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Polity: Hooton on Key on SIS: Bullshit!

Written By: - Date published: 9:41 am, August 26th, 2014 - 117 comments
Categories: john key, slippery - Tags: , , , ,

polity_square_for_lynnReposted from Polity.

On Radio New Zealander yesterday, Matthew Hooton made two important points.

First he – along with pretty much everyone else – poured cold water on the idea that John Key was a virginal innocent in the selective release of SIS documents to Whaleoil. Good. Key is insulting our intelligence.

But second, and more important, Hooton argued that even if Key’s version of events is right, then he is in even more trouble. In that circumstance, his issue is dereliction of duty.

Political staffers, such as for example Jason Ede, have absolutely no businesses being delegated Prime Ministerial authority to take decisions over any aspect of New Zealand’s security apparatus. Yet that is what it appears Key has done. Key, apparently, was too busy high-fiving kids to take the duties of his office seriously.

Hooton says , and I agree, that neither Prime Minister Bolger nor Prime Minister Clark delegated any decision-making authority over SIS matters. Not even Heather Simpson had that kind of authority.

If Key is right, and he had no earthly idea that his security agency was releasing just-declassified documents to his blog weapon to embarrass his partisan opponent, then what the hell was he doing delegating that level of authority to a mid-level hack? As a mid-level hack myself I use this as a term of endearment, obviously. That is shocking. Let’s hear him answer questions about that.

[original here]

117 comments on “Polity: Hooton on Key on SIS: Bullshit!”

  1. RedLogix 1

    In other words – the cover-up will get him.

    Fascinating that it is Hooten sticking the knife in here.

    This, and Key’s other admission that he routinely talks to Slater, have both fatally compromised him.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      Ultimately Slater will get to claim the scalp of a prime minister. Perhaps not the PM he meant to scalp, though.

    • Chris 1.2

      “Fascinating that it is Hooten sticking the knife in here.”

      Hooton is hoping that the more he comes across as a disinterested commentator the greater the chances of deflecting close examination and criticism of the parts he’s played in all of this filth. Hooton’s donkey deep in this muck and he’s paddling as fast as he can to stay afloat.

      • rhinocrates 1.2.1

        Exactly. Hoots is just like Key – antennae, but no compass. He’s just polishing his brand, no more. Today he’ll be saying that we’ve always been at war with Eastasia and tomorrow he’ll say that we’ve always been at war with Eurasia and in both cases it’ll be because he thinks it looks good to be seen to be saying that.

        He’s neck deep in this muck alright; nobody forget that he passed Nicky Hager’s address to Odgers when she was talking about soliciting his murder.

  2. hoom 2

    Which faction is Hooton working for these days?

    I have been pretty surprised with the straight out attacking of Key on this stuff from him.
    Normally no matter how bad the situation, he puts some positive-for-the-Right spin on it. (normally followed by Mike Williams uselessly saying ‘I agree with that’)

    Seems like Blinglish & him are manouvring to be separated from it & still in the public eye after the dust settles?

    • Lanthanide 2.1

      Why does Hooton ‘have’ to be working for any ‘faction’?

      • hoom 2.1.1

        Because he is a clever, well connected, very pro-right kind of guy.
        I don’t believe he says anything much of political nature without it being intentionally aiming for some gain for the right.

        I find his sudden discovery of ‘balance’ to be very suspicious.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          yeah it’s positioning for the faction that he thinks will take the prize – and hold the consulting purse strings.

      • phillip ure 2.1.2

        @lanth..

        ..because every word out of his mouth is spin..

        ..so knowing who he is spinning for..is kinda essential..

      • ianmac 2.1.3

        Matthew described himself as Far Right on the 9 to Noon this week.

        • Tracey 2.1.3.1

          he was being touted as a possible candidate for epsom for ACT

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.3.2

          Matthew described himself as Far Right on the 9 to Noon this week.

          Ah-ha, I wonder if this was an effort to make the PM look nice and centrist, and hard done by the right wing?

    • Bearded Git 2.2

      Yes Hoom-me too sick of Williams agreeing with Hooton. He needs to cut that phrase out of his vocabulary.

      On the other hand it pales into insignificance compared to Key saying “At the end of the day” 20 times in one interview last week. A sure sign he was in lie mode.

      • gnomic 2.2.1

        Anyone else tired of the smirking weasel telling us that he is ‘comfortable’ with this that or the other thing? Of late he has moved on to being ‘very comfortable’. For myself I don’t need to know about the weasel’s degree of comfort. I’d be extremely comfortable with him leaving for Hawaii and never coming back.

      • North 2.2.2

        True BG @ 2.2 re Williams. Many’s the time I’ve thought “Jeez man, you coulda done better than that !”. I am however grateful for Williams’ first words to Kathryn Ryan (in the presence of Hooton) after the thing first broke – “The book shows they’re disgusting, repulsive people !” or some such, certainly he was animated in his emphasis on “disgusting” and “repulsive”.

        A powerful soundbite, all the more for Williams’ alarming proclivity for “I agree with Matthew….” A soundbite which resonates well beyond the beltway. That this business has sturdy legs is manifested by the ‘shitting themselves’ looks on the faces of various National Party MPs who stand behind and to the side of TheGodKey when risibly he tries to re-jig the application of the personal pronoun. Making a fulsome impression of the “Not me, not me” seven year-old caught with hands in the cookie jar.

