling as leader, stands as an independent in Nelson in 81 (probably hoping to emulate Harry Atmore who had defied political trends by remaining an independent MP for Nelson throughout most of the first half of the 20C). Courtney loses in 81, albeit narrowly.

            (2) Gerry O’Brien – Labour MP for Island Bay 1969-78. Former Labour Wellington City Councillor, progressive/left-leaning. Victim of Muldoonist smear similar to Moyle, de-selected as Island Bay candidate by Labour, stands as independent, comes close to costing Labour one of its traditional strongholds, but doesn’t quite make it.

            (3) Probably others but can’t quite think of any off-hand.

            • weka

              Thanks! I guess Mana kind of falls into both of the first two (MP from an existing party, but stands in a by-election to bring new party into parliament).

            • mikesh

              Vern Cracknell won Hobson for Social Credit in 1966 and lost it the following election. Socred got back into parliament in the late seventies when Bruce Beatham, Gary Knapp and Niel Morrison won seats.

              • Murray Rawshark

                I always remember hearing whispers that Social Credit were some sort of fascists, but given what I remember of their policies, I really have no idea why. Didn’t they later join up with Values and the Alliance?

    • Chooky 1.2

      are they vegan or do some of them eat pork and puha?

      …if I was in Auckland I would be there…they may have lost their seats but they only lost getting seats and the Election by a few votes

      GO MANA ! ( and I hope the Internet Party is revived)

      • Chooky 1.2.1

        Mana should be reinforcing its already strong links with the Greens

        …the Tangata whenua like the Greens have a strong cultural and spiritual identity with the New Zealand sparcely populated natural landscapes ( this aint New York …nor do we want it to be like New York)…Limits on immigration and rapid population increase are core issues of concern for both the Greens and Mana Tangata whenua!


        Kim Hill this morning has done a great interview with Andre Apse…one of the best NZ natural photographers after Brian Brake….




        Andre Apse has a spiritual identification with New Zealand’s landscapes.. He came to New Zealand as a boy and like photographer Ans Westra he immediately sensed what was inherently the unique essence of New Zealand and tried to capture it in his art. For Ans Westra it was portraits of Maori



        (Andre Apse wont remember it but as a young teenager I once walked up a skifield mountainside with him…I was impressed with his openness, absolute humility and passion for what he saw around him ….his soul was large .. International photographer Brian Brake from Arthurs Pass, who used to as a boy follow the mountaineers around trying to get tips on photography …whom my Mother knew as a child….also had this simplicity, humility and passion which often comes from an identification with the natural world for something other than the human…in some cases it can be an escape from the self-created hell of self -centred -serving humans, their anthropocentric religions, politics and money making)

        …the artists and landscape photographers like lovers record the natural world …so that in the words of poet Dylan Thomas ( ‘Poetic Manifesto’ , 1961), ..”The best craftsmanship always leaves holes and gaps….so that something that is not in the poem [ art ] can creep, crawl, flash or thunder in.” ….we must protect these unspoiled unpeopled, unpolluted natural wild landscapes …for they are New Zealand’s soul and spirituality

        Go MANA and GO GREENS

      • TheContrarian 1.2.2

        “GO MANA ! ( and I hope the Internet Party is revived)”

        My personal feeling is that the IP is better suited as an advocacy/interest group rather than a political party.

        • Chooky

          …actually as the Internet takes up a lot of people’s lives these days , especially young people’s lives ….and INTERNET FREEDOM is a CRUCIAL ISSUE for DEMOCRACY! ( the USA corporates would like to take the Internet over) i would like to see the Internet Party revived and remain attached to Mana

          ….the only reason the Internet Party is languishing at the moment is because Dotcom is being attacked by the Hollywood corporates and John Key Nactional….and in the meantime Dotcom has run out of money…and this is the reason Laila Harre is not there i suspect …she has to earn a crust elsewhere. But this does not mean the Internet Party is not a good idea ….and should not remain associated with the Mana Party….i hope the Internet Party baton is picked up by others and continues to run

    • Penny Bright 1.3

      Kim Dotcom will be back in the Auckland District Court (Albert Street) on Monday 1 December 2014.

      Not sure of the time – probably 9.30am?

      Details of the case are available here:



      What Dotcom argued
      Mr Dotcom’s new lawyer, Ron Mansfield, had argued there was no jurisdiction for the order the Crown had made and said it was “disingenuous” for the Crown to amend the application today.

      He pointed out there was no ability to arrest Mr Dotcom as the non-association condition was only in place for a matter of months and was not a current bail condition. She should have asked for a warrant to arrest Mr Dotcom, rathern than “ambushing” him last week.

      Mr Mansfield said that she had also not complied with the bail laws because the court needed to hear evidence on oath from the Crown.

      “This court no matter what has no jurisdiction to hear an application to revoke the respondent’s bail.”

      He said in any event, there was no clear evidence that there was a breach of current or former conditions.

      The lawyer argued the “edited commmunications” provided by the FBI that didn’t prove anything and criticised the Crown for not making the full transcripts available to him. He said most of the comments which Ms Gordon relied on in evidence have smiley faces next to them, which indicates they are jokes between people and cannot be taken seriously.

      “On every level, every legal level and every factual level, the applicant’s application to revoke bail fails. In my submission it should not have been brought.”

      The lawyer said that there was no evidence from the cross-examination of Mr Dotcom that backed the assertion that there was no association.

      Mr Mansfield also stressed Baboom had not gone live and Mr Dotcom’s involvement with Baboom did not involve association with Mr Bencko.

      He also addressed Crown contentions that Mr Dotcom spent too much time gaming and wasn’t focused on his case.

      “Gaming is a bit like another individual playing tennis and to suggest that someone plays tennis while they are on bail on proceedings on which they have spent $10 million on lacks credibility.”

      Mr Mansfield will continue his argument on Monday.

      You might like to pass this information on to Mana Party / ‘Movement’ members?


      Penny Bright

      • Chooky 1.3.1

        +100 thanks Penny…and it is a trumped up case by John key and Nact working at the behest of Hollywood corporates

        ‘Who is Afraid of Dotcom?’ by Robert Amsterdam ( Dotcom’s international lawyer)


        ….”I enthusiastically became involved in this case because I believe in the core values that we are seeking to defend. The world is currently witnessing a renewed attempt by governments, sometimes at the behest of private economic interests, to limit the capabilities and functions of a free Internet. States such as Russia and China seek to exert heavy-handed control over the Internet for political censorship, while the U.S. aims to subsidize Hollywood studios and entertainment conglomerates through copyright extremism – and by doing so pose an existential risk to your privacy.

        Having just spent a week in New Zealand with the brain trust behind Mega, I can tell you that these are extremely talented and innovative young entrepreneurs who are offering important advancements to users. The encryption cloud storage service that Mega offers may assist many budding democracy activists in difficult countries to communicate more securely away from the prying eyes of authoritarian censors.

        What has happened in the Kim Dotcom case goes far beyond right vs. left, pro- or anti-American sentiment, though I acknowledge that there is a lot of noise from the fringes on these issues. This is fundamentally about rights and protecting privacy; values that many conservative elements are coming around to despite the sometimes awkward overlap with progressives and net freedom activists. The U.S. prosecutor who brought this case has used “weaponized justice,” overreaching with civil law in an attempt to manufacture a transnational crime. Anyone who cares about human rights should be deeply alarmed, including those sitting on both sides of the aisle”….

      • Murray Rawshark 1.3.2

        Why should affidavits from FBI agents who do not appear and cannot be cross examined be acceptable in our courts? I hope it gets thrown out. It’s a travesty of justice that he was ever arrested on these trumped up charges. They have set out to ruin a man who has done very little wrong, especially by comparison with finance figures like Huljich and Key.

  2. I don’t think John Banks handled the signing of his failed mayoral electoral campaign in 2010 well, but that seems minor compared to the campaign it instigated that was used successfully to end Bank’s return to Parliament and was also used to try and disrupt and destroy the last term Government.

    Banks claims the associated pressures also contributed to the ending of his marriage, although as much to clear her own name as Banks his wife Amanda was instrumental in overturning the conviction.

    The Court of Appeal’s Justices Ellen France, John Wild and Forrest Miller said that if the new evidence had been accepted in the High Court trial “it likely would have changed the outcome”. (NZ Herald)

    That would not have changed the political outcome as Banks had already resigned from Parliament but that turned out to be too late in the term to seriously disrupt the operation of Government but there was clear intent to use Banks to impact on the operation of Government.

    Politics can be a dirty business.

    Kim Dotcom, who’s word (and his wife’s) was judged more credible than the Banks in the trial, went on to finance and drive a political party also designed to defeat John Key and the National government. His credibility lost in the trial by election.

    Banks has some credibility restored while Dotcom’s legal positionn is precarious and his political credibility is in tatters.

    • mickysavage 2.1

      I dont want to defend Dotcom but your comment is totally wrong. The Court has ordered a retrial and was very careful not to comment on credibility issues.

      • Pete George 2.1.1


        Evidence at the trial in a large part rested on a lunch at Dotcom’s mansion in June 2010 where, the Crown said, the donations were discussed. Banks and his wife Amanda said they were not.


        NZ Herald in Wife clears Banks’ name:

        The Court of Appeal’s Justices Ellen France, John Wild and Forrest Miller said that if the new evidence had been accepted in the High Court trial “it likely would have changed the outcome”.

        Dotcom’s (Kim and Mona) word was accepted by the trial judge as more credible than Banks’ (John and Amanda).

