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Peter Thiel’s citizenship and consequent questions of corruption

Written By: - Date published: 6:28 pm, January 28th, 2017 - 52 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, bill english, im/migration, peter dunne, Politics - Tags: , , , , ,

Matt Nippett (and other journos) have been looking at the question of how Peter Thiel gained citizenship of this country.

Nippett has done several articles in the NZ Herald that summarise the situation reasonably adequately – probably because they appear to all be from their business pages.

MP: How did Thiel get NZ citizenship?
Peter Thiel a NZ citizen since 2011
PM backs Peter Thiel’s citizenship
NZ a ‘secret of good life’ for US tycoon

In the latter article from today, he summarises

Thiel revealed that his first visit to the country was in 1993, for an adventure tourism jaunt in Queenstown, and he was looking to buy property both there and in Parnell.

But despite this public declaration of love, and a pipeline splurge of local investment (he appears to have invested more than $40 million in Xero and other local ventures in the 12 months before and after being awarded citizenship), he didn’t make mention of his freshly-minted diplomatic status as a Kiwi.

News of this citizenship has caused waves in Wellington and abroad. Questions have been asked as to why he was granted “exceptional circumstances” dispensation,….

And that is the key point that the rather daft industry apologists like Eric Crampton writing in Spinoff choose to ignore in his article with a typically long-winded title yesterday.

Peter Thiel is one of the world’s foremost tech sector venture capital players, with deep links across the field. And he is interested in citizenship. The residence requirements for normal paths to citizenship simply will not work for an international investor who spends much of his time abroad. And maintaining residence while spending substantial amounts of time in Silicon Valley – the basis for his exceptional potential value in helping New Zealand tech firms build links to there – is not easy. Ministerial discretion looks like the only option. Citizenship would encourage him to deepen his links with New Zealand’s tech community, and in so doing help to bring them to the world.

Who could say no? It was a great bet consistent with the public interest provisions for grants of citizenship. The government makes a lot of bets on the tech sector, including some often pretty unwise subsidies for research and development.

I have no real issues with giving him citizenship. I work in the tech sector, have been aware of what he has been doing for years, and have no real issues with having relatively harmless skilled nutbars investing in and developing tech industries here. After all I have worked for them, beside them, and have dealt with them through decades of exporting tech to a world wider than the tiny market in NZ. Geek nutbars come from all countries, including NZ 🙂

However what I do have a problem with is the point which Eric Crampton, Bill English, Peter Dunne, and others appear to be avoiding as if it was a rotten carcass that it currently smells like. How the apparent 1 use of the discretionary powers of the Minister in the Immigration Act 1977 section 9 (1) (c) came to be used for Pete Thiel’s citizenship, and why this action wasn’t transparent to the public.

At the very least, Nathan Guy – the minister who at the time granted it, should have made a public declaration of the use

Now lets consider what the undisclosed “exceptional circumstances” of “other nature relating to the applicant” could be.

  • Could they be a big donation to the National party to help it fight the 2011 election? After the various ways that National has concealed their donations using anonymous trusts over the last two decades
  • Could they be some kind of personal support for the rather gormless Nathan Guy?
  • Could they be some immigration official getting a kickback to place a document in front of the gormless Nathan Guy to sign?
  • Could they be a hidden kickback to support the government’s rather inept export tech policies, like shoving seed private investor money into a government supported venture capital fund?

As it stands right now, and at least until until February 15th 2  or an earlier release to similar questions being asked by journalists under the official information act, we simply won’t know.

And how many more immigrants have been passed into NZ using this same discretionary power and why? This isn’t a question for Winston Peters. This is a question of the transparency and clarity to the public about how the exceptional circumstances of our immigration process are being used and why.

Quite simply, if the ministers of any government right or green or left or conservative choose to hide or not reveal the use of exceptional powers granted under acts of parliament, and it can be so easily be construed as being a way of hiding corrupt practices, then we the public need to strip those powers from our ministers. Right now we need to have a public review of the decisions made under this section of the immigration act to see how widespread this potentially corrupt practice is.

The misuses of ministerial powers are particularly the case in immigration where part of the criteria now appears to be how much money you have and can pay to get a NZ passport. This isn’t a new problem, I can remember similar issues arising all the way back to when Aussie Malcolm was minister. However the level of secrecy on this is disturbing – even if it does turn out to be innocent.

 


 

  1. As Nippett clearly points out, there is no other apparent avenue for granting Thiel citizenship. He doesn’t meet any of the criteria.
  2. From the same article.

    This morning Lees-Galloway said he lodged written questions in Parliament with Minister of Internal Affairs Peter Dunne seeking to know when Thiel was granted citizenship, under what grounds and whether the venture capitalist billionaire was a resident for tax purposes.

    The Herald understands, due to the Parliamentary break, the questions will be required to be answered by February 15.

52 comments on “Peter Thiel’s citizenship and consequent questions of corruption ”

  1. Sacha 1

    I can see how Thiel’s influence in US tech and VC circles would be attractive to a government but I agree the lack of transparency about these decisions is a real problem. What are the reasons for the other 2-300 exceptions per year?

    It doesn’t help when righties immediately leapt into the fray conflating residency with citizenship – which Fran O’Sullivan continues with her Herald article today: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11790138

    • Fran O'Sullivan 1.1

      No conflation Sacha. Investor Plus which does pave the way for permanent residency is also seen as a first step to fast track citizenship – it’s advertised as such in the offshore world. And it would not be advertised as such if it has not been occurring.
      Fran

      • Sacha 1.1.1

        Thank you Fran. Was about to add some of your comments from Twitter.

        Let’s see what those exceptions are made up of, is all I want. Had no idea this backdoor existed in our migration system. If it’s a matter of Ministerial discretion then let’s see the reasons published.

      • Sacha 1.1.2

        What is your sense of why people like Thiel and the others mentioned in Matt Nippert’s latest story want NZ citizenship rather than residency?

        • mickysavage 1.1.2.1

          OIO benefits innit?

          • Sacha 1.1.2.1.1

            And ability to stand for public office.
            Otherwise, I guess it’s just irrevocable permanence?

            I’m guessing Fran may have some other explanations from her professional interaction with the issue.

            • dukeofurl 1.1.2.1.1.1

              Or donate handsomely to political party. Was he lining up as ACTs saviour, his interests arent so much the clean green etc as no taxes, no regs

        • Incognito 1.1.2.2

          Arise Sir Peter??

      • lprent 1.1.3

        Fran, just read your article. I think I made my objection to what happened in this case pretty clear.

