Police and computers: incompetent or just unbalanced?

Written By: - Date published: 8:26 am, August 21st, 2019 - 23 comments
Categories: crime, Dirty Politics, police, Politics, Social issues - Tags: , , , , , ,

I’ve just been reading the decision by the IPCA on the botched and quite illegally obtained warrants for a search of Nicky Hager’s house and belongings, and the unwarranted searches of his accounts with various businesses.

The whole process in this investigation just stinks. It points not only to the lack of process that the IPCA, various courts and the police hierarchy say that they have identified. The police say that they have fixed or are trying to fix these in policy.

Now I think that the police have some pretty selective issues about enforcing laws. Essentially if you’re John Key or Cameron Slater or the FBI then they seem to go all out. If you aren’t so well connected, especially in technical areas of law or computers that they don’t understand so well then complaining to the police appears to be like pissing into the wind. It is probably more useful.

But to me what it clearly points to is that in many areas around technical systems and the legal structures surrounding them, the police and their 19th century structure are clearly completely out of their depth. Even worse, I suspect that they’re falling even further behind all the time

To someone who is a political blogger in the time I can spare from a long career of being a professional commercial computer programmer – this is completely unacceptable. If the acts regarded as being unlawful in legislation are either aren’t being enforced or are being enforced excessively or in a proforma way by the investigating agency – then why bother having the police doing the task? Especially when the IPCA report on the Nicky Hager case clearly shows that the police again acted in an unlawful manner.

The police simply don’t appear to be able to concentrate the skills and clear sense of purpose that are required for dealing with information, computer and network legal issues. Various NZ regional police areas seem to respond quite differently to the same crimes in this area.

It took many years after I was a student marvelling at the lack of legal protections on computer system, but eventually in New Zealand in 2002, explicit laws were put into force in our Crimes Act and Summary Offenses Acts making most ‘grey’ computer based crimes explicitly unlawful. That was nearly two decades ago, and the police appear to only get concerned about these crimes if preferred political connections make them concerning.

There are several points about this that are worth examining, if only because there are so many daft myths held dearly by some self-interested members of the the public and the strange lack of balance by the police.

  • Intrusions into computer systems, networks, and all computer storage media without permission are completely unlawful under the existing and current legislation regardless of the means.
  • If the material was clearly exposed in public by accident, then copying or accessing it is just as unlawful.
  • Conspiring to intrude into a computer system or to access networks or media by trying to encourage or pay someone to do the act is just as unlawful.
  • Receiving or using information obtained by such unlawful means is unlawful.
  • But there are a few exemptions to this. For instance :-
    • Parliament reserves the right for MPs inside the house to be able to present information for public debate regardless of source – subject only to Parliament’s standing orders and the members of parliament and the crown.
    • There are various exemptions for police and other investigative and legal bodies to use unlawfully obtained material in the investigation and prosecution of other crimes – subject to the approval of the courts as to it admissibility in court.
    • And there are various limited privileges for journalists about protecting sources and material to allow public debate and for the public good.

Now this isn’t exactly legal rocket science.

Copying information is no different legally than breaking into someone’s house and stealing documents, pictures, silverware or anything else of value. It used to be back in the dark ages of law that depriving someone of the use of an object was the the test. But over the last few hundred years, information has increasingly been seen as having value, the theft of copies effectively deprived the owner of its value.

The Police don’t appear to have caught up with the changes in the legislation over the subsequent decades. Just to take a few obvious and related examples.

A 2014 hack into Cameron Slater’s computer over the net is made as a complaint to Counties Manukau Police along with the use of the messages, documents and other information obtained by a investigative journalist Nicky Hager who wrote a book based on them. What is the response?

Suddenly there are search warrants obtained and houses raided in Wellington, requests made to banks and airlines. All chasing just one annoying hacker out of the innumerable thousands that infest our computer systems every day.

Almost all of this frantic police activity has been damned in the IPCA authority findings as simply not following what was lawful or proper for the police to do. From the way that the search warrants were requested, through to the way that they were executed, the obvious issues of handling journalistic privilege, and the insane way that police used production orders on banks, airlines, paypal and NZ Customs.