        Two sworn affidavits supporting the Banks has resulted in the quashing of the conviction, it would “likely would have changed the outcome”, which must shift credibility significantly.

        Or has it been reported inaccurately?

        • felix


          So if your reasoning is correct, the first quote says John and Amanda Banks are more credible than The Crown.

        • aerobubble

          It is always the contention of litigants that they are innocent, given Banks never showed any remorse it was unlikely he would say the appeal did not exonerate him.

          Appeals merely ask the question was there a fair trial, would new evidance have possibly led to a different decision, not that the evidence prove innocence. That sure ha not yet been tested.

          I am NO lawyer, Banks is still to answer for himself, and given his lack of remorse, should he fail again, he should get significantly greater punishment.

          • James

            And on the same basis – If found innocent – Dotcoms should be charged with perjury.

            • Tracey

              adotcom and his wife and anyone else who so statef…nd in every case where someone is found less credible than another they must all be charged with perjury… by your logic. that will be very expensive.

    • ianmac 2.2

      Kim Dotcom said last night that the two Americans were at a meeting alright but it was on a different day. Mmmm.

      • karol 2.2.1

        It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out in court. Then there’s this in the Stuff article on it:

        He [KDC] said that the meeting in which donations were discussed was not the meeting the American businessmen were at.

        “I think the best evidence of that is that in his own interrogation with police, Mr Banks referred to our discussions about donations . . . Clearly there were discussions about donations and now he says there were none at all.”

        The Court of Appeal said that although Banks’ defence could have tracked the businessmen down before the trial, it was satisfied that if their evidence had been known at the trial the outcome might have been different.

        So why didn’t Banks defence team mention these guys before/during the last trial and try to find them? Surely he and his team would have been keen to do anything possible to “clear his name”?

        • dv

          New trial.
          Will Banks be allowed to present affidavits from the two americans, or will they have to appear?

          It seems to me they would need to appear so they could be examined.

        • ianmac

          Weird karol that that apparent difference of dates was not raised at the Appeal Court. Plot thickens.

        • kenny

          Who to believe? Who to believe……..? /sarc

          Surely the Court of Appeal would have checked which meeting the 2 Americans attended, if any? So which meeting was Banks referring to when he admitted donations were mentioned?

      • Pete George 2.2.2

        The meeting dates are mentioned in the Court of Appeal judgement:

        “[10] The Crown ran into difficulty at trial when the defence established
        incontrovertibly that the lunch was indeed held on 5 June. The date mattered
        because the cheques were drawn on 9 June and Mr Dotcom was adamant that he had given Mr Banks a firm commitment at the lunch and evidenced it by having the
        cheques prepared and signed immediately afterward. Proof that the lunch was held
        on 5 June did not emerge until the defence disclosed its hand at the close of the
        Crown case, leaving something of an evidential vacuum about the intervening

      • veutoviper 2.2.3

        IIRC, way back when this first went to trial, there were disputes as to the actual date of the lunch in June 2010 at which the donations were discussed – with KDC saying one date and Banks another date a few days apart. From memory one date was a Thursday and the other the following Saturday. A record of Mrs Banks taking leave from her job on one or other of the days was also involved.

        So, the actual date of the ‘donations’ lunch has already been in question. If I also recall correctly, there was also some disagreement/confusion as to whether or not someone else (a Lawyer or accountant who drew up the cheques?) was at the mansion (but not at the actual lunch) on the day of the donations discussion. This person was also a Crown witness at the High Court trial.

        I don’t have time today to find links, references etc – but will try to find time in the next few days to find these as this will bug me until I find them!

        But if my memory is correct, then the possibility that Banks was at two lunches within a short time period is not as incredible as it would seem if the earlier discussions and disagreements on dates had not arisen.

      • Tracey 2.2.4

        he will have security footage surely of the comings and goings so dotcom just produces that showing the guys on a different day… and appointment logs…

        could mr and mrs banks really imagine up the exact guys who were there on a different day?

        • Murray Rawshark

          Security footage: may be among the stuff ngati poaka handed over unlawfully to the seppos.
          Imagining the visitors: They don’t have to be imagined. There just have to be two lunches with the Banks couple, with the Americans being at one and the donations at the other.
          I’m also not convinced that businessmen would not tell porkies. Our businessmen in parliament do all the time.

    • just saying 2.3

      Wouldn’t normally reply to this kind of shite but I do want to make one comment.
      Seeing as Banks’ wife is his only witness and lifeline, it’s kind of convenient that when this goes to trial again she may no longer presented as his devoted and loyal wife of many years, who has a huge interest in the outcome of the trial. (whether she actually is or not….)

      • just saying 2.3.1

        Hadn’t caught the news of his conviction being overturned.
        It will be interesting to see if they reconcile.

      • James 2.3.2

        You need to keep up with the news – there are affidavits from others who side with Banks as well.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.4

      Ah, PG turns up to defend the RWNJs abuse of our democracy – again.

      • Pete George 2.4.1

        This is about a court case that involves the legal system being used to try and overturn democratic election of MPs.

        I think Banks wasn’t entirely innocent (and I’ve never been a fan or supporter of him and thought it was a bad idea for him to stand for Act in Epsom) – on about the same level of abuse of democracy as David Cunliffe using a secret trust for his Labour leadership bid.

        If we start to overturn the democratic formation of Governments through trivial court cases that the police have thought didn’t warrant a prosecution our democracy will be much the poorer for it.

        And remember that if one lot do it and succeed then the other lot are just as likely to be the next ones to have a go.

        • Draco T Bastard

          If we start to overturn the democratic formation of Governments through trivial court cases that the police have thought didn’t warrant a prosecution our democracy will be much the poorer for it.

          Three points:

          1. Breaking the law isn’t trivial
          2. The police don’t get to decide if the law’s been broken or not
          3. Allowing Banks and others to continue to flout the law and abuse our democracy is what’s destroying our democracy

          And remember that if one lot do it and succeed then the other lot are just as likely to be the next ones to have a go.

          So, what you’re saying there is that we should put up with the corruption just in case the people engaging in that corruption increase the amount of corruption that they engage in?

        • Lanthanide

          “If we start to overturn the democratic formation of Governments through trivial court cases that the police have thought didn’t warrant a prosecution our democracy will be much the poorer for it.”

          The police claimed there wasn’t enough evidence, not that it didn’t warrant prosecution.

          No one is trying to overturn the democratic election of an MP. What is being done is John Banks is being tried for the “convenient” accounting he undertook while running for Mayor of Auckland.

          I think Graham McCreedy’s private prosecution would have gone ahead regardless of whether Banks was an MP or not (you only need to look at McCreedy’s other crazy private prosecution attempts / media statements to get a feeling for where he is coming from – against both Labour and National).

          But it’s pretty typical of you to misconstrue things and join dots in particular ways to reinforce whatever weird idea you have about politics.

        • Tracey

          did you miss the law about breaching the electoral act which goes to the heart of democracy. this is not the first time banks has turned a wilful blind eye in return for money… hujlich

      • Paul 2.4.2

        Yes pg always has so much time to discuss the glaring issues facing NZ like poverty, inequality, housing ….

    • Penny Bright 2.5

      Is John Banks going to give evidence himself – so that he can be cross-examined under oath?

      He hasn’t so far at any of the other legal proceedings.

      On the face of it – don’t you think it would be a bit odd to be discussing political donations at a meeting that included two American businessmen, that you hadn’t met before and had nothing to do with this matter?

      Looking forward to the retrial!

      Penny Bright

    • Murray Rawshark 2.6

      Pull the other one. Banks has had absolutely no credibility ever. Why are you so keen to defend a racist, dishonest POS?

  3. Paul 3

    John Armstrong.

    “This past week has surely been the most difficult and ultimately demeaning one in the otherwise stellar political career of one John Phillip Key.”


    • LynWiper 3.1

      Fran O’Sullivan.

      “John Key’s cavalier response to the Dirty Politics inquiries risks him losing the confidence of one of his vital constituencies – the senior business community.

      ‘Key’s failure to realise he would be likely to be filleted when it was inevitably leaked defies credibility.

      But trying to mask the obvious backtracking was a step too far.’


      • Paul 3.1.1

        The whole article sounds like a threat to Key.

        ‘He needs to reflect whether his real support lies in the blogosphere or among New Zealand at large, including the business elite.’

        Does O’Sullivan write the words big business want her to write?
        Is this a public warning?

        • kenny

          Agree. Also the comment that ‘His ears should be burning’ about remarks from the business leaders at the DeLoitte awards is telling.

    • weka 3.2

      “otherwise stellar political career”

      Yeah, because Key just started lying this week.

    • Clemgeopin 3.3

      I think most people have lost their trust in Key and consider him a blatant liar.

      It would be very interesting to see the result of a poll which asks such questions.

      Hopefully some poll companies will survey this.

      I also think that both the recent inquiries, the IG and the Collins ones were badly done with very narrow convenient terms and a bit of a whitewash where it really matters, considering that electronic trails were not investigated and important people involved were not even interviewed, people such as Key, Ede and Odgers! That is bit of a sham, isn’t it!

  4. Paul 4

    Another sycophantic load of drivel from Fanboy John Roughan in the Herald.


    • ianmac 4.1

      Crikey. John Roughan must be employed as the Spinner for Key!
      Does Cheryl Gwyn ” thinks the division of roles will help the secret agencies avoid political controversies…” I thought that she said the devolution had caused the problems.
      And I thought that Key had split the roles now to avoid having to answer questions.