        I don’t have a real issue with bringing people into residency or citizenship when it is justified. I do have very strong objections to doing it quietly. It opens a portal to various types of creeping corruption wide open and over successive governments (as you pointed out).

        The best approach to dealing with that is to simply either make the process transparent after it is granted so any journalist, member of the public or opposition member can look at who is being granted fast-track access and the presented reasons for it to happen OR not give the minister any latitude to creep the processes without public scrutiny. Then the minister responsible has to take the political fallout at the time it is done. That kind of negative feedback process tends to strongly improve decision making.

        Sure this will deter some of the potential applicants. But you have to ask yourself why in the hell that matters? If they want to be part of this country then they should stand up and be counted.

        As for the businesses who currently make a buck facilitating this business and possible reductions in their business – well they cane get fucked. The NZ Government isn’t entrusted by the citizens of this country to make businesses for people. It is there to run the country for the benefit of our citizens as a whole… Individual people and businesses shouldn’t be a consideration compared to long term policy.

        • Fran O'Sullivan 1.1.3.1

          The answer maybe to simply gazette all citizenships – they used to be via “naturalisation”. And if fast-tracked say so.
          Haven’t supported those hawking citizenships – just pointing out it is a fact.

  2. Penny Bright 2

    As I predicted – ‘Corruption’ IS becoming a significant election issue ….

    Penny Bright

    2017 Independent candidate
    Mt Albert by-election.

  3. Fran O'Sullivan 3

    The whole thing is very interesting.

    When I was researching my piece I came across this reference – which is the loophole I referred to.

    https://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Services-Citizenship-Become-a-New-Zealand-citizen-Part-5?OpenDocument

    If you don’t meet the criteria
    If you don’t meet the criteria, you might be able to apply for special consideration if:
    you can’t learn English
    you haven’t been in New Zealand for enough days in the last 5 years — but you’ve been here for 450 days in the last 20 months
    you can’t clearly show that you intend to keep living here
    you don’t meet the good character requirements, but you have evidence that you think proves you should be granted citizenship anyway
    you have exceptional circumstances relating to a recent conviction or time in prison, or
    you can prove that making you a citizen would benefit New Zealand.

    That latter clause gives a lot of discretion for DIA and the Minister.

  4. Fran O'Sullivan 4

    When I was researching my piece I came across this reference – which is the loophole I referred to.

    https://www.dia.govt.nz/diawebsite.nsf/wpg_URL/Services-Citizenship-Become-a-New-Zealand-citizen-Part-5?OpenDocument

    If you don’t meet the criteria
    If you don’t meet the criteria, you might be able to apply for special consideration if:
    you can’t learn English
    you haven’t been in New Zealand for enough days in the last 5 years — but you’ve been here for 450 days in the last 20 months
    you can’t clearly show that you intend to keep living here
    you don’t meet the good character requirements, but you have evidence that you think proves you should be granted citizenship anyway
    you have exceptional circumstances relating to a recent conviction or time in prison, or
    you can prove that making you a citizen would benefit New Zealand.

    That latter clause gives a lot of discretion for DIA and the Minister.

    • Sacha 4.1

      “That latter clause gives a lot of discretion for DIA and the Minister.”

      Sure does, and it’s why I support gazetting as you suggest or otherwise publicising the reasons that discretion is exercised.

    • Jan Rivers 4.2

      Would anyone regard this loophole as problematic? As citizens we could expect to be able to find out how the rules operate in relation to any aspect of legislation. To do this the Citizenship Act part 9 should have been amended to include additional parts 9 e) and f) which would address the route to citizenship granted through business migration and these other loophole cases outlined on the DIA website respectively.

      Those business and loophole cases should properly be cast as secondaryt legislation / regulations to which a person would be directed to from the main act. Otherwise the legislation and DIA’s citizenship website make it impossible to ascertain what the actual rules are.

      Agree 100% on transparency on why special cases are approved.

  5. jcuknz 5

    Whatever and why-ever the reasons for granting, the country has come up ‘trumps’ with a man who is a supporter and I guess friend of the new American president.

    I do not see why there is any need for making a song and dance about the granting when it happened. Lots of officials knew about it and nobody leaked ? Journalists too I expect but none wrote about ? or News Editors didn’t see it as worthy news.

    But now folk suffering from EDS are yelling blue murder …. LOL

    edit … Sorry Penny but try another record.

    • Anne 5.1

      It should also be noted the character references of the “new American president” are distinctly unsavourable to say the least, and he has surrounded himself with equally questionable individuals so the true character of this Mr Peter Thiel needs to be urgently brought into question:

      Networks of influence: Key, Peter Thiel & the GCSB

      Now why did the former minister of Internal Affairs, Nathan Guy see fit to fast track this man’s citizenship in relative secrecy? Clue: John Key/Peter Thiel and an outfit called “Palantir” whose co-founder was Peter Thiel… and who appear to have been intimately associated with the NSA and other cyber intelligence-gathering agencies.

      Bearing in mind, we now know some of these agencies’ activities were well beyond the law (both national and international) and our recently (and suddenly) departed prime-minister must have known it, I think we might be close to getting some answers.

      Oh dear, what a tangled web etc.

      • Anne 5.1.1

        Oops… I see I made up a new word there… unsavourable. Quite like it and perfect for Trump. 🙂

  6. keepcalmcarryon 6

    Well I do have a problem with this.
    Since when should we instil special citizenship rights just due to wealth? Assuming of course that Mr Thiel isnt shotputting for NZ at the next olympics or personally training Iraqi soldiers for us?
    Maybe money talks for residency- which Im uncomfortable with in its current sleazy National party form by the way- but money buying citizenship rights is a big step beyond.
    Are some people in this life now really deemed to be more deserving than others of basic rights due to their net worth?
    Think about that.

    • Sacha 6.1

      Thiel offers influence rather than just wealth. However, the lack of transparency in this discretionary process means that us citizens have no way to know why he has been made one of us. Not good enough.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 6.2

      “Since when should we instil special citizenship rights just due to wealth? ”

      NZ does it continually (both sides of the house, I believe), and it is a terrible idea.

      The wealthy as a group lack compassion, are prone to act unethically, do not act to help others and damage economies.

      The exact opposite of who we should be choosing to join us. Give me a Syrian refugee any day.

      • YNWA 6.2.1

        I agree, Thiel’s research into injecting young blood into the old to increase their lifespan is genuinely creepy

    • lprent 6.3

      Peter Thiel might have a lot of things that he is a nutbar on. But as a tech head geek with an MBA who has spent the past 25 years helping to develop a local export industry based on exporting, I’d say that he is damn useful.