For me, the key bit of the IPCA report was this:-

  1. Mr Hager and his lawyers suggested to the Authority that the amount of resources put into the Rawshark investigation seemed disproportionate.
  2. Mr Hager noted that the Police’s investigation into Rawshark began after Mr Slater sent an email to Assistant Commissioner Malcom Burgess’ PA, complaining that he had been hacked. Mr Hager implied that this contact with a senior Police officer was designed to bring indirect political pressure to bear.
  3. On the other hand, Assistant Commissioner Burgess told the Authority he did not know why Mr Slater emailed his complaint directly to his PA. The Police have maintained that this was a serious offence and that the investigation was run like any other of this sort, apart from the fact that there was probably a bit more oversight because of the high-profile nature of it.
  4. The Authority does not have information about the competing demands upon investigative resources in the Counties Manukau District at the time and is therefore unable to make any real comparison between this and other similar cases.

The IPCA was “unable to reach any conclusion as to whether the resources devoted to the investigation were proportionate to the seriousness of the alleged offense.”

Perhaps they should have asked some of the people who’ve been of the receiving end of the Police’s responses to computer crimes, who weren’t quite so well connected to the National Party or the Police hierarchy. The police seem to be quite selective about who they perform this kind of service for. But a compare and contrast with actions against Cameron Slater’s criminal associations is enlightening.

For instance there is a remarkably similar complaint made to the Waitemata Police about the same time about a hack into Matthew Blomfield’s computer over the net that obtained emails and other material which was subsequently used in blog posts published by Cameron Slater on his commercial blog site. What is the response?

As detailed in the book Whale Oil (see http://whaleoil.co.nz ) – apparently nothing much happens. No search warrants, no production orders. At best there were just a few interviews or statements taken. To me, in a legal sense, there appears to be absolutely no difference between the facts in both of these incidents – apart from the political damage to National from their association with Cameron Slater and/or a plea directly to the Malcolm Burgess.

Sure, if you assume that Cameron Slater was a journalist or if he claims to be one, then there may be a question of privilege about using the material – just as there was for Hager. But as the IPCA report says, that isn’t something that the police need to or should decide. It is a matter for the courts about the level of qualified privilege should apply.

That is quite explicit in the legislation and is something that needs to be decided by the High Court. The police just need to do their duty. The possibility of privilege needs to be mentioned in requests for search warrants and production orders. It needs to be handled appropriately if it arises during the execution of granted search orders and production orders.

Which makes the question of quality control by the police in how they investigate computer crimes and the subsequent use of material wide open to political debate. Do the police play favourites or are they just incompetent with the legislation or how it covers computer systems?

Exactly the same questions seem to arise whenever the Police needed to look at Cameron Slater for criminal behaviour where ever you look. Every other branch of the legal system appear to be able to hold him to account. The courts pulled him up for his criminal offense in breaching court orders. The civil courts finally get him for defamation. The Privacy Commission and the Human Rights Commission eventually pull him up for breaking the Privacy Act.

For instance staying with Blomfield look at what had previously happened to Blomfield when he made a complaint in 2012 about the theft and misuse of private information stored on hard drives and documents for commercial advantage by Slater. The contents of these private documents were selectively misused and misquoted in a series of at least a hundred defamatory posts by Cameron Slater. A selection of these posts have been found to be defamatory by civil court. The use of the copied material has been deemed to be a Privacy Act violation by the Human Rights Commission.

However the actual criminal act of copying the material off computer disks has been passed over without charges by the police despite Cameron Slater stating multiple times that he’d copied from sources obtained unlawfully without their owners permission. Again there is no effective legal difference between copying material from USB drives or from live computer systems – both are unlawful criminal acts without the owners permission. Yet the police don’t appear to have made any serious commitment of resources to pursuing the equivalent of Rawshark who gave those materials to Slater.

In 2015, I made a complaint to the Counties Manukau Police about what appeared to be a conspiracy by Cameron Slater and others to pay a hacker for information obtained from my computers about this site. There were amounts mentioned and eventually enough corroborating information for me to take the step of laying a complaint.

If proved, then to conspire to or to pay someone to do an unlawful hack is a pretty serious offense. It simply doesn’t matter if the hack took place. There is a reason for that – even the threat that might have happened is very costly. It cost me most of a week of holiday time checking logs for evidence of access and looking for weak points in my systems. In other words several thousand dollars of my time. It deprived my employer of that time as well as I took an unexpected break in the crucial start of a project and was distracted for longer.

