Polity: Even more new, damning evidence on Collins.

Written By: - Date published: 6:52 pm, May 5th, 2014 - 69 comments
Categories: accountability, corruption, Judith Collins, Politics - Tags:

polity_square_for_lynnLooks like an interesting week of drawn out misery for someone. Rob Salmond at Polity again.

I do not want to talk about Judith Collins’ “private” dinner. There are plenty of people making astute points about her impropriety there already. Instead, I want to draw attention to another damning part of last week’s Friday afternoon OIA-dump.

It shows that Judith Collins’ visit to Oravida was an official, Ministerial visit specifically designed by the New Zealand government to improve Oravida’s, and only Oravida’s, business opportunities in China.That is something Judith Collins is strictly forbidden from doing in her Ministerial capacity, because her husband is a director of the company.

This is further evidence that Collins has used taxpayer funds to help her husband’s business, and that she has spent the last two months lying about that fact to her boss, the Parliament, and the people of New Zealand. She must resign.

Here is the relevant part of the OIA-dump (pdf as well – see pp 30-31):

Meeting Brief: Oravida

Date and Time
23 October 1530-1630

Event
Visit and Tour of Oravida Facilities

Purpose / objective
To increase the profile of a successful importer and distributor of New Zealand products into China

Agenda items / event outline
1445 Depart Bureau of Justice for Oravida Offices

1530 Arrive at Office
Met by Oravida Management
Visit and tour of Oravida facilities
Afternoon tea / chance to meet management and employees

1630 Depart for Pudong International Airport

Background of organization / institution
Oravida New Zealand Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Oravida Ltd., a diversified company which owns a number of businesses in different sectors. The company is owned by Mr Deyi (Stone ) Shi and has two directors, Julia Xu and David Wong-Tung.

[…]

Attendees

Chinese side to be confirmed

New Zealand
Minister
Ambassador
Consul-General
Malcolm
Macintosh

First, far from being a “pop in” “20-minute stop” for a “cup of tea” or “glass of milk” “on the way to the airport,” as Collins has claimed in Parliament, this was an almost two hour excursion, with four officials in tow, going away from the airport, complete with a full hour-long official Ministerial programme at Oravida. Collins’ statements to Parliament have been simple lies, told to conceal an ugly, corrupt truth.

Second, Collins has also claimed in Parliament:

I was being driven around and I was assured by the ambassador that we could pop into Oravida on the way to the airport, or else I could have gone to the airport and I could have sat in the lounge for an extra long time.

This document shows that was also a lie. The meeting with Oravida was neither informal, spontaneous, nor on the way to the airport. The meeting was planned by officials long in advance, and was ticked off by Collins as part of her Ministerial itinerary before she left New Zealand.

Third, when she ticked off the meeting with Oravida, Collins agreed to head a New Zealand government team whose explicit, agreed purpose was “To increase the profile of [Oravida].”

That is the critical point.

Collins is prohibited from using her Ministerial position to “increase the profile” of firms from which her husband, David Wong-Tung, may derive a benefit. She breached the Cabinet Manual in participating in this visit knowing full well, in advance, its purpose and the conflict it entails. Hell, MFAT even named Collins’ husband as a director right there on the page, in case she needed any reminding!

Here is the relevant section of the Cabinet Manual (section 2.62):

A conflict may arise if people close to a Minister, such as a Minister’s family, whanau, or close associates, might derive, or be perceived as deriving, some personal, financial, or other benefit from a decision or action by the Minister or the government.

So, let’s tick off the elements:

Does David Wong-Tung benefit in any way from the success of Oravida New Zealand Ltd, which he serves as a director?
Yes.

Did Judith Collins take an action that might benefit Oravida, and therefore David Wong-Tung?
Yes. She visited its facility in Shanghai in order to raise its profile.

Was that action taken in her Ministerial capacity?
Yes. Her visit was an official engagement, arranged by MFAT, with on-site support from four diplomatic officials.

Did the Minister know that her action would benefit Oravida, and therefore David Wong-Tung?
Yes. She was informed in advance and in writing that the purpose of the visit was to increase Oravida’s local profile in China.

I anticipate another dreadful, embarrassing performance in Parliament from Collins this week in light of this issue and the others she is facing this week. And I expect her resignation will be announced early next week so it can be immediately drowned out by the Budget.

69 comments on “Polity: Even more new, damning evidence on Collins. ”

  1. Zorr 1

    Shame she couldn’t have taken the time off before Question Time tomorrow…

    I guess there are going to be a lot of supplemental questions

    evil grin

    • karol 1.1

      She’s taking time off after Question Time Wednesday – Tuesday and Wednesdays are the days Key is there. If Collins is absent, the heat would be put on Key re Oravida.

      • Zorr 1.1.1

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10010739/Judith-Collins-to-take-a-few-days-off

        “Key said Collins would front questions about Oravida in Parliament this week and it was important she did so because neither she or the Government had anything to hide over the affair.”

        Wouldn’t be the first time Key has lied tho…

        • karol 1.1.1.1

          The One News report was interesting. They poiinted put that Key’s entourage and Collins arrived on the same plane to Wellington. But Key’s lot weren’t walkign with Collins, and left her to answer media questions on her own.

          Also, the clip from Key’s press stand up, had Key saying about taking time off:

          She, actually, was keen to do that, and I certainly agree with her.

          it’s kind of like saying to Collins, “It’s your mess, you deal with it.”

          • felix 1.1.1.1.1

            Note his phrasing attempts to give the impression that the time off was Collins’ idea, but he doesn’t actually say that at all.

            • karol 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Yes. The “actually” is a bit of a give away – no actually at all, but a bit of dissembling.

              • felix

                And this: “I certainly agree with her”.

                What’s he agreeing with?

                1) He instructs her to take time off.
                2) She agrees to do so.
                3) Then he agrees with that.

                He skips (1) when he tells the story, and adds himself back in at (3) as if he’s responding to her idea.

                • karol

                  It’s hard to know. As told by NZ Herald, it reads like Key suggested she take a break – but then again, he might not have. Who suggested what?

                  Prime Minister John Key has told his embattled Justice Minister Judith Collins to take a few days off from Parliament once she has answered Opposition questions over the Oravida affair over the next two days.
                  […]
                  “What I’ve suggested and I think makes sense is that she’s going to be in Parliament on Tuesday and Wednesday this week… but I actually think she should have a few days off and we’ll be encouraging her late this week and early next week just to take a few days off.”

                  But what he does claim to have said is that Colins should be in the House on Tuesday and Wednesday, and back in the House by mid next week. he seems to want her to be fronting up to Question Time.

                  • felix

                    Can’t be good for her. It’s like he’s giving her the last bit of rope she needs.

                    A few people have suggested that he can’t afford to be seen to fire her, for fear of upsetting her right-wing support base. Does he think if he lets her stay long enough to make a total hash of it, she’ll have to go anyway and it won’t look like he’s fired her?

                    • One Anonymous Bloke

                      Don’t suppose there are any memos describing Key’s modelling dates for Oravida. “This will add considerable scampi time to the Prime Minister’s menu” – that sort of thing?

                  • One Anonymous Bloke

                    Minion: “Collins’ residence.”

                    Key: “This is John Key, I’d like to speak to Judith.”

                    Minion: “You wait.”

                    elevator music, six minutes and twenty seconds elapse

                    Minion: “Mistress will speak to you now.”

                    JC: “Mr. Key, we were just talking about you, ha ha. Do you want to know something about the press gallery?”

                    JK: “Er, Judith…”

                    JC: “Don’t interrupt, remember what we talked about… Now, I told you to do something about those wretched reporters and those horrible Labour people, and I have to say I’m very disappointed in your performance.”

                    JK: “It won’t happen again.”

                    JC: “And that’s what you tell the media when they ask you. Now, we’re off for a week or two from Thursday next so you’d better have this all cleared up by the time we get back. Understood?”

                    click

                  • Tracey

                    will she be providing a medical certificate after two days? what are her leave entitlements as a mp?

      • phillip ure 1.1.2

        i am sooo looking forward to doing the usual commentary on q-time 2morrow..

        ..i have already sharpened the quills..

      • Kat 1.1.3

        What a nice guy Key is eh!? That song “who do you think you are kidding Mr…….” keeps ringing in many peoples ears.

      • miravox 1.1.4

        I hope there is a good support system in place for her. The clip from yesterday shows she is not in a good frame of mind. Key is putting her through this to save himself.

        She’s either unwell now, and needs time off and someone else to take on her duties, or Key is anticipating she will be unwell after Wednesday. Much as I’m looking forward to her resignation and seeing the duplicity and corrupt behaviours being outed, I really don’t wish for anyone in such a demonstrably bad emotional state to be thrown to the wolves for political expediency. Callous.

        • karol 1.1.4.1

          Well, I don’t expect much to come of Question Time this week. The media et al are building it up to be like show-down at the OK. In fact, the pressure from the opposition has been a long slow turning of the screws.

          There will be more of the same pressure this week from the opposition. Collins will stand firm…. denial, denail, denial… and be relieved when Wednesday Qu Time is over.

          Key will be relieved he has a break for a few days and will try to present something he sees as positive Nat action…. and on it goes.

          • miravox 1.1.4.1.1

            Yep, I agree – the opposition have not gone for drama on this, and I expect they’ll stick to the facts this week. My concern is more the actual stress of having to front up and I wonder if the press have learned anything about chasing people through corridors and the like. Much as she deserves it, I hope they’ve moved beyond that.

            • AB 1.1.4.1.1.1

              Any sympathy/concern you may feel is almost entirely misplaced.
              This is the woman who in Parliament and on no evidence smirkingly called David Benson-Pope a ‘pervert’.
              This is the woman who said she hope that looters in Christchurch go to jail for along time “with a cellmate”, i.e. a police minister tacitly endorsing prison rape as an additional extra-judicial punishment.
              And when one of these ‘looters’ (Ari Smith) turned out to be a harmless young man with Asperger’s who had taken 2 light bulbs from an abandoned building because he had something of an obsession with light bulbs, and was clearly beaten up by the police while in their custody (yes, an extra-judicial punishment) there was no apology from police minister Collins.
              This sort of bullying psychopathy makes her singularly unsuitable for any ministerial role – but Police and Justice especially. This should have been plain to everyone years ago. I have no sympathy whatsoever.

              • McFlock

                pertinent reminder of her nature.

              • Bearded Git

                Quite right AB, and her behaviour on the David Bain report made her unfit for office, let alone Justice Minister

              • miravox

                “Any sympathy/concern you may feel is almost entirely misplaced.”

                I’ve not got of scrap of sympathy for her. I am concerned to see anyone have their mental health endangered – even after having so horribly endangered others. I completely agree that she is totally unsuited for a ministerial role – actually any level of public office.

              • Tracey

                some call it karma.

                like many bullies she can dish it out but struggles to take it. she is now isolated from her pack which breaks a bullys resolve very quickly.

                sometimes people have to collapse entirely to make any lasting change.

                the thing is, like williamson, she has had no thought for any victims, just herself.

                she is lucky to have a boss who will give her time off without pressure for medical certificates or unpaid leave, a decent superannuation scheme and substantial assets… cf to victims of acc tactics and privacy breaches.

          • Scott 1.1.4.1.2

            I’m probably a bit naive compared to you guys but won’t Crosby Textor be managing everything Key says right now?

            • Colonial Viper 1.1.4.1.2.1

              Yep. But no matter how much you butter this bread, it is still a shit sandwich.

              • Scott

                Ok, so who has to eat it. Collins I guess?

                • One Anonymous Bloke

                  Judith doesn’t eat shit, on sandwiches or otherwise. Judith is strong: we’ll see who comes to her table.

  2. Will@Welly 2

    I wonder which member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery Judith Collins will try to malign in the next day or two?

    • lprent 2.1

      Think distraction. Next are the bloggers or her staff of minions. Lets hope she asks Cameron to fall…

      • Disraeli Gladstone 2.1.1

        I liked Giovanni Tiso’s tweet that we’ll soon be entering the situation where Slater will be distancing himself from Collins, rather than the other way around.

        • NickS 2.1.1.1

          Slater? Do the smart thing? Lawl, I except the stupid one to do at least one really, utterly dumb thing over this and make things worse with (un)friendly fire on the National government.

          Though given his reliance on leaks from the National to stay in the spotlight, the idiot may yet surprise us and leave Collins to her justly deserved fate of political oblivion.

      • Not a PS Staffer 2.1.2

        They might find conduits to release video to embarrass Labour.

        They have a catalogue prepared for use in the election. Some include asshole statements made by Shane Jones. Though Joyce and McCully may use their influence to block the early deployment of theses “assets” as they have no interest in saving Judith’s neck.

        • Tracey 2.1.2.1

          is crosby using his fist to make that sandwich?agree. keys top drawer was always going to be emptied, but the schedule has come forward.

          • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2.1.1

            More like the schedule has been completely disrupted. National need a media window to drop their drawers. Worse, if they choose the wrong moment they risk the story being framed as “Nasty National Lashes Out” 😆

        • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.2.2

          I want to see the video! It’s sure to be good for a few laughs.

          Release the video! Come on National, don’t be coy.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.1.3

        Reported on Stuff this morning: “Staff grilled, Collins takes time off”.

        Lprent adds “Seer” to his cv.

        • Tracey 2.1.3.1

          yp, by john keys henchman. interesting they are being grilled about who requested a meeting.

          is this henchman speak for

          ” who created the fucking paper trail?”

    • I would guess she’d stay away from the press gallery since her last attempt to target one of their brethren totally backfired. In line with lprent’s thinking I’d go for a sudden resignation from her office.

  3. ScottGN 3

    I reckon one of the most interesting details to emerge today was that it turns out our Ambassador declined to attend this dinner not because he couldn’t be bothered or because he thought it was a private affair between old chums but because his office could smell the stink of a conflict of interest from a mile away.

    • Skinny 3.1

      My sentiments exactly, diplomats are aloof to any dirty dealings and will choose to err on the side of caution for their own self preservation. This revelation on TV3 News tonight gave the impression that the Ambassador flatly refused to attend. Usually very well connected & informed as to the lay of the land locally, this guy wouldn’t have wanted a bar of any dodgy goings on. It will be interesting to know how diplomatic he will be once attention turns to questions and answers. If his response is luke warm this will add to further suspicions of a New Zealand Government involved, not only in cronie capitalism, but also by financial association (Collins Family) and party donations which to the lay person appears corrupt.

      ‘Hone in on the Ambassador.’

      • ScottGN 3.1.1

        I doubt any questions will be directed to the Embassy staff in Beijing – that wouldn’t be appropriate. It’s clear though that Collins and/or her office thought she might be able to rope the Ambassador (and his wife) in to the dinner to add further lustre to the plan to sweet talk the border official.

  4. One Anonymous Bloke 4

    The Oravida corruption scandal has dragged out for so long, if Collins had just fessed up and resigned at the start she’d be about ready to return to cabinet by now.

    It’s always the cover-up that gets them.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      PS: This … will add considerable drive-time to the Minister’s programme.”

      Considerable 😆

    • Anne 4.2

      The point is: cover-ups are sometimes successful. And years later when they might be revealed, nobody cares any more. So, its nearly always worth the risk.

      • RedLogix 4.2.1

        I’m thinking that this govt has gotten away with a long string of cover-ups .. mainly because they could count on a pretty compliant and lazy media not digging too hard. Collins just got careless.

        Breathtakingly so when you think about it. Turns out there was even an official paper-trail. Key must be furious at such incompetence.

        • One Anonymous Bloke 4.2.1.1

          They drank the kool-aid. People embue reporters with all sorts of abilities they don’t in fact possess. I think they’re as gullible as the next person.

          • Tracey 4.2.1.1.1

            gullible, self interested, lacking personal courage of convictions. sadly not great attributes for a journalist.

        • Tracey 4.2.1.2

          thats my feeling too redlogix. for some reason this one got away from them. this is why it feels so much like an inside job on collins. the media werent too interested until a few months later.

          first vance and then bradford…

          not that it seems to have opened vances eyes too much

      • Tracey 4.2.2

        and is often the default position.

  5. NickS 5

    Muwahahahahahaha…

    If I wasn’t working tomorrow I’d be watching question time just to see Collins try and avoid the only way out left to her, falling on her sword and resigning. And Peters’ is going to have soo much $FUN with this

  6. Molly 6

    Marilynn McLachlan produces a very weird puff article for Judith Collins in the Herald – Seven things you might not know about Judith Collins.

    McLachlan’s LinkedIn profile has her listed as “Online Editor at The New Zealand Woman’s Weekly “

  7. hoom 7

    Frankly I’m hoping for rather more than a couple of days off.
    A permanent vacation from Parliament would be more suitable.

    In the form of a complete resignation/retirement.

  8. Will@Welly 8

    I’m not a fan of Paul Henry, but anything ‘newsworthy’ is preferable to that ‘suck-it-up-at-all-costs-TVNZ’, so I watched Paul Henry, and he and his two fellow commentators, after thinking that maybe Judith Collins could have redeemed herself (LOL), now agree that she has to go. Finito!!
    Time to walk the plank – Judith. The attack on Katie Bradford was uncalled for, but the fact that she didn’t recognise the reporter interviewing her was Brook Sabin, the son of a fellow National Party M.P. really means she is not fit to govern. TV3 can’t believe their luck.
    Maurice Williamson was the appetiser, Judith is the main course. The gift that keeps on giving, and giving. Even the Nats say she has to go !! John has dug himself a dirty big hole.
    Might be time to start polishing the Treasury benches – but please, no cock-ups.

    • felix 8.1

      What makes you think she didn’t recognise him? She called him by name several times.

      • Tracey 8.1.1

        i was wondering about that too. i also didnt see that clip as evidence of wide eyed rantings of an unstable person. odd behaviour for sure but i think some here have seen what they want to see.

        • ScottGN 8.1.1.1

          I didn’t think it was an unstable rant either. The whole interview was a deliberate attempt to push back at the media. Why exactly she thought that might help her cause I can’t fathom but I tell you what, that thin, fixed, pink lipsticked smile really creeped me out.

          • Tracey 8.1.1.1.1

            the thing about some lawyers, and i count many litigators and tax lawyers in this, is they are driven by ego and a win at all costs mentality. thats what i saw in that interview. she was so certain she was smarter than sabin that she could tie him up in knots and make him look stupid. so she kept going… and had to have the last word.

            tax lawyers live in a world dominated by rationalisation of their and their clients behaviour and motivations. finding ways around things they know are morally wrong, not intended by legislature for largely already wealthy clients is how they make their $450 an hour.

            thats the mindset i believe we have been witnessing.

      • Sanctuary 8.1.2

        I would say that in the world of entitled nepotism and cronyism that Collin’s inhabits the son of one of her fellow gilded ones questioning her would have moved her to even greater rage at his impertinent disloyalty.

  9. Plan B 9

    Has Judith’s husbands role been questioned? Is he merely being used as a means for Judith to be paid?
    Is he experienced in areas that could be seen to be relevant to the Orivada comapny
    eg accounting, finance, marketing, milk production, logistics etc

  10. Blue 10

    What I do not understand at all about this, and would really appreciate an explanation from someone, is this: If at the end of all of this Collins does resign what do the people making the fuss expect to gain. Do they think we will suddenly be more inclined to vote differently. Is this the reward that is being sought. I just don’t get it .. what is the point. In my group of friends we have staunch lefties, staunch righties and many in the middle and it would be fair to say that no one gives a rats about Judith Collins. This seems to be a huge fuss created by politicians and the entertainment industry (some members of which seem to think they are journalists while presiding over their ratings driven radio and tv shows). So the opposition claims a government scalp ….. so what ….. what is the point.

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    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Sarah Wesseler Imagine a home so efficient that it could be heated with a hair dryer. That’s the promise of a passive house, a design standard that’s becoming increasingly popular in the architecture community for its benefits to occupants and the climate. ...
    2 days ago
  • Deep in the Uncanny Valley of AI
    Hi,Before we get started, some very big fun Webworm news. I am launching a new journalism fund called Big Worm Farm!A really great thing that’s happened with Webworm over the last four years is that it’s grown. That’s great for a few reasons.Firstly — it means the work here gets ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 days ago
  • Introducing: Big Worm Farm
    Hi,I’m excited to tell you about Big Worm Farm.Put simply, the main aim of Big Worm Farm is to support investigative journalists from around the world to be able to devote dedicated time to research and report on a specific story, to be published on Webworm.The stories will capture the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    2 days ago
  • Why Massey is broke
    The Tertiary Education Commission has named the two universities it says are at high risk financially. They are Massey and Victoria. The Commission appeared before Parliament’s Education Select Committee yesterday and offered a revealing and rare insight into the complex world of university economics. Its Briefing to the Incoming Minister ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    2 days ago
  • You keep Luxin' when you oughta be thruthin'
    Christopher Luxon’s campaign to win last year's election continued yesterday with a speech.Channelling possibly Bruce Willis in Die Hard, he was all, I'm not going to dress it up, I'm going to level with you guys: the state of the nation is fragile.The thing he’s maybe missing is that it ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • The PM spoke of the need for tough choices – and then opted to beat a retreat when gays and Gaza a...
    Buzz from the Beehive The PM’s State of the Nation speech – according to a Newshub headline – was a ‘buffet of buzzwords’ and full of ‘nonsense’. Fair to say, the quoted words were attributed to Opposition politicians, who were unlikely to say the speech was visionary and inspiring: PM ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    2 days ago
  • Keynesian Wisdom.
    When the facts change, I change my mind - what do you do, sir?John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)This posting is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    3 days ago
  • BRIAN EASTON: Puffing policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. Brian Easton writes – In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    3 days ago
  • Is 2.8% per year population growth too much?
    TL;DR: The Government is reviewing migration settings that produced 2.8% population growth last year and is looking at a longer-term strategy of matching population growth to the ‘absorbtive capacity’ of Aotearoa-NZ’s infrastructure.Our population grew last year at its fastest rate since 1947, when large numbers of troops returning from World ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Tough Choices & Tough Love.
    I've been trying to hurt youI've been holding you tightI've been learning to love youAm I doing it right?How are you still breathingWith my hands all over your heart?How do we start healingIf we can't keep out the dark?Yesterday the Prime Minister delivered his State of the Nation, for no ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Will the 2024 RLTP be yet another debacle?
    A couple of years ago, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport found themselves in court over the 2021 Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP). A non-profit alliance for transport decarbonisation, All Aboard Aotearoa, argued that among other factors, the RLTP was unlawful because it failed to give effect to the 2021 Government ...
    3 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #07
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, Feb 11, 2024 thru Sat, Feb 17, 2024. Story of the week Based on mission alignment, our Story of the Week is certainly Can we be inoculated against climate ...
    3 days ago
  • Immigration Issues.
    Help is comingI heard a whisperWhite caps turningThe breath of summerA distant drummingAnd liar birds callingEscape the anguish of our pastAnd prayOne of the major challenges of the the 21st century will be the mass migration of human beings around our globe.Some seeking economic opportunities, others fleeing repressive regimes, war ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • Trust us, we know what we’re doing
    The best trick the National Party ever pulled was to fabricate their reputation as the responsible ones.This would be the National Party that denied us the New Zealand Superannuation Scheme that—Brian Gaynor wrote back in 2007would be worth more than $240 billion today and would have transformed the New Zealand ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • The Left’s Timidity
    It is not just Karl Marx – even the most enthusiastic supporters of the market economy (not least Adam Smith) will concede that its normal operation inevitably leads to a concentration of wealth in relatively few hands. Some, at least, of these enthusiasts will accept that such a concentration is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • OLIVER HARTWICH: Absurd – NZ courts can now decide on climate change
    Oliver Hartwich writes – The World Justice Project ranks New Zealand 7th out of 142 countries on its ‘Rule of Law Index’, narrowly ahead of Australia’s 13th place. However, Australia still has hope – if only because of a recent decision by the Supreme Court of New Zealand. The ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • Still waiting on that turnaround
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Friday: Week in review, quiz style2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Mihi Forbes and the great Atlas conspiracy
    Graham Adams writes — Last week, Mihingarangi Forbes made an extraordinary claim while interviewing David Seymour on Mata Reports, a taxpayer-funded current affairs programme which, she says, looks at events through an “indigenous lens”. She asked him about Act’s links to the Atlas Network, which fosters connections between centre-right ...
    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    5 days ago
  • Puffing Policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we need the money’. He explained that no-excise-duty ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Luxon is one of three prime ministers pressing for a ceasefire in Gaza – but the two-state solutio...
    Buzz from the Beehive Two days after hundreds of people rallied outside the New Zealand parliament and the US embassy in Wellington to protest against what they maintain is genocide in Gaza,  Prime Minister Chris Luxon joined with the Prime Ministers of Australia and Canada to express their  concerns that ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • All jellied up with possum grease
    1. Shane Jones, addressing the energy industry, called climate concern what?a. The only sane responseb. Undeniably valid c. Our last best hope d. A "religion" 2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. Gleeful ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Equality comes to Greece
    The Greek Parliament has voted for marriage equality: Greece has become the first Christian Orthodox-majority country to legalise same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples will now also be legally allowed to adopt children after Thursday's 176-76 vote in parliament. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the new law would "boldly abolish a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER:  Iron in her soul.
      “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche   Chris Trotter writes – TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Feb 16
    Net emigration of New Zealanders overseas hit a record-high 47,000 in the 2023 year, which only partly offset net immigration of 173,000, which was dominated by arrivals from India, the Philippines and China with temporary work visas. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The five things that mattered in Aotearoa’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Stop Whispering.
    There's nothing to sayAnd there's nothing to doStop whispering, start shoutingStop whispering, start shoutingYesterday our government surprised a few of us by standing up for something. It wasn’t for the benefit of people who own holiday homes and multiple investment properties. Neither were there any tobacco companies or fishing cartels ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • “I'm Not Keen on Whataboutism, But What About…”
    Hi,Not sure how your week is going, but I’ve had a pretty frustrating one. I’ve been trying to put my finger on it, and I think it’s perhaps distilled in this message I got on Twitter:What got me a bit riled up is that it was a response to the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National passing bad policies under urgency
    If National really had faith in its welfare policies, it wouldn’t be ramming them through Parliament under urgency – a step that means the policies can’t be exposed to select committee debate, public submissions, expert commentary, media scrutiny and all the normal democratic processes that this coalition appears to hold ...
    6 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 16-February-2024
    It’s Friday so once again here”s our roundup of some of the articles that caught our attention this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday Matt looked at the Government’s war on Auckland. On Tuesday Matt covered the ongoing issues with the rail network. On Thursday Matt ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • The Dawn Chorus for Friday, February 16
    The six things to note in my view at 6.30 am on Friday, February 16 in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Iron In Her Soul.
    “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich NietzscheTELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP for Auckland Central is the odds-on ...
    6 days ago
  • Dig this
    Resources Minister Shane Jones yesterday told a breakfast hosted by Energy Resources Aotearoa precisely what they wanted to hear. “We campaigned to rehabilitate relegitimise and stand up for working families who derive their income,  derive their hope and derive purpose in regional New Zealand through a flourishing, growing, forward-leaning energy ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7 2024
    Open access notables Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course, van Westen et al., Science Advances: Here, we show results of the first tipping event in the Community Earth System Model, including the large climate impacts of the collapse. Using these results, we develop a physics-based and ...
    6 days ago
  • A rejection of the rule of law
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Shrugging-Off The Atlas Network.
    Upholding The Status-Quo: The Left’s election defeat is not the work of the Atlas Network. It is not even the work of David Seymour and Act. It is the work of ordinary citizens who liked the Right’s stories better than they liked the Left’s. If the Right’s stories were made ...
    6 days ago
  • BARRIE SAUNDERS: Treaty Principles – all rather problematic
    Barrie Saunders writes – When ACT’s leader said they wanted legislation to state what the Treaty principles mean, my first thought was this will be controversial and divisive.  Clearly it is. The first reference to the principles of the Treaty were contained in the 1975 Act establishing the Treaty of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Luxon Rejects The “Rejection Election” At His Peril.
    Fitting Right In: National retailed a reactionary manifesto of right-wing, racially-charged policies to the electorate throughout 2023. No talk back then of ignoring the overwhelming political preferences of the voting public and making a strong stand on principle. If Luxon’s pollsters and focus-groups were telling him that the public was ...
    6 days ago
  • Valentine’s Day went unnoticed on the Beehive website – but it is not “baa, humbug” to celeb...
    Buzz from the Beehive None of our ministers – a quick check with the Beehive website suggests – found cause to mention, let along celebrate, Valentine’s Day. But two ministers – Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson – ensured that National Lamb Day did not pass ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Are You A Leftist?
    Nothing To Lose But Our Chains: The emancipatory movement which the Left, understood correctly, has always been, cannot accommodate those who are only able to celebrate one group’s freedom by taking it from another. The expectation, always, among leftists, is that liberty enlarges us. That striking-off a person’s shackles not ...
    6 days ago
  • An unlawful directive
    An interesting question in the Parliamentary written questions feed today, from Jan Tinetti to the Minister of Education: Has she or her Office directed the Ministry of Education to not release Official Information Act material prior to the full twenty working days, if so, why? Given that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I’ve been doing this all wrong
    Here are six words that are not easy to say but god it can feel good when you finally say them:I’ve been doing this all wrongFive years ago today I said to myself:What if I'm doing this all wrong?Five years ago today I said to Karren: I think I’m going to ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”
    This is a re-post from RealClimate by Stefan Rahmstorf A new paper was published in Science Advances today. Its title says what it is about: “Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course.” The study follows one by Danish colleagues which made headlines last July, likewise looking for early warning signals ...
    7 days ago
  • Drawn
    A ballot for five Member's Bills was held today, and the following bills were drawn: Parole (Mandatory Completion of Rehabilitative Programmes) Amendment Bill (Todd Stephenson) Goods and Services Tax (Removing GST From Food) Amendment Bill (Rawiri Waititi) Income Tax (ACC Payments) Amendment Bill (Hamish Campbell) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Valentines from ACT.
    Some of us make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. We’ll buy the flowers, eye watering though the price spike might be. Say the things we should be saying anyway, although diminished by being scheduled for delivery. Some of us will even write long free-form newsletters with declarations of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    7 days ago
  • Tax cuts paid for by 13k more kids in poverty
    MSD advised the government that the indexation change it passed under urgency last night is likely to put around 7,000 extra children (and potentially up to 13,000) into poverty. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government has reverted indexation for main beneficiaries to price inflation from wage inflation under ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Fuel Tax Fight and Rail Fail update
    The two stories we covered at the start of the week continue to be in the headlines so it’s worth looking at the latest for each of them. Regional Fuel Tax Mayor Wayne Brown promised some ‘argy-bargy’ over the government’s decision to cancel the Regional Fuel Tax and he’s ...
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: Arsonists
    Today, a major fire broke out on the Port Hills in Ōtutahi. Like its 2017 predecessors, it is almost certainly exacerbated by climate change. And it is still burning. The present government did not start the fire. But they piled the tinder high last time they were in power, gutting ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • I don’t know!
    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/73411 7 examples And who actually makes the decisions? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know. America is a complex country, conservative on the one hand, rapidly changing on the other. It’s not easy for us to sort it all out.   Tucker Carlson: Do you think Zelensky has the freedom to negotiate the settlement to this conflict? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know the details, of course it’s difficult for me to judge, but ...
    1 week ago
  • Fresh thinkers
    Fresh thinking will always give you hope.It might be the kind that makes you smite your brow, exclaiming: Why didn't we think of that! It's obvious!It might be the kind that makes you go: Dude you’re a genius.Sometimes it will simply be Wayne Brown handing Simeon Brown his weasel ass ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    1 week ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
    Much attention has been directed at Joe Biden’s mental lapses and physical frailty. Less attention has been spent on Donald Trump’s cognitive difficulties and physical limitations, with most focus being devoted to his insults and exaggerated claims (as if they … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
    Robert MacCulloch writes –  Gosh, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Ross Taylor, says today’s announcement of a half-year loss of $120 million for the company is “disappointing” and was “heavily impacted” by the Convention Centre losses. He must be crying all the way to the bank (to quote Las ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
    Government and borrower hopes for early mortgage cost relief look likely to be thwarted. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Stronger-than-expected US inflation data out overnight is expected to delay the first US Federal Reserve rate cut into the second half of 2024, which in turn would hold mortgage rates ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
    Buzz from the Beehive Local Government Minister Simeon Brown – it seems fair to suppose – was flushed with success after the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation. As he explained, repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing his government’s Local Water Done Well ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago

  • PM shocked and saddened at death of Efeso Collins
    “I am truly shocked and saddened at the news of Efeso Collins’ sudden death,” Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “Efeso was a good man, always friendly and kind, and a true champion and advocate for his Samoan and South Auckland communities. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his family, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister congratulates NZQA Top Scholars
    Education Minister Erica Stanford congratulates the New Zealand Scholarship recipients from 2023 announced today.  “Receiving a New Zealand Scholarship is a fantastic achievement and is a testament to the hard work and dedication the recipients have put in throughout the year,” says Ms Stanford.  “New Zealand Scholarship tests not only ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministers reaffirm Pacific connections this week
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