Question time

Written By: - Date published: 8:35 am, June 4th, 2009 - 44 comments
Categories: corruption, crime, john key - Tags:

John Key’s making a real hash of this latest Worth scandal. There was the secretive way he went about things yesterday, which is just not acceptable from a Prime Minister in New Zealand. He wasted several opportunities to correct his mistake and give full details during the day. Yet the story is still coming out. More serious in political terms though, is the way Key handled Worth when he knew that Worth had been doing something seriously bad.

– Why did it take over a week from losing confidence in Worth to Worth resigning? Why didn’t Key fire him immediately he lost confidence in him?

The answer Key gave today in the House ‘had to let him have natural justice’ makes no sense. You don’t lose confidence then carry out an investigation. Natural justice comes first, then losing confidence. Key must already have been sure last Tuesday. ‘Natural justice’ is an illogical excuse. The real reason is Key didn’t want the scandal to sour the Bleak Budget (as if that could get more sour). So he kept a man he says he would not have in his ministry in his ministry for another week for PR reasons.

– What investigation did Key undertake when he was told Worth had been sexually harassing women, known as ‘making a nuisance of himself towards women’ in Key-speak?

– Who did Key consult with during this investigation? Did he consider involving the Police? If not, why not?

– Did his investigation conclude that Worth had indeed sexually harassed women just that it was not serious? Because that’s what his words imply.

– Why, if that was the finding of his investigation, did he not consider this serious?

– Why didn’t he tell the public that one of his ministers had been sexually harassing women?

The answers to these questions will raise even more as the details come out.

The inadequacy of Key’s initial investigation. His shielding of Worth. Keeping mum when he knew that Worth was subject to an allegation for a serious offence. The fact that Key had lost confidence in his minister but kept him on. The hide and seek game he has played with the public over the facts. All are serious failings in a Prime Minister.

Questions will be asked. Again and again over the weeks to come. Key better have some good answers.

44 comments on “Question time”

  1. Tigger 1

    Adding insult to this injury is the way Key handled the press conference yesterday. He is a literal chatty Kathy, allowing himself to be drawn on questions that he earlier says are the domain of the police. By the end of the question time we all knew Worth was being investigated for a criminal matter against a person, a crime that wasn’t so serious he’d been chucked off the list but serious enough to lose the MInister’s seat ([DELETED]). How Key was pushed into revealing a lot more detail than he wanted or needed to was very worrying.

    Worse for me, as the post points out, Key appears to be suddenly disgusted with Worth (where was the digust last week Prime Minister…?) – the latter is very important because it says that Key will take a stand but only when it looks like the truth is being outed, until then he really is happy to protect his little boy’s club, but when Key does drop you, you can expect a kick while you’re down. No ‘natural justice’ there, mate. Key has already tried and convicted Worth and told the rest of us what he thinks. He’s fudged any justice for Worth. Key thinks Worth is a pig ergo we should all think the same.

    By the way, has Worth pleaded guilty to anything? Aren’t the police investigating a complaint? So he’s not been charge yet. Has Worth actually told Key he did it? Because otherwise Mr Key, it’s innocent until proven guilty so while accepting a resignation and claiming you’d fire him is all fine, your disgust and judgemental tone are not. You’re throwing stones at someone who you only suspect might be guilty.

    But perhaps Key knows something we don’t, that Worth is guilty and if Worth HAS admitted his guilt to Key then I suggest he contact the Wellington police and tell them what he knows. In fact, he could end up a witness for the prosecution…

    All in all, a big, fat FAIL from our PM who, if he’s as successful a businessman as he thinks should have been able to handle this sort of thing easily.

    • Pascal's bookie 1.1

      Tigg, if it’s not too late I’d delete the stuff in brackets in your first para.

      [Ed: It’s been deleted]

  2. Pascal's bookie 2

    “The inadequacy of Key’s initial investigation.”

    from that Herald story:

    Of the allegations raised by Mr Goff, the Prime Minister said: “The assurance I had was that they were not correct. I had no reason to disbelieve that.”

    Did Key know there were emails? Did he ask to see them? Story suggests not.

    These were not personal matters but about official appointments.

  3. Sounds like Dick can arrange anything if you make it worth his while.

  4. gobsmacked 4

    John Key claims to have lost confidence in Richard Worth last Tuesday (9 days ago). This was a matter of hours (minutes?) after expressing confidence in him during question time in the House, that Tuesday afternoon.

    How very, very convenient.