Yet despite this after the initial complaint when I made it clear that this had caused me considerable issues, the Counties Manukau Police appeared to think that this was something that I needed to know about. After a dearth of information, I got a lawyer to obtain information that charges would be laid. Yet somehow the Counties Manukau Police failed to inform me of court dates despite saying they would.

I was in Italy doing a task when I found that the Counties Manukau Police had offered both Cameron Slater and the hacker diversion, that it had already been approved by the court and that somehow it was a victimless crime. I had to fly back early to show up at court to find out what was happening and to try to prevent Cameron Slater for getting a free pass that he wasn’t eligible for because of previous convictions. I didn’t succeed. All I got was the judge telling the police that it obviously wasn’t a victimless crime.

Al I can say about Cameron Slater’s charmed life with the police is that it is a damn good thing that the legal fraternity are there. It eventually turned sour for the him. The level of protection that he had as he stomped all over the criminal law has just allowed the time for the civil and privacy laws to exert themselves. It has now created a hole big enough to be a prison.

If you’re around the computing or the activist communities, the stories are rife about how little the police are willing to do when it comes to computer crimes. They are viewed as being completely useless and extremely selective about when they do act. The only reason that anyone IT even bothers giving complaints about intrusions to the police is because it is required by insurance cover.

The police appear to be technically and legally incapable of enforcing our legislation about computer crimes. Bearing in mind just how important our computers and networks are to the economy – that is concerning. Perhaps the government should follow the example of the Serious Fraud Office and give the task of dealing with 2002 computer crimes to a specialist office who can garner the skills to deal with it – without political linkages being an issue.

23 comments on “Police and computers: incompetent or just unbalanced?”

  1. Dukeofurl 1

    Who was the Police Minister at the time of Slaters  email  direct to the Assistant Commissioners PA ?

    Judith Collins was  Minister of Police  from Nov 2008 till  Dec 2011. Does that time period overlap ?

    Also remember Slaters intrusion into  the Labour party website , where he downloaded a  backup version of  database of  small donors  – which required technical assistance  from someone [who I know the name] to  reverse the formatting to make it readable

    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11490084

    The details revealed in the book led to the Labour Party complaining it had been hacked, among other claims. The other matters were dismissed by police last year. The reason, in a letter from Mr Drew, was that the "only evidence being relied on was contents of Mr Hagar's (sic) book and the entities and persons named did not want to pursue any action".

    Mr Barnett – "Barnnet",[labour Party Secretary] according to police – said the police conclusions were "unbelievable". He said the party was considering further action.

    He said the effort being put into investigating Slater did not compare to the greater energy put into investigating Hager.

  2. Stuart Munro. 2

    The IPCA doesn't inspire much confidence frankly – the only thing independent about it appears to be its name. With respect to the Hager warrant, although there was clear wrongdoing in deceiving the warrant grantor, no-one has been censured or punished, from which we may take it that the IPCA is perfectly happy for the same abuse to recur.

    As with the free pass given to agencies employing Thompson & Clark, our freedoms are ignored, and our rights are not defended by the very agencies that are tasked to defend them.

    It won't do.

  3. Muttonbird 3

    I thought the take away lie line from the IPCA report, "an unwitting neglect of duty", reached a new level of cleansing absolution. 

    https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/397070/nicky-hager-police-raid-in-2014-unwitting-neglect-of-duty-ipca

      • lprent 3.1.1
        1. When interviewing the officers involved in drafting and executing the search warrant, the Authority found they had no experience in dealing with journalistic privilege issues. The lead detective himself acknowledged he had never come across the issue of journalistic privilege before and did not know anything about it. It is therefore not surprising that he and others said that they simply acted on the legal advice they had received regarding the content of the search warrant application. The detective inspector overseeing the case told the Authority:

          “…the warrant that I did on another … address a couple of months prior, I did decide to put in the draft just two paragraphs saying we anticipated privilege would be claimed, and that’s how we would deal with it if it was claimed, and that went to legal section and the advice was to take that out. So I essentially used that as the yardstick around not putting those two paragraphs in this application.”

        2. There is no evidence that the officers prepared the warrant with the intent of deceiving the Judge about the fact that the subject was a journalist and there might be privilege issues. Although the court found they failed to fulfil their obligations, this failure in the circumstances was an unwitting neglect of duty.
        • lprent 3.1.1.1

          This is why I think that the police just ain't that good at certain areas of the law. 