      Key had two years in that role before coming to power and he obviously decided the routine intelligence was not worth a Prime Minister’s time. Now he has delegated direct charge of the SIS and the GCSB to the Attorney General, Chris Finlayson, which seems much more functionally logical and politically healthy.
      Key has made himself an overseeing Minister for National Security and Intelligence in which role he is about to rush legislation through Parliament to provide greater powers of surveillance and seizure of passports. He has been given intelligence suggesting we have 30 or 40 citizens, possibly more, who might try to join jihadists in Iraq and Syria.
      The Inspector General, Cheryl Gwyn, thinks the division of roles will help the secret agencies avoid political controversies such as the one in 2011 over whether Phil Goff had been briefed on a group of Israelis in Christchurch at the time of the February earthquake.

    • kenny 4.2

      Agree Paul – what a load of rubbish from Roughan!

  5. Paul 5

    The lack of ethics of landlords.

    “As a society, how did we allow residential property to become just another investment asset class? And how did we come to admire people who have become wealthy through investing in multiple residential property ownership?

    I hear residential property investors claiming, “We’re only saving for our retirement”. Correction – you are using people who are poorer than yourself to save for your retirement. And you are doing it by depriving a family of home ownership for every house you buy, gaining advantage from tax breaks that are not available to home buyers who just wish to live in a property.

    That is not an admirable thing to do. In fact, to take advantage of others less fortunate than yourself is a despicable thing to do. Mary, with respect, you need to grasp this ethical issue “nettle” and comment on it.”

    Mary Holm from the Herald then does not grasp the nettle.


    • Paul 5.1

      While this article from the Herald proves that it is poor suburbs where landlords are making the most profit.

      ‘Landlords with three-bedroom houses in Otara, rented for a median $450/week, got a 21.8 per cent return (yield and capital gain) followed by Mangere (21.7 per cent) and Glen Innes and Mangere Bridge (21.3 per cent).’


      • Te Reo Putake 5.1.1

        I was reading recently about house affordability in the regions. Ironically, Whanganui has the cheapest houses to buy in urban NZ, but the rents charged are about average for the provinces. So, the savings are definitely not trickling down to the renters.

    • karol 5.2

      Holm says this, which is pretty weak:

      The disruption to tenants who have to move is far more than any other withdrawal of a service I can think of. I suppose that’s why we have the Tenancy Tribunal, which I understand gives a fair bit of protection to tenants. But still, tenants are sometimes treated shabbily.

      It’s not just there are some unscrupulous landlords, while most are reasonably fair. The laws and regulations currently favour landlords and put tenants in a relatively weak position e.g. – lack of tenure, the very common fixed term leases that are rolled over each year (dependent on the landlord’s decision).

      And I am getting to be a bit weary of DIY amateur landlords – poor workmenship leading to on-going faults, drafty flats in the winter, etc. And letting things go if they are not crucial faults but just don’t look good.

      Cutting corners so as to ensure they benefit financially from the rental income. I don’t want to be frequently going to my landlord about yet another thing – even if they are quite reasonable and fair in many ways.

    • tc 5.3

      And raglan maori warden reports tenants are being booted for higher summer rents illegally with the aid of authorities…….oh the brighter future just marvellous.

    • tc 5.4

      Holm is another Nat shill and I find her writing pretty low brow given the juicy material that exists in our cowboy pension/super arena……if its actually her own.

      Read hide in latest NBR also what an emotive waste of space, the lack of intellectual rigour stands out like dogs bollocks right across the MSM which is a central plank of the DP strategy.

      • Paul 5.4.1

        Her own contribution to the article was miserable.
        It was good she published the views of a reader with a far more ethical view of the rental property market.

        ‘In fact, to take advantage of others less fortunate than yourself is a despicable thing to do. Mary, with respect, you need to grasp this ethical issue “nettle” and comment on it.’

        Mary fails to grasp the nettle and makes a very weak case for wealthy property investors instead. They are her ‘market’ …greedy folk who want more. Holm doesn’t care about renters.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.5

      Rentier Capitalism. Basically, a few people become the biggest possible bludgers and then they blame others for the damage that they do to our society.

      National and Act work for these bludgers.

    • Murray Rawshark 5.6

      The ability to rent out speculative properties is one of the things holding back the whole economy. It sucks all the money out of things because it’s so much easier than investing in something productive. Then with what’s left, we develop a dairy monoculture 🙁

  6. felix 6

    The Standard finally gets that mainstream media recognition that has been so eagerly sought for at least 24 hours now, with a brief mention in the latest episode of The Egonomist: http://theegonomist.co.nz/?p=2786

    • TheContrarian 6.1

      Been good friends with that Dan chap for some 15 years now, we have many a good political discussion. He’s an awfully nice guy, very astute.

    • Anne 6.2

      Scott Campbell (former journalist turned PR consultant) claimed on The Nation this morning that the Helen Clark government used to feed certain ‘The Standard’ authors with information to include in their blogs in the same way as this government has given Slater (and Farrar of course) stories to use on his blogs. It was a blatant piece of “they did it too” politics and it’s false! I hope Lynn Prentice responds to the claim. Its getting too much. If this lie is allowed to be repeated often enough then it will be believed by the muppet voters.

      I always believed Helen Clark made a mistake by not responding to the lies told about her and her government – especially during the third term. By ignoring them as she did.. it reinforced the meme that the claims were true and it contributed to their loss.

      Campbell also inferred there was a legitimate comparison between “Clark’s motorcade” claiming she must have known it was travelling at 170 km (so inferring she lied) and the text message between Slater and Key.

      • karol 6.2.1

        Was Campbell specific? Can he point to any stories broken on The standard that made it to the MSM – and that is the equivalent to the kind of smear stories on WO?

        Ultimately, there will be publicly available evidence of such smear stories on the blogs.

        • Anne

          No karol he wasn’t specific. Just threw it out there as a defence of Key tool. If I recall correctly he did say something about “not mentioning names.” And he didn’t cite any evidence.

          I was paraphrasing what he said but there was no ambiguity to his words. No one responded – probably because it takes a few seconds to assimilate… by which time it’s too late to respond. So they get away with it.

          • karol

            Thanks. I’ve raised questions on this to The Nation via Twitter.

          • mickysavage

            I have had a look through the past posts. Campbell said that he knew because he claimed Clark staffers wrote posts about him.

            I just had a look through the records. He is mentioned only intermittently and the first time in a post was in 2010 well after Helen’s time. The first time he was mentioned in a comment was in 2009 by Gobsmacked who I am pretty sure has never been an author.

            • felix

              The only mentions I can see are pretty factual references to what he does for a job.

              Why is he so touchy about that?

            • Anne

              @ mickysavage
              It’s pretty obvious to me Campbell received instructions on what to say and what not to say on The Nation. After all, this is the worst week ever since the start of the Key Admin., so it was important he be well briefed in advance.

              I remember Campbell from his TV reporter days and he wasn’t the brightest bulb in the journo ranks. His comments this morning were not off the cuff. He was told to get in the story about beehive staffers writing posts on TS during the Clark years and it was obvious the line about the supposed offensive treatment of him on TS was an attempt to brand TS as… a left version of Whaleoil.

              I sincerely hope you, lprent and the other authors don’t take this lying down because it’s obviously a tactic to divert and distort the picture to the point where TS/Hager/Labour and the Greens all eventually end up tarred with the Dirty Politics brush. It’ll be ‘mission accomplished’ if there isn’t a counter attack.

      • Tracey 6.2.2

        i cant believe clark didnt know the car was speeding… now key and slater is about how the country is run

        • tc

          Yup and when Helen gets mentioned you know the desperation meter is rising.

        • Murray Rawshark

          I’d say it’s possible but highly unlikely. In the absence of evidence to the contrary, I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt.

      • tc 6.2.3

        Scott was going to be running as a nat candidate in ryalls seat, so hardly unbiased and just more smearing from the new paradigm of ‘contesting’ CT have had shonkey roll out.

        same tactics offered by some new players in the spin cycle.

      • Tracey 6.2.4

        lynn has previously mentioned the h bomb.

        has anyone from thestandard aided an apparent hit on someone? slater and hoots giving hagers street address to odgers… beached suppression orders… got preferential treatment on oias… been used to besmirch keys reputation either as pm or loo… gloated over the death of a west coaster… posted something as their own but actually written snd paid for by someone other than the author… used prostitutes to dig dirt….


      • greywarshark 6.2.5

        I didn’t know that the motorcade was travelling at 170 kmh! I doubt that – who observed and recounted this information? And for how long were such high speeds maintained? A statement like this implies that it was a constant speed for some considerable time. 170kmh might have been reached on a downhill portion of open road but this would hardly have been maintained for reasons of safety, and a satisfactory ride for the Prime Minister.

        • Anne

          My response too. I have a vague recollection some witness claimed at the time it was speeding at 170km but it was subsequently disproved. But hey… who cares what the experts might say. Lets believe some partisan bystander.

          • Jenny Kirk

            Anne – I came on here just now to see if anyone else had picked up on Scott Campbell’s comments and to query it too. I’ll back you up – he was quite specific – beehive staffers wrote on The Standard during Helen Clark’s time. Pity viewers weren’t told Campbell is standing in a Nat seat next time.

            I thought the speed Helen’s car was doing was 130 km, or was that the Gov-Gen getting ticketed ?

            • Anne

              Thanks Jenny. That was the correct expression “beehive staffers” . Did you hear him make reference to not mentioning any names or was that a figment of my imagination? Whatever… it was a blatant piece of lying and political tr@**ing on TV.