  5. corkscrew 5

    Dr Richard Worth presents the “Dr Richard Worth Cup for Citizenship” at Epsom Girls Grammar School every year in person, its nice seeing someone in government take a passionate interest in the social mores of young women. I hope this doesn’t dissuade him from being a positive role model in the community.

  6. Sean 6

    I love how the left complain over the timeframe of a couple of days yet it was Labour’s ERA 2000 that made so much more difficult to fire wayward employees. Go figure!

    • Daveo 6.1

      A) No it didn’t. Personal grievance law remained pretty much unchanged between the ECA and the ERA.

      B) MPs aren’t covered by employment law.

      • Sean 6.1.1

        A) As a manger operating under the current ERA I beg to differ. The subtleties of the ERA were made absolute by the employment relations authority.

        B) Assuming this is true then fair point. Even so, a few days to establish the facts in a high profile case like this wouldn’t be unreasonable(and amongst budget week!). Would you be so quick to judge yourself?

        • gobsmacked 6.1.1.1

          But Sean, Key had already judged. He said so yesterday:

          “Hon Phil Goff: When did the Prime Minister lose confidence in Dr Worth as a Minister?

          Hon JOHN KEY: Last Tuesday afternoon.”

          There was no due process.

          That same afternoon, Key had expressed confidence in Worth, in the House, just after 2 p.m.

          I don’t know when afternoons end, but whenever it was, that’s when the “due process” had finished.

          • Sean 6.1.1.1.1

            So? Upon hearing the (yet to be publicly known) specific allegations I would lose confidence too. But I wouldn’t rush to judgement without going though a process to determine a few critical facts.

            Again, what we are quibbling about here is a few days. It’s not as if Key has asked for a public investigation. If anything, his decisiveness may prove to be too quick!

  7. exbrethren 7

    John Key reassured the NZ public today about this matter. “I give my personal guarantee that I have acted properly in this matter and the former minister Worth Dick misunderstood me when I gave him a bollocking. This wasn’t an excuse for him to go and try and give other people a bollocking. I also give my personal guarantee that Nashnul will take Epsom seriously by selecting a serious candidate. I am confident Melissa Lee will do a good job there.”

  8. Tim Ellis 8

    I seem to remember when there were allegations of criminal activity around a Labour Minister, Helen Clark appointed a QC to investigate, set up limited terms of reference for the inquiry, and gave the QC many months to report back.

    By comparison, a one-week investigation into the allegations by Mr Key is lightening-fast.

    • exbrethren 8.1

      This just in from John Key “I give my personal guarantee that I acted promptly upon this incident and didn’t sit on it for nine days hoping it wouldn’t come out into the public domain.”

    • Pascal's bookie 8.2

      Tim, there are differences aplenty, you know it, but reveal much in ignoring them.

      Field denied it, Worth has apparently not.

      When Field denied it, Helen appointed a QC to investigate, as you say. Did Key even look at the Emails from the earlier complaint?

      The herald quotes him as saying assurances convinced him there was nothing to it.

      But then it was only Worth being a ‘nuisance’ I suppose. Or as Prebble called it, ‘being a bit fresh towards a Labour party activist’. Charmed I’m sure.

      • Tim Ellis 8.2.1

        PB, the earlier complaint appears to have been about motive, which was not apparently clear in the evidence. Mr Goff describes the “undertones” of an expectation of a relationship in return for an appointment of some kind. It seems to me that these “undertones” were not explicit. Dr Worth apparently denied these “undertones”.

        Mr Key investigated the information Mr Goff gave him appropriately. There was no allegation of criminal behaviour.

        I don’t know if Dr Worth denied to Mr Key the allegations regarding this other individual. It seems to me that Dr Worth’s failing relating to ministerial confidence in this respect is not the substance of the allegations, but the fact that he did not inform the PM that such allegations existed, and that he was likely to be the subject of a police complaint for the best part of a week.

        The substance of the allegations aren’t something that the PM should adjudicate on. At best he should allow the police to conduct their normal inquiries and ensure that they are able to do their job.

        I don’t think Mr Key could have acted any differently.

        • Pascal's bookie 8.2.1.1

          “Mr Key investigated the information Mr Goff gave him appropriately.”

          How do you know this?

          All I’ve seen is the suggestion that he took Worth at his word. You claim this is enough too?

          We know enough about the ‘overtones’ that they have been described with reference to the words ‘nuisance’ and ‘fresh’. The recipient detected these overtones, Goff saw enough in them to take the matter up with Key privately, ( a fact that some righties are saying discredits him, as if he should have run along to the press!).