          Each case needs to be treated separately. But if it was probably a journo for the first one – I'd love to know why anyone legal would take the section out. Because the judge would want to know more? Or would restrict the use of the warrant?

          In the case of Hager or for that matter most computer crimes – Painting by numbers without understanding why is just a way to get a legal mess. 

          • Muttonbird 3.1.1.1.1

            Yes, from your quoted section 10, the question then is why did the 'legal section' ask for reference to anticipated journalistic privilege issues to be removed.

            Seems clear this is deliberately withhold information from the judge. Although should a good judge be across who Nicky Hager is in a warrant put in front of him/her?

            I take it the 'legal section' is not within the terms of reference of the IPCA report, or even under the scope of the IPCA at all.

            • lprent 3.1.1.1.1.1

              From what was in the report, that would appear to be correct. Certainly that was what the IPCA said without the 'deliberately' part. I think that the ex-judge was somewhat generous.

              Pretty much everything else spirals out of that. The police and support staff doing the searches appear to have been considerably under-trained. For instance from what I understand from material outside of this report, they were totally unprepared. As Nicky Hager wasn't present he couldn't claim privilege, but he could also not be forced to disclose access keys. So the police shutdown running computers were shutdown to their encrypted state. 

              I mean, who doesn't naturally heavily encrypt sensitive systems these days? Usually with several layers of encryption.

              Why did the police think that they could seize computers for information without the keys? So ignorant… It sounds like the only thing that they were able to derive information from was the daughters computer and whatever was on paper.

  4. Anne 4

    If you’re around the computing or the activist communities, the stories are rife about how little the police are willing to do when it comes to computer crimes. They are viewed as being completely useless and extremely selective about when they do act.

    In doesn't just apply to computer crimes, but other crimes which have a political element to them. Years ago I reported a series of crimes committed against me over a long period of time. I approached the police on at least five occasions and they did not lift a finger to investigate. Consequently the main perpetrator (whose identity I was eventually able to establish but with no help from the police) got clean away with the crimes.

    Like Slater, this person had contacts in high places including National Party circles. I don't know if the bias towards National is still the case, but the poor police treatment of complainants who were perceived to belong to the Left side of the political equation has been a national disgrace for many decades.

    • Peter Christchurch NZ 4.1

      But I do wonder Anne if your experience is just a reflection of a wider Police unwillingness or even inability to do their job? For example, a year ago waiting at the lights, a drunken thug went down the line and kicked each car door in. It was caught on CCTV. We make a Police complaint (2 hours of teeth pulling), only to get a letter a month later saying they were too busy to investigate.

      Yesterdays Press headline has similar lack of interest by the Police in doing their job. 

      https://www.stuff.co.nz/opinion/115100035/when-police-fail-to-act-over-a-nearby-drug-house

      My partner received the same disinterest regarding a house selling sin and P, blatently and openly so. So many articles, so many friends and work colleagues report similar. And when you combine that with their Keystone Cops antics in how many guns are stolen from Police Stations, their appalling record keeping, fudging of crime stats etc, I for one would never again waste my time reporting a crime.

       

      • Anne 4.1.1

        Yes, Peter. I agree with all you've said. 

        It is definitely "a reflection of a wider police unwillingness or even inability to do their job." But when you add to that a prejudice against left leaning complainants (or at least those whom the police perceive as such) then you have a serious in-balance in police responses. Look at the way they went for Hagar after he published his book and yet left Slater completely alone. An example of a relatively recent national disgrace. 

        I, too, would not bother wasting time reporting a crime.

        • Peter Christchurh nz 4.1.1.1

          Yes that slime ball Slater seemed to be untouchable. I wonder why? 

          And the Police showed their true sympathies way back with the Springbok tour. A long time ago, but institutional culture tends to change slowly.

        • Anne 4.1.1.2

          Oops… my comment at 4.1.1 should read serious imbalance – not in-balance. 🙄

    • New view 4.2

      I’m inclined to agree. Computers and police come to mind when I think of the proposed firearms register. Commercially computers came on the scene in the late 1970s. Around that time I attained my license so was interested when a discussion at the time dismissed the idea of registering the gun in favour the person. I couldn’t understand the decision then, as to me it was the perfect opportunity to deal with the problem while the problem was small.  The rest is history and our police have come across as dopey and incompetent for a good part of it. 