              He needs to be publicly rebuked by lprent – and other authors – to put the crap to rest once and for all.

              The irony is: this blog didn’t get up and running until around a year before the 2008 election, and blogging was so much in it’s infancy in those days I doubt the so-called beehive staffers even knew of it existence.

              • Jenny Kirk

                Yes – he did say something about “not mentioning any names” . And I thought this blog was fairly new which was why I came on to query Campbell’s comments. Maybe Lprent or others could do a twitter onto Lisa Owen’s twitter in reponse.

              • ankerawshark

                Is there a possibility that Scott could be sent a lawyers letter with lots of publicity around it threatening him with defamation?

                I have very little knowledge of the law, but if someone goes on National tv and claims something that is untrue, this needs to be dealt to severely.

            • Anne

              Yes, 130 km was my recollection too.

              • Murray Rawshark

                128.5 km/h was the average speed over the whole journey. Given that the fastest stretch was done at an average speed of 152 km/h, 170 km/h would have been reached at some stage. They probably made the mistake of driving past some guy who got a free irrigation set up installed in 2009.

          • felix

            Was it a witness with a microwave speed detector? Or just a balding divorced middle-aged small business owner with radar vision?

            On whaleoil and kiwiblog the motorcade speed got up to 200k.

            • Te Reo Putake

              I believe that’s technically known as warp speed.

              • greywarshark

                “I thought Dr Brown said ’88 Miles Per Hour!’ in Back to the Future as being the breakthrough to the netherworld. Perhaps Helen achieved that and has been travelling in a parallel universe ever since. Perhaps that is why everything is sooooooooo strange these days. Perhaps…… that is why twerps can go on TV and make up things on the spot and be treated as if they are people of worth and importance.
                (By the way Jenny I used one of the icons I put up the other day. Good in this case don’t you think.)

            • Anne

              Helen must have been rocking around in the back seat like a drunken sailor. Couldn’t have got much paper work done…

              • Chooky

                lol…i thought she didnt have much to do with the speed …she had her head in her paper work as per usual and would have ignored the rough ride ….and let the drivers do their job

                ….however being men of course they would have thought they would have had to have broken the sound barrier in order to get their boss to the rugby match on time….they were just doing what they thought was a good job…lol…and she was just catching up on her paper work

              • Murray Rawshark

                You don’t rock around on straight roads. There are a lot of them down there.

            • Murray Rawshark

              Quite possible. Those guys are trained to drive at that sort of speed. I was riding along up north once at 180 km/h and a car full of AOS members passed me like I was going backwards. I also had the strange experience of a race through the desert road with a traffic cop who was taking a Holden modified for pursuit up to Auckland. It was his idea. I hit 200 in a few places, but on the straights he was going much faster. I caught him through the twisty bits though. It was all very surreal and at Turangi he thanked me.

              Whoever reported Helen’s motorcade was a bloody idiot Tory who should have minded their own business. Unless it was Pete George, who has probably never exceed 50 km/h, they would have probably done the same thing themselves.

              • Chooky

                lol…i agree….on a straight long emptyish road it is easy to speed and hardly notice the acceleration

      • David H 6.2.6

        I thought that’s what he said.

      • Tracey 6.2.7

        did they say he was a former nat candidate

        • Jenny Kirk

          Nope. I thought he was a “genuine” objective panellist. More fool me !

          • Tracey

            worth a broadcasting complaint?

          • karol

            Dear gods. I asked question of The Nation about it, and got harassed by a rightie with the why are the left bothering continuing with Dirty Politics attacks- didn’t work in the election – voters didn’t go for it .

            I answered in several tweets.

            Went out, came back…. my twitter stream is full of that guy and another – claiming the left smear and wear dirt – plus “how did Labour know to ask question about Slater txting Key?” kind of lines.

            • Anne

              Here is the panel discussion: Scott’s claims are at 6 minutes in.


              He starts with the words: I’m not going to name anyone… then he starts on TS and Helen Clark.

              • Anne

                Damm can’t edit: He starts with the words: I won’t drop anyone’s name in it (course he won’t because it didn’t happen) then goes on to talk about Beehive staffers under Helen Clark writing posts for TS. It’s in response to Nicky Hager talking about Key’s staff ( Jason Ede and co.) wrote attack posts and sent them to Slater to publish under his name.

                If he’s referring to Mike Smith, he wrote under his own name and was open and transparent about his background. Plus, I don’t think he was ever a Beehive staffer. He worked at Labour HQ.

  7. joe90 7

    Oh dear.

    Nigel Farage’s local Ukip branch has rebuked the BBC for its ingrained liberal bias in holding a straw poll on the party leader in front of a London mosque. The mosque in question was Westminster Cathedral.



  8. Michael 8

    Interesting article in the NY Times about Dirty Politics, Nats, spying, civil liberty suppression in NZ & Aus.


    • Sans Cle 8.1

      Thanks for link. Seeing as National is withstanding pressure from within NZ, perhaps more international spotlights on their actions could change their modus operandi. I would love to see Russell Brand’s perspective on NZ politics. He would have a field day.

  9. Sirenia 9

    On those straight south Canterbury roads in a powerful car it would be easy to speed to 130km (which I think it was). If Helen had been working in the back seat she would have likely not noticed.
    BTW Scott Campbell was on Banks mayoral campaign team – so from the right.

    • Paul 9.1

      Predictable that the media use right wingers to get viewpoints.
      Biased as ever.

    • aerobubble 9.2

      Police have a duty to protect the PM, speed kills. So the problem was one of speaking truth to power. Nobody wanted to tell the PM she would miss the Rugby. The idea that the people around the PM conspired to expose the PM to harm is un:-) conciousable. Just as its stupid for Key to expose himself to Slater. Wiser heads would tell politicians what they dont want to hear.

    • kenny 9.3

      Especially in a top-notch BMW.

  10. Clemgeopin 10

    Mars One News:

    Lights, camera…action! These are very exciting times for the candidates due to the fact that the Mars One round 2 candidate interviews are just around the corner. From the original 202,586 applicants, only 663 remaining candidates will be interviewed. This interview is the next step in narrowing down the list of possible candidates flying to Mars!

    The Interview Process:


  11. Penny Bright 11

    FYI folks ……………………

    Is this why the former Leader of the Labour Party, Phil Goff, was effectively stitched up – then hung out to dry – to help stop him asking HARD questions in the House about these and related matters?


    Report: Israeli killed in New Zealand earthquake was Mossad agent

    Local media reports Ofer Mizrahi, killed in the Christchurch earthquake in February, was part of a team trying to infiltrate sensitive computer systems.

    By Sefi Krupsky

    Published 23:27 19.07.11

    New Zealand security officials suspect Israeli Mossad agents were trying to obtain sensitive information from the state’s databases, reported the local Southland Times newspaper on Tuesday. Authorities suspect that one of the agents was Ofer Mizrahi, one of three Israelis killed in the earthquake in the city of Christchurch last February.

    Authorities have launched an investigation into what a senior security official called “suspicious activities of several groups of Israelis during and immediately after the earthquake.”

    There was extensive local media coverage of the search teams that were sent from Israel after the earthquake. The two private search parties were sent without prior coordination with officials in Jerusalem, and were met with difficulties after the local authorities prevented them from searching in the area.

    The report claims Israel’s reaction to the casualties and missing Israeli citizens was unprecedented. For example, Prime Minister John Key, who is Jewish, spoke with his counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu four times the day of the earthquake. The report also claims that Israeli ambassador Shemi Tzur , who is posted in the capital Wellington, immediately ordered plane tickets to Christchurch. Furthermore, Home Front Defense Minister Matan Vilnai also left immediately for the disaster-struck city.

    The three Israelis who survived the car crash that killed Mizrai fled the scene and left him behind, the report continues, saying Mizrahi had five passports. New Zealand security services suspected he was a Mossad agent after the Israeli search party took interest in his many passports and after his three friends’ quick departure back to Israel. Security services also took note that a Facebook page set up in remembrance of Mizrahi has only five “likes.”

    Shemi Tzur, the Israeli ambassador in Wellington, denied the allegations and dismissed them as “science fiction.”



    Identity theft may have been Israelis’ goal – analyst

    New Zealand passports are “extremely valuable” and it is most likely four Israelis in Christchurch at the time of the February 22 quake were on an identity-theft mission, a political risk consultant says.

    Israeli national Ofer Mizrahi was killed in the quake and the three friends he was with fled the country 12 hours later.

    Prime Minister John Key has confirmed Mizrahi was carrying five passports but refused to go into further detail.

    Paul Buchanan, who has worked at the Pentagon and trained intelligence officers in the United States, said it was suspicious that one of the Israelis was carrying multiple passports and that his friends left New Zealand so shortly after he was killed.

    He believed the four Israelis were probably on a “trolling mission” searching for identities they could steal.

    “Because of New Zealand’s international reputation the passports are extremely valuable for intelligence services. New Zealand has this reputation for independence and autonomy… people trust New Zealand,” he said.

    “The passports would have been used for very covert activities – nothing light.”

    He said those activities could include assassinations.

    Buchanan said it was unlikely they were Mossad agents because they were too young and Mossad agents would be involved in more high-level operations.

    “However they may be recruits for the service and this might have been one of the tasks they needed to do, operating as sayanins, which is the Hebrew word for helper,” he said.

    “That is likely what these people were and the question then comes – why were they specifically in Christchurch?

    “It could well be in the aftermath of the first September quake that the decision was made to go into the damaged city and see if they could access public records or identity banks that would allow them to use the name of a living New Zealander who does not travel, or a dead one that could be falsified and put on to passports.”

