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Shame!

Written By: - Date published: 7:45 pm, August 21st, 2013 - 136 comments
Categories: accountability, john banks, john key, national, peter dunne, Spying - Tags: , , ,

So the Key-Dunne spying Bill is now law. The privacy of your electronic communications now depends on the favour of an untrustworthy PM, and the best efforts of a legal system (much derided by said PM) in interpreting a confused mess of a law / Hansard record / letter to The Herald. Shame shame shame on all those MPs who ignored the concerns of the people who elected them and passed this travesty.

key-i'm-right-you're-all-wrong

136 comments on “Shame!”

  1. karol 1

    A sad day.

    NZ democracy, RIP – after a long decline.

    • Linz 1.1

      Time to turn our attention to the TICS bill without which the GCSB won’t be able to spy on New Zealanders, well, not so efficiently.
      From this article: http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/digital-living/8989999/Minister-slams-spy-bill-opposition

      More technical in nature, the TICS Bill would compel telecommunications firms to provide assistance to the GCSB in intercepting and decrypting customer communications and would force them to follow the spy agency’s instructions on network security.

      Appearing in front of the select committee yesterday, Kuipers said …”It is no longer about just tapping into the telephone exchange. Today what we are talking about is a diversity of data connections carrying every imaginable service such as games, banking, education services, entertainment, company and government meetings, shopping, email and documents.
      “Many of these were never subject to interception capability obligations in the pre-digital world. That is a dramatic change in the law.”
      Potentially, the GCSB could use the law change to force any provider of those online services to change their technology or business model, including in ways which might “fundamentally undermine the security of those services”, he said.

  2. mickysavage 2

    Yep shame on them.

    Their only justification appears to be that the 2003 legislation was unclear. They have hung their hat on this and tried to suggest that this is all Labour’s fault.

    I have not seen it said before but National voted for this legislation. For proof go to http://www.parliament.nz/en-nz/pb/debates/debates/47HansD_20030327_00001169/government-communications-security-bureau-bill-—-third

    This is a perfect example of belligerence and vested interests succeeding over principle.

    • Steve 2.1

      The 2003 legislation was pre-Edward Snowdown, which places the context of this bill in a whole different light.

      I guarantee this legislation will be pushed to it’s outer limits and used for domestic poltical purposes. A very sad day for democracy and the NZ identity.

      This crowd of hollow sycophants must exit stage left in 2014. The only positive is that this will have encouraged alot more people to fight to ensure that happens.

      • mickysavage 2.1.1

        I guarantee this legislation will be pushed to it’s outer limits and used for domestic poltical purposes.

        As was the 2003 legislation. The GCSB was told in no uncertain terms do not spy on Kiwis. But they have been dancing on the heads of pins trying to justify the spying of kiwis, and they have been ramming this change through so that they can spy on kiwis.

        They are astounding. They should have listened to the voice of the people, Parliament, and not done it. Instead they pushed it as far as they could, they got caught out, and they are now trying to get the law changed so they can do what they were told clearly not to do.

      • Bus Man 2.1.2

        To Michael Joseph- A perfect example of Labour-National co-operation when National saw the sense in supporting a common-sense bill which protected New Zealand from potential terrorist activity.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.2.1

          Which makes it all the more shameful that this crap government has forced the new legislation through without bipartisan support.

          Attitudes on the left are hardening: I acknowledge completely the justification for an “intelligence” function within the government, but if it’s a choice between what we have now and nothing at all, nothing at all would be better.

  3. karol 3

    BTW, who int he Maori Party abstained from voting for the GCSB Bill tonight? 2 votes against by the Maori Party. The Bill passed by 61 votes to 59.

    • felix 3.1

      Heard TeUruroa Flavell speaking strongly against the bill tonight. So probably not him.

      • Jackal 3.1.1

        Standing order 142 states that members abstaining are meant to have their abstentions and names recorded by the Clerk. This is meant to published in the Journals of the House.

        Unfortunately the names of those who abstain from voting haven’t been recorded in the journals for some time. However, being that this information is meant to be recorded and published, an OIA request would likely be successful.

        I tend to disagree with you btw felix. I think Te Ururoa Flavell is the prime suspect. Thus far he has ignored my questions on twitter pertaining to who exactly abstained from voting against the GCSB amendment bill.

        • Veutoviper 3.1.1.1

          As you say, the rules of the House require abstentions to be recorded and I heard none when the voting was reported. See my comment at 7.3 below re the absence rules for voting and how these frequently lead to the Maori Party having only two votes rather than three.

          Flavell also gave a quite empassioned speech making it very clear that the “Maori Party” was voting against the Bill in the last speeches before the vote (just before the dinner break).

      • CeeH 3.1.2

        Correct. His exact words were “the maori party would not be supporting this bill”.