  5. cleangreen 5

    Anne Tolley is known in Gisborne as "no show tolley"

    When she was a NCC deputy Mayor 1999 to 2002 she did nothing for our Napier People at all.

    Tolley;= useless as tits on a bull.

  6. Blazer 6

    there is no corruption in NZ…even Transparency International will confirm that!

  7. SHG 7

    Minister of Police, this year: Stuart Nash, Labour

    Minister of Police, last year: Stuart Nash, Labour

    Minister of Police, year before that: Stuart Nash, Labour

    punchline not needed

  8. Jum 8

    Suggesting Cameron Slater was a journalist is suggesting John Key enhanced the office of Prime Minister.  Both would be an insult to New Zealanders' integrity.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Simon Bridges: the 15 March Christchurch massacre and winning at any cost
    . . Just when you thought Simon Bridges couldn’t sink any lower – he has. After the March 15th  Christchurch terror attack, the (current) Leader of the National Party issued strong committments to support urgently needed gun law reform; “We will be ready and prepared to be constructive and to ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    16 hours ago
  • Only the least intelligent students, with bad parents, will attend the nonsense climate strike
    We all know that bad parents simply don’t care about their children’s education. Most truants have loser parents, and grow up to be involved with crime, or in low paid employment usually like their parents. The nonsense so-called “climate strike” coming up will be attended mostly by the least intelligent ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 day ago
  • Professional Internet Trolls being used to push manmade climate change lies
    Is the terrorist Organisation Greenpeace and the loony Green parties around the World hiring professional internet trolls? I have noticed a trend lately where if you post research, news articles or even comments that show the manmade climate change scam to be just that, you are immediately attacked, often within ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: Strike!
    Today is the first day of the global climate strike. Led by schoolkids, people all around the world are going to protest to demand action on climate change. New Zealand isn't doing it till next Friday (join us!), but if you want to get active early, there's plenty to do ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: Squandering our opportunity?
    The Herald has a story today about the 400 MW of wind power currently under construction. Good news, right? Except that none of it is being driven by policy (instead, its about replacing Contact Energy's Taranaki Combined Cycle gas-fired power plant, due to shut down in 2022), and most of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Protect The King!
    To Protect and Serve: When the Prime Minister finds herself enmeshed in the coils of a full-blown political scandal, her colleagues and party comrades have only one priority: to release her as swiftly – and with as little lasting injury – as possible. Is this what Jacinda Ardern’s colleagues and ...
    1 day ago
  • The rot at the top.
    When military leaders cover up and lie to elected civilian authorities, the foundation of democratic civil-military relations is undermined because it is those authorities who are entrusted to hold the military accountable to the public that they mutually serve. But this is only true if civilian political authorities take their ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Challenging the voting age in court
    The Make It 16 campaign to lower the voting age is launching this afternoon, and they have already announced plans to challenge the law in court:The campaign, named "Make it 16" will launch at Parliament on Friday, with plans to take their case to the High Court, testing the rights ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Israel’s elections herald a long siesta
    by Daphna Whitmore The long years of Netanyahu’s reign are drawing to an end. For years he has epitomized reactionary zionism as he oversaw hundreds of thousands of Jewish settlers seize land in the West Bank. There are now 700,000 settlers, putting an end to the myth that Israel was ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • Petrol companies promise prices will come back down once peace is restored to the Middle East
    BP, Z and Mobil all insist that petrol price hikes are temporary, “in a very literal sense.” The nation’s major petrol providers are trying to allay customer fears over prices, promising that they’ll move to lower them again “immediately” when the Middle East is returned to its formerly peaceful state. ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • All Blacks unveil boat for Rugby World Cup 2019
    South African coach Rassie Erasmus says he has no idea what they’re going to do about the boat. In a highly anticipated press conference this afternoon, All Blacks coach Steve Hansen has finally unveiled the team’s boat for its Rugby World Cup 2019 campaign. In a press conference that went ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 days ago
  • An increasingly shoddy coverup
    The Operation Burnham inquiry continued to question senior NZDF staff today, and their shoddy coverup over their knowledge of civilian casualties continue to fall apart. If you recall, first, we were asked to believe that it was all a series of "mistakes and errors": a senior officer with multiple degrees ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • If we are to avoid making the earth uninhabitable, we need to rapidly decarbonise our civilisation, and cut emissions to zero as quickly as possible. This seems like an impossible task, but its not. Pushing hard on a few technologies and trends will let us halve emissions in a decade:Greenhouse ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • A further attack on transparency