    The police national computer had been under scrutiny since a Security Intelligence Service officer described the suspicious activities of several groups of Israelis during, and immediately after, the earthquake.

    Three Israelis, including Mizrahi, were among the 181 people who died in the earthquake.

    Israel showed immediate interest in the quake, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu calling Key four times on the day.

    An unaccredited Israeli search and rescue squad was later confronted by armed New Zealand police and removed from the sealed-off “red zone” of the central city.

    Another Israeli group, a forensic analysis team sent by the Israeli government, was welcomed in Christchurch and worked on victim identification in the morgue.

    When it was realised the forensic analysts could have accessed the national police computer database, an urgent security audit was ordered.

    Two Israelis were arrested in 2004 for stealing the identity of an Aucklander with cerebral palsy to fraudulently obtain a passport.

    Tony Resnick, a former paramedic with St John Ambulance, was also believed to have been involved. He spent some time working in Israel and was a “person of interest” to police. He resigned from his job and left the country without warning in March 2004.

    Buchanan said Resnick had access to official records and it was likely that if the Israelis in Christchurch were trying to obtain New Zealand passports they would also have had a relationship with someone who had access to government records.

    “It would have had to have been such a person known as a handler in Christchurch because the sayanins wouldn’t have had the local knowledge,” he said.

    “They had to have had a handler and I have no doubt the SIS will be looking for that person who will more than likely be Jewish.”

    He said it would have only taken “minutes” for the handler to copy information on to an external hard drive.



    John Roughan: Would Key expose Israeli spies

    5:30 AM Saturday Aug 6, 2011


    If agents of any foreign power are found to be in this country for a clandestine purpose unknown to the New Zealand Government, it seems to me to be in the national interest that they are exposed.

    The present Government, I suspect, takes a different view, and one that accords with advice it receives from its diplomatic and intelligence services.

    In this view, the national interest is better served by adhering to the expectations of the Western alliance – or at least its English-speaking members who share intelligence with us.

    Led by the United States, the Anglophone club remains fairly sympathetic to Israel and never looks kindly on its smallest, flakiest member breaking ranks.

    When two Israelis were jailed in New Zealand in 2004 for attempting to obtain our passports fraudulently, the US ambassador to Wellington sent the State Department an extraordinary cable, which emerged in the WikiLeaks disclosures last year.

    Then ambassador Charles Swindells said: “The Clark Government’s overly strong reaction suggests [it] sees this flap as an opportunity to bolster its credibility with the Arab community.”

    We don’t get astute US representation here.

    According to a security commentator in an Israeli newspaper that year, Mossad had approached the SIS to try to get the incident handled quietly but Helen Clark would not play along.

    “She refused to let the debris be cleared out of sight and insisted the two suspects be prosecuted on relatively stiff charges,” wrote Ze’ev Schiff in Haaretz.

    What, I wonder, would Key have done? His party watched that incident from Opposition and said nothing.

    Doubtless it issued a token statement or two but nothing memorable, nothing really angry or disgusted.

    So forgive my lingering suspicion. It is always hard to believe secret agents could find anything to do in this country, but then I’d never have believed a French unit would come all this way to sabotage a Greenpeace protest. Secrecy gives free rein to some oddballs.

    Israel’s agents and authorised killers obviously find English-speaking identities useful. Three of the squad that assassinated a Hamas commander in a Dubai hotel last year were using Australian passports. Others had British and Irish passports.

    Another said to be involved had been an accomplice of the pair arrested in New Zealand.

    I’d like to visit Arab countries one day. I’d like to trust this Government to protect the integrity of my passport. But I don’t.

    Penny Bright

  12. Penny Bright 12

    Have YOU read THIS section of the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security Cheryl Gwyn’s report??!!

    Whose ‘national interests’ were John Key, as Prime Minister responsible for the SIS, and Leader of the National Party responsible for the Office of the Prime Minister; blogger Cameron Slater, the (then) Director of the SIS Warren Tucker. and the National politically partisan Deputy Chief of Staff of the Office of the Prime Minister, Phil de Joux – effectively serving?

    The ‘national interests’ of New Zealand – or the ‘national interests’ of Israel?

    “Dr Tucker went on to comment specifically that Mr Goff would have problems “in terms of wider credibility”, that he would now be unable to pursue the Israeli point in the House and that he would need to “call off” and “rein in” Ms Street and the Hon Annette King MP.”

    These are the findings of the Inspector-General of Security and Intelligence, Cheryl Gywn:

    Report into the release of information by the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service in July and August 2011


    Discussions with the Leader of the Opposition arising from Mr Slater’s OIA request, 27 July

    186. On 27 July, as discussed above at paragraphs 92-99, the Director called the Leader of the Opposition to inform him of the OIA request by Mr Slater and the response by NZSIS.

    The issue of political neutrality arises in respect of four aspects of that discussion.

    187. First, the discussions proceeded on the assumption by the Director that he need only inform the Leader of the Opposition of the request and response. Further, the Director does not appear to have considered there to be any material question under s 4AA.

    188. Second, as detailed at paragraphs 92-99 above, the Director engaged with the Leader of the Opposition in a functionally inadequate way.

    189. Third, the Director indicated to the Leader of the Opposition that he understood Mr Slater to be a “private individual” and, while Mr Goff explained that Mr Slater was a prolific and politically active blogger who was pursuing the issue for a political purpose, the Director did not act on that information. If he had done so:

     it would have indicated that Mr Slater was either part of or closely engaged with the news media, and that would have been a further cause to question the differential treatment of media inquiries and Mr Slater’s request;

     the knowledge that Mr Slater was likely to be pursuing political purposes would have provided a further cause to question whether he and/or the NZSIS might need to take steps to maintain the political neutrality of the NZSIS.

    190. The Director ought then to have recognised that it would not be consistent with political neutrality to give Mr Slater what was in effect an exclusive story while denying a large number of parallel news media requests.

    191. The Director ought also to have responded to the Leader of the Opposition’s concern that the information to be released would be misinterpreted. The Director said that he thought at the time that Mr Goff’s concern was “fanciful”. That was not a sound conclusion when the information is considered objectively. Dr Tucker did not check the point after the conversation or ask any of his staff to do so. No advice or further inquiry

    – such as reading the blog posts that Mr Slater had already made in respect of Mr Goff –was made.

    192. Finally, the Leader of the Opposition raised the concern that the disclosure of details ofa meeting between himself and the Director would be without precedent and, given thedifferences in their recollections of that meeting, would be damaging both specifically and to the overall practice of such meetings. This was not considered further in any way by the Director, despite the obvious gravity of the issue.

    Further discussion with PMO

    193. Following his conversation with the Leader of the Opposition, the Director advised Mrde Joux of the delay in the OIA release to Mr Slater and went on to discuss the wider context of that release. I was able to obtain a transcript of that conversation:

    TUCKER: [Mr Goff] said ‘Can I have a few days, please, to think about it?’ I said, ‘Well, I could give you a couple of days’ …

    DE JOUX: Look, Warren, I think we should give him some space.

    TUCKER: Well, what I said was … ‘I wouldn’t want to leave it much beyond about close of play Monday, but let’s do that. I’ll hold it until then.’ So, I’ve agreed to do that, I wanted to inform you about that.

    DE JOUX: Ok.

    TUCKER: … He’s going to consult with his own team. I think what it does mean, though, is that he is clearly very nervous about where this puts him.

    DE JOUX: Well, he shouldn’t have lied.

    TUCKER: No, no, I know, but now he’s in a hole. Anyway, but what it does mean is he will call off the Annette Kings and Marian Streets … (sic)

    DE JOUX: He’s going to have to.

    TUCKER: And he won’t be using it politically in the House, either – parliamentary questions – so, I think, part of his you know, can I have a few days please, gives him order to, sort of, reign (sic) in his own …

    DE JOUX: Absolutely but he will have wider problems.

    TUCKER: Yeah, he will in terms of overall credibility. … But anyway, I have agreed to hold it till Monday, and if he still needs another day or two, I will do that, but I don’t want to leave it … Are you happy with that?

    DE JOUX: Yeah, I am happy with that.

    TUCKER: Very good. Thanks, Phil.

    194. I have discussed the specific point of the delay above at paragraphs 95-99. Two further significant points arise from the standpoint of political neutrality:

     Again, the Director did not mention the apparent resolution at the 25 July meeting with Mr Goff or that Mr Goff’s public remarks were consistent with the outcome of that meeting. He also did not contradict Mr de Joux’s description of Mr Goff as having “lied”. The published comments by Maryan Street MP, to which Dr Tucker refers, were also consistent with the outcome of the 25 July P a g e | 59 meeting, including comments that she too did not question Dr Tucker’s word that
    the Israeli issue had been raised at the 14 March meeting.

     Dr Tucker went on to comment specifically that Mr Goff would have problems “in terms of wider credibility”, that he would now be unable to pursue the Israeli point in the House and that he would need to “call off” and “rein in” Ms Street and the Hon Annette King MP.

    195. I address the appropriateness of these remarks at paragraph 247.

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption whistle-blower / Public Watchdog’

    • Chooky 12.1

      +100 thanks Penny….quite shocking seen altogether…..seems there is a lot that has been going on under cover in New Zealand under John Key’s watch….and a lot more that needs investigation and exposure

      Labour Party needs to be hammering this!…Royal Commission of Inquiry?

    • Weepus beard 12.2

      Jesus, that is bad.

