Police spied on Unite Union too

Written By: - Date published: 3:09 pm, December 18th, 2008 - 42 comments
Categories: national/act government, police, workers' rights - Tags: , , ,

Matt McCarten, head of the Unite Union, has just released emails showing police informant Rob Gilchrist gave the police spy unit details about activities being organised by the union as part of their push to abolish youth pay rates and increase the minimum wage.

‘These emails give lie to the police claim that only potential criminal actions by individuals were being targeted. A wide range of legal actions by unions, political parties and peace and justice groups came under the evil eye of the police. There is no evidence that the actions of Gilchrist were in any way discouraged by the police.

‘We need a full public inquiry into the actions of the police spy unit whose actions have clearly gone way beyond any legal mandate,” said Mr McCarten.

So, now we have not just peaceful environmental, animal rights and anti-war groups being spied on, but political parties and trade unions too. This is far too close to home for my liking – now it’s personal.

You may recall the first thing Judith Collins did as Police Minister was to make a media splash about the need to crack down on the perceived “politicisation” of the police. You’d think a coordinated campaign to spy on peaceful left-wing political movements under the guise of anti-terrorism would be reason enough for a public inquiry, but apparently not.

No doubt her reaction would be very different if it were Business NZ and the Sensible Sentencing Trust in the gun, but I guess Judith doesn’t mind politicisation after all. Just so long as it’s her enemies that are getting the stick.

UPDATE: More detail from No Right Turn here – seems Unite wasn’t the only union the police were spying on. NZPA has a report here.

Update 2: The EPMU have weighed in and they don’t sound happy – SP.

42 comments on “Police spied on Unite Union too ”

  1. justthefacts 2

    How delicious, the unions being spied on by the Labour government.

    [lprent: You are an idiot – the police are truly independent. The police watch everyone that they find suspicious, ie all of us in varying degrees. It has bugger all to do with what government is there. I suggest that you read the Police Act 2008]

  2. gobsmacked 3

    If you increase the minimum wage, then the terrorists have WON.

    Seriously, this is disgusting, as is the “see no evil” reaction of the politicians. Perhaps John Boscawen will organise a march to defend our basic freedoms.

    PS “JusttheFacts” – this is about basic right and wrong, not tiresome cheerleading for the colour of one team or the other. If you can’t get that, I pity you.

  3. Lew 4

    JTF: I see paranoid idiots who still think that the police is subject to direct operational control by the government still exist.

    L

  4. How delicious, the unions being spied on by the Labour government.

    Technically, by the police. but the fact they were allowed to get so out of control under Labour does not reflect well on that party.

    Perhaps John Boscawen will organise a march to defend our basic freedoms.

    There’s a Tui billboard in that.

  5. Bill 6

    I’m getting reminded of something I heard abut the Stasi. Obsessive, compulsive gathering of information. Problem was they ended up with so much info they couldn’t do anything with it…anything that might have been valuable (from their perspective) was lost in a general tsunami of bollox and bullshit.

    I think we ought not to kid ourselves. The police are always interested in ANY activity that is ‘dissident’. That includes unions. No matter how conservative they are or might be they are by mere definition ‘dissident’.

    The point is that much of the info they got was , presumably, more or less public knowledge anyway. (If Gilchrist was passing on union emails, those same emails would have been going to how many other people? Obviously not just members unless Gilchrist was spending a proportion of his ill gotten gains on multiple union memberships)

    At the end of the day, anyone doing something seriously dodgy will be slipping under the radar (easily) because of the way they operate. So the police are idiotic time wasters. What’s new?

    Send them the info. Lots of it. Ask for a mailing address, an email address and send them absolutely everything and anything. You going to have a sausage sizzle at that next picket? Send them the preferred brand of sausage, the BBQ make, who’s cooking…….

  6. And all this happened under the labour government?

    Who the heck would waste their time spying on freakin Unions?

    Unless there are corrput members who are doing illegal activities.

    [lprent: You starting to get my point now? The police have very little to do with politics.]

  7. IrishBill 8

    The fact that three of the unions EPMU, SFWU and MUNZ that have had their activities monitored are affiliated to the Labour party suggests to me that the government was unfamiliar with the operational detail.

    This does not excuse them in the least however and it certainly strengthens the case for an inquiry.

  8. mike 9

    Oh shit ……..

    ….and it has all been done by the LARBOUR party. This poice division was set up by LABOUR.

    Oh bugger.

  9. Billy 10

    Did anyone notice DPF’s suggestion that the new Minister of Police doesn’t want to start the job, by undermining the Commissioner.

    Why not, I wonder?

    The previous government sorted him out early on and never had any trouble thereafter.

  10. Bill 11

    Wonder if Gilchrist is piloting any of those flying spy pigs in the sky planes in the Waikato? According to TV3 last night, he wasn’t answering his phone ’cause he was ‘travelling’….

    Hmm, ground to air anyone?

  11. Felix 12

    Billy, ??

    Brett,

    “Unless there are corrput members who are doing illegal activities.”

    Does that sound like a job for the police anti-terrorist group (SIG) to you?

  12. toad 13

    Bill said: According to TV3 last night, he wasn’t answering his phone ’cause he was ‘travelling’ .