    The Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill (No 2) had part of its committee stage yesterday. its a generally tedious bill about the nitty-gritty of local government reorganisation. But it includes a clause making the Local Government Commission subject to the Ombudsmen Act, and hence the OIA. Great! Except of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Ihumātao and Treaty settlements
    Yesterday Ihumātao's mana whenua reached a consensus that they would like their land back, and asked the government to negotiate with Fletcher's for its return. The government's response? Try and undermine that consensus, while talking about how doing anything would undermine existing Treaty settlements. The first is just more bad ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Protecting our history
    Its Suffrage Day, the 126th anniversary of women winning the right to vote (but not stand in elections) in New Zealand. And to celebrate, the government has bought Kate Sheppard's house in Christchurch:The government has bought Kate Sheppard's former home in Christchurch for more than $4 million. The Ilam villa ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ostracising the coal-burners
    The UN climate summit is happening in new York next week, and unlike previous years, coal-burners and denier-states are not being invited to speak:Leading economies such as Japan and Australia will not be invited to speak at next week’s crunch UN climate change summit, as their continued support for coal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Jojo Tamihere Salutes Herr Goff.
    Get Back Jojo! The elation in Mayor Phil Goff’s camp may be easily imagined as they watched social media light up in indignation at challenger John Tamihere’s "Sieg Heil to that" quip. Just when JT’s notoriously right-wing, sexist and homophobic stains were beginning to fade back into his ‘colourful’ past, ...
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: A fun but flawed weed documentary
    Patrick Gower is good value when he's high. Not that I've ever, you know, got stoned with him. But in the second part of his documentary Patrick Gower on Weed, he does what you'd expect in a modern weed documentary and immerses himself – first with a doctor, then a ...
    3 days ago
  • Candidate Survey: Western Bay of Plenty – Local Body Elections 2019
    We surveyed candidates on their attitudes to issues facing the Western Bay Region, find out what they think: “Closing the Gap” Tauranga, one of the area groups of Income Equality Aotearoa NZ Inc., has surveyed all candidates in the three local body elections to discover attitudes to some basic issues ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    3 days ago
  • Project Nettie calls on scientists to defend biology
    Please spread widely, and sign, to support science and rationalism over the new irrationalism sweeping universities and institutions.  PROJECT NETTIE Sexual reproduction, the generation of offspring by fusion of genetic material from two different individuals, evolved over 1 billion years ago. It is the reproductive strategy of all higher animals ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • I’m glad I don’t live in Auckland
    Just when I was thinking that Palmerston North's mayoral race (which includes a convicted child molester / public wanker and a convicted child beater) was the worst in the country, Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere opened his mouth:Auckland mayoral candidate John Tamihere is being slammed for using the words "sieg ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Index of Power Update, 2018-19: China #2
    We reprint below an article from the excellent website the Economics of Imperialism by Tony Norfield This is an update of the statistics for my Index of Power, using data for 2018-19 and discussing what a country’s ranking reflects. The major change is that China’s rank has shifted up and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Climate Change: A history lesson
    Why is New Zealand climate change policy so crap? The Herald this morning has a long article on the twists and turns of climate change policy in New Zealand [paywalled / depaywall script], which shows where we've been. The short version is that the government first began worrying about this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What the All Blacks Mean to Us
    The All Blacks have been, for more than a century, arguably the most successful International sports team in the world. But they are more than that; even for those Kiwis who are immune to the charms of rugby (and there are more than a few), the All Blacks are ambassadors ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • No one is born into the wrong body
    A short and incredibly powerful speech from a young lesbian woman. No one is born in the wrong body. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Contempt
    Back in June, the UK Court of Appeal ruled that that country's continued arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful. So you'd expect that the UK government stopped approving them, right?Of course not:The government has apologised for breaching a court ruling against the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Covering up the cover-up
    Yesterday NZDF officials were put on the stand about the lies they had told over Operation Burnham, making implausible claims that it was all a big mistake. But along the way, we learned they had already been put on the spot about it by a previous Defence Minister, who had ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Not as important as they think they are