        • Maynard J 8.2.1.2

          “Mr Key investigated the information Mr Goff gave him appropriately. There was no allegation of criminal behaviour.”

          I have read that someone was offered a sinecure upon the expectation there would be ‘romance’ resulting. This from the Herald today.How can you be so damn sure of what you have written above? It makes your comments about not being an ‘insider’ seem pretty false.

          No one would made such a self-assured black-and-white comment without more info than from the papers.

          • Tim Ellis 8.2.1.2.1

            Maynard J, I am pointing to the fact that Mr Goff himself only referred to undertones of an expectation. It was evidently not explicit, otherwise Mr Goff would have made the explicit connection. The PM’s responsibility was to question Dr Worth, as he did, on whether there was an expectation on Dr Worth’s part that a relationship would ensue from the appointment. Mr Key has said that he was satisfied with Dr Worth’s explanation of the communications.

          • r0b 8.2.1.2.2

            Mr Key has said that he was satisfied with Dr Worth’s explanation of the communications.

            Subsequent events have shown that to be very poor judgement on Key’s part.

          • Pascal's bookie 8.2.1.2.3

            The emails were personal, they were about ‘do you want to come swimming with me?’ Do you want to take a holiday with me overseas, I want you to buy this see-through clothing. This woman is half Dr Worth’s age, she is a happily married woman with children, she was offended by it.”

            Goff said he had not raised the claims publicly because “I didn’t really want to go through grubby details of the allegations that were made”.

            http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2470449/Ex-minister-offered-job-for-favours

            All a bit subtle I suppose.

          • Tim Ellis 8.2.1.2.4

            r0b, it doesn’t show a lack of judgement in my view to show confidence in a Minister until they have demonstrated that they no longer warrant confidence. Helen Clark had multiple opportunities to sack any one of the ministers she sacked, long before she ended up sacking them.

          • exbrethren 8.2.1.2.5

            If these emails exist with the words as quoted in stuff then Key is either;

            a. an extremely poor judge of character
            b. a person that thinks sexual harassment is a funny joke
            c. a liar who indulged in a cover-up of a minister

            My guess is he’ll go for a.

          • r0b 8.2.1.2.6

            r0b, it doesn’t show a lack of judgement in my view to show confidence in a Minister until they have demonstrated that they no longer warrant confidence.

            Spin it all you like Tim, the facts prove that Key’s judgement was spectacularly wrong. Worth carried on with his pattern of behaviour until the police got involved.

            Helen Clark had multiple opportunities to sack any one of the ministers she sacked, long before she ended up sacking them.

            Your usual bullshit lies Tim, several were sacked at the first hint of trouble. Key should have acted on Worth much sooner than he did.

          • Tim Ellis 8.2.1.2.7

            r0b wrote:

            Your usual bullshit lies Tim, several were sacked at the first hint of trouble. Key should have acted on Worth much sooner than he did.

            That is not my recollection of Helen Clark’s response to Mr Field, Mr Mallard, Mr Peters, or Mr Benson-Pope, r0b, which all dragged out for many months before final action.

          • r0b 8.2.1.2.8

            Your claim was – “Helen Clark had multiple opportunities to sack any one of the ministers she sacked” – which was a bullshit lie Tim (yet another one from you). As per my link above, there were ministers who were sacked at the first sign of trouble.

          • Tim Ellis 8.2.1.2.9

            r0b, your argument appears to be that Mr Key has shown a lack of judgement in not sacking Dr Worth earlier, based on multiple errors by Dr Worth.

            The same can be said of Helen Clark, who had multiple opportunities to sack many of her Ministers who involved themselves in indiscretions or impropriety or otherwise poor ministerial performance, but chose not to do so. David Benson-Pope, Phillip Field, Winston Peters, Trevor Mallard, George Hawkins, Judith Tizard, etc etc. I note that you don’t indicate that their further indiscretions amounted to poor judgement on Ms Clark’s part.

          • r0b 8.2.1.2.10

            r0b, your argument appears to be

            Tim, my argument appears to be that you are a liar. I note that you don’t deny it.

            And as to Worth, best summary by far is from Gordon Campbell:

            Secondly, there is the little matter of accountability. Regardless of whether a criminal case will finally be made, Worth had been shown remarkable leniency by Key over the past few months. This has been in stark contrast to the strong messages about accountability that National had sent out in opposition when Labour Ministers had transgressed and subsequently, in government. When it comes to public servants, the National caucus is very quick to issue demands that ‘heads must roll.’ Not so ihowever, when it is one of their own. All this year, Worth has appeared to benefit from a series of ‘final’ warnings and been on ‘final notice’ which in his case, seemed to mean only ‘until next time.’