        They’re worried on two scores I guess – TheGodkey’s regularly exercised capacity to offer facile, cringeworthy analysis – (“Fuck…..what impossible position’s he gonna tie me into next ?”) – and the moments in the coming weeks when publicly they’re gonna be hit up face-to-face by the people of Ordinary Folksville using words like “Bloody Liar”, “Crook”, “Bullshit”. People who don’t back-off from spin like most of the media do.

        Very embarrassing for the poor buggers but good job. For naked self-promotion and self -interest they’ve been dispensing the Kool-Aid to Ordinary Folksville for years now.

        • marty mars 2.2.2.1

          The fact is imo that williams and hooton are cut from the same cloth – just two sides of the same dirty (as in the way they play the politics) coin.

        • Bearded Git 2.2.2.2

          Agreed North. Williams has been excellent in his comments on the Dirty Politics affair. Has found his mojo on this. It is interesting that Hooton is condemning the Nats over their handling of the revelations. Reading the runes?

          btw I love TheGodKey and will use it if that is ok.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.3

      I think, in this case, it might be called Arse Covering.

      Hooton’s one of the people mentioned in Dirty Politics.

      • Hanswurst 2.3.1

        Indeed. After all, Hooton wants to be around after the dust has settled, just like he was after The Hollow Men. It probably indicates that he knows how bad this could get and wants to put some distance between himself and the main players before the shit really hits the fan. That doesn’t make him honourable, but it doesn’t stop his dishonourable actions from being useful, either.

        • marty mars 2.3.1.1

          Political traders make ‘money’ when their side are going up and/or down – they don’t really care which way it’s going they will still makeadaloota.

        • Tracey 2.3.1.2

          yp. Hoots has a succession plan

          • lurgee 2.3.1.2.1

            I don’t think many people on the right listen to Hooton. He’d LOVE to be the eminence gris some here credit him as being. But he’s just a selfish loud mouth.

            He’s probably gutted – GUTTED – that he only warranted a passing reference in Dirty Politics. He’d love to have been made out to be far more important.

      • emergency mike 2.3.2

        Something about rats and sinking ships.

    • Awww 2.4

      Hooton has always given intelligent commentary. I for one am glad he pointed out the dereliction of duty – clearly nobody else thought it through.

    • Chris 2.5

      He’s attacking Key to deflect attention away from his own filthy deeds, but if you listen closely he’s still arguing strongly for a Key-led government.

  3. fambo 3

    “Let’s hear him answer questions about that.” – the silence will be deafening

  4. vto 4

    How will you get Key to answer such questions?

    I agree they are critical questions around how our government runs, and it is essential we have confidence in our government (which this shit shits on), … but …. how does someone get Key to comprehensively and accurately answer these questions?

    It is like it is impossible to ask the PM questions. He refuses to answer genuine questions. He is an arsehole for treating us in this way – key arsehole

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Make it so that it’s a legal requirement of his job and if he doesn’t answer he gets a jail term.

      • Liberal Realist 4.1.1

        +10 but it won’t happen because answering the question honestly would land him in jail.

  5. bad politics 5

    He keeps offering advice to Liala Harre on twitter, & he hates KDC, reckons this negative climate of politics is all KDCs fault!

    Today hes yelling about the ‘Kill the PM’ so expect to hear about that throughout the day from the Slater sockpockets.

    • bad politics 5.1

      & now the Penguin objects to ‘his’ tax dollars been used to fund the said hip hop band (via NZ On Air I assume). Well, I object to ‘my’ tax dollars being used to fund the Penguin spreading his BS. So there.

  6. Anne 6

    John Key puts the story of the Israeli back-packers out there. Goff is furious. I remember his rage. He knew nothing about it. What exactly happened we may never know. One thing is for sure, there is no way Goff was lying because his knowledge and expertise in the area of Foreign Affairs was such that the mere mention of the words Israeli back-packers… left country in big hurry… ChCh earthquake would have made him smartly sit up – not to mention the incident of the two Israeli spies he and Clark had to deal with only a few years earlier.

    That is followed by the OIA/Slater/PM’s Office/SIS scandal.

    The question I would like answered:

    Did Dr Warren Tucker know he was being dragged in to a politically motivated government run set-up to take down the Leader of the Opposition? Or was he put in the invidious position of having to obey instructions without full knowledge of the intended use of the information?

    • yeshe 6.1

      My question: What was Key thinking when he first ‘outed’ the subject into the public domain ? As Minister of SIS, I thought this was forbidden ? This is irrefutable .. it is what Key did.

      • Not a PS Staffer 6.1.1

        Another question: why did Warren Tucker seek legal advice at this juncture? What was different about this OIA that Tucker needed to either:

        (a) get a third party to fully witness his diligent approach? or
        (b) get Crown Law guidance about a unique and novel issue arising from this matter? or
        (c) pull more people into the web so that he had a level of protection should the shit hit the fan?