    Overseas, I suspect, so it’s more difficult to track him down. And travel paid for by the Police, I also suspect. They wouldn’t want him spilling the beans in a loose moment under media pressure.

  13. Actually Rob is still at home – and has been since the story broke. I spoke to him last night (called his home landline). That message is simply for the benefit of the media.

  14. Billy 15

    Rochelle.

    Did he promise he would change if you gave him one more chance?

    Men are bastards. They don’t.

  15. This has been going on for years. When i was on the National Exec of the Electoral Reform Coalition, my mail from overseas began arriving – every single peice – wrapped in plastic or taped up and all had a “Opened by Customs” sticker on it. This went on between 1989 and 1994.

    A few weeks before the MMP referendum in 1993, the ERC offices were broken into and all the computers stolen – but money and other valuables were untouched. I had expected dirty tricks and had warned Phil Saxby to ensure frequent backups of data were taken and stored off site. My worst fears were realised in full.

    Living on Johnsonville, after becoming National secretary of the ERC, my telephone started doing strange things…..

    There is no doubt that we were being spied on and when the time came, direct action was taken to subvert the pro-MMP campaign. The latter might not have been the state, but the former certainly was.

    One of the people on the ERC exec was an SUP member. I was one of the few who was not a member of any party.

    NZ governments – Labour and National – have allowed domestic spying on the people going about their rightful and legitimate political business.

    Been there. Experienced it first hand.

  16. Tane 17

    I’ve deleted three off-topic comments from the usual right-wing trolls. Please stick to the topic of the thread rather than trying to jack it.

  17. rave 18

    A good thing may come out of this which is to dispel the notion widespread on the left that the police are supposed to be class neutral and can be kept in check by left wing governments. This is because they think that the state is inherently neutral in relation to whether you are a property owning citizen or not.

    Labour stood by when National used emergency powers, enacted by Labour in the 30s and WW2, against the unions during the 1951 lockout. Labour has increased police powers since 2001 under the pretext of Bush’s ‘war of terror’. Though a lockout, the problem for the bosses was that their goods werent getting to market.

    The ‘abuse’ of police powers is not really abuse. It’s normal use. The police are empowered to defend private property and property owning persons. Witness property owner who kills a person who defaces said property and is widely held to be justified but given a token sentence to pretend that all individuals are really equal under the law regardless of which bands they like. But theyre not.

    Everyone who threatens the private property rights of citizens can expect to be repressed. Spied on (long history), threatened (anyone in protests since 2001 will have had plainclothes cops introduce themselves naming the protestors and saying they know all about them), and physically attacked and locked up. The defence of these rights can only come from mass protest and actions. Might is right on the night.

    This is what we expect when we stand up for democracy or elementary labour rights against the capitalist system. The capitalist system includes the state which is in the last analysis based on the force of the secret police, the cops and the armed forces. If it werent for that elementary fact, most workers would have refused to be exploited by bosses and expropriated private property at least a century ago.

  18. Janet 19

    Threats to national security in NZ are surely more likely to come from forces on the right, than the left. Why aren’t the police watching those coming into NZ unannounced by private jet or luxury yacht, or giving money to right wing political organisations? Or maybe they are?

  19. Rex Widerstrom 20

    lprent suggests:

    The police watch everyone that they find suspicious, ie all of us in varying degrees. It has bugger all to do with what government is there.

    Whilst justhefacts contends:

    the unions being spied on by the Labour government

    In my experience (as opposed to opinion) you’re both right. The Police spy obsessively on anyone they see as as suspicious and they are a willing tool of their political masters. Not just Labour, though, and not just the government of the day (though it’s them they’re most intent on pleasing).

    They’re smart enough to know that the continued turning of a blind eye to their hijinks depends on keeping politicians of all persuasions beholden. Just witness the new Minister’s weak performance.

    Same applies to the media. How weak would most bulletins be if it wasnt for all the crime stories, carefully allocated according to how easy a ride the Police get from a particular reporter.

    I come from a completely different political perspective to rave, yet I agree wholeheartedly with all but his last paragraph above. That must tell you something.

  20. gingercrush 21

    How pleasing to see rave use another topic for his absurd argument for workers to overthrow capitalism. And then we get Janet with another attack on the right and calling them criminals instead of the left.

    Why rave insists we listen to his pathetic arguments and opinions about workers is beyond me. Why Janet uses this to attack the right is beyond me as well. I’m sorry but it was Labour in power. This isn’t a left/right matter its the police. End of.

    [lprent: They get let through because they argue their viewpoint coherently, cogently, and on topic. I don’t think that rave or Janet has ever raised my site protection instincts. Of course calling into question peoples access to comment here does….

    Personally I agree with your viewpoint – that the police are off in a universe of their own.

    However that doesn’t make the viewpoint of rave and Janet something that is not worth having. It is just something that you have to explain why you don’t like it and why you think it is incorrect, or you just ignore it.