      Tucker to de Joux: Are you happy with that?


      • Anne 12.2.1

        If I was Phil Goff, I would be considering legal action. He had both his professional and personal reputation severely tarnished by the affair. I might have considered the formal apology from Ms Kitteridge sufficient had she not also “apologised” to John Key. If I was Goff, I would regard that as an insult. HE was the victim not Key.

        Since Goff and Labour only needed 10,000 more votes to win that election they payed a huge price for the cheating and dishonesty of John Key and his staff (of course Key was in on it – plus I bet Slater has the proof) and the connivance of the former SIS Director.

        • Paul

          It’s close to Bush winning Florida in 2000.
          Getting close to a coup d’état

        • Chooky

          +100 Anne…they did Phil Goff over and Labour’s chances of Election 2011…it is really corruption by both government under John Key and SIS …..Labour should seriously be thinking about NOT letting this go…otherwise other political parties on the Left and New Zealanders will be the victims of more of the same!

  13. Paul 13

    ‘How is John Key going to spin this one?

    Apart from the obvious question of why Key is in communication with Slater at all, why does he feel the need to be courteous to a man whose brand is so toxic and vile, he finds nothing wrong in publicly calling a passenger who died in a car crash, a “feral” who did the “world a favour”?

    Slater may have served a purpose for the National Party once, but no good can come of his association now.’


  14. Weepus beard 14

    BFM’s Chloe Swarbrick interviewing the goat shooter on Thursday. Listen, if you dare…

    [audio src="http://www.95bfm.com/assets/sm/218987/3/cameronslater.mp3" /]

  15. Weepus beard 15

    My question in parliament if I was a member of parliament:

    Are Andrew Little’s communications currently being surveilled , or are they likely to be surveilled under the new SIS legislation passed under urgency this week?

    After all, Andrew Little clearly has a chip on his shoulder according to Chris Finlayson.

    It’s a question with two parts so best to not ask John Key who seems to be able to answer just one question at a time.

  16. weka 16

    Trotter on Little’s start at reframing economics in NZ (UBI, Robertson)

    To the Greens he is saying: “You might want to taihoa on that shift to the centre you lot are so obviously contemplating because, unlike David Cunliffe’s, my radicalism tends towards the practical and specific.

    In other words: how does Labour make sure that a rising tide of economic growth lifts more than just the luxury yachts?

    Little has strongly hinted that the answer to that question does not lie in the introduction of a Capital Gains Tax, or raising the age of eligibility for superannuation from 65 to 67. New policies, based on the electorate’s most urgent needs, is what Little has asked for, and his promise to review the Shadow Cabinet’s performance in 12 months’ time strongly suggests that he means to get them. Little’s colleagues would be wise to assume that his threshold for failure is set a lot lower than his predecessors’.


    • Weepus beard 16.1

      Trotter is all over the place. Loves to paint a picture, but it is not a picture that is consistent with a real person’s experience day in day out.

      The last thing I liked about Trotter’s work was the one about Bill English looking out of his warm, fire-lit house at the have-nots.

      Since then it has been all about balance, like John Armstrong.

      Trotter needs to ask himself this: If my words are being posted by Slater in order to help his hate-filled cause, am I doing the right thing?

    • Cave Johnson 16.2

      The most urgent needs are an increase in the minimum wage and an end to zero hours contracts, and why not throw in compulsory time-and-a-half penalty rates >40 hours while I’m at it.

  17. Cave Johnson 17

    I’m still curious who will be the likely contenders for Labour party president. Any ideas? I see there’s nothing on ipredict.