        I doubt this matter will be resolved before the election. What we need to let the voting public know is that the PM & National has been proven to be working with near criminal elements and government departments to shaft anyone who gets in their way.

        • yeshe 6.1.1.1

          is it possible all OIA releases are Crown Law cleared and this specific piece is not odd ?

          • Tracey 6.1.1.1.1

            do you mean all SIS OIAs or any OIAs

          • Not a PS Staffer 6.1.1.1.2

            OIAs are part and parcel of every government agency’s work-load. Legal advisers will not give security advice. An agency will only ask Crown Law for guidance on legal interpretation, process or precedence. An OIA will need to have some unusual context or element before they will incur the cost and time of Crown Law.

            • Tracey 6.1.1.1.2.1

              and what legal issue would this have raised? If they declassified the briefing notes would it set a precedent?

    • RedLogix 6.2

      not to mention the incident of the two Israeli spies he and Clark had to deal with only a few years earlier.

      Along with a whole string of uncomfortable and unanswered matters that were never resolved publicly.

    • Saarbo 6.3

      Yep, agree 100% Anne. Say what you want about Goff, he is an experienced MP, he would never have overlooked this business.

  7. left for dead 7

    I suspect if you asked Matthew Hooton,he would say,..I have never liked john Key.I have heard him say as much.Yes I know,i,ll try an find a link.

  8. Man in Barrel 8

    As I’ve argued previously here, the matter of whether or not Key actually knew about this matter is relevant only to the matter as to whether or not he is a bold-faced liar occupying the most important position in Government – ie his personal reputation

    As the Minister in Charge of the SIS he is reponsible for the doings of the SIS, right or wrong and whether he knew about it or not. It’s the constitutional convention of ministerial responsibility.

    “This means that if waste, corruption, or any other misbehaviour is found to have occurred within a ministry, the minister is responsible even if the minister had no knowledge of the actions. A minister is ultimately responsible for all actions by a ministry because, even without knowledge of an infraction by subordinates, the minister approved the hiring and continued employment of those civil servants. If misdeeds are found to have occurred in a ministry, the minister is expected to resign. It is also possible for a minister to face criminal charges for malfeasance under their watch.

    The principle is considered essential, as it is seen to guarantee that an elected official is answerable for every single government decision. It is also important to motivate ministers to closely scrutinize the activities within their departments. One rule coming from this principle is that each cabinet member answers for their own ministry in parliament’s question time. The reverse of ministerial responsibility is that civil servants are not supposed to take credit for the successes of their department, allowing the government to claim them.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Individual_ministerial_responsibility

    Note the “The principle is considered essential.” It is the check on politicians misusing the huge power available to them through the information and powers their ministries hold. Without this doctrine it would be all easy for Ministers to get up to Dirty Tricks and then escape responsibility simply by crying “I knew nuttin”. The convention, Draconian tho’ it might be in cases of genuine Ministerial innocence, imposes a powerful incentive for Ministers to get on top of their Ministries so as not to get caught out. In short it’s there to keep them honest.

    That Key and Collins can think they can just drive a truck through what is one of the most important, essential conventions sustaining Parliamentary democracy disgusts me far more than any little boy caught out lying tantrums from the Prime Minister.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.1

      National don’t think that the rules apply to them.

      • Man in Barrel 8.1.1

        I would argue it’s more important than a mere rule. Constitutional conventions like this are, or should be, fundamental social compacts. We the electorate, give politicians huge powers over us when we elect them into office. The limits and restrictions of those powers have in some places been enshrined into written constitutions, with varying degrees of success, but under the Westminster system we, the electorate, rely on the politicians we elect to respect the conventions that have been established over time to curb the improper use of those powers against us.

        It is those conventions that not only prevent the majority from using the democratic process to oppress or abuse the minority, they also protect the individual from suffering the abuse of power against them by the State.

        That senior National figures like Key and Collins, for reasons of purely personal pride and greed, are prepared to flaunt those conventions, and thus the social compact underlying them, demonstrates that they are not fit to be entrusted with the power of those offices.

        That there are no decent MPs or leading figures in the National Party speaking out along these lines tellsl me volumes about their integrity and morality, and this has certainly cost National my Party Vote this time around.

        But it worries me, too, that Labour is not shouting about this from the hilltops as it suggests to me a conspiracy by politicians of all stripes to be rid of this awkward convention – ‘we want you to vote us into power without these troublesome inconveniences called conventions.’

        And it is a tragedy of the Commons that most New Zealanders are not even aware that the protections against abuse of power so painstakingly built up over the generations to make Parliamentary Democracy the least worst system of Government, are being quietly dismantled with all the dangers that presents.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1

          That senior National figures like Key and Collins, for reasons of purely personal pride and greed, are prepared to flaunt those conventions, and thus the social compact underlying them, demonstrates that they are not fit to be entrusted with the power of those offices.

          National will say that there’s no rules enforcing those conventions and so whatever they do is legal. This requires that those conventions become constitutional rules that can’t be broken without serious consequences to both the individual and the party.

          And it is a tragedy of the Commons that most New Zealanders are not even aware that the protections against abuse of power so painstakingly built up over the generations to make Parliamentary Democracy the least worst system of Government, are being quietly dismantled with all the dangers that presents.