      I am pretty sure that if the matter had come up in public then he’d have gotten a pass, probably with reasonable amounts of acclaim based on what he wanted to do here.

      It has been pretty clear that he has been actively getting involved in developing our local tech industries with skills rather than just money. These are pretty valuable for the organizations that he has been involved with and invested in. If nothing else from what I have heard, he has been pretty effective at cutting out the junk ideas that plague startups and forcing the jumps in capacity to get into the export markets at scale.

      This is valuable for the country as a whole because it helps to generate skilled jobs across a whole export industry with very good margins. Those in turn help support jobs across even more industries and services sectors. This is important in NZ because while we are a relatively wealthy country, it is a agricultural and resources based wealth that doesn’t support many real jobs.

      The problem isn’t that Peter Thiel got citizenship. He would have anyway because the tech industry would have pushed it through regardless of what anyone else thought – in the same way that James Cameron got pushed through by the local film industry.

      The problem is that there if a loophole in the legislation that just begs for secret corrupt practices, and he isn’t the only person who has gone through it. From what I have heard, not that many of the others have done more than make token investments or investments that do fuckall for the country. Effectively they brought their non-resident residency and/or citizenship for money and none of us knew that it was happening.

      That is a recipe for corruption, if not now, than a few decades down the track. That is unacceptable and anything done using that system needs to be public and transparent.

      • Adrian 6.3.1

        ‘ doesn’t support many real jobs’ , is pretty bloody insulting Lprent to all of us who create and do these ‘ not real ‘ jobs.
        If you are inferring that the only real job is sitting on your backside staring at a computer then you really do need to get out more and maybe prune a few hectares of grapevines or harvest some trees to establish a world class wine company or build some houses with that milled and machined wood from those trees.

        • Draco T Bastard 6.3.1.1

          You do understand that it will be the person sitting behind the computer screen that will make those job obsolete don’t you?

          And, yes, I have done those jobs.

          So, I really do suggest you get off your high horse as it’s really, really wobbly..

  7. Whispering Kate 7

    Whatever information the journalists get from the OIA will not answer their questions, sensitive stuff will be redacted as it always is. The Immigration Act will have to be changed through a law change via the Parliament to remove the corruption taking place. I agree with Penny the Government whoever it is needs to clean its act up and rewrite laws that stand for everybody. This is no different to handing over bribes for services/favours you require – it stinks.

    • Craig H 7.1

      Immigration Act or Citizenship Act, or both? There are a lot of humanitarian reasons to grant residence and/or citizenship in cases when normal criteria are not met – do we want to take that discretion away?

      • Whispering Kate 7.1.1

        Craig, no matter how many donations these people make and/or propping up businesses, it is minuscule in comparision to their over all wealth, citizenship should not ever, under any circumstances be bought – its bribery. That part of the discretionary clause should be removed. We are becoming a third world country where laws do not mean a thing and dictatorship reigns.

  8. Craig H 8

    Hey Lprent, can you please update your original post to correct Immigration Act 1977 to Citizenship Act 1977? It seems a minor point, but residence is easier to cancel and more prone to future government meddling than citizenship (as shown by the Australian government), so while there are similarities, it’s still good to be accurate.

    From memory, the main beneficiaries of the special citizenship clause are sportspeople looking to represent NZ before the usual 5 years after the grant of residence, or because they have spent a lot of time outside NZ active in their fields so don’t meet the ‘time in NZ’ requirements.

  9. Ross 9

    So if Labour were to form the next government and subsequently decided to give Kim Dotcom citizenship, we wouldn’t hear a peep out of National because that would be rather sad and hypocritical?

    • Wayne 9.1

      Don’t be ridiculous. No-one in the middle of extradition proceedings will get citizenship, irrespective of who the govt is.
      Let’s say he is not extradited. He also has the problem of existing convictions. Convictions don’t necessarily stop a person getting PR but they can stop citizenship. There are many cases where that has occurred.

      • Ross 9.1.1

        Wayne,

        You clearly have a short and rather selective memory. Remember Bill Liu? He was given citizenship (by Labour) despite not being squeaky clean. It can and does happen. And I recall that National grabbed that story like a dog with a bone. I don’t know why this is so different. Both cases involve following due process. Indeed, both have an unpleasant odour. Justice shouldn’t only be done, it should be seen to be done. I’m sure you’ve heard that a few times.

        • Ross 9.1.1.1

          Furthermore, Kim Dotcom has lived in NZ for 5 years so could legitimately apply for citizenship and apparently intends to do so.

          http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11790650

          • Wayne 9.1.1.1.1

            Ross,
            How is any govt going to explain giving KDC citizenship in the middle of the most high profile extradition proceedings NZ has ever seen.
            It is not going to happen.
            If he is not extradited he could get get citizenship, but that won’t be before 2020, since the extradition proceedings have a good 3 years to run before they reach finality, one way or the other.

  10. Keith 10

    Slightly removed from this matter but nevertheless critical to overall transparency is to put the cleaners through donations to political parties.

    Any donation must be public, published no matter how slight, in other words no loop holes and it must show the individual or individuals who are the donors.

    There is too much opportunity or risk to end up like the US and have rich men controlling society. I would argue that we may well be on the road to that already with the shadowy secretive structure of National Party donations and what those donations may be buying!

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      +111

      There is too much opportunity or risk to end up like the US and have rich men controlling society.

      I’d say that we’re probably already there. It may not be quite as obvious us the US is but it’s plainly obvious that the government has only ruled for the rich for quite some time.

  11. HDCAFriendlyTroll 11

    Laws that allow discretion are always trouble because it means humans making subjective decisions and humans are dumb, especially when it comes to making subjective decisions.

    And when the discretion involves politicians, well, that just makes things a thousand times worse.

    First thing I would do it change so that it’s a judge that makes the decision.

    I would get rid of the phrase “public interest”. It’s vague and nobody really knows what it means anyway.

    I’d spell much more and as much as possible the “conditions for entry” e.g. The person is wiling to invest over a million dollars in the country (hey, if we’re going to allow people to buy their way in we may as well make transparent, right?), they’re a CEO of a company and that company is willing to invest and create jobs etc. This would keep any discretion to a minimum.

    • Whispering Kate 11.1

      If they want to invest a million dollars so be it, we will welcome it, but they have to wait in the queue like all other applicants, if they do not wish to do so, then we don’t want their type in this country, thinking they can buy everything their wishes desire including our precious citizenship. God this country is getting a very bad stink around it and its bloody depressing.