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    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today made the commitment that all her government’s election advertising will be in question form, ensuring a “robust?” but “fair?” campaign in which there would be no risk of the Labour Party making any misleading statements. Ardern has spent the last two weeks strongly emphasizing her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    8 hours ago
  • Winston Peters claims vindication after not being charged in National Party SFO investigation
    Today’s boastful press conference hearkens back to 2012, when New Zealand First celebrated not being charged in relation to the murder of Scott Guy. New Zealand First leader and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is claiming total exoneration this afternoon after the Serious Fraud Office did not charge him with ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    10 hours ago
  • Charged
    The Serious Fraud Office has filed charges against four people over National's donations scam. No-one has been named yet, because name suppression hasn't been dealt with yet, so I guess we'll just have to wait for completely coincidental resignations (cough name suppressed cough) to see if any of them are ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    12 hours ago
  • So much for raising the retirement age
    For the past twenty years, the right has plotted to raise the retirement age, supposedly because preventing old people from starving to death is "unsustainable". Of course, it would also let them deliver an enormous tax cut to their cronies, which tells us that its financial sustainability is simply a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    12 hours ago
  • A squandered opportunity
    Late last year, in the face of economic bad news, the government announced a massive $12 billion infrastructure spending programme to keep the economy ticking over. Given shortages of housing and public transport, and the pressing need to decarbonise our economy, this could have been a massive opportunity to fix ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    15 hours ago
  • The coronavirus outbreak: what is R0?
    There are a few misunderstandings about the coronavirus outbreak from Wuhan getting around. Below is a short explanation of one of them: what is R0, and what does it mean. Current estimates for R0 centre around the mid 2s—call it 2.5 or thereabouts—not the higher values some are scare-mongering online. ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    20 hours ago
  • Global warming is happening here and now
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Signs of global warming are being observed all over our planet. Thermometers measure surface warming. Buoys sunk to ocean depths measure heat building up in our oceans. Ice is melting across our planet, with ice sheets crumbling and glaciers ...
    1 day ago
  • Whiteness, class and the white working class
    This essay by Kenan Malik, on the controversy over the funding of scholarships for white working class boys, was originally published in the Observer on 5 January 2020, under the headline‘Bursaries don’t help when it’s not their colour that thwarts these boys’. There is a scene in Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • We have a date
    The Prime Minister has just announced the election date as 19 September. So, its a Suffrage Day election, and well before the Trump hits the fan in the US. The no-longer-new practice of announcing the election date well in advance is good, and puts everyone on a more even footing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • With the En-ROADS climate simulator, you can build your own solutions to global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections Killer hurricanes, devastating wildfires, melting glaciers, and sunny-day flooding in more and more coastal areas around the world have birthed a fatalistic view cleverly dubbed by Mary Annaïse Heglar of the Natural Resources Defense Council as “de-nihilism“. One manifestation: An increasing number of ...
    2 days ago
  • The coronavirus outbreak in China: what a difference a week makes
    When it comes to emerging infectious diseases and outbreaks, so much can happen in a week. In the case of the coronavirus outbreak in China, I’ve gone from not being too alarmed, to thinking “oh, crap!”. But that still doesn’t mean we should all panic. As I’m writing this on ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • National cries wolf over Coronavirus
    Opposition MP Michael WoodhouseLast week, the current National Party leader, Simon Bridges, claimed that the Minister of Health wasn’t leading on ‘significant issues that matter to New Zealanders within his Health portfolio’ when commenting about the Government’s response to the Coronavirus outbreak.This silly comment was made despite David Clark working ...
    3 days ago
  • Fluoridation and sex steroid hormones – or the mouse that roared
    All the recent research anti-fluoride campaigners promote as “evidence” of harm from community water fluoridation amount to cherry-picking a very few statistically significant results from a large number of non-significant results. The whole exercise is a bit like the “Mouse that Roared.” Credit: The Mouse that Roared – TMTR Intro ...
    3 days ago
  • Leave Neve alone
    Neve Te Aroha Gayford at RatanaI’m sure I’m not the only one to notice that the Ratana birthday celebrations this year were a well-attended event that went off without much of a hitch. This is in stark contrast to previous years, where some form of controversy has usually taken centre ...
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #4
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 19, 2020 through Sat, Jan 25, 2020 Editor's Pick The companies that have contributed most to climate change Thought-provoking readings on those most responsible for the pollution. Sometimes, ...
    4 days ago
  • The swimming pool paradox
    It’s another warm day, but the breeze isn’t helping much, so off I go to the inviting outdoor swimming pool (banner picture) at the other end of campus. It’s an unheated pool (well, there’s no artificial heat source), which means one thing: It’s going to feel cold when I get ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    5 days ago
  • 100 seconds to midnight
    The Doomsday Clock is a tracker created by he Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for how close we are to global destruction. Created in 1947, it got worse as the Cold War started, then improved as it cooled down, then got worse again as Ronald Reagan tried to confront the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A multitude of drops: Social tipping points in climate action
    If you’re here, you probably know that the climate crisis is upon us, that it’s getting steadily worse, and that attempts to address it haven’t worked yet. People are still driving and even advertising SUVs with impunity, and oil companies are exploring like crazy, even in New Zealand. Politically, socially, ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • The Thoughtful Mr Parker.
    Stunningly Wrong-Headed: So blinded are the “left-wing” believers in free markets and free trade (like Trade Minister, David Parker) that even when they are staring directly at the wreckage of the lives and communities which these “unconscionable freedoms” (to borrow Marx’s telling phrase) have left in their wake, they cannot ...
    6 days ago
  • What’s the problem with all science being “done” in English?
    I’ve been listening to a wonderful podcast this morning which left me thinking. The podcast was a 30-min well-spent break, in the company of Daniel Midgley and Michael Gordin.  You might know Daniel Midgley from the Talk the Talk linguistics podcast. Michael Gordin is the author of “Scientific Babel”, which ...
    SciBlogsBy Andreea Calude
    6 days ago
  • Snakeflu?! An intriguing source suggested for new Chinese coronavirus
    The whole world is on edge over a coronavirus outbreak that started in early December in Wuhan City, China. The virus is thought to have first infected people working at a seafood and live animal market. So what could the original source have been? There’s no official word yet, but ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Simon’s Philippine jaunt: #LittleBoysPlayingToughguys
    Not too far back, Simon Bridges the Leader of the Opposition and National Party, went on an excursion to China. This was arranged not by MFAT (NZ’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade), but by their MP Jian Yang – a man who also just happened to “forget to mention” ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Will Turia ever forgive Labour?
    Dame Tariana Turia with former PM John KeyWhat is it about Tariana Turia’s grudge against the Labour Party? Not content with attacking the Government over Whānau Ora funding, which was increased by $80 million in 2019, she has now made it personal by saying that Jacinda Ardern is out of her ...
    7 days ago
  • What are the recent fluoride-IQ studies really saying about community water fluoridation?
    Scaremongering graphic currently being promoted by Declan Waugh who is well known for misrepresenting the fluoride science This graphic is typical of current anti-fluoride propaganda. It is scare-mongering, in that it is aimed at undermining community ...
    7 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #3, 2020
    Biography of a policy metric Bård Lahn performs a sweeping literature review to present the history of our notion of a "global carbon budget" and how this number has come  to encapsulate a massive amount of scientific research into a useful, easily grasped tool in our policy skill set.  A ...
    7 days ago
  • Oxfam Report: Time to Care – Unpaid and underpaid care work and the global inequality crisis
    January 2020 Economic inequality is out of control. In 2019, the world’s billionaires, only 2,153 people, had more wealth than 4.6 billion people. This great divide is based on a flawed and sexist economic system that values the wealth of the privileged few, mostly men, more than the billions of ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • How to avoid being a cunt to hospo workers’
    Working hospo is hard mahi for many reasons, from long hours and gruelling high-volume weekends to customers who treat us as their servants. There are always lovely and polite customers who treat hospo workers with respect and kindness but, throughout my 15-years in the biz, I’ve collected a number of ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • 2019-nCoV (the new coronavirus): Should we be concerned, and will there be a vaccine?
    Probably yes to both but don’t panic yet. There is a plan. What is this virus? 2019 novel coronavirus, aka 2019-nCoV, belongs to a family of viruses called coronavirus. These are very common viruses that infect a wide range of animals including humans and can cause mild to severe disease, ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    1 week ago
  • The Chinese coronavirus outbreak: what are the options for vaccines and treatments?
    By now you’ve probably heard of the coronavirus outbreak that started in Wuhan City, China. The number of cases is rising, up to about 300 with six deaths. Cases have been reported in several more Chinese cities, including Beijing and Shanghai, as well as in Japan, Thailand, and South Korea. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • Educating New Zealand’s future workforce
    Judy Kavanagh Do you remember your first day at school? The education I received was for a very different world than the world of today. Along with huge social shifts there have been big changes in the New Zealand economy and the work people do. There are occupations unheard of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A casual attitude towards transparency
    Back in December, when the government was introducing new secrecy legislation on an almost daily basis, I posted about the Infrastructure Funding and Financing Bill. The Bill establishes a new class of public entity, "special purpose vehicles", which collect and spend public money and enjoy statutory powers. Despite this, they ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Against a carbon bailout
    If we are to avoid making the planet uninhabitable, we need to cut carbon emisisons fast. Which basicly means putting the fossil fuel industry - coal, gas, and oil - out of business. But this means that the banks and other lenders who have bankrolled the industry's environmental destruction will ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Still a criminal industry
    More evidence that the fishing industry suffers from pervasive criminality, with Forest & Bird highlighting some odd numbers in the annual statistics:The Annual Review Report For Highly Migratory Species Fisheries 2018/19 (Pg 4, Table 4) showed only 4% of commercial long lining trips for tuna and swordfish reported non-fish bycatch ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Controversy? Or Manufactroversy?
    A few days ago, New Zealand’s Minister of Education announced the wider release of a resource on climate change, which was initially trialled at a Christchurch school during 2018. According to the Minister, children will learn about “the role science plays in understanding climate change, aids understanding of both the response ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 week ago
  • The emerging coronavirus outbreak in China
    By now you’ve probably heard of the new virus causing an outbreak of severe pneumonia in China. The question on most people’s minds is, how worried should we be, especially as hundreds of millions of people will soon be travelling across China and beyond to visit family for the Lunar ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • How did climate change get so controversial?
    An excerpt from the book Cranky Uncle vs. Climate Change, released Feb 25. Our human brain is poorly equipped to deal with a threat like climate change. Over millions of years, we’ve evolved to avoid life-threatening dangers like predators jumping out of bushes. We’ve survived by quickly detecting and avoiding immediate, short-term ...
    1 week ago
  • Farmers are ruining Canterbury’s rivers
    Its summer, so people naturally want to go for a swim. But in South Canterbury, you can't, because the rivers are full of toxic goo:As of Monday, the Waihi River at Wilson Street footbridge, Geraldine, the Waihao River at Bradshaws Bridge, and three spots on the Opihi River - at ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Sack Shane Jones
    Late last year, NZ First was caught trying to enrich itself from public office, with a dodgy forestry company linked to a number of NZ First figures sticking its hand out repeatedly for government money. Regional Economic Development Minister shane Jones' "explanations" were patently unconvincing, and his recusal from deciding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BIG idea physics
    This morning I’ve been having a quick look through some documentation from The Ministry of Education on proposed changes to NCEA Level 1 Science. For those not familiar with the NZ secondary education system, a typical student would complete NCEA level 1 at the end of year 11.  In this ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • Revolution in New Zealand? Not Even Close!
    No Fires Thanks, We're Kiwis: For the moment, in those close-to-home places where revolutions are born, there may be tetchiness and resentment, frustration and complaint, but nowhere is anybody uttering the cry that will bring a New Zealand revolution into being: “We have found the way to make tomorrow better ...
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3
    Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... 'It's heart-wrenching': 80% of Blue Mountains and 50% of ...
    1 week ago
  • Britain exits the European Union and takes a sharp right turn
    by John Smith  Britain’s exit from the imperialist bloc known as the European Union (EU) is now irreversible. The crushing electoral defeat of the Labour Party has dismayed many workers and youth who had placed their hopes in Jeremy Corbyn, its left-wing leader. This article assesses these historic events, neither of which ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 12, 2020 through Sat, Jan 18, 2020 Editor's Pick The Past and the Future of the Earth’s Oldest Trees Bristlecone pines have survived various catastrophes over the millennia, and they ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections, and has been adapted into a new myth rebuttal on climate-wildfire connections with the short URL sks.to/wildfires Australia’s frightening bushfires, which kicked off an early fire season in September 2019, have already had cataclysmic effects, and the continent is still just in the early ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Gender Identity Ideology – A Partial Bibliography of Online Coverage
    This great resource has been contributed to Redline by Janie Doebuck. Janie made some notes on the bibliography: 1) It is by no means exhaustive. There are tons more gender critical posts, essays, articles, podcasts, youtube videos, etc. online. 2) There are links in the bibliography that are behind paywalls. There ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • About those biased Oscar Nominations
    There’s been a lot written about the 2020 Oscar Nominations and their apparent lack of diversity. It’s true, there are in fact no women nominated for the Best Director and very few nominees of colour across the board. But is this a result of a biased process or a symptom ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How New Zealand media reports chronic pain
    Hemakumar Devan Around three million New Zealanders access news media (both paper and online) every week. Yes, you heard that right! So, the potential for news media to shape public health beliefs is common sense. As chronic pain affects one in five New Zealanders, we wanted to find out how ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Still Waiting For American Democracy.
    Unfinished Republic: Though the United States' crimes against democracy are legion, most Americans are blissfully unaware of them. The brutal realities of American life: the officially sanctioned violence; the refusal to hold racists accountable for their actions; the seemingly endless tragedy of African-American suffering; of which White America is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • In Outrage Over Its Bunk Science, Goop Finds Fuel for Growth
    Michael Schulson For years, experts have said that Goop, the wellness and lifestyle brand founded by the actor and entrepreneur Gwyneth Paltrow, markets pseudoscience and overblown cures. And for years, despite the criticism, Goop has just kept growing. Now the company, which was valued at $250 million in 2018, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Tobacco Excise Taxes and the Smokefree 2025 Goal: Some Ways Forward
    Janet Hoek, Richard Edwards, George Thomson, Andrew Waa, Nick Wilson Debate over tobacco tax increases has intensified as research indicates potentially conflicting policy directions. On the one hand, excise tax increases continue to stimulate quit attempts among smokers yet, on the other hand, they may lead to financial hardship for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020
    Conflation and how to fix it VIa AMS,  Raul Lejano looks at what in a layperson's thinking would be called conflation— confusion and blending of entirely different topics— when people think about climate change. Ideology and the Narrative of Skepticism  (open access) starts with some arguably frightening false connections between the science and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘Cranky Uncle’ smart phone game will show you how to disarm climate deniers
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward (Image: Courtesy of John Cook) When it comes to climate change, it seems every family has its own version of the proverbial Cranky Uncle. An uncle, cousin, grandparent, in-law, neighbor, whatever. Just think back to the recent holiday season’s large ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Science in the ’20s – part 1
      Outrageous, immoral or downright dangerous. That’s a description of the lifestyle of women “flappers” in the 1920s. Could it apply to science (and scientists) in the 2020s? Actually, you could look back at the past decade and see those, or similar terms, used about some science and scientists. Sometimes ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    2 weeks ago
  • Postscript: Citizenship Granted.
    I am pleased to say that I have been granted NZ citizenship. I need to do the ceremony for things to be official, but the application was a success. I now join my son as a dual NZ-US citizen. To be fair, very little will change other than the fact ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Music: Morales is coming
    It will be no secret to longtime readers that I, Russell Brown, love the disco.   So I'm pretty excited by the fact that one of the greats of the game is returning this summer – and also pleased to say I have tickets to give away.Legendary mixer and DJ ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The WHO Vaccine Safety Summit – from someone who was actually there
    The conspiracy I saw a new conspiracy theory flying around the other day. According to the conspiracy (that seems to originate from Del Bigtree), the World Health Organization have been ‘caught on camera’ questioning the safety of vaccines. Gosh this sounds as though someone was a mole at a ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 weeks ago
  • The timely death of the British Labour Party
    Below is an article submitted to Redline by Alec Abbott  At its inception, the British Labour Party was a vehicle for the propagation of racist and imperialist views within the working-class. Such views are still widespread in the party, as they are in Europe’s Social-Democratic parties, though, in the case of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Mystery China pneumonia outbreak likely caused by new human coronavirus
    Connor Bamford, Queen’s University Belfast Since December 2019, there has been a cluster of 59 cases of pneumonia in Wuhan, eastern China. The pneumonia is associated with a previously unidentified coronavirus related to the deadly SARS virus. Seven of those cases are thought to be serious, and one person – ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Yes, koalas are cute – but should we bring them to NZ? Errm, no
    It’s been hard to miss the extreme fires raging across Australia and the tragic plight of the animals – human and otherwise – affected by the fires’ insatiable spread. I know I’ve been captivated and concerned by the tales of how Australia’s famous wildlife has been coping. Koalas approaching cyclists ...
    SciBlogsBy Sarah-Jane O'Connor
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s negative campaigning
    Anybody who looked into the Dirty Politics saga knows all too well that honesty is often in short supply within the National Party. You would think that after the exposure the John Key government received over their untruthful attack politics, the National Party would learn from its "mistakes" and leave ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ending the government’s charade over water
    For the past decade, the government has been responding to the obvious Treaty issues raised by water allocation with the mantra that "no-one owns water". But last year, the Waitangi Tribunal ruled that actually, Māori owned it, and that those rights had never been extinguished. They recommended that iwi bring ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Northern Ireland joins the civilised world
    Same-sex marriage has finally become legal in Northern Ireland. But not through any decision of the Northern Irish Executive or Assembly, which has only just reformed after a three year walkout by the DUP; instead, Westminster made that decision for them. I've talked before about the constitutional impropriety of this, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • I had an intense conversation at work today.
    Claire Cohen-Norris volunteers with Citizens Climate Lobby as a chapter founder and leader in rural New York. Her climate advocacy sprung from her drive to provide a secure, joyful and fulfilling life for her two wonderful children. It has become a life’s mission, shared with her like-minded husband and partner. Claire ...
    2 weeks ago
  • French transport workers take on Macron over pension reform
    by John Edmundson Starting on December 5th, 2019 workers in the Parisian rail network commenced an open-ended strike in opposition to French President Emmanuel Macron’s proposed changes to their pension scheme. Rail workers in the Metro Underground have, for decades, had retirement conditions that compensate them for the low wages, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • What a difference the decimal point makes
    I’m back at work following a nearly three-week break over Christmas. We were fortunate to be offered a house to stay in for a week over Christmas, which enabled us to have a holiday in Dunedin and see the extended family reasonably cheaply. But the house came with a catch:  ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Who’s Going To Stop Him?
    Blank And Pitiless: Having ordered the assassination of the Iranian General, Qasem Soleimani, President Donald Trump promised to reduce the cultural monuments of Iran’s 3,000 year-old civilisation to rubble if a revenge attack was mounted. A breach of international law? Certainly. A war crime? Indisputably. Who’s going to stop him? Nobody.WHAT ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A worker’s story
    This interview is from Aotearoa Workers Solidarity Movement (AWSM) and is the first of an ongoing series of interviews they plan to do with workers from various sectors who are having their well being and livelihoods damaged. They begin with an educator in Southland. Due to the attitude and actions ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jan 5, 2020 through Sat, Jan 11, 2020 Editor's Pick Debunked Australian Bushfire Conspiracy Theories Were Pushed by Alex Jones, Murdoch Media   As unusually intense and widespread bushfires have ...
    3 weeks ago
  • J.K. Rowling, the Seattle Library, and the Issue That Must Not Be Named
    This article was submitted to Redline by Seattle-based activist Lucinda Stoan J.K. Rowling recognizes repression when she sees it.  That’s why the author of the wildly popular Harry Potter books recently tweeted in defense of Maya Forstater. Forstater lost her job for stating that sex is real and immutable. A judge ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 weeks ago
  • Rules of Empire: Laws simply do not apply and “National Security” excuses all else.
    Empires rise and fall, and the American Empire is absolutely no different. But while an Empire, in order to further the footprint, it seems to pay to do one primary thing above all else: project that everything – everything – is “simply for the good of the world” at large, ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    3 weeks ago
  • Indian lessons for NZ workers – the January 8 general strike
                    by Phil Duncan On Wednesday (January 8) another massive general strike took place in India.  Some 250 million industrial workers, white-collar workers, agricultural labourers struck against the government’s economic policies and attacks on the Muslim population through new proposed citizenship rules. This ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: The action that counts
    Over on Newsroom, Professor Jacqueline Beggs writes about the action she is taking on climate change. Its the usual list: reduce meat, don't fly, consume less. I'm doing some of this myself, and none of it hurts - but the way our economic system is constructed means the impact of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 weeks ago
  • Fossil fuel political giving outdistances renewables 13 to one
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Karin Kirk Corporations, special interest groups, and individuals inject billions of dollars into the American political system every year. Much of the financial support in politics is concealed from public view, as some rules – and loopholes – allow “dark money” and ...
    3 weeks ago