          That’s not a tragedy of the commons but a tragedy of education.

          • Man in Barrel 8.1.1.1.1

            “National will say that there’s no rules enforcing those conventions and so whatever they do is legal.”

            They would be right.

            The problem is that the enforcement of a social compact rests entirely with the social consequences of breaking it. If society sleeps through it, it won’t know it’s been screwed until (or unless) it wakes up. And that’s a matter of awareness along with, as you say, education.

            Unfortunately for Standardistas the rot set in, as far as New Zealand is concerned, with Bob Semple* who refused to resign in 1943 over engineering failures in the construction of a railway tunnel. He was quoted as saying “I am responsible, but not to blame.” (Wikipedia, again.)

            This of course immediately raises problems of what is meant by ‘blame’ as opposed to responsibilty. In fact IMHO it’s just one of those quibbles that helps get politicians the bad name they deserve. More importantly it opens the door on the temptation for Ministers to start abusing their powers as far and as long as they can cover their tracks, and lets them start yelling, “Prove it,” once fingers are pointed. Which is exactly what is happening now in Key’s case and why the convention, however unfairly it might operate on occasion, should be absolute.

            *A union leader and later Minister of Public Works for the first Labour Government, which makes it difficult for Labour to get too uppity now. Thanks, Bob.

            • Tracey 8.1.1.1.1.1

              the electorate is supposed to pass judgment on such floutingat an election based on the media shining a light in dark places.
              we are all living this mess together, politicians, media and voters.

              Too many people are accepting gutter behaviour as the price they pay for getting the team they want.

              Most kiwis of voting age are also to blame

              • Man in a Barrel

                “Most kiwis of voting age are also to blame.”

                Bob Semple might be forced to respond that most kiwis of voting age are responsible, but not to blame. After all, how can we blame them for not responding with anger to a breach of an essential constitutional convention/social compact when at best they had a once-over-lightly introduction to the subject at school and there isn’t a peep about it now from the Press (the self-appointed Guardian of our Liberties) or from Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition, the only justification for the expensive existance of which is to hold the Government of the Day to Account?

                Of course it’s only a convention that the duty of the Opposition is to hold the Government to account, and as respect for the conventions has become optional MPs who aren’t actually in Government might just as well go for a three-year vacation in the Bahamas at the taxpayers’ expense for all the good they are.

                • Tracey

                  blame, responsible is a better word yes, but not responsible alone. It requires a breakdown of many parties and our desire to rationalise away stuff we know is wrong

        • Clemgeopin 8.1.1.2

          “That there are no decent MPs or leading figures in the National Party speaking out along these lines tellsl me volumes about their integrity and morality, and this has certainly cost National my Party Vote this time around”

          Very well said. You are absolutely correct.

          I would like to AT LEAST see a whole bunch of previous National party leaders, ex MPs, and ex civil servants, ex judiciary and prominent members of the public take a bold stand and speak up for the good of democracy and the good of the country in the long run.

          Here is hoping.

      • Of course they dont DracoTB.They are born to rule are they not. At least they think so.

  9. Tom Gould 9

    I don’t believe the delegation alibi for one moment. Of course Key knew all along precisely what was going on in his office and with his dirty tricks brigade. He just never wrote it down. Which is what any good slippery con artist will tell you to do. They are even now trying to get up the narrative that Slater and Lusk were loners and some sort of rogue element acting independently. Anyone who actually read the book knows what a bunch of BS that is and how donkey deep the Tories have been all along. Nixon said the same as Key, until the tapes turned up.

    • Plus 1 – plus maybe an OIA to the spooks for their recordings of the PM’s office would shed light…

      • Colonial Viper 9.1.1

        Hard drive accidentally lost beneath a steam roller

        • yeshe 9.1.1.1

          Like the video of Key receiving the Dotcom briefing was lost.

          We need our own Martha Mitchell ….

          and in similar vein, I do wonder what Bronagh and Mrs Cameron Slater think of what their hubbies do in their day jobs now it is in public sunshine.

          • Anne 9.1.1.1.1

            Like the video of Key receiving the Dotcom briefing was lost.

            A very competent steam roller.

  10. And here for the first time (that I’ve seen) is a serious suggestion that a royal commission may be necessary to clean it all up rather than expecting the traditional integrity from NZ politicians to do the right thing when caught.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11314367

    • MrSmith 10.1

      Royal commission?

      You mean like the one we had into the Arthur Allan Thomas case where the police still haven’t admitted any wrong doing or the Erebus disaster. Sadly the Government and the police have now become so corrupt any inquiry will be nothing but a white wash and if anyone dares to speak up they and their report will be squashed, like Canadian jurist Ian Binnie’s report into David Bain’s compensation was crushed by Collins recently or remember how Justice Peter Mahon was discredited by Muldoon.

      What a sad, sad, place New Zealand has become.

      Of-course sadly as people realize this they will become more disobedient and the right will see this as an opportunity to become more authoritarian.

  11. Sable 11

    You wont be hearing any more answers, apparently his Majesty is “bored” of the issue. I’m sure his MSM minions will find something else to talk to him about so it can all quickly go away…

  12. North 12

    Hear hear ! This goes to the core of constitutional governance.