  12. mpledger 12

    When the Dems lost the presidency, the only redeeming feature was that it would be Dems who would desert the sinking ship, with some of them washing up here, rather than Republicans. To have Dem lose and RWNJs end up here as well is depressing.

  13. Craig H 13

    An interesting OIA regarding residence granted under the investor categories – a breakdown by nationality over the past 10 years.

    https://fyi.org.nz/request/4992-nz-immigration-investor-residencies-granted#incoming-16408

  14. veutoviper 14

    lprent, I understand your stance re Peter Thiel’s usefulness in helping to develop a local tech export industry in NZ based on exporting; and in doing so actively with skills rather than just money, in terms of your wide experience in this area.

    A lot of the focus on Thiel’s tech experience over the years has been on his involvement with PayPal, Facebook, Zero etc – eg reasonably safe, non-controversial organisations, and other such start-ups.

    However, I find this somewhat at odds (an understatement!) with the other side of Thiel’s tech involvement both here and overseas – namely his co-ownership of Palantir with its development of data-mining technologies and apparent involvement here in NZ with the GCSB and SIS, and Five Eyes, and in the US in particular with its millions of dollars worth of contracts with US federal agencies in respect of these data-mining technologies.

    As mentioned in the earlier post on Thiel a few days ago, Karol did an excellent backgrounder post in 2013 on Thiel’s involvement with Palantir here in NZ.

    Networks of influence: Key, Peter Thiel & the GCSB

    As mentioned in Karol’s post, major concerns were raised with John Key in Question Time in Parliament on 13 June 2013 by Russel Norman re Palantir and Peter Thiel (including Key’s relationship with Thiel). As the link in Karol’s post no longer works, here is a new link
    https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/document/50HansS_20130612_00000269/norman-russel-questions-for-oral-answer-questions-to

    Before he employs diversion tactics by calling Norman “Noddy”, Key’s comments about his connections with Thiel are interesting vis a vis Thiel’s citizenship – in particular, “ I would describe my relationship as cordial. I have met Mr Thiel on a few occasions—I would have to go to check exactly, as I said, if the member wants to ask me. I have never had a discussion with Mr Thiel about Palantir or about intelligence matters. He is someone who happens to live a certain period of time in New Zealand. “

    Since that time, Palantir has not disappeared from NZ. It still has offices etc on The Terrace in Wellington. There are plenty of interesting articles on their activities in NZ if you google “palantir nz”. a number of these also refer to John Key and his knowledge etc of Thiel.

    Of possible greater relevance currently is the plethora of media articles worldwide in the last month or so since Thiel’s relationship with Trump became known. These provide background on Palantir, Thiel, Palantir’s millions of dollars of contracts with US intelligence, military, and border control agencies – and the types of data-mining technology developed by Palantir which could see Palantir gain huge profits from their use in implementing Trump’s policies on immigration, deportation of illegal immigrants etc.

    Here a just a few of the links available by googling “Peter Thiel Palantir”

    http://www.theverge.com/2016/12/21/14012534/palantir-peter-thiel-trump-immigrant-extreme-vetting

    http://fortune.com/2016/12/22/trump-thiel-palantir/

    https://theintercept.com/2016/12/12/transition-adviser-peter-thiel-would-directly-profit-from-mass-deportations/

    http://www.cnbc.com/2016/12/06/peter-thiel-must-tread-carefully-between-trump-and-his-super-secret-start-up-experts-say.html

    http://vator.tv/news/2016-11-25-peter-thiels-palantir-raises-another-20-million

    http://www.vanityfair.com/news/2016/12/what-is-peter-thiels-endgame-for-palantir

    Presumably the actions in just the last 24 hours by US border agencies to refuse entry or return to the US of refugees and other people from the various countries which Trump has decreed to be prohibited may well be as a result of Palantir data mining technologies.

    So while Thiel may be a good guy who helps start-ups etc here in NZ and elsewhere, the cynical side of me wonders just how much this picture of Thiel is a red herring designed to deflect from the other side of his tech interests and developments via Palantir.

    It goes without saying that I find it appalling that NZ citizenship was granted to someone involved in such technologies – and the lack of transparency in granting that citizenship.

    • Anne 14.1

      Thankyou veutoviper for the detail and references. See my 5.1 where I mention Palantir. Just the tip of the iceberg I would say, and there may be more revelations to come on this one. That is, if out Fourth Estate is up to it.

      Where’s Key? Still hiding in his Hawaii mansion?

      I don’t have time to study your comment and references until this evening but good work…

      • veutoviper 14.1.1

        Thanks Anne. Had missed your 5.1. I understand that David Fisher is now on the Herald team helping Matt Nippert so here’s hoping re our Fourth Estate.

        • Anne 14.1.1.1

          So while Thiel may be a good guy who helps start-ups etc here in NZ and elsewhere, the cynical side of me wonders just how much this picture of Thiel is a red herring designed to deflect from the other side of his tech interests and developments via Palantir.

          It goes without saying that I find it appalling that NZ citizenship was granted to someone involved in such technologies – and the lack of transparency in granting that citizenship.

          The picture your references paint veutoviper are indeed ominous. His close links to virtually all the US intelligence agencies plus numerous other very powerful US government bodies and giant private corporate entities suggest to me he could be an extremely dangerous person.

          I am a cyber-communication illiterate, but the fact he has NZ citizenship tells me he could also have the potential to gather intimate details on thousands of NZers who, for one reason or another, are deemed further down the track to be a threat to the US regime. Those of us who have been openly hostile to Trump and his sycophants on public forums such as this one would no doubt be on ‘the list’.

  15. Rae 15

    He came here to hide from the pitchfork (or more likely gun) toting masses. He is one of these crazy paranoid preppers, who knows he might even have dug himself a concrete bunker somewhere here. I do not for a single minute believe he came here for the sake of NZ, that is just something he has to do with a bit of his chump change in order to stay. He has come here to protect his privileged position and anyone saying otherwise is, in my view, fooling themselves.
    The guy has extreme libertarian views, to the point where he has posited that women having the vote stand in the way of a libertarian agenda. (I expect he does not see the irony of the idea of libertarianism for some). Someone like him that has zero altruism in their system, he is here for number one.
    Tell me this, would any other person, sans billions of dollars, displaying the same nutty tendencies get a free run. Didn’t think so.

    • stever 15.1

      Yes, Thiel believes that capitalism is held back (a bad thing in his book) by democracy, and democracy should therefore be replaced by the sort of authoritarianism that Trump so well-demonstrates.

      “his long-held ambition of saving capitalism from democracy”

      https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/21/peter-thiel-republican-convention-speech

      He brings money to poor old NZ, yes…but is that really a price worth paying (let alone the principles at stake), and instead does it not in fact make him a person who is not fit and proper to be a NZer?