            The third dubious element has been Key’s fumbling of the events yesterday morning, when the fact of a Police investigation became public. After first disclosing the bare facts and saying there would be no further comment ie, he would let the Police investigation proceed without political intrusion – Key then, two hours later, virtually prejudged aspects of the affair, by commenting further that if Worth hadn’t resigned as Minister, Key would have sacked him, and further indicated that perhaps Worth should consider his future within the caucus, and as an MP.

            At every point, Key has either delayed taking action for months, over Worth’s well publicized lapses of judgement and then when action became inescapable, he delayed again lest the affair should overshadow the Budget coverage. Having promised not to comment publicly ( apparently,lest that should taint the Police investigation) he then proceeded to do so.

            In other words, this has been a tawdry disaster, abysmally handled.

          • Tim Ellis 8.2.1.2.11

            Tim, my argument appears to be that you are a liar. I note that you don’t deny it.

            I didn’t deny it r0b because I didn’t wish to dignify it, just as on repeat occasions I didn’t wish to dignify the accusations that I work in the National Party research unit. I won’t debate with you again. As you cannot debate constructively without descending into personal abuse, it is a waste of my time.

          • r0b 8.2.1.2.12

            Sure whatever Tim, but all you have to do to stop me calling you a liar is to stop telling lies. Bye now.

    • doc whose asking 8.3

      Tim,

      the matter of higher office (yeah I know worth was outside cabinet) comes into consideration.. who decides these things.. the PM.. I heard he refers to “my” cabinet.. is that all there is to it..? what advices.. else.. might he seek.. and like what, who from.. my guess is folks claiming know about potential candidates.. so where does that leave this thing..? somehow I cannae accept that actual office has a fellow demonstrably errant.. arrogance or whatever would surely pre-exist..?

      honest questions.. same answers welcomed and respected..

      • Tim Ellis 8.3.1

        Doc,

        The PM alone decides on whether he has confidence in any of his ministers. Yes, he might take advice, but who he seeks advice from isn’t relevant in my view. Helen Clark clearly relied heavily on the advice of Heather Simpson. That doesn’t make Heather Simpson responsible for those decisions.

        I hope I’ve answered your question.

        • doc whose asking 8.3.1.1

          thanks Tim, but no not really.. you see I’m really talking about “better” – the National Party (certainly the PM’s) promise post-Election. More of the same, or similar, is no way better. Hence, as I said, the process of higher office selection would seem to require scrutiny.

          Put another way, what makes for the PM’s confidence in a guy. If only good faith(actual) or blind faith (intended) then suitable scrutiny would be improbable. Which is to say they need independent help to get anywhere near putting matters aright.

          Partisan for power has its problems. aka Responsibilities as folks around me agree.

          In the budget, for instance, clear responsibilities on display. Taxcuts have their limits for any responsible national government. So if they can deliver on the policy front they ought also have no problems whatsoever on the individual plays.. yet there they are..!

    • ak 8.4

      Mr Key is lightening-fast

      Good old Tim – drags up an apple to compare with a putrid pear.

      Lightning’s struck, Mr Sunny’s darkening, and there’s milk powder clouds on the horizon….

      Brrrrr…..better wrap up tories!

  9. I hope for Key’s sake he didnt mislead the House last week when expressing confidence in all his ministers.

  10. Cossack 10

    John Key new about all this last week. He waited until after the Budget to make Worth resign. That is disgraceful and he should be called on it.

  11. tsmithfield 11

    Several points here:

    On the basis of the issue that Goff raised, even according to Goff, the matter seems to have been more innuendo, and implied romantic ovetures. These sorts of things can be difficult to prove and easy to deny. This is because these sort of communications are often highly ambiguous. According to Key, his office investigated the matter and was unable to prove anything. Given that Worth denied any wrong doing Key really had no option but to accept his word under the circumstances.

    With respect to the second matter, Key may well have had some knowledge last week. However, there would still be due process of getting Worths side of the story etc before he could take disciplinary action.

    I think Key has acted pretty strongly here by not only forcing Worth’s resignation but also sending a strong message that Worth should consider his future as an MP. There is no road back like Clark allowed for some of her MP’s who sinned.

    Getting rid of Worth is a good thing. There is no room for sleazy scumbags in parliament whatever side of the house they are on.

  12. the sprout 12

    someone’s been busy on wiki already
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Worth

    • Tigger 12.1

      Could I suggest to the editors of the Wikipedia page that the following line about Worth might be seen as rather ironic now…
      “An advocate of closer business and social ties between New Zealand and South Korea…”

      • Chris G 12.1.1

        you know anyone can be the editor to an unlocked wikipedia page?… for example Richard Worths.