    The ones that get banned are the ones who try to trash the site, usually by attempting to prevent discussion – ie from the policy. Most recently for me was giving ‘sod the heave for a week for trying to start flames (which he is whining about on SodBlog 😈 ]

  21. Usual right-wing troll 22

    [lprent: Bye dad]

  22. Pascal's bookie 23

    hey ginger, you seem to have picked up a few rhetorical diseases. Would I be wrong in assuming that you’ve been hanging out at KB?

    rave doesn’t insist we read his arguments any more than you insist we read your commentary. The fact that things are beyond you, doesn’t rebut them in the least. If you are going to label things as ‘absurd’ and ‘pathetic’, then I’m guessing that you could in fact rebut them if you chose to do so. I’d like to see you try actually.

    I don’t agree wholeheartedly with rave on a lot of things, (I’m more of a Rawlsian liberal than a Marxist), but I enjoy reading his perspective. Apart from the fact that you support the National Party I’m not yet sure what your perspective even is. I know you claimed to be a neo liberal, but it turned out you weren’t too precise in your own mind about what that meant. I doubt anyone could say the same about rave.

    I guess I’m just saying that your royal ‘we’ doesn’t include me. So speak for yourself. ok?

  23. Daffodil Gal 24

    GC: I totally disagree. When the police are covertly gathering intelligence on the workings and actions of a wide variety of groups that support left-wing ideals, including trade unions ffs, it is a deeply left/right matter.

    Rave is exercising his human right to freedom of expression and he’s not insisting that you listen- you can exercise your own human right to bugger off elsewhere if you so desire.

    Change the record, I think it’s stuck. It doesn’t matter who was in government. I just want to know how the whole Gilchrist charade got so far and went on for so long without someone within the police blowing the whistle…

    Janet is absolutely right in that most of the groups that were being surveilled were groups centred around ideals that would strongly oppose any violent terrorist action. Unite and Greenpeace hardly pose a risk to National security! By the way, nobody called anybody a criminal.

    [[EDIT: OH SNAP PB, YA BEAT ME TO IT. AND I WAS SO BRAVE COMMENTING AND ALL =P ]]

  24. RedLogix 25

    PB,

    Rawlsian liberal

    Blogs at their best; one learns something new every day… thanks.

  25. Ag 26

    The police spying on unions engaging in regular union activities? If nothing gets done about this, then I really can’t see the point of regular political activism in New Zealand. Why bother if the police are going to engage in politically motivated espionage? Lord knows who else gets access to this information. Based on some of the cops I’ve known I can take a wild guess.

    And people used to criticize me for loathing and distrusting the police.

    At least we can console ourselves with the fact that they are for the most part incompetent.

  26. Usual right-wing troll 27

    [lprent: Bye dad]

  27. Pascal's bookie 28

    Daffodil Gal, hey, you should comment more often 🙂

    red: lately I’ve been trying to read a couple of articles from here:

    http://plato.stanford.edu/search/searcher.py?query=rawls

    each weekend, while the toddler naps. That page is on Rawls links but the search function is truly awesome. Any damn philosophical idea you can think of gets a working over, and all for free.

    Kids these days don’t even know they’re born I tell you.

  28. Ari 29

    Rawls was the one who thought that a fair society was the one with the veil of ignorance stuff, right?

    I rather liked the idea that a fair society would be one you’d agree to with everyone else if you didn’t know in advance whether you would be female or male, rich or poor, gay or straight, one race or another, etc…

  29. Pascal's bookie 30

    Yep, that’s him.

  30. Peter Davis 31

    [Tane: D4J, you’re still banned.]

  31. Chris G 32

    I actually liked Raves comment and particularly his last paragraph, GC.

    I dont think its off topic at all, the monitoring of the unions is part of the supression of the workers that rave speaks of in his final paragraph… Surely you can see the direct link GC? I sure hope the KB mud doesnt get your clothes dirty GC cos I like reading what you have to say.

    Further, how pathetic is that, monitoring Unite? Once again I’ll say, why weren’t the cops looking at the gang members down the road? Lets not pretend gangs are a small thing in NZ, they perpetuate the drug trade (Fact) and permeate beyond south auckland and porirua (Fact) Now in answer to that all I’ll hear is: Labour was in power, haha! – Irrelevant, think of something useful to say.

    Surely Johnny Friendly and Rodney the Razor should be all over these shenanigans and clamping down on this gross waste of taxpayers money? or do they not care because they were monitoring unions and left-wing groups? ahhhh… I see now.

  32. the sprout 33

    unlike the blinkered tragic bores of the gc variety, i ALWAYS read rave’s comments and am generally inclined to agree with his analyses.

    i guess what rave says is just waaaay too threatening for the very brittle realities of fear-addled righties.

  33. Swampy 34

    There’s always a lot of spouting by the left, even the most extreme, that their activities are peaceful, yet for some they are renowned for militancy and physical intimidation when it suits them. In fact it seems to be those who are the most shrill about “peaceful” protests who are the most likely to resort to physical force when it suits them.

    Granted, there is extremism on both sides of the political spectrum yet the proportionality as such falls significantly greater on the left wing. It is of course the same left wing who are whining the loudest, as always, about being spied on. Given that plenty of lefties want to abolish the armed forces and the SIS a sense of perspective is sadly lacking. The police are right to believe that most of the extremists like the Animal Liberation Front and Save Happy Valley are connected within milder left wing groups and to be keeping an eye on these groups.