    Pity that it takes a ‘New Zealander of the Year’ to raise it.

    Where are you John Armstrong Supreme Political Journalist ?

    It’s fortunate that Judith Collins is so munted now.

    Imagine the ugly tirade she’d Twitter up against Dame Anne Salmond otherwise.

  13. Tracey 13

    And it turns out not everyone is doing it… Security break in nats website….

  14. Dialey 14

    “If no one is accountable, the problem must lie in the system. This is the inevitable conclusion and the reason that the protesters are right to be indignant. Every barrel has its rotten apples, but the problem, comes when the whole barrel is rotten” Joseph Stiglitz

  15. MrSmith 15

    I actually thought Mike Williams did a very good job yesterday, by agreeing with Hooton occasionally he forces him to at-least agree with him some time, and that turned out to be yesterday, when it counted the most in my opinion.
    I think people here are far too hard on Mike, shit he has been beaten with a stick supplied to Slater by the prime-ministers office and others for years now, and has managed to keep his dignity intact, unlike his opponent Hooton.

    • Saarbo 15.1

      Williams was on fire on Q&A on the weekend, farrar started shrivelling in his seat.

    • Anne 15.2

      Agree MrSmith. He keeps his cool under provocation which is a good deal more than most of his fellow commentators.

    • RedLogix 15.3

      Yes – I think Williams uses “I agree with you” is a sweet rhetorical gambit in this context.

      It frames his as being reasonable and having heard what his opponent has said. The listener, having just spent minutes following Hooten’s argument, now starts seamlessly hearing what Williams is saying without having to make a cognitive jump to a diametrically opposing view.

      Hooten is a very smooth and smart operator. You are not going to score points off him in direct confrontation. He’s far too experienced and skilled for that. But spin merchants like him are always vulnerable to having their own words used as evidence against them.

      Which is why Williams starting out by confirming those words is sound tactics.

  16. xen 16

    All of this rhetoric is based on a fundamental ignorance of the Official Information Act (OIA).

    In theory, any request would be handled autonomously by bureaucrats and would never be taken to Politicians for review and sign off on release of the information.

    There are grounds for withholding information but these reasons and the info to be withheld would have to be submitted to the Ombudsman for approval – he may still release it if he disagree with the reasons.

    If John Key had interfered with this or any OIA process it would not only be unusual, it would be borderline illegal.

    • yeshe 16.1

      It’s not OIA process .. it’s SIS and OIA process. Huge difference isn’t it ?

      • xen 16.1.1

        That’s just it, a different treatment is not allowed under the Act. Like I said some information may be withheld, e.g. redacted or withheld, but everything must have a lawful reason for the Ombudsman to review, e.g. a person’s name, commercial sensitivity, etc.

    • Draco T Bastard 16.2

      Yep. The point, as I understand it, was that the SIS wouldn’t have released the information because it hadn’t been declassified yet – if things hadn’t already been manipulated Key hadn’t already told everybody about it yet.

      • yeshe 16.2.1

        agree DTB .. that’s the major point — Key did something unlawful re SIS, cut and dried QED imho.

    • RJL 16.3

      Except that this particular OIA involved declassification of politically sensitive information, and Key operates a no-surprises policy (as he referred to when he claimed in 2011 that Tucker told him about this OIA response).

      Plenty of OIA responses (from all Govt. departments) go across the relevant Minister’s desk. Not because the Ministers are making the decision, but because they want to know that an OIA decision has been made and that information is about to be released, that they might be called upon to discuss with the media etc.

      • Tracey 16.3.1

        And the no surprises policy is to give ministers asvanced notice so they can pre empt anything that is bad. IOW its not about working for new zealand but working new zealanders, spin wise

    • Tracey 16.4

      and you need to factor in the practical application of the process and that going to the ombudsmen, for most people, takes months or years before it is actioned and depts know this, and use it to their advantage.

  17. xen 17

    Politicians are told of OIAs within their portfolios (and the name of the requester) and when they will be satisfied, the original query letter will also be relayed.

    But, the information to be released will not be passed in front of said Politician. This is purposefully firewalled and sign-off will be done by a senior manager. So Key’s office would have received a letter that copied the original request, but the final package of data (emails, paperwork, verbal reports, etc.) would not be able to be reviewed by Key (or his team).

    ‘Politically sensitive information’ is not grounds for refusing to release information. Re: the SIS, if it were a state secret say, I’m sure they would refuse, and the Ombudsman would have final say. Clearly, senior management at the SIS have sufficient discretion to declassify the requested info, assuming it was classified in the first place, and they didn’t see fit to appeal to the Ombudsman to block its release.

    Re: the Ombudsman, their turn-around is surprisingly fast, despite the sometimes overwhelming volume of data released. I’d say the catch with OIA’s in general is that it is within the discretion of the responder to interpret the meaning of the request. I have myself in the past collated such responses and my manager and I would spend some time trying to interpret the request to our advantage. So if you wish to do an OIA request, word your request very carefully 🙂

    • RJL 17.1

      Xen…

      Key said that Tucker told him about the OIA. Tucker says that he told the PM about the OIA. The OIA Ombudsman says that Tucker told the PM about the OIA.