        • felix 12.1.1.1

          Yeah, back in March apparently, resulting in the following discussion on the page.

          Conflict of interest

          There appear to have been two series of edits by a User:Richard_W_Worth who appears to be the subject of this page:

          The first of these has effectively been undone already, but I’m about to rewrite the second, since they appear to breach Wikipedia:Conflict of interest. The user has been warned on their talk page.

          “Conflict of interest” seems to be writ large across every facet of this guy’s life, doesn’t it?

    • doc whose asking 12.2

      how very inter-resting.. ta-soh..

      And there for all to see the external link of Laura Bush learning of the Varied Thrush — a “rare bird in Texas”. Migratory..? Untold.. 🙂

      Just my luck the wiki has no mention of religious influence, input or inference for this fellow.. Perhaps Korean and thus unwritable or unpronounceable. Perhaps not… Enlightenment anyone..

  13. Kaplan 13

    @Tim Ellis 10:15
    I think he could have taken the opportunity that was generously handed to him by Goff to deal with this in a much cleaner fashion. In this I include Goff failing to ask if Key had confidence in his ministers between last Tuesday and yesterday.

    That Key didn’t see the situation as serious would be laughable if it were not sickening and ultimately it is proof of yet more poor judgment on his part.

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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    6 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    6 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    7 days ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    7 days ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    1 week ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
    Fatal Contact: With the arrival of captain James Cook in October 1769, the islands of what would become New Zealand ceased to be the preserve of Polynesian navigators and settlers and became a part of both the world’s map and the world’s history.THE MAORI NATIONALIST assault upon the historical meaning ...
    1 week ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • 2018 – Submission to the NZ Government Tax Working Group
    Read our submission here ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Guardian: Poll shows DISASTER for Corbyn and the End of Times
    The Guardian - ever eager to forewarn of doom and disaster on the left - are leading with a new poll from Opinium, which puts the Conservatives 15% clear of Labour.Con 38% +2Lab 23% -1Lib Dem 15% -5Brexit 12% +1Green 4% +2This isn't good news, and it would be very ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How prostitution became the world’s most modern profession
    Being and Being Bought (Spinifex Press, 2013) by Kajsa Ekis Ekman  A synopsis and commentary of Chapters 1-2 by Daphna Whitmore Ekman, a Swedish journalist and critic, brings together a Marxist and feminist analysis of prostitution and surrogacy in this groundbreaking book She opens the discussion with a definition of ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Clever legal fellow on Scottish challenge to Brexit
    I make no claims to having much legal knowledge,  so I defer to those trained in this area.I am very much enjoying this twitter stream from m'learned friend in Edinburgh, deciphering the legal arguments around the Scottish court challenge to Boris Johnson, based on the charmingly obscure principle of Nobile ...
    2 weeks ago
  • An Open Letter From Closed Minds.
    Ivory Folly? The University of Auckland’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Stuart McCutcheon, upheld the right of the radical nationalist group, Action Zealandia to exercise their freedom of speech – not matter how distasteful that speech might be. A wiser community of students and scholars would have nodded their agreement and moved on. ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 mins ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    40 mins ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
    The Government has approved the next stage of a major redevelopment of Taranaki Base Hospital, which will deliver new and improved facilities for patients. Health Minister Dr David Clark has announced details of a $300 million dollar project to build a new East Wing at the New Plymouth hospital. It ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
    Extra funding will allow Rural Support Trusts to help farming families, says Minister for Rural Communities and Agriculture Damien O’Connor. “I know that rural families are worried about some of the challenges facing them, including the ongoing uncertainty created by the Mycoplasma bovis outbreak. “Those concerns sit alongside ongoing worries ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson leaves this weekend to attend the APEC Finance Ministers meeting in Santiago, Chile. Discussions between APEC Finance Ministers at the meeting will include the effects of the current global economic uncertainty, risks for APEC economies and sustainable development of the region. While at APEC Grant Robertson ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio says for Pacific people, language can be a source of strength. It can help ground us and give us confidence. When we speak them, our languages provide us with an immediate and intimate access to our identity and our story - and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Major boost to support disabled people in sport and recreation
    The Coalition Government has announced an action plan to improve the wellbeing of disabled New Zealanders by addressing inequalities in play, active recreation and sport. The initiative includes training to develop a workforce that understands the needs of children and young people with a range of impairments, advocacy for fit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
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