      • TootingPopularFront 15.1.1

        He could be a member of parliament and PM if he has NZ citizenship – if this is National’s new plan, to have a Trump enabler to replace the Merrill Lynch whizz kid, NZ is in a great deal of trouble.

  16. Sacha 16

    Nathan Guy tells RNZ Checkpoint that officials will be releasing the reasons for approving Thiel’s citizenship application later this week.

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    Image credit: How To Write High-Quality Blog Posts For Search Engines and Readers I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or the numbers seem very low ...
    5 hours ago
  • Of Democratic Duties: Report from Taieri Candidate Forum
    So New Zealand has a general election in October, which means politicians. In the interests of having my worst fears confirmed reporting back on the Dunedin situation, I thought I’d attend a local candidate forum. I’m in Taieri, of course – the old Dunedin South, with rural Clutha added.
    5 hours ago
  • Getting the Marketing Mix Right: A Commentary on NZ’s Forthcoming Vaping Regulations
    Janet Hoek, Lindsay Robertson, Jude Ball, Richard Edwards, Anaru Waa On August 11 2020, the NZ Parliament passed legislation that extends existing regulation of tobacco and herbal smoking products to vaping products (or electronic nicotine delivery systems [ENDS] and heated tobacco products (HTPs]. The new Act represents an important step ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 hours ago
  • Live Blog: The Great Debate – Part 2 (well… it was live when we were live blogging last night)
    Morning all. Last evening Aotearoa New Zealand was excited by the opportunity to watch the two main party leaders square off in a shouting match hosted by Patrick Gower. MyThinks were on the scene recording all the intricacies and minutia as Judith Collins and Jacinda Adern battled each other in ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    8 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #39, 2020
    Ghost forests grow in North Carolina as sea level rises Lindsey Smart leads a team of researchers to publish findings on carbon loss from forests dying as sea level rise causes transition to salt marsh. From the abstract:  Coastal forests sequester and store more carbon than their terrestrial counterparts ...
    21 hours ago
  • When analogies are taken too far: Spacetime is bent, but it’s not quite a stretchy membrane
    Last week I was asked by some school students about the nature of gravity. What is it? Isaac Newton, and a whole pile of textbooks following him, treat gravity as an attractive force between two objects. It’s a force that is proportional to the product of the masses of the ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    23 hours ago
  • And still paying for it
    In 1998, in the wake of the Paremoremo Prison riot, the Department of Corrections established the "Behaviour Management Regime". Prisoners were locked in their cells for 22 or 23 hours a day, with no fresh air, no exercise, no social contact, no entertainment, and in some cases no clothes and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    23 hours ago
  • Bryce Edwards: Political Roundup –
    As the public decide who to vote for, the matter of whether wealthy interests have been able to influence Government decisions has arisen once again. This relates to controversy from late last year about whether junior coalition partner New Zealand First is using their fundraising mechanism to illegally hide the ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 day ago
  • 2020 Just Reading: September
    Completed reads for September: On the Mortality (or Plague), by Cyprian of CarthageThe Origin and Deeds of the Goths, by JordanesThe Book of Gomorrah, by Peter DamianThe Poem of the Cid, by AnonymousThe Song of Roland, by TuroldThe Death of Aoife’s Only Son (two versions), by AnonymousThe Pursuit of ...
    1 day ago
  • Only Bob Dylan Has The Words For The Trump-Biden Debate.
     Idiot Wind by BOB DYLANIt took only ten minutes to grasp the sheer scale of the Democrat's failure. This sad old man, Sleepy Joe Biden, hasn't a hope of defeating Donald Trump. Goddammit! It's a wonder that he still knows how to breathe!Idiot Wind indeed!Video courtesy of YouTube.This posting exclusive to ...
    1 day ago
  • An Apology, Not A Complaint, Is Now Needed
    Some commentators, and particularly – not surprisingly – those who wished to remain in the European Union, have been making much of the difficulties the UK has experienced in extricating itself from the embrace (if that is the right word) of the EU. They cite the difficulty the UK has ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 day ago
  • Are consumers willing to pay more for climate-friendly products?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz I’m seeing quite a few “climate-friendly” products at the supermarket. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • At least three named Atlantic storms likely during October
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters The enjoyable lull in Atlantic tropical cyclone activity over the past week may come to an end this weekend, when a large low-pressure system that is expected to develop in the western Caribbean has a 50% chance of spawning a ...
    2 days ago
  • Two people in serious condition after incident involving NZ First bus
    Police say the two victims were found lodged “firmly underneath” the bus. Two people are in a serious condition this evening after an incident apparently involving the New Zealand First campaign bus. They are presently unable to be identified. Authorities say two people were found underneath the bus shortly after ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • This doesn’t sound like exoneration
    The SFO has finally reported back on NZ First's dodgy foundation, and charged two people with "obtaining by deception". They're at pains to say that neither of the people charged (who have name suppression, but we can all guess who they are, even if we cannot say publicly) is a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Elections in NZ: some Redline articles
    For a campaign of positive abstention in the 2017 elections 9/4/17 by Phil Duncan In 2014, most of us at Redline favoured not voting in the New Zealand general election.  There was simply no party that represented the interests of workers, much less that attempted to politicise and organise workers to ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • The transport policy we need
    Transport was responsible for 21% of our greenhouse gas emissions in 2017. Its our second-biggest source of pollution after agriculture. And the Greens have just announced a serious policy to tackle it: The Green Party wants to make public transport free for under-18s, ban petrol car imports from 2030, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Dunedin as Spring Snowglobe
    Dunedin has had a succession of mild winters – our last genuinely cold one was in 2015. 2020 was no exception. But that still leaves spring… and having lived through the week-long spring blizzard of 2011, I am not unaware that September snows are a thing. Such was this morning, ...
    2 days ago
  • Spain is (still) not a democracy
    The list of Spanish abuses of Catalonia's democracy is long. When Catalans voted for independence, Spanish riot police seized ballot boxes and beat them in the streets. When they elected leaders to represent their views, Spain refused to allow them to take their seats, or jailed them for "sedition". And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Crusher threatens Nicky Hager
    Crusher Collins - National Party LeaderEverybody should know by now that Judith (Crusher) Collins is a very malicious person. She is perhaps the most vindictive MP ever to disgrace our halls of power.Some of her unprecedented nastiness over the decades has been well documented in the book Dirty Politics: How ...
    2 days ago
  • The Confident Traveller Led Astray – A Poem For Winston Peters.
    Quo Vadis, Winston?Where are you going, Winston, Son of the winterless north? We have lost count of the summers Since first you ventured forth. This track on which we find you, Unmarked on any map, Leads travellers to strange places. Do you not fear mishap? Countless roads I’ve travelled, Oh ye ...
    2 days ago
  • Racism loses in Switzerland
    Over in Switzerland, the racist "People's Party" tried to have a Brexit-style referendum on ending freedom of movement with the EU, so they could stop the "flood" of foreigners. But the Swiss people said No: Swiss voters have resoundingly rejected an attempt to tear up the country’s agreement with ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • International Right To Know Day
    Today, 28 September, is International Right To Know Day (or, as the UN puts it, the "International Day for Universal Access to Information"). The Ombudsman is celebrating with a poll showing that while most people don't know about their freedom of information rights, those that use them mostly get what ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • One way or another, we’re paying for this