  34. Swampy 35

    Dear Lew: Labour stood for politicisation of the public service.

  35. Swampy 36

    IrishBill: MUNZ are unaffiliated, aren’t they?
    Perhaps you are confused with RMTU which is affilated.

    I would expect MUNZ affiliated with the SUP given their record.

  36. Swampy 37

    Withers: The police are interested in groups which, say, advocate overturning democratic government in favour of communism or some other kind of one party state. This is no different from the activity that saw William Sutch picked up for being in contact with a Soviet diplomat. The polarisation of public opinion then and since has followed predictable patterns.

    If your group had an SUP member on board it is hadly surprising the police would be interested in them and by extension any groups they were involved in.

    I’d love to ask union members who talk about democracy and human rights why they are all so eager to support Cuba, Soviet Russia and China, none of which have or did have any such thing.

    [lprent: or supported by an MBA? like me? I support independent unions regardless of their political affiliations. I regard those that don’t as reactionary or communist fuckwits. – what are you?]

  37. Ag 38

    “Withers: The police are interested in groups which, say, advocate overturning democratic government in favour of communism or some other kind of one party state.”

    Oddly enough, they’ve never seemed interested in groups which were supportive of Pinochet’s program of reforms in Chile, or of companies that dealt with authoritarian regimes.

    Trying to paint the police as some politically neutral force is not going to cut it. When it comes to the crunch, the police always side with the right. That just means that if you are on the left, the police are always in the end an enemy and trust in them must always be qualified.

    If the police choose to soil themselves by being hired goons for tories, then in my view they make themselves legitimate targets.

    “This is no different from the activity that saw William Sutch picked up for being in contact with a Soviet diplomat.”

    I’d say the Cold War being over makes it very different.

  38. Anita 39

    Swampy,

    If your group had an SUP member on board it is hadly surprising the police would be interested in them and by extension any groups they were involved in.

    Why? In what sense is the SUP a significant threat to New Zealand?

  39. Bill 40

    Swampy.
    I’ve never been a member of a political org; never practised or advocated violence; have no criminal record and certainly do not support the types of authoritarian LW groups you refer to.

    Yet I have been variously monitored by the SIS ( phone tap, surveillance and a ‘request’ that I be interviewed) as well as put under surveillance by the police.

    Any thoughts?

  40. Pascal's bookie 41

    Bill you are clearly a fellow traveler, a useful idiot, objectively pro communist and would probably have been prematurely antifascist.

    A Threat to the liberal western state in other words, and it is only proper that you be deprived by that state of your liberal rights. Obviously.

    swmpy, the right uses the state for it’s violence.

  41. Lew 42

    Dear Swampy: nobody credible believes that; only those who have some partisan point to make from saying so.

    Incidentally, this whole schtick of tarring anyone not a NACT voter with the Communist Revolutionary brush is very dull. Nobody credible actually thinks that Cuba, China or the Soviet Union are better off than we are under liberal democracy, either.

    L

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  • Geoffrey Miller: China’s message to New Zealand – don’t put it all at risk
    Don’t put it all at risk. That’s likely to be the take-home message for New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon in his meetings with Li Qiang, the Chinese Premier. Li’s visit to Wellington this week is the highest-ranking visit by a Chinese official since 2017. The trip down under – ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    4 days ago
  • The Real Thing
    I know the feelingIt is the real thingThe essence of the soulThe perfect momentThat golden momentI know you feel it tooI know the feelingIt is the real thingYou can't refuse the embraceNo?Sometimes we face the things we most dislike. A phobia or fear that must be confronted so it doesn’t ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on how moderates empower the political right
    Struth, what a week. Having made sure the rural sector won’t have to pay any time soon for its pollution, PM Christopher Luxon yesterday chose Fieldays 2024 to launch a parliamentary inquiry into rural banking services, to see how the banks have been treating farmers faced with high interest rates. ...
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Thursday, June 13
    In April, 17,656 people left Aotearoa-NZ to live overseas, averaging 588 a day, with just over half of those likely to have gone to Australia. Photo: Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Thursday, June 13 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Our guide to having your say on the draft RLTP 2024
    Auckland’s draft Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP) 2024 is open for feedback – and you only have until Monday 17 June to submit. Do it! Join the thousands of Aucklanders who are speaking up for wise strategic investment that will dig us out of traffic and give us easy and ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    5 days ago
  • The China puzzle
    Chinese Premier Li Qiang arrives in Wellington today for a three-day visit to the country. The visit will take place amid uncertainty about the future of the New Zealand-China relationship. Li hosted a formal welcome and then lunch for then-Prime Minister Chris Hipkins in Beijing a year ago. The pair ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Fossil fuels are shredding our democracy
    This is a re-post of an article from the Climate Brink by Andrew Dessler published on June 3, 2024. I have an oped in the New York Times (gift link) about this. For a long time, a common refrain about the energy transition was that renewable energy needed to become ...
    5 days ago
  • Life at 20 kilometres an hour
    We are still in France, getting from A to B.Possibly for only another week, though; Switzerland and Germany are looming now. On we pedal, towards Budapest, at about 20 km per hour.What are are mostly doing is inhaling a country, loving its ways and its food. Rolling, talking, quietly thinking. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Hipkins is still useless
    The big problem with the last Labour government was that they were chickenshits who did nothing with the absolute majority we had given them. They governed as if they were scared of their own shadows, afraid of making decisions lest it upset someone - usually someone who would never have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Exercising with the IDF.
    This morning I did something I seldom do, I looked at the Twitter newsfeed. Normally I take the approach of something that I’m not sure is an American urban legend, or genuinely something kids do over there. The infamous bag of dog poo on the front porch, set it on ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Helm Hammerhand Anime: First Pictures and an Old English ‘Hera’
    We have some news on the upcoming War of the Rohirrim anime. It will apparently be two and a half hours in length, with Peter Jackson as Executive Producer, and Helm’s daughter Hera will be the main character. Also, pictures: The bloke in the middle picture is Freca’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Farmers get free pass on climate AND get subsidies
    The cows will keep burping and farting and climate change will keep accelerating - but farmers can stop worrying about being included in the ETS. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty on Wednesday, June 12 were:The ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Six ideas to secure Te Huia’s Future
    This is a guest post by our friend Darren Davis. It originally appeared on his excellent blog, Adventures in Transitland, which features “musings about public transport and other cool stuff in Aotearoa/ New Zealand and around the globe.” With Te Huia now having funding secure through to 2026, now is ...
    Greater AucklandBy Darren Davis
    6 days ago
  • The methane waka sinks
    In some ways, there may be less than meets the eye to the Government announcement yesterday that the He Waka Eke Noa proposal for farmers to pay for greenhouse gas emissions has been scrapped. The spectre of farmers still having to pay at some point in the future remains. That, ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • At a glance – Does positive feedback necessarily mean runaway warming?
    On February 14, 2023 we announced our Rebuttal Update Project. This included an ask for feedback about the added "At a glance" section in the updated basic rebuttal versions. This weekly blog post series highlights this new section of one of the updated basic rebuttal versions and serves as a ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Farmers get what they wanted – for now
    Since entering office, National has unravelled practically every climate policy, leaving us with no effective way of reducing emissions or meeting our emissions budgets beyond magical thinking around the ETS. And today they've announced another step: removing agriculture entirely. At present, following the complete failure of he waka eka noa, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Presumed Innocent?
    The blue billionaireDistraction no interactionOr movement outside these glazed over eyesThe new great divideFew fight the tide to be glorifiedBut will he be satisfied?Can we accept this without zoom?The elephant in the roomNot much happens in politics on a Monday. Bugger all in fact. Although yesterday Christopher Luxon found he ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on our doomed love affair with oil and gas
    What if New Zealand threw a fossil fuel party, and nobody came? On the weekend, Resources Minister Shane Jones sent out the invitations and strung up the balloons, but will anyone really want to invest big time in resuming oil and gas exploration in our corner of the planet? Yes, ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    7 days ago
  • Building better housing insights
    This is a guest post by Meredith Dale, senior urban designer and strategist at The Urban Advisory. There’s a saying that goes something like: ‘what you measure is what you value’. An RNZ article last week claimed that Auckland was ‘hurting’ because of a more affordable supply of homes, particularly townhouses ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    7 days ago
  • Putin would be proud of them
    A Prime Minister directs his public service to inquire into the actions of the opposition political party which is his harshest critic. Something from Orban's Hungary, or Putin's Russia? No, its happening right here in Aotearoa: Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has announced the Public Service Commission will launch an ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths
    This is a repost from a Yale Climate Connections article by SueEllen Campbell published on June 3, 2024. The articles listed can help you tell fact from fiction when it comes to solar and wind energy. Some statements you hear about solar and wind energy are just plain false. ...
    1 week ago
  • Juggernaut
    Politics were going on all around us yesterday, and we barely noticed, rolling along canal paths, eating baguettes. It wasn’t until my mate got to the headlines last night that we learned there had been a dismayingly strong far right result in the EU elections and Macron had called a ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Numbers Game.
    Respect Existence, Or Expect Resistance? There may well have been 50,000 pairs of feet “Marching For Nature” down Auckland’s Queen Street on Saturday afternoon, but the figure that impresses the Coalition Government is the 1,450,000 pairs of Auckland feet that were somewhere else.IN THE ERA OF DRONES and Artificial Intelligence, ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: AVFA on post-colonial blowback.
    Selwyn Manning and I discuss varieties of post colonial blowback and the implications its has for the rise of the Global South. Counties discussed include Palestine/Israel, France/New Caledonia, England/India, apartheid/post-apartheid South Africa and post-colonial New Zealand. It is a bit … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Policy by panic
    Back in March, Ombudsman Peter Boshier resigned when he hit the statutory retirement age of 72, leaving the country in the awkward (and legally questionable) position of having him continue as a temporay appointee. It apparently took the entire political system by surprise - as evinced by Labour's dick move ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • PSA: NZ's Richest Company, Zuru, Sucks
    Hi,Today the New Zealand press is breathlessly reporting that the owners of toy company Zuru are officially New Zealand’s wealthiest people: Mat and Nick Mowbray worth an estimated $20 billion between them.While the New Zealand press loses its shit celebrating this Kiwi success story, this is a Webworm reminder that ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard's Dawn Chorus and pick 'n' mix for Monday, June 10
    TL;DR: The six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty in the past day to 8:36 pm on Monday, June 10 were:20,000 protested against the Fast-track approval bill on Saturday in Auckland, but PM Christopher Luxon says ‘sorry, but not sorry’ about the need for ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • In Defence of Kāinga Ora
    Given the headlines around the recent findings of the ‘independent’ review of Kāinga Ora by Bill English, you might assume this post will be about social housing, Kāinga Ora’s most prominent role. While that is indeed something that requires defending, I want to talk about the other core purpose of ...
    Greater AucklandBy Connor Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Baby You're A Rich Man
    “How does it feel to beOne of the beautiful peopleNow that you know who you areWhat do you want to beAnd have you traveled very far?Far as the eye can see”Yesterday the ACT party faithful were regaled with craven boasts, sneers, and demands for even more at their annual rally.That ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Stopping a future Labour government from shutting down gas exploration
    A defiant Resources Minister Shane Jones has responded to Saturday’s environmental protests by ending Labour’s offshore oil exploration ban and calling for long-term contracts with any successful explorers. The purpose would be to prevent a future Labour Government from reversing any licence the explorers might hold. Jones sees a precedent ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23
    A listing of 32 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, June 2, 2024 thru Sat, June 8, 2024. Story of the week Our Story of the Week is Yale Climate Connection's Resources for debunking common solar and wind myths, by ...
    1 week ago
  • Fission by the river
    This is where we ate our lunch last Wednesday. Never mind your châteaux and castles and whatnot, we like to enjoy a baguette in the shadow of a nuclear power plant; a station that puts out more than twice as much as Manapouri using nothing more than tiny atoms to bring ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • Fact Brief – Is the ocean acidifying?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Is the ocean acidifying? Acidification of oceans ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000+ on Queen St.
    The largest protest I ever went on was in the mid 90s. There were 10,000 people there that day, and I’ve never forgotten it. An enormous mass of people, chanting together. Stretching block after block, bringing traffic to a halt.But I can’t say that’s the biggest protest I’ve ever been ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • Josh Drummond's Columns
    Hi there,I wanted to put all of Josh Drummond’s Webworm pieces all in one place. I love that he writes for Webworm — and all of these are a good read!David.Why Are So Many “Christians” Hellbent on Being Horrible?Why do so many objectively hideous people declare themselves “Christian”?Meeting the Master ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday soliloquy and weekend Pick ‘n’ Mix for June 8/9
    Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: On reflection, the six things to note in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy around housing, climate and poverty this week were:The Government-driven freeze in building new classrooms, local roads and water networks in order to save cash for tax cuts is frustrating communities facing massive population ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • The no-vision thing
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past somewhat interrupted week. Still on the move!Share Read more ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • When Journalists are Disingenuous
    Hi,One of the things I like the most about Webworm is to be able to break down the media and journalism a little, and go behind the scenes.This is one of those times.Yesterday an email arrived in my inbox from journalist Jonathan Milne, who is managing editor at Newsroom.I don’t ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    1 week ago
  • Me, elsewhere: Just say you’ll do the thing
    Wrote something over at 1/200 on a familiar theme of mine: The way we frame the economy as a separate, sacred force which must be sacrificed to, the way we talk about criminals as invaders who must be repelled, the constant othering of people on the benefit, people not in ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • A Voyage Among the Vandals: Accepted
    A nice bit of news today: my 4600-word historical fantasy-horror piece, A Voyage Among the Vandals, has been accepted by Phobica Books (https://www.phobicabooks.co.uk/books) for their upcoming Pirate Horror anthology, Shivering Timbers. This one is set in the Mediterranean, during the mid-fifth century AD. Notable for having one of history’s designated ...
    1 week ago
  • Ministerial conflicts of interest
    Since the National government came to power, it has been surrounded by allegations of conflicts of interest. Firstly, there's the fast-track law, which concentrates power in the hands of three Ministers, some of whom have received donations from companies whose projects they will be deciding on. Secondly, there's the close ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The 2024 Budget Forecasts Are Gloomy Prognosis About The Next Three Years.
    There was no less razzamatazz about the 2024 Budget than about earlier ones. Once again the underlying economic analysis got lost. It deserves more attention.Just to remind you, the Budget Economic and Fiscal Update (BEFU), is the Treasury’s independent assessment and so can be analysed by other competent economists (although ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • A government that can't see twenty feet ahead
    There are two failings that consistently characterise a National government. One is a lack of imagination, the other is their willingness to look after their mates, no matter what harm it might do to everyone else.This is how we come to have thousands of enormous trucks carving up our roads. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 weeks ago
  • A post I hope is incorrect
    In May, we learned that National MP David MacLeod had "forgotten" to declare $178,000 in electoral donations. Filing a donation return which is false in any material particular is a crime, and the Electoral Commission has now referred MacLeod to police, since they're the only people who are allowed to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori Cannot Re-Write New Zealand’s Constitution By Stealth.
    The Kotahitanga Parliament 1897: A Māori Parliament – at least in the guise of a large and representative body dedicated to describing the shape of New Zealand’s future from a Māori perspective – would be a very good idea.THE DEMAND for a “Māori Parliament” needs to be carefully unpicked. Some Pakeha, ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cowpats and Colonials.
    Dumbtown, is how my friend Gerard refers to people like ZB listeners - he’s not wrong.Normally on a Friday I start by looking at Mike Hosking’s moronic reckons of the week which he vomits down the throats of his audience like helpless baby birds in a nest, grateful for the ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 weeks ago
  • Gordon Campbell on cutting the sick leave of vulnerable workers
    Should sick leave be part and parcel of the working conditions from Day One on the job, just like every other health and safety provision? Or should access to sick leave be something that only gradually accumulates, depending on how long a worker has been on the payroll? If enacted ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    2 weeks ago

  • Making it easier to build granny flats
    The Government has today announced that it is making it easier for people to build granny flats, Acting Prime Minister Winston Peters and RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop say. “Making it easier to build granny flats will make it more affordable for families to live the way that suits them ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • High Court Judge appointed
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced the appointment of Auckland King’s Counsel Gregory Peter Blanchard as a High Court Judge. Justice Blanchard attended the University of Auckland from 1991 to 1995, graduating with an LLB (Honours) and Bachelor of Arts (English). He was a solicitor with the firm that is now Dentons ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Health workforce numbers rise
    Health Minister Dr Shane Reti says new data released today shows encouraging growth in the health workforce, with a continued increase in the numbers of doctors, nurses and midwives joining Health New Zealand. “Frontline healthcare workers are the beating heart of the healthcare system. Increasing and retaining our health workforce ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to overhaul firearms laws
    Associate Justice Minister Nicole McKee has today announced a comprehensive programme to reform New Zealand's outdated and complicated firearms laws. “The Arms Act has been in place for over 40 years. It has been amended several times – in a piecemeal, and sometimes rushed way. This has resulted in outdated ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government delivers landmark specialist schools investment
    The coalition Government is delivering record levels of targeted investment in specialist schools so children with additional needs can thrive. As part of Budget 24, $89 million has been ringfenced to redevelop specialist facilities and increase satellite classrooms for students with high needs. This includes: $63 million in depreciation funding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major health and safety consultation begins
    A substantial consultation on work health and safety will begin today with a roadshow across the regions over the coming months, says Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Brooke van Velden.  This the first step to deliver on the commitment to reforming health and safety law and regulations, set out in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Growing the potential of New Zealand’s forestry sector in partnership
    Forestry Minister Todd McClay, today announced the start of the Government’s plan to restore certainty and confidence in the forestry and wood processing sector. “This government will drive investment to unlock the industry’s economic potential for growth,” Mr McClay says. “Forestry’s success is critical to rebuilding New Zealand’s economy, boosting ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government cancels forestry ETS annual service charges for 2023-24
    Annual service charges in the forestry Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) will be cancelled for 2023/24, Forestry Minister Todd McClay says. “The sector has told me the costs imposed on forestry owners by the previous government were excessive and unreasonable and I agree,” Mr McClay says. “They have said that there ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the LGNZ Infrastructure Symposium
    Introduction Thank you for having me here today and welcome to Wellington, the home of the Hurricanes, the next Super Rugby champions. Infrastructure – the challenge This government has inherited a series of big challenges in infrastructure. I don’t need to tell an audience as smart as this one that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government boosts Agriculture and food trade with China
    Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard welcomed outcomes to boost agricultural and food trade between New Zealand and China. A number of documents were signed today at Government House that will improve the business environment between New Zealand and China, and help reduce barriers, including on infant formula ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ and China launch Services Trade Negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay, and China’s Commerce Minister Wang Wentao, today announced the official launch of Negotiations on Services Trade between the two countries.  “The Government is focused on opening doors for services exporters to grow the New Zealand’s economy,” Mr McClay says.  As part of the 2022 New Zealand-China Free Trade Agreement Upgrade ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister Luxon meets with Premier Li
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon met with Chinese Premier Li Qiang at Government House in Wellington today.  “I was pleased to welcome Premier Li to Wellington for his first official visit, which marks 10 years since New Zealand and China established a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership,” Mr Luxon says. “The Premier and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government and business tackling gender pay gap
    The coalition Government is taking action to reduce the gender pay gap in New Zealand through the development of a voluntary calculation tool. “Gender pay gaps have impacted women for decades, which is why we need to continue to drive change in New Zealand,” Acting Minister for Women Louise Upston ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding Boost for Rural Support Trusts
    The coalition Government is boosting funding for Rural Support Trusts to provide more help to farmers and growers under pressure, Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson announced today. “A strong and thriving agricultural sector is crucial to the New Zealand economy and one of the ways to support it is to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Latest data shows size of public service decreasing
    Spending on contractors and consultants continues to fall and the size of the Public Service workforce has started to decrease after years of growth, according to the latest data released today by the Public Service Commission. Workforce data for the quarter from 31 December 23 to 31 March 24 shows ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to the Law Association
    Thank you to the Law Association for inviting me to speak this morning. As a former president under its previous name — the Auckland District Law Society — I take particular satisfaction in seeing this organisation, and its members, in such good heart. As Attorney-General, I am grateful for these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • 25 years on, NZ reaffirms enduring friendship with Timor Leste
    New Zealand is committed to working closely with Timor-Leste to support its prosperity and resilience, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “This year is the 25th anniversary of New Zealand sending peacekeepers to Timor-Leste, who contributed to the country’s stabilisation and ultimately its independence,” Mr Peters says.    “A quarter ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Inquiry requested into rural banking
    Promoting robust competition in the banking sector is vital to rebuilding the economy, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says.  “New Zealanders deserve a banking sector that is as competitive as possible. Banking services play an important role in our communities and in the economy. Kiwis rely on access to lending when ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Ministry for Regulation targets red tape to keep farmers and growers competitive
    Regulation Minister David Seymour, Environment Minister Penny Simmonds, and Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard have today announced a regulatory sector review on the approval process for new agricultural and horticultural products.    “Red tape stops farmers and growers from getting access to products that have been approved by other OECD countries. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government to reverse blanket speed limit reductions
    The Coalition Government will reverse Labour’s blanket speed limit reductions by 1 July 2025 through a new Land Transport Rule released for public consultation today, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  The draft speed limit rule will deliver on the National-ACT coalition commitment to reverse the previous government’s blanket speed limit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Chair appointments for NZSO, CNZ and NZ On Air
    Minister Paul Goldsmith is making major leadership changes within both his Arts and Media portfolios. “I am delighted to announce Carmel Walsh will be officially stepping into the role of Chair of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra, having been acting Chair since April,” Arts Minister Paul Goldsmith says.  “Carmel is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government focus on long-term food, fibre growth
    Food and fibre export revenue is tipped to reach $54.6 billion this year and hit a record $66.6b in 2028 as the Government focuses on getting better access to markets and cutting red tape, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Oceans and Fisheries Minister Shane Jones say. “This achievement is testament ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt consulting on cutting red tape for exporters
    A new export exemption proposal for food businesses demonstrates the coalition Government’s commitment to reducing regulatory barriers for industry and increasing the value of New Zealand exports, which gets safe New Zealand food to more markets, says Food Safety Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The coalition Government has listened to the concerns ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Zealand and Philippines elevating relationship
    New Zealand and Philippines are continuing to elevate our relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “The leaders of New Zealand and Philippines agreed in April 2024 to lift our relationship to a Comprehensive Partnership by 2026,” Mr Peters says. “Our visit to Manila this week has been an excellent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Paid Parental Leave increase to help families
    Workplace Relations and Safety Minister, Brooke van Velden says paid parental leave increase from 1 July will put more money in the pockets of Kiwi parents and give them extra support as they take precious time off to bond with their newborns. The increase takes effect from 1 July 2024 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Defence increases UN Command commitment
    The number of New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel deployed to the Republic of Korea is increasing, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today.  NZDF will deploy up to 41 additional personnel to the Republic of Korea, increasing the size of its contribution to the United ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand to attend 'Summit on Peace in Ukraine' in Switzerland
    New Zealand will be represented at the Summit on Peace in Ukraine by Minister Mark Mitchell in Switzerland later this week.    “New Zealand strongly supports Ukraine’s efforts to build a comprehensive, just, and lasting peace,” Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Minister Mitchell is a senior Cabinet Minister and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Big step forward for M.bovis programme
    Farmers’ hard work is paying off in the fight against Mycoplasma bovis (M. bovis) with the move to a national pest management plan marking strong progress in the eradication effort, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The plan, approved by the Coalition Government, was proposed by the programme partners DairyNZ, Beef ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Build To Rent opening welcomed by Housing Minister
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Housing Minister Chris Bishop formally opened a new Build to Rent development in Mt Wellington this morning. “The Prime Minister and I were honoured to cut the ribbon of Resido, New Zealand’s largest Build to Rent development to date.  “Build to Rent housing, like the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Agriculture to come out of the ETS
    The Government will deliver on its election commitment to take agriculture out of the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme (NZ ETS) and will establish a new Pastoral Sector Group to constructively tackle biogenic methane, Coalition Government Agriculture and Climate Change Ministers say. Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand farmers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Luxon Tokyo-bound for political and business visit
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon will travel to Japan from 16-20 June, his first visit as Prime Minister.   “Japan is incredibly important to New Zealand's prosperity. It is the world’s fourth largest economy, and our fourth largest export destination.  “As you know, growing the economy is my number one priority. A strong economy means ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bayly travels to Singapore for scam prevention meetings
    Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Andrew Bayly, travels to Singapore today to attend scam and fraud prevention meetings. “Scams are a growing international problem, and we are not immune in New Zealand. Organised criminal networks operate across borders, and we need to work with our Asia-Pacific partners to tackle ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More help for homeowners impacted by severe weather
    People who were displaced by severe weather events in 2022 and 2023 will be supported by the extension of Temporary Accommodation Assistance through to 30 June 2025. Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says the coalition Government is continuing to help to those who were forced out of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    Removing the ban on petroleum exploration beyond onshore Taranaki is part of a suite of proposed amendments to the Crown Minerals Act to deal with the energy security challenges posed by rapidly declining natural gas reserves, Resources Minister Shane Jones says. “Natural gas is critical to keeping our lights on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • New Zealand and Malaysia to intensify connections
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