      All three now claim that they meant “PM’s office” instead of “PM”; but none of them are denying that the OIA release was discussed with somebody in the PM’s office.

      And, of course, you seem to be forgetting that the only reason anybody was OIAing this information at all was because Key asked Tucker whether there had been a classified briefing to Goff and then told everybody in a Press Conference that there had been such a briefing.

    • Tracey 17.2

      I call bullshit on ombudsmen turning stuff around quickly.

      so are you seriously saying when someone like the head of the sis says he had a discuszion with tthe prime minister he meant some no name in the office

    • Puddleglum 17.3

      xen,

      It is irrelevant whether or not the material to be released was passed before the Minister’s eyes.

      This controversy is over the request being passed before the Minister’s eyes (or that of his Office). It is the request, the requester and Key’s (or his Office’s) knowledge of both that is at issue. In particular, it concerns the credibility of Key’s claims about this knowledge.

      Further, if what you say is true, I think you have just confessed to trying to pervert the intent of the Act through some narrow, legalistic, barely plausible possible meanings in the wording of requests. That demonstrates an attitude that is entirely against the spirit of the Act. You must feel proud.

      It is also entirely in keeping with a culture of ‘dirty politics’.

  18. Penny Bright 18

    What people don’t seem to be picking up on is the completely different roles and functions of the party political – cover John Key’s political butt as the LEADER OF THE NATIONAL PARTY – Office of the Prime Minister vs the apolitical, impartial Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (DPMC).

    The role of the politically partial Office of the Prime Minister is NOT enshrined in statute, it is NOT regulated and in my considered opinion is completely out of control.

    It is the DPMC that is supposed to handle OIA requests – not the Office of the Prime Minister.

    So how come I have a number of OIAs addressed to Prime Minister John Key that have been answered by his Chief of Staff attached to the party political Office of the Prime Minister – Wayne Eagleson?

    (I have challenged this.)

    What on earth is the SIS having anything to do with the party political Office of the Prime Minister?

    Time for a genuinely Independent Commission Against Corruption.

    This STINKS.

    Penny Bright

  19. xen 19

    ‘I call bullshit on ombudsmen turning stuff around quickly.’

    Well I’ve done 3 OIA replies and they’ve all been passed through without comment or delay. Delays are introduced when initial responses are rebuffed to the Ombudsman as not sufficiently answering the initial request. This didn’t happen this time.

    ‘so are you seriously saying when someone like the head of the sis says he had a discuszion with tthe prime minister he meant some no name in the office’

    This is what the head of the SIS says he did, he sent a letter to the PM’s Office, he did not directly speak to the PM, why wouldn’t you take this man at his word?

    ‘Key said that Tucker told him about the OIA. Tucker says that he told the PM about the OIA. The OIA Ombudsman says that Tucker told the PM about the OIA.

    All three now claim that they meant “PM’s office” instead of “PM”; but none of them are denying that the OIA release was discussed with somebody in the PM’s office.’

    Yes, and this is all consistent with my comments, the final package of info will not go the PM for vetting (so he won’t know its contents), that sort of political interference is illegal AFAIK, and bureaucrats simply wouldn’t want the headache.

    Good points Penny, I would say if any information was sourced from or involved Wayne’s team, he could have right of reply and append a cover letter of some sort.

    • Weepus beard 19.1

      You are a civil servant. Your salary is paid by us. Care to give your full name and job description?

      [lprent: No he does not need to. Next time I see you ask demand in violation of our privacy guidelines, I will grant you the private time you need. ]

      • RedLogix 19.1.1

        Lynn – while of course I entirely agree with the moderation point you make (and would have done it myself if I had seen it first) – you have to admit weepu makes an intensely ironic point in the context of Mr Pleasant’s fate at the hands of Collins.

    • Clemgeopin 19.2

      “This is what the head of the SIS says he did, he sent a letter to the PM’s Office, he did not directly speak to the PM, why wouldn’t you take this man at his word?”

      Even if he initially did send a letter to the PM’s office, (no proof of this yet) it does not mean that subsequently he did not have a direct talk with the PM, going by Key stating that he did tell ‘HIM’. Correct?

      “All three now claim that they meant “PM’s office” instead of “PM”; but none of them are denying that the OIA release was discussed with somebody in the PM’s office.”

      So, those ‘somebody in the PM’s office’ are they authorised to discuss and interfere with SIS matters? And do the public have a right to know who those ‘somebody in the office’ are? Doesn’t the responsibility lie with the minister of SIS, the PM? So the question still stands: Is Key lying or has he been derelict in his duty?

      • xen 19.2.1

        ‘Even if he initially did send a letter to the PM’s office, (no proof of this yet) it does not mean that subsequently he did not have a direct talk with the PM’

        First part is true enough.

        ‘ going by Key stating that he did tell ‘HIM’. Correct?’

        Where did you get the PM saying that he was told in person subsequently?

        ‘“All three now claim that they meant “PM’s office” instead of “PM”; but none of them are denying that the OIA release was discussed with somebody in the PM’s office.”

        So, those ‘somebody in the PM’s office’ are they authorised to discuss and interfere with SIS matters? And do the public have a right to know who those ‘somebody in the office’ are? Doesn’t the responsibility lie with the minister of SIS, the PM? So the question still stands: Is Key lying or has he been derelict in his duty?’