    • Skinny 3.2

      I told the standard this would happen, a no show was a back up vote for the bill. They need to account for this treacherous act.
      Meanwhile with the passing of the GCSB bill comes the realisation New Zealand is now the newest state of the U.S.A., referred to as Area 51 South Pacific by the yanks I bet!

    • yeshe 3.3

      yes karol .. same mystery as last time. shame upon them all.

    • Core_Labour_Voter (Tory troll) 3.4

      I think Brendon Horan was kicked out and he didn’t vote???? That should make up the 121 (61+59+1)

      • karol 3.4.1

        No. Horan’s vote was recorded in the party vote counted – audio heard on the Parliament TV channel as voting was counted. Someone else – a Green MP, I think, stated Horan’s vote.

  4. ianmac 4

    Perhaps the passing into law might yet prove a festering sore in National’s hide?

  5. SHG (not Colonial Viper) 5

    How was the vote split? Anyone cross the floor?

    • karol 5.1

      A Maori MP didn’t even make it to the floor!

    • lprent 5.2

      No – strictly on party lines. In exactly the same way that it will be repealed and replaced. This Act has a short lifetime.

      I think that we should have a serious look at killing the GCSB at the same time. Throughout this debate I haven’t heard of *anyone* giving some coherent reasons for the retention of their excessive budget or what return we have or are likely to get from it.

      Not a single person. All you ever get is fear mongering without any detail. Looks to me like it is an arm of the US intelligence community. Time for it to depart for another country and stop distorting our laws.

      • travellerev 5.2.1

        God Iprent, You really are so naive sometimes. I know you want met to come with arguments yadiyadyada but not tonight Josephine I’m to angry, too scared and quit frankly over it. But he no conspiracies. No sir , that doesn’t happen here in NZ or anywhere else for that matter. No sir!

        • Jackal 5.2.1.1

          WTF are you on about travellerev? I’ve read your comment a couple of times to try and ascertain why you think 1prent is being naive in saying there is no justification for even having the GCSB. While New Zealand has approximately 250,000 children living in poverty, what justification do you have for spending $63 + million dollars on the GCSB each year?

          • travellerev 5.2.1.1.1

            If you honestly think New Zealand will be allowed to repeal this law you have got another thing coming. But eh, that would be conspiracy theory and everybody knows you have to be cuckoo to believe our leaders conspire.

            See that is what I mean by naive. You lot believing you are an independent democracy instead of a colony looted by and on behalf of TPTB.

            • Jackal 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Labour say they will replace/repeal the law after a review when they become government. The Greens say they will repeal the law outright. It is only a matter of time travellerev.

              It is not naive to think we can create a better democratic system. Defeatist!

              • ROFL. Yes it is.

                But then, you still think 19 young Muslims with box cutters can break the laws of nature too.

                Defeatist? I don’t think so but when I see people like you fighting shadows against the wall instead of the real bastards I know it’s going to be an uphill battle.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  🙄

                • When I made my oral submission to the Intelligence Select Committee, I ignored Ryall and Banks (Dear Leader was off-planet, tending to his golfing greens on Planet Key), and made my submission directly to Shearer and Norman.

                  I told them that NZ was on a gradual creep to more and more surveillance and that we need to wind back the clock. I suggested using the mid-1970s as a starting point as to whether or not we needed such invasive surveillance in this country.

                  Because otherwise, I submitted, we’ll be going through this entire process again in X years, when the GCSB/Police/SIS/whoever needs yet more surveillance or detention powers.

                  I also pointed out that once upon a time, the State had to demonstrate why they needed such powers. These days, it seems that citizens appear before Select Committees demonstrating why their privacy should not be further eroded.

                  When did we move to a state of affairs when the public has to prove why we want to maintain privacy from State intrusion?

      • Rhinocrates 5.2.2

        In exactly the same way that it will be repealed and replaced.

        Well, one certainly hopes. I know Goff from his past record wouldn’t have had any problem with it and I’m hoping that future genuine left government will repeal it instead of simply giving it a lukewarm charade of a “review”.

        • Veutoviper 5.2.2.1

          Goff gave a very passionate speech tonight AGAINST the Bill immediately after Finalyson’s disgusting attack on Dame Anne Salmond etc – almost made me wish Goff was still leader!

          http://inthehouse.co.nz/node/20508

          • Colonial Viper 5.2.2.1.1

            Goff is far superior to Shearer.

            • muzza 5.2.2.1.1.1

              Goff is a traitor also, his words a hollow, and simply a theatrical speech, for effect!

          • infused 5.2.2.1.2

            What people say and do is very different. I’ll put $100 on it that Labour does not repeal this.

            • fender 5.2.2.1.2.1

              5 of your foils I suppose

            • Pascal's bookie 5.2.2.1.2.3

              Lol. How’s that war on the Korean peninsula going then, Infused Oracle?

            • Tracey 5.2.2.1.2.4

              Maybe they will repeal it and put in the provision about explicitly no spying on NZers cyber communications? