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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    Orcon IRL’s election special took place Sunday evening, and it was a right time. Kiri Allan mesmerised crowds in te reo. Stephen Berry knocked Rock Enrol. Chloe Swarbrick spoke of a Green future. And I disrespected Russell’s authority and went ...
    2 days ago
  • Meanwhile, in Poland
    While we're all worrying about Nazis in America, we might also want to keep an eye on Poland:Polish police broke up a feminist rally and forcefully removed activists to clear the way for a march for far-right extremists. A live ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Privacy, not “secrecy”
    Politik breathlessly reports that the New Zealand government kept information on Barnaby Joyce's kiwi citizenship "top secret":New Zealand Ministers and officials imposed a heavy security lid once they realised that they had information which could, in effect, topple the Australian ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • General Election Debate on Transport – Campaign for Better Transport
    The Campaign for Better Transport is holding an election debate with all the major parties this month in Auckland. The CBT is led by Cameron Pitches and over the years has led campaigns and advocated for many transport issues including: Airport ...
    Transport BlogBy Harriet Gale
    2 days ago
  • The Real Reason for Housing Unaffordability
    The news that the number of houses being sold is falling and that prices are rising more slowly has been greeted in some quarters with responses that are – sadly – all too predictable. The consensus is that these shifts ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 days ago
  • Renting in New Zealand (and what politicians are promising to change)
    As politicians talk up their housing policies ahead of the election, renters share stories of stress, illness and why the current system doesn’t work. Photo: CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 Jared Kelly / Flickr Cleaning the house of mould and ...
    2 days ago
  • National fails miserably on housing
    I don’t know about you, but I’m not very happy with all the homeless people wandering the streets and sleeping rough in the cold, some of whom are dying on park benches. But instead of blaming the victims, I think ...
    2 days ago
  • Check this out
    The Spinoff has a terrific tool that lets you see and compare the leading parties’ election policies. You can tick your favourites and then see which way you lean based on your policy choices. It is beautifully done. It almost ...
    2 days ago
  • Loading Docs: Asian Men Talk About Sex
    Eight Asian men bare all as they speak candidly about sex, love and dating.   Asian Men Talk About Sex has been released as part of Loading Docs - a launchpad for short New Zealand documentaries. DIRECTOR INTERVIEW: ...
    2 days ago
  • “Let’s Tax This?” – “Hell, Yeah!”
    "Hell, Yeah!" - Labour must not retreat before National’s “Let’s Tax This!” counter-attack. Not when a majority of New Zealanders are ready to rescue their ailing public services from further deterioration. When National hurls the “tax and spend” accusation at Labour ...
    2 days ago
  • Barnaby Joyce – Asshole of the Week
    It came as somewhat of a shock when the Australian government attacked the New Zealand Labour party and its leader Jacinda Arsdern yesterday, a personally attack over the fact that their Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, has dual citizenship and ...
    2 days ago
  • Letters from America, take three: a scab got picked.
    Donald Trump picked a scab during his campaign for the presidency and now the puss is draining out. It will be a while before the wound is cleansed. The puss is racism, xenophobia and bigotry. When I left the US ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 days ago
  • Timing is everything for Ardern & Labour
    Timing is just so important in politics, as in so much of life. Plenty of able people don't have the luck – or planning – to be in the right place at the right time. But right now, timing may ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Pouring gasoline on the housing fire
    Yesterday, Prime Minister Bill English announced that he would encourage the Reserve Bank to remove the loan to value ratio (LVR) rules that it put in place to take the heat out of rising house prices. As reported in Newsroom: ...
    Transport BlogBy Peter Nunns
    2 days ago
  • Inferno VII: The circle of capitalists
    "Pape Satàn, pape Satàn aleppe!" If these words ever meant anything in any language, or were otherwise intelligible to the contemporaries of Dante Alighieri, that meaning is lost. What’s left to us is the beginning of a curse, or a ...
    Bat bean beamBy Giovanni Tiso
    2 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on why Labour isn’t responsible for Barnaby Joyce
    First published on Werewolf As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our ...
    2 days ago
  • Media Release: TIME TO TURN UP THE PRESSURE ON CANDIDATES
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    Closing the GapBy Marino Smith
    3 days ago
  • Ardern stands up for kiwis
    Today politics seems to be dominated by Australian ridiculousness, after the Australian government blamed Chris Hipkins (rather than hard-working Australian journalists) for exposing Barnaby Joyce as a New Zealand citizen, and Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop interfering in our election ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Editors put the boot into National
    There is no question that a resurgent Labour party has closed the National party out of the media limelight. What else could Bill English do but pander to his ageist supporters by proposing boot camps and spot fines for the ...
    3 days ago
  • Civil Disobedience Against Big Irrigation
    Construction has started on huge irrigation schemes in Canterbury. When they start working, it’s going to be disastrous for our rivers - most of which are already struggling. More irrigation means more cows and that means more pollution.A few weeks ...
    3 days ago
  • Climate change: The Cullen fund divests
    Climate change is now undeniable, and if we are to survive it, the fossil fuel industry has to die. And now the Cullen Fund has recognised that fact, and started divesting its risk:The New Zealand Superannuation Fund has sold shares ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Dirty farmers
    Surprise, surprise - Waikato's dairy farmers are failing to comply with their resource consents:The Waikato Regional Council says dairy farm effluent compliance rates are heading in the right direction despite less than one quarter of farms monitored last year deemed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • National’s policy hardly Christian
    It’s often amazing to see the ill-conceived political arguments that make it to print in New Zealand sometimes. Perhaps one of the least canvassed areas of voting preference is that of religious beliefs, and where those beliefs coincide with a ...
    3 days ago
  • “As soon as reasonably practicable”
    The Official Information Act requires agencies to decide on requests "as soon as reasonably practicable, and in any case not later than 20 working days after the day on which the request is received". But over the decades that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Wijkontsluitingsweg
    This is another post about my recent trip to the Netherlands. The Netherlands has a standard road classification system with ideally three types of roads: flow roads (motorways), distribution roads (arterials), and local roads (residential roads). This system does not ...
    Transport BlogBy Kent Lundberg
    3 days ago
  • Eyewitness report from Charlottesville by Redneck Revolt
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    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Treating young people differently
    The Labour party has hit the ground running with Jacinda Ardern. Not only has she shown immense capability as leader, the Labour party has clearly got its game on and returned to its core values, values that once made New ...
    3 days ago
  • Looking to the past to understand the Politics of Love
    We need to transcend us vs them struggles, writes Philip McKibbin.   Image: The Prophet Te Whiti Addressing a Meeting of Natives from The Graphic (1881) In 1881, the peaceful village of Parihaka was invaded. Fifteen-hundred men, led ...
    3 days ago
  • Power imbalances in local vs central government
    Local government in New Zealand is a creature of statute, so it’s subservient to powers bestowed upon it by central government. From the creation of its mandate and structure, to the reforms imposed through time, local councils are, and will ...
    Briefing PapersBy Christine Rose
    3 days ago
  • The Greens’ Campaign Reset: Normal Ideological Transmission Is Resumed.
    Who Loves Ya Baby? “I didn’t come to Parliament to act like other political parties. But this week that’s where we ended up. We have not been our best selves, and for that I am sorry.” But who are your best ...
    3 days ago
  • Victory on Victoria
    The Victoria St Linear Park has been saved from the clutches of Auckland Transport. You may recall that we’ve been concerned about ATs plans for the future of many of the streets in the city centre for some time. In ...
    3 days ago
  • MSM catches up on Unemployment stats rort
    .   . The mainstream media – or at least one clever journalist working for Mediaworks/Newshub – has finally caught up with a story broken by this blogger last year that unemployment data from Statistics NZ was no longer reliable; ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • When is Lying Justified?
    Among the sinners the drunk porter in Macbeth welcomes into hell is the ‘equivocator, that could swear in both the scales against either scale’. Equivocation is a theme of the play; Shakespeare is thought to have been influenced by the ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Has National gone Full Metal Jacket?
    Is bootcamp the government's solution for hardened young criminals?   Photo: 123rf. National plans to solve the problem of serious youth offending by sending people to a remote, army-run boot camp for a year. But opponents of the ...
    4 days ago
  • Yale Climate Connections: America’s beacon of climate science awareness
    This is an unabashed endorsement of an important group. I have no affiliation with them or conflict of interest. They are great, period. The ability to convey complex climate science to a wide-ranging audience is a golden attribute, something very ...
    4 days ago
  • On Mike Hosking – Don’t Say I Never Warned You
        Hi, my name is Brian. Edwards to be precise. You may remember me. I used to be on television. Started in Christchurch on a magazine show called Town and Around. Went North to Wellington to audition for ...
    4 days ago
  • PM lied about Greenpeace spies
    The Todd Barclay affair, where the unelected Prime Minister claimed seven times that he couldn’t recall if Barclay had told him about the secret recording of a National party staffer, proved without a doubt that Bill English is dishonest!But if ...
    4 days ago
  • I watched Miss Universe NZ 2017 so you don’t have to
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    4 days ago
  • NZ Post spied on the public
    Last night we learned that NZ Post had been spying on the public, using microphones on its delivery vehicles to record and listen to conversations between its employees and random members of the public without the consent of either party. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Aspirational fluff from Ardern 
    by Daphna Whitmore Although women got the vote in the late 19th century, now well in to the 21st century we still do not have pay equity. While overt discrimination against individual female employees is no longer legal or socially ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • National party dead in the water
    The last week in New Zealand politics has been extraordinary. But there’s one political party in particular that appears to be missing in action… the National party.The unelected PM Bill English has failed to gain any real traction in the ...
    4 days ago
  • Barnaby Joyce is a New Zealand citizen
    Over the last few weeks the Australian Parliament has been rocked by a succession of resignations and court referrals over various Senators falling foul of s44 of the Australian constitution, which bars dual-citizens from the legislature. Today, that clause appears ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Dual Modes and Axle Loads
    Last year KiwiRail made the decision to replace the 16 current 30-year-old EF class electric freight trains currently in use on the North Island Main Trunk with the procurement of more DL Class Diesel Trains. These EF Class trains use ...
    Transport BlogBy Harriet Gale
    4 days ago
  • What’s Going On? with Lucy Zee: Beervana
    Eye-popping beer infusions and drinking games with the bros. Lucy Zee heads to New Zealand's biggest beer festival, Beervana.   Produced and presented by Lucy Zee, and filmed and edited by Eddy Fifield. Made with the support of NZ On ...
    4 days ago
  • National resorts to racism on water
    National knows it can't defeat the Labour-Green policy on water charging on fairness grounds, so they're now appealing to racism, with Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Chris Finlayson scaremongering that making farmers pay their fair share will mean reopening historic ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A Weak Man Trying to Look Strong
    Donald Trump would not be the first political leader to try to build his popularity, or divert attention from his troubles at home, by seeking a diversion – usually by means of a military adventure of some sort – overseas.  ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • Keeping tiny humans alive
    Science is helping more premature babies survive, but for parents it's still a journey marked by fear, pain and joy.   Inside of what looks like a giant Ziploc bag filled with water, the hoof of a tiny lamb ...
    4 days ago
  • The left shouldn’t fear Greg O’Connor
    When Greg O’Connor was a young Police officer he did a stint undercover and has lamented having to arrest gang members he viewed at the time as his mates. This is perhaps the main problem for the left, being that ...
    4 days ago

  • Government must apologise over rebuild debacle
    The Prime Minister owes the public of Otago and Southland an apology and then he must come up with an unredacted copy of the business case for the Dunedin hospital rebuild, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. "For too long the interests of ...
    2 hours ago
  • Government caves to multi-national tax avoiders in the shadows
    News that the Government has secretly caved in to the demands of multi-national tax avoiders come as no surprise, but will disappoint Kiwi taxpayers, says Labour’s spokesman for Revenue Michael Wood.   “It has been revealed that a United States ...
    18 hours ago
  • Cheaper to stay at The Langham than emergency housing motels
    Labour’s comprehensive plan to fix the housing crisis and ensure there’s enough state housing, means we won’t be paying through the nose for emergency accommodation like the current Government has to, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “National has ...
    19 hours ago
  • Government must come clean on water
      News that the National Government is secretly working behind closed doors on its own water charging schemes shows their utter hypocrisy on this issue, says Labour’s water spokesperson David Parker.  “They have been carping on about Labour’s plan for ...
    23 hours ago
  • Government pays twice the price for emergency housing motels – with two more on the way
    Under Labour’s plan to build at least 1000 state houses each year, New Zealand wouldn’t be paying more than double the valuations for motels to house Kiwis needing emergency housing, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “Under questioning today, ...
    2 days ago
  • HAM shows country needs Labour on housing
    The latest Housing Affordability Measure report shows affordability dramatically worsening for Auckland first home buyers, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 days ago
  • Canterbury kids get more support for mental health
    Children in Canterbury and Kaikoura will get dedicated mental health support to help them overcome the trauma of the earthquakes, says the Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “We’ll fund an extra eighty mental health professionals for the next three ...
    2 days ago
  • Statement on Julie Bishop’s comments
    It is highly regrettable that the Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has chosen to make false claims about the New Zealand Labour Party. I have been utterly transparent about this situation. I stand by my statements this morning that I ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour stands with Pike families
    A Labour Government will stand with the families of Pike River and reaffirm its commitment to safe workplaces by ensuring there will be a Minister responsible for Pike River, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “The Pike River disaster ...
    3 days ago
  • Yes to Sallies – Labour will build more state houses
    The Salvation Army’s latest report ‘Taking Stock’ shows why New Zealand needs a Labour-led Government committed to a massive house building programme, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “When the Sallies say the country needs 2000 extra state houses a ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealanders deserve better than scaremongering over water
    New Zealanders need to hear from National about how they will fund the clean-up of our rivers and lakes for future generations. Instead, National has broadened its scare-mongering, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. ...
    4 days ago
  • School Leavers’ Toolkit to equip young people for adult life
    Labour will give school leavers the practical skills and knowledge they need for adult life with a new School Leavers’ Toolkit, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. “Our teachers and schools do a great job of teaching our children ...
    4 days ago
  • Pay equity to be a priority for Labour
      Labour will make sure that the country’s mental health workers are a priority when it comes to pay equity negotiations, says the Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “It is very important for me to right the wrong created ...
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s positive education plan
    Today’s announcement on learning support is more tinkering and proof that only a Labour Government will deliver the resources that schools and parents are crying out for, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “We have a positive vision for a ...
    7 days ago
  • Pike footage raises questions over government’s actions
    The Government’s seeming determination to turn a blind eye to new questions about what happened at Pike River Mine is troubling, says Labour’s West Coast-Tasman MP Damien O’Connor. ...
    7 days ago
  • Solution to rent rises lies in building houses and stopping speculators
    The spread of rental increases from the big cities to the surrounding regions shows why we need to get on top of the housing shortage build homes our families can afford, and lock out the speculators, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Clean rivers don’t cost $18 a cabbage
    National is falling into a bad pattern of promising the world and not saying how they will fund it, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for honest answer on transport funding
    National needs to explain how they will fund the $6 billion funding gap in their 10-year Auckland transport plan, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    1 week ago
  • Time for true numbers on overseas speculators
    It’s time for the Government to give accurate figures on the number of houses being bought by overseas speculators, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Raymond Huo. ...
    1 week ago
  • Fair and sustainable trade: A Green Party vision for New Zealand’s trading relationships
    Trade is a cornerstone of the New Zealand economy. It provides us with the things we want and need, and enables us to pay for those with exports that generate business opportunities and jobs. However, it should be recognised that ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • Clean rivers for future generations
    Labour will lead a nationwide effort to restore our rivers and lakes to a clean, swimmable state, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern. ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand really can do better on health
    Labour’s commitment to affordable access to high quality healthcare will provide a better service for New Zealanders than the current Health Minister, who will not apologise for statements that he made that wrongly criticised hard-working staff in the Southern DHB’s ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour’s plan the answer to motorway chaos
    Labour’s plan to build a light rail network and improve heavy rail and bus services across Auckland is the only answer to the kind of motorway congestion Aucklanders endured this morning, says Labour Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to build rail to Auckland Airport
    A world class city needs a rail connection from the CBD to its international airport – that’s why Labour will build light rail to Auckland Airport as a priority, says Leader of the Opposition Jacinda Ardern.  “Let’s get Auckland moving ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Is pay equity just too hard for this Govt?
    You are hard pressed these days to find someone that openly admits their misogyny, that men should still be paid more than women. Politicians proclaim that they want to see women paid more, but do their actions back it up? ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s commitment to our Rainbow nation
    The Labour Party has reaffirmed its commitment to New Zealand’s rainbow community with its 2017 Rainbow policy, featuring the goal to end HIV in New Zealand by 2025. Grant Robertson says Labour continues a long and proud tradition of advocating ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s vision for Auckland more than reheated roads
    Labour is more ambitious for Auckland than the reheated set of transport projects proposed by National, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Waiting urology patients are the tip of the iceberg
    The 10 patients waiting for urology surgery at Dunedin Hospital are just the tip of the iceberg, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.  "Hundreds of patients are waiting for follow-up appointments, but they are not deemed serious enough to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Landowners Misled by Maori Party
    Māori landowners are being misled by Government hui being held throughout the country promoting the troubled Māori Land Service (MLS), which underpins the Crown’s unpopular Ture Whenua reforms, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s Johnny-come-lately approach to multinational tax won’t wash
    It’s a case of baby steps for a Government that still allows multinational companies to avoid paying their fair share of tax, says Labour’s Revenue spokesperson Michael Wood. “After nine years in government, five years after the issue of multinational ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Auckland congestion up there with the world’s worst
    Traffic congestion is costing Auckland up to $2 billion in lost productivity according to the latest report from the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research, says Labour’s Transport spokesperson Michael Wood.  “This is a disaster and underlines the need for ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Experience in Youth Parliament 2016
    Being a Member of Youth Parliament was an unexpected, but fabulous opportunity for me. It provided me a way to connect with other young people who have some things in common, and to learn what it is like to be ...
    GreensBy NZ Green Party
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour backs renters’ call for warm, healthy homes
    80 per cent of renters wish their home was warmer and drier, and that’s what Labour will deliver, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • We can – and must – do better for Kiwi jobs
    Labour has the plan to get more young New Zealanders into jobs and tackle concerns raised in the latest statistics which show an extra 3000 young Kiwis are neither earning or learning compared to the same time last year, says ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Statement from Jacinda Ardern, Leader of the New Zealand Labour Party
    I want to start by giving my thanks to Andrew. His announcement today and the situation we have found ourselves in is not what anyone expected or wanted In my time working with Andrew I know one thing to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Better homes for Maori under Labour
    Labour’s vision is that Māori enjoy an equal playing field and have the same home ownership opportunities as non-Māori, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesperson Kelvin Davis. “Today Labour is proud to announce a detailed Māori housing policy from South Auckland’s ...
    3 weeks ago

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