        I didn’t write that paragraph, I was quoting it to respond.

        • tricledrown 19.2.1.1

          Xen Hair splitting mind games now you even have Hooton throwing Key under a Bus!
          Hooton would not be doing that unless he knew Key was in it up to his eyeballs!
          Hooton gets a Mention in the book as well!
          So your profile suggests that you are part of these dirty tricks!

    • cinesimon 19.3

      O OK – so what you’re saying is, all the media are wrong with regards to their experiences with OIAs, and you are right. Gotcha!

    • Tracey 19.4

      hang on, the word “discussion” was used to describe Tucker’s interaction witht he PM. You are deliberately leaving that out.

      you also haven’t assauged my personal experiences of the ombudsmen. Over the years I have had amny requests denied by various departments, and those I have taken up with the Ombudsmen have never reached a resolution (shit I even have one still with the Ombudsmen since May 2010), except for ONE.

      My most recent referral tot he Ombudsmen over my request around a statement made by Bill English. In that instance the Ombudsmen has intervened quickly, and in my own opinion my request was not straightforward.

      When I have made OIA requests of dept Building and Housing for a single report on a particular property, the response is relatively swift, and often within the 20 working days BUT as soon as I request information more relative tot he machinations of the DBH itself, its process etc…. it goes to 20 working days and more often than not is refused.

  20. Weepus beard 20

    Xen is backing the PM’s version of events. I was interested in what capacity he was doing so. It was a simple question, not an ask demand.

    [RL: The Standard energetically protects the right of people to comment here pseudonymously. Anything that looks even vaguely like ‘outing’ or pressuring people to ‘out’ themselves is strongly discouraged and acting on accordingly.

    I believe you have done this unintentionally in this instance and you were not deleted or banned as would be usual. If you need more information please read the Site Policy above. ]

  21. feijoa 21

    So……….. has John Key actually broken the law?
    Or the Cabinet manual or whatever he is bound by?

    • Tracey 21.1

      “highest ethical standards” is the level of behaviour required by the Cabinet Manual

  22. xen 22

    I haven’t worked for government for years and never would again.

    ‘Xen is backing the PM’s version of events.’

    No, I was explaining how OIAs generally work, and the importance of separation of powers in this respect, because there seemed to be some confusion as to why the PM would not have had direct oversight of this OIA request.

    If it conforms with the PM’s version of events then that’s to be expected, it just means the standard process was followed.

    • RedLogix 22.1

      And while we agree you are narrowly and technically correct – there remains the gaping pragmatic and political hole in your account.

      As quite a few people have already pointed out to you.

    • Clemgeopin 22.2

      @xen:

      “No, I was explaining how OIAs generally work, and the importance of separation of powers in this respect, because there seemed to be some confusion as to why the PM would not have had direct oversight of this OIA request.
      If it conforms with the PM’s version of events then that’s to be expected, it just means the standard process was followed.”

      Thanks for your response.

      Do you BELIEVE that the standard process was followed in this case, based on the public statements by Key, the revelations in the ‘Dirty Politics’ and the ‘whaledump’ expose?
      Do you think something fishy and BS coverup is going on here? Are you disturbed by all the dirty goings on?

      Also, could you respond to my previous post (at 19.2 at 10:56pm)?

    • tricledrown 22.3

      Xen you haven’t worked for govt for years !
      yet you know everything!
      yet the average number of days for an OIA request is more than 20 working days!
      your just the latest of a long line of Nationals pathetic apologists and dubious dirty tricks brigade adding more fuel to the fire!
      each time one of you not so obvious spin merchanters is outed the next spin tries to up the anti by telling a bigger Lie than the last!
      you must be in the Prime Ministers inner circle!

      • RedLogix 22.3.1

        tc,

        I agree that most sources say that OIA’s are rarely processed in less than the statutory 20 days – and xen does appear to be wrong on that point. But unless you have strong evidence to the contrary – it’s the general practise to accept what people say about themselves in good faith.

        • xen 22.3.1.1

          I said the Ombudsman process was relatively fast, I said nothing of the total length of time involved, the responder can easily ask for extensions. The OIA process start with an Ombudsman process (asking for info), then responder does their process and replies, then second Ombudsman process is completed where the info is passed on to the requester. As I said the Ombudsman part of this composite process is fast.

          ‘gaping pragmatic and political hole in your account.’

          What is this? I’m explaining the exact pragamatic approach to these situations. The gap is in your thinking and unless you explain it no one else can understand what you mean?

          • RedLogix 22.3.1.1.1

            Your own words show how you are part of the problem here. Clearly you are very familiar with the details of the OIA process. Intimately so.

            And yet somehow for all this knowledge you deliberately miss what is blindingly obvious to everyone else – that clearly Slater was tipped off about exactly what OIA request to ask for and overall it was processed in a remarkably prompt fashion. Very conveniently for a National Party in election mode.

            Obviously the Prime Minister did not need to see, vet, or approve of the contents of the OIA as it was processed; banging on about that is an irrelevancy and a distraction. The abuse of power lay not in the minutiae of the process – but that it happened at all.

            The fact remains is that someone in the Office of the Prime Minister (full of party political appointees) ensured Cameron Slater had timely and effective access to damaging SIS information on Phil Goff. And John Key is responsible for his Office’s actions and that abuse of power.

            Of course everyone meticulously followed their little bit of the process in order to comprehensively cover their own arse. As an ex-public servant yourself you exquisitely demonstrate here in your own words, the instincts and self-justifications involved.

            • Clemgeopin 22.3.1.1.1.1

              Very good post.

              “clearly Slater was tipped off about exactly what OIA request to ask for and overall it was processed in a remarkably prompt fashion. Very conveniently for a National Party in election mode.

              Obviously the Prime Minister did not need to see, vet, or approve of the contents of the OIA as it was processed; banging on about that is an irrelevancy and a distraction. The abuse of power lay not in the minutiae of the process – but that it happened at all”

      • xen 22.3.2

        ‘yet you know everything!’

        Your short-term memory must be shot mate if you cant remember your job skills. Re: total OIA time read below. I won’t bother with the rest of your crazed rant…

        • tricledrown 22.3.2.1

          Xen desperation from corrupt conmen your bullying!
          No more pathetic excuses from those who can’ t take personal responsibility!
          profiling why would you try to defend the indefensible in such a manner!
          laughable to see what lengths this completely corrupt govt will go to to try to undermine opposition and democracy!

        • Tracey 22.3.2.2

          John key can’t

    • cinesimon 22.4

      Seems to me you were explaining how you think OIA’s work, and not how the media actually experience it.
      Do you really believe that the entire media is lying about the time issues here?
      And I take it you’re not actually talking about SIS OIAs. Rather a big difference than most other portfolios, I would hope you’d agree.
      And going by your posts, I find it hard to believe you’ve actually read much about this particular issue.

      • xen 22.4.1

        ‘Do you really believe that the entire media is lying about the time issues here?’

        No but accepting the words of all parties involved doesn’t sell newspapers, so why would they accept the words of the people at the center of the matter?

        ‘And I take it you’re not actually talking about SIS OIAs.’

        Wow, you haven’t read anything above have you? This is exactly what I’m saying, the SIS can’t ignore the OIA, they have to treat it the same way that an OIA request to Parliamentary Cleaning Services would be treated, i.e. they take it seriously and follow a legally prescribed process – they have no choice in this and I’m surprised you don’t all support this transparency.

        However, I expect that the SIS would have more grounds to withhold more info than other areas of government, except maybe commercial entities related to government.

  23. cinesimon 23

    Yet the rest of the political media twiddle their thumbs, and continue to do Key’s bidding.

  24. Weepus beard 24

    It’s all right everyone. Nothing to see here.

    Apparent fleewee, or insomniac, xen has cleared this whole OIA thing up.

    He’s worked in government see and reports that despite the OIA process being carefully managed through several hands and many levels of officialdom, elected and otherwise, from the Ombudsman, to ministers, to heads of ministries, to crown lawyers, and all the way back again, xen reckons that at the most crucial juncture of the entire process, the sign off for release of politically sensitive information to a member of the public, there is and never has been any reason to trouble the minister in charge.

    Nay, it’s even illegal to show the minister, as far as he knows…

    the final package of info will not go the PM for vetting (so he won’t know its contents), that sort of political interference is illegal AFAIK

    -xen

    and too much work for everyone…

    and bureaucrats simply wouldn’t want the headache.

    -xen

    Lprent’s earlier admonishment notwithstanding, I invite xen to provide citation on both the illegality of showing the relevant minister OIA documents for release, and on the procedure behind who in the civil service decides what does and does not constitute a “headache”.

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  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
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  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
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  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
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  • All aboard the Covid Train
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    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
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    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
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  • Enlightenment when?
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  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
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    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
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    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
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    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
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  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
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    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
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    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    2 weeks ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
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  • Nobody Left Behind.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
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    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
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    2 weeks ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
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    2 weeks ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
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    2 weeks ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
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    2 weeks ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
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  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
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  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
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  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
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    2 hours ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
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    5 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
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    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Nation steps up to COVID-19 Alert Level 2
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
    Kia ora koutou katoa I’m speaking directly to all New Zealanders today to give you as much certainty and clarity as we can as we fight Covid-19. Over the past few weeks, the world has changed. And it has changed very quickly. In February it would have seemed unimaginable to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
    New Zealand and Singapore have jointly committed to keep supply chains open and to remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the commitment. “This is an important collective response, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
    Travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travelers came into force from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT).  All airlines were informed of these restrictions before they came into force. Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says “The transit of passengers between Australia and New Zealand has been agreed upon and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
    The Government has allocated $100 million to help redeploy workers affected by the economic impact of COVID-19, with the hard-hit region of Gisborne-Tairāwhiti to be the first helped, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford, Forestry and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today. Phil Twyford ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • More support for wood processing
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is ramping up support for Tairāwhiti’s wood processing sector to bolster the region’s economy at a time of heightened uncertainty, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Following earlier announcements today of a regional support package for Tairāwhiti, Minister Jones has also announced a ...
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    2 weeks ago