    Farmers have been whining a lot lately, about the methane targets in the Zero Carbon Bill, about Canterbury's proposed nitrogen limits, and about the government's new proposals to stop them from shitting in our lakes and rivers. These policies are "throwing farmers under the tractor", they will force farmers off ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Behind Every Good Woman Should Stand – Another Good Woman.
    Alone, Alone, All, All, Alone: To argue that the Prime Minister is the victim of her advisers’ failure to keep her informed may offer Jacinda some measure of exoneration – but only at the cost of casting her as a hopeless political ingénue. A star-dusted muppet, whose only purpose is to ...
    5 days ago
  • Poor quality, poorly educated kiddie ‘Journalists’ spreading fake news
    In times of hysteria about the “World coming to an end” and “rising sea levels” so-called ‘Journalists’ who can barely spell words longer than four letters are having a ball! Though the majority of the Public have worked out that manmade climate change is nothing short of pseudo-science, and the ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    5 days ago
  • Chris Trotter on the BFD
    I don't want to give pblicity to certain parts of the internet that are better left to fester in their own irrelevance (I know, a bit like this place) but the listing of Chris Trotter as a 'author' on Cameron Slater's spinoff website, the BFD requires some explanation.Now, I don't ...
    5 days ago
  • Sex is not a spectrum
    The text below is a Twitter thread by Heather Heying that explains the essence of sexual reproduction and it long evolutionary history. She is an evolutionary biologist and a “professor-in-exile” after she and her husband, Bret Weinstein, stood up to supporters of an enforced “Day of Absence” for white staff and teachers ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Trees, aviation, and offsets
    With crunch time for new Zealand climate policy approaching, most of the New Zealand media have got on board with a global reporting effort to cover the issue. There's one strand of stories today about polling and what it shows about changing public attitudes to the crisis, but the strand ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Pissing-Off The Israelis Is A High-Risk Strategy.
    Dangerous Foes: For those readers of Bowalley Road who feel disposed to dismiss any prospect of an Israeli destabilisation of New Zealand politics, the example of the United Kingdom repays close attention. Ever since the election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party, the Israelis have sanctioned, funded and ...
    5 days ago
  • Something to go to in Wellington
    Make It 16, the youth-led campaign to lower New Zealand's voting age, is holding an official campaign launch at Parliament this Friday from 16:30. If you'd like to attend, you can register using EventBrite here. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A founding member responds to Peace Action Wellington
    by Don Franks It was a lovely sunny Wellington afternoon with blue skies above  the beaches.  In Courtenay Place, political activists packed out a stuffy upstairs room for an important meeting. The assembled pacifists, anarchists, communists and independent young radicals of Peace Action Wellington felt the need for a mission ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • “Mistakes and errors”
    Current and former NZDF top brass are being publicly grilled this week by the hit and run inquiry over their public responses to allegations of civilian casualties. Previously, they've claimed there were no casualties, a position which led them to lie to Ministers and to the public. Now, they're saying ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Homosexuality is same-sex attraction and relationships, not heterosexuals with delusions of gende...
    by Rafael D. Quiles (gender-critical gay man from Puerto Rico) The writing on the wall is right in people’s faces and people just don’t see it or don’t want to. What could actually possess a heterosexual male to want to feminize himself and claim that he is a lesbian? Because ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Trump: “Where’s my favourite dictator?”
    From the Wall Street Journal:Inside a room of the ornately decorated Hotel du Palais during last month’s Group of Seven summit in Biarritz, France, President Trump awaited a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Mr. Trump looked over a gathering of American and Egyptian officials and called out in ...
    6 days ago
  • Magdalen Burns, 1983-2019, fighter for women’s liberation
    by the Redline blog collective At Redline we are very saddened to hear of the death of Magdalen Burns who passed away on the morning of Friday, September 13 (British time). Magdalen was a great fighter for the rights of women in general and lesbian women in particular, a defender ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the Executive
    The Brexit issue has certainly brought with it a series of apparently difficult constitutional issues, many of them concerning the respective roles of the executive and parliament. Most of them arise because of the unwillingness of MPs, despite their professions to the contrary, to be bound by a constitutional rarity ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 week ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    1 week ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    1 week ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    2 weeks ago

No feed items found.