  • FAQ – Everything you need to know about the Big New Zealand Upgrade
    Today, our Government announced the biggest infrastructure investment in a generation. We’re investing $12 billion to upgrade and build rail, roads, schools and hospitals across the country – modernising our infrastructure, preparing for climate change and helping to future-proof our economy. Find out everything you need to know about the ...
    15 hours ago
  • Week That Was: 2020
    We are back for 2020! From changes to Family Funded Care, to a record high number of Kiwis in construction in the trades - we're already back making progress on those long-term challenges. Read all about it and more ...
    6 days ago
  • Winston Peters: “Ihumātao deal still a long way off”
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters told Mike Hosking that a settlement deal regarding Ihumātao in Auckland is still a long way off. The Maori King's flag was lowered at the site near Auckland Airport yesterday, sparking suggestions an announcement of a deal could be made by Waitangi Day. Pania Newton, ...
    7 days ago
  • Winston Peters accuses Gerry Brownlee of ‘politicising’ Holocaust memorial
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters is accusing Gerry Brownlee of "politicising" a Holocaust memorial event after the National MP questioned the lack of Kiwi representation there. The Yad Vashem World Holocaust Remembrance Centre in Jerusalem, Israel, is holding the World Holocaust Forum on January 23 to mark 75 years since ...
    7 days ago
  • Provincial Growth Fund to help Waipukurau Pā sites attract thousands of tourists
    The Ngā Ara Tipuna - Waipukurau Pā Site Interpretation project is receiving $2.798 million from the Provincial Growth Fund. It is is expected to boost the town's employment and tourism, creating sixteen new jobs once completed and attract up to 15,000 visitors a year. Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development ...
    1 week ago
  • “Common sense will prevail, not extremism” Winston Peters backs Shane Jones’ pro-meat stance
    New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is backing his MPs who have spoken out against a new climate change teaching resource that advises students to eat less meat to save the planet. The new teaching resource, announced by Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Climate Change Minister James Shaw, tells students ...
    1 week ago
  • Violent assault on paramedic highlights need for law change
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Justice Today’s horrific violent assault of an on-duty female paramedic which rendered her unconscious is truly unsettling. “Our thoughts are with the paramedic, her loved ones and the St John’s team at Warkworth Station,” says New Zealand First Justice Spokesperson Darroch Ball. “Harsher penalties for perpetrators ...
    1 week ago
  • Acting PM Winston Peters confirms NZDF troops in Iraq not hit by Iranian attacks
    Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters called for calm and diplomacy following Iranian missile strikes on bases housing United States troops in Iraq, but confirmed New Zealand's base in the country was not hit. The New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) was earlier today investigating claims New Zealand's base in Iraq had ...
    1 week ago
  • Kaikōura $10.88 million boost in tourism & business
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10.88 million to boost business and tourism opportunities in Kaikōura, Parliamentary Undersecretary for Regional Economic Development, Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. As part of the Kaikōura Marina Development Programme, the following two projects will receive ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Delivering a stable water supply to Wairarapa
    Hon. Ron Mark, New Zealand First List MP based in Wairarapa The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $7.11 million to create a sustainable water supply for the Wairarapa. The PGF will provide a $7 million investment to Wairarapa Water Limited to progress the Wairarapa Water Storage Scheme towards procurement, consenting, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing consents hit highest level since 1974
    Housing consents have hit a 45-year high, as Statistics NZ data shows a total of 37,010 residential consents were issued in the year to November --- the first time they have breached the 37,000 mark since the mid-1970s. Statistics NZ said the trend had been rising since late 2011, when ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Darroch Ball MP: “Violence against first responders is a problem on the rise”
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