    Back in July, when foreign polluters (and archaeological criminals) Rio Tinto announced they planned to close Tiwai Point, I was dancing on its grave. Why? Because the carbon subsidies alone were more than enough to fund alternative jobs - or even just to pay everyone dependent on it a reasonable ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • End of life – it isn’t so easy
    In a few weeks, New Zealanders will make a choice whether we implement into law the End of Life Choice Act 2019.  My scientific expertise includes developing and validating methods to predict future events of ill people including death. There is one section of the Act that concerns me deeply. Section ...
    SciBlogsBy John Pickering
    3 days ago
  • Democracy Under Threat
    My wife and I are at an age when we have begun to think (and worry) about the kind of world we will leave behind for our children and, particularly, our grandchildren. We have experienced during our own lives, like others of our generation, our fair share of hard times ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: Why it’s important to be open to relationships with people who vote differently
      There are few things written more deeply on the human heart than religion. Differences between us on the purpose and ultimate destiny of human existence have sometimes inspired great intolerance and even wars. But what would we make today of a Catholic who refused to countenance a meaningful relationship ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #39
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... The Warming Climates of the Arctic and the Tropics Squeeze the Mid-latitudes, Where Most People Live Melting Arctic ice sends ...
    3 days ago
  • Where in the world will the next epidemic start?
    Naomi Forrester-Soto, Keele University Viruses jumping from animals to humans have been the starting point of numerous outbreaks, from Ebola to Zika. Given the similarity of SARS-CoV-2 to coronaviruses found in bats, this probably marked the beginning of COVID-19 too. We know that viruses have passed from animals to humans ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    4 days ago
  • Fiscal Maths with Paul “Goldie” Goldsmith
    Mr Thinks has asked me to come onto the blog today to outline a few concepts in fiscal mathematics. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #39
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 20, 2020 through Sat, Sep 26, 2020 Editor's Choice Climate Disruption Is Now Locked In. The Next Moves Will Be Crucial A crack on the Amery Ice Shelf in ...
    4 days ago
  • National behind the times
    When Todd Muller resigned as leader of the National Party and allowed for Judith Collins to assume command, you could tell the blue “team” was desperate and in search of past glories. After all, Crusher is towards the end of her political career and from a bygone era where dirty ...
    5 days ago
  • Coronavirus: the road to vaccine roll-out is always bumpy, as 20th-century pandemics show
    Samantha Vanderslott, University of Oxford If you have been following the media coverage of the new vaccines in development for COVID-19, it will be clear that the stakes are high. Very few vaccine trials in history have attracted so much attention, perhaps since polio in the mid-20th century. A now ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • PREFU: The State of Government Accounts
    The Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update’ (PREFU) tells us something about the future of the Public Sector but it requires careful analysis to assess how it is going. The 2020 PREFU is the most important economic statement during any election campaign. Unfortunately the commentariat tends to treat it briefly ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Predatory delay
    Farmers are whining again about being expected to clean up their act: Canterbury farmers want politicians to stop painting them as climate change villains, listen to their needs and allow them more time to boost environmental standards. [...] “The targets are necessary for the environment, but do we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Flight to nowhere sends the wrong message in climate crisis
    Qantas Airlines’ 7-hour “flight to nowhere”, that sold out in 10 minutes with prices from A$787 to A$3787, seemed like a sick joke to climate advocates. Apart from the waste of fuel and the pointless emissions, passengers would be able to see first-hand, from a plane just like those that ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: The cannabis referendum – a doctor’s perspective
    Cannabis is part of our culture: 80% of adults have tried it sometime. Intuition tells us that legalising cannabis will increase use – science suggests that is not likely. Our Dunedin and Christchurch studies show that cannabis use peaks in our 20s. Older people are less frequent users whether it ...
    6 days ago
  • First steps: Jerry DeSilva on the evolution of bipedalism
    Yesterday morning I got up (at the rather early and unaccustomed hour of 3.30am) to listen to a webinar by paleoanthropologist Dr Jeremy DeSilva¹. Titled “First Steps”, his presentation was about the origins of bipedalism in the human lineage. It was a fascinating session & I thought I’d turn my ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    6 days ago
  • True Believers In A False God.
    Down The Rabbit Hole: "Social psychologists have found that when fearful people contemplate potential misfortunes, they tend to feel helpless and pessimistic, but when angry people contemplate the same, they feel a sense of optimism and control. And one simple way to transmute fear into anger is to perceive an evil ...
    6 days ago
  • Majority Rule Requires Majorities That Are Real.
    Fifty Percent Plus One: New Zealand’s genuine-majority-delivering two-party system endured for five elections only (1938, 1943, 1946, 1949, 1951) a period of just 16 years. Very few New Zealanders alive today can boast of participating in an election which delivered a true majority to either Labour or National. Someone who ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour super exploitation
    This is the second in the lecture series by Andy Higginbottom on superexploitation. Here he looks at Marini’s theory of labour super-exploitation and Capital ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Small asteroid to make near-miss of Earth in NZ skies tonight
    Sorry for the late notice on this one, but I only just heard myself, in common with most of the human race. A small asteroid, somewhere between the size of a truck and the size of a house in dimensions, will hurtle past the Earth tonight, dipping closer to ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    7 days ago
  • This is not what accountability looks like
    When someone commits trespass, assault with a weapon, and kidnapping, you'd expect them to be prosecuted, right? But apparently the rules are different if you wear a blue uniform: A police investigation has found officers in Northland trespassed on a man's property, then unlawfully pepper sprayed him and arrested ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Cycling: head injuries ignored because of entrenched macho culture
    Howard Hurst, University of Central Lancashire and Jack Hardwicke, University of Winchester Competitive road cycling is a demanding and unique sport. One where crashing is inevitable – especially at the professional level. While the risk of head injury is relatively low in cycling – approximately 5-13% – compared to contact ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    7 days ago
  • The coming US shitshow
    Today President Trump once again refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the US election. Coincidentally, The Atlantic has a long article on exactly what that means, from voter suppression by armed thugs in the name of "ballot security", to refusing to allow the vote ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • A moral void
    That's the only way to describe the SIS, who - like their British counterparts - decided to look the other way on child abuse: The SIS knew a young woman was being sexually abused by her father but failed to lodge a complaint with the police, effectively allowing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When will Goldsmith resign?
    The National Party’s campaign has gone from bad to worse with a further two large miscalculations being uncovered in their alternative fiscal plan. Firstly, National’s economic spokesperson and list MP, Paul Goldsmith, used May's Budget figures instead of last week's PREFU numbers, and came up with a whopping $4.3 billion ...
    1 week ago
  • The Adventures of Annalax: Part IX
    The initial session was a struggle. Annalax and Magni tried sorting out the details with the Isaac twins (the people pursuing the mountain trip). Annalax happened to mention his devotion to Lolth… whom the Isaacs, being ...
    1 week ago
  • This is bullshit
    On March 13, three plainclothes police officers kicked in Breonna Taylor's door under a no-knock warrant targeting another person. When a person inside reasonably assumed they were home invaders and (this being America) started shooting, they shot up the place and everyone around them - killing Taylor. Today, one of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The case for tax (more of it, much more)
    Laura O’Connell Rapira | Contributing writer, the spinoff, 21 Sept, 2020. Let’s put tax at the core of this election. Sharing wealth is how we share care and responsibility for this land and all of the people in it, writes Laura O’Connell Rapira It’s election season in the middle of ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Arctic sea ice is being increasingly melted from below by warming Atlantic water
    Tom Rippeth, Bangor University Arctic sea ice today (white) is covering a much smaller area than in 1980-2010 (orange line). National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, CC BY-SA Each September, scientists like me look out for the point when the Arctic’s meagre summer fizzles out and ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The long-term health burden of COVID-19: further justification for NZ’s elimination strategy
    Prof John D. Potter* This blog briefly surveys the emerging scientific evidence on the longer-term burden of symptoms and disease in survivors of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of these symptoms point to damage in the brain and heart. These long-term harms add to the wide range of other reasons for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Going High, Going Low: An Assessment Of The First Leaders’ Debate.
    Uncrushed: Jacinda Ardern knew exactly what was expected of her in the first Leaders' Debate. Labour’s dominant position, three weeks out from the general election, is constructed out of the admiration and gratitude of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders who, more often than not, vote National.  Nothing she said ...
    1 week ago
  • The smokefree policies of political parties: Do they care about people who smoke?
    George Thomson*, Nick Wilson, Janet Hoek, Andrew Waa, Richard Edwards In this time of Covid-19, helping people who smoke to quit their addiction has an even greater importance. Smokers are more vulnerable to many harmful health effects, including severe effects from the virus. Policies that support people who smoke to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • The Fog Of Economic Policy Is Starting To Clear…
    Bryan Bruce, https://www.facebook.com/www.redsky.tv, 19 September 2020 National’s economic policy of temporary tax cuts yesterday proved, if proof be needed, that they are unapologetic neoliberals. While their claim that with more money in their pockets people will spend more might sound attractive, the reality is that tax cuts always benefit the ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #38, 2020
    Highlighted article: Carbon pricing and planetary boundaries  Engström et al take what might be called a systems approach to evaluating carbon pricing, taking into a account various economic sectors affected by and affecting paying for emissions. The conclusions are overall a rare pleasant surprise— a feature predicated on cooperation.  Abstract: ...
    1 week ago
  • Humans ignite almost every wildfire that threatens homes
    Nathan Mietkiewicz, National Ecological Observatory Network and Jennifer Balch, University of Colorado Boulder CC BY-ND Summer and fall are wildfire season across the western U.S. In recent years, wildfires have destroyed thousands of homes, forced hundreds of thousands of people to evacuate and exposed tens of millions to harmful ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: China steps up
    China has increased its climate change ambition, and set a target to be carbon-neutral by 2060: China will reach carbon neutrality before 2060 and ensure its greenhouse gas emissions peak in the next decade, Xi Jinping has told the UN general assembly. “China will scale up its intended nationally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Humans have dealt with plenty of climate variability
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz How much climate variability have humans dealt with since we ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous perspectives on unrestricted access to genomic data
    By Genomics Aotearoa researcher Maui Hudson, University of Waikato It is vital that genomics research respects genomic data and genetic heritage from indigenous communities. Genomics research is a rapidly growing field of study, and there is a strong push to make the huge amount of data being produced open ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Terrible luck: lockdowns on learning and youth job prospects
    What is bad luck? Bad luck is spilling spaghetti sauce down your shirt right before an important meeting. When the person in front of you gets the last seat on the bus, that’s bad luck. Bad luck is when it’s sunny outside, so you leave the house without a coat, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Ian Powell: Does private healthcare threaten public healthcare in New Zealand?
    Is the private health system impacting negatively on the public health system? Health commentator Ian Powell evaluates a recent NZ Herald article by Natalie Akoorie (“Public v private healthcare: Moonlighting, skimming, duplication – should NZ do better”), and looks at how the dual system works, and concludes that the answer ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • A rabbit-hole election debate: So do you want more avocado orchards?
    We live in strange and unusual times. It’s been a century since we’ve endured a global pandemic like this, more than half a century since we’ve had economic woes like this. So maybe we got an opening election debate for the times - because that was a strange and unusual ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • LIVE: Jacinda Ardern vs. Judith Collins, First Debate
    Tonight, The Civilian will be live-blogging the first of too many debates between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Judith Collins, and also the last fifteen minutes of the news. Be sure to tune in from 6:45pm for regular updates, which can be accessed by refreshing this page ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Hundreds of Aucklanders arrested after illegal mass gathering on Harbour Bridge
    An enormous drive-in party, shown here, was held this morning on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, where police were forced to intervene. Hundreds of Aucklanders were arrested this morning on public health grounds, after an apparent illegal mass gathering on the city’s Harbour Bridge. Police say hundreds of Aucklanders gathered in their ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The Looming Fight.
    Social Distancing Be Damned - It's Jacinda! Shortly after ascending to Labour’s leadership, Jacinda described herself as a “pragmatic idealist”. It was an inspired oxymoron – packing into just two words the essence of the social-democrat’s dilemma. It was good to know that she knew what lay ahead of her. ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Moving faster
    Back in 2017, the UK announced that it would ban the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles by 2040. Its a basic climate change measure, aimed at reducing emissions by shifting the vehicle fleet to cleaner technologies. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, they're planning to bring it forward ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Australian courts have had enough of refugee detention
    For the past decade, Australia has had a racist, anti-refugee policy. Those claiming refugee status are imprisoned without trial and left to rot in the hope they would "voluntarily" return to be tortured and murdered. When the courts have granted them visas, the government has immediately revoked them on racial ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Friction and the Anti-lock Braking System
    Yesterday afternoon I had to call on my car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS). For reasons best known to its driver, a car pulled out of a side road right in front of me while I was driving home after work, and I needed to stop in a hurry. I rather ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 week ago
  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
    There are a fair few misconceptions about conditions within New Zealand’s Quarantine Hotels. Madeline Grant’s misplaced accusations being one prominent example, though she is not alone. Today, I thought I’d share the inside word, so to speak. A friend of mine has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas, and ...
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    1 week ago
  • This is not kind
    New Zealand has a serious homelessness problem, due to skyrocketing rents and a lack of state houses. One of the ways we stick a band-aid on it is to put people up in motels. Previously, they were charged full commercial rates, saddled with odious debt due to the government's failure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
    by Ani O’Brien In the absence of a better word with which to refer to the rabid activists who claim progressivism while demanding adherence to an increasingly prescriptive set of political beliefs, I call them “woke”. With its roots in Black American slang, the term originally denoted a person or ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago

  • Modern hospitals, quality care: Labour’s record on health
    We believe that when New Zealanders need healthcare, they deserve to have it delivered in a safe and healthy environment. Patients and staff shouldn’t have to worry about mould or rot in hospital walls – but that was the reality when Labour came into Government in 2017. We inherited a ...
    21 hours ago
  • Why we support increasing the minimum wage
    Labour has a proud history of standing for fairness at work, supporting the development of high-quality, high wage jobs and for improving the quality of life for New Zealand workers. ...
    21 hours ago
  • Working with farmers for a better future
    Farmers play a key role in our economy and in our communities, and will be at the forefront of our COVID recovery. Labour has worked in partnership with Kiwi farmers over the past three years and together we’ve tackled Mycoplasma bovis, worked through droughts and flooding, started cleaning up our ...
    21 hours ago
  • Is National really better than Labour with the economy? Yeah, nah.
    National tells New Zealanders to trust them with the economy, but recent data shows they’re not the strong economic managers they like to claim. Labour has a strong track record of keeping debt under control. We’ve worked hard over the past three years to pay down the debt we inherited ...
    21 hours ago
  • Minimum wage increases vs. tax cuts – what really boosts the economy?
    This election, Labour and National have set out very different proposals for growing our economy and supporting New Zealanders through our COVID recovery. But when it comes to real results, the experts are clear – only our plan will keep New Zealand moving. ...
    21 hours ago
  • Do Kiwis trust Labour more than National on the economy? Three polls say yes.
    As our economic rebuild gets underway, New Zealand needs a strong, responsible government to lead our recovery. National bills itself as the Party with economic credibility, but that’s not what the numbers show or what voters believe. In the past five months, three polls have consistently shown that more New ...
    23 hours ago
  • Better healthcare for Kiwis
    From mental health support in every primary and intermediate school to more publicly-funded medicines, Labour’s plan for health will ensure New Zealanders can get quality care. ...
    2 days ago
  • Green Party responds to NZ First Foundation SFO charges
    Green Party spokesperson on Electoral Issues Golriz Ghahraman said: “We’re glad to see the SFO has laid charges before the election, so voters have more clarity on what is going on before they cast a vote. ...
    2 days ago
  • Greens announce bold transport plan for Auckland to tackle climate change and congestion
    The Green Party has today outlined a major transport plan for Auckland including new investments in light rail, busways, an expansion of regional rail services, and quick improvements to buses. ...
    2 days ago
  • Greens announce bold transport plan for Wellington to tackle climate change and congestion
    The Green Party has today outlined a major transport plan for Wellington including investments in light rail, an expansion of regional passenger rail, and fast-tracking improvements to buses. ...
    2 days ago
  • Greens announce bold transport plan for Christchurch to tackle climate change and congestion
    The Green Party has today outlined a major transport plan for Christchurch including new investments in commuter rail, a high frequency bus service to the airport, and cycleways. ...
    2 days ago
  • Greens announce bold plan to ensure NZ transport tackles climate change
    The Green Party will transform how New Zealanders get around to address the climate crisis, with a comprehensive climate-focused transport package.  ...
    2 days ago
  • Reports of great whites finned alive cement case for cameras on boats
    Claims of illegal fishing and live finning of great whites in New Zealand waters show once again that cameras on fishing boats are long overdue, and must be urgently rolled out. ...
    3 days ago
  • We must investigate COVID-19 retraining support that skews towards men: Greens
    The Green Party is calling for a review into the gender split of training programmes offered by government to help New Zealanders retrain following COVID-19 job losses. ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour’s plan for plastic and waste
    As part of our plan to build back better, we’re taking action on waste and improving recycling to protect our environment, create jobs and future proof our economy. ...
    4 days ago
  • Labour’s plan for plastic and waste
    As part of our plan to build back better, we’re taking action on waste and improving recycling to protect our environment, create jobs and future proof our economy. ...
    4 days ago
  • Week that was: Three weeks to go!
    Today marks three weeks until the election, and the campaign is ramping up. This week, we’ve continued to focus on our economic recovery, announcing our plan to reduce costs for farmers and growers. We also set out our commitment to continuing our partnership with Māori as we rebuild together. ...
    5 days ago
  • Labour’s Māori Manifesto: Working together in partnership
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  • Labour’s plan for managing our borders
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  • Residential building sector growing stronger
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  • Community Languages Fund to increase support for Pacific community language projects
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  • Māori development receives funding
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  • Hand-up for owners of earthquake-prone units
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  • PGF backing successful Māori enterprise
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  • Hokitika Landmark earmarked for $22m restoration
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  • Town halls and war memorials in PGF renovation programme
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  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes two diplomatic appointments
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  • International sport back up and running in New Zealand
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  • Building business strength with digital tools
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  • New pest lures to protect nature
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  • Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs
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  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
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  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
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  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
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  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
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  • Government backing Māori landowners
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  • New tools to make nature more accessible
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  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
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    2 weeks ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
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  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
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  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
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  • More resources for kiwi conservation
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  • Improving access to affordable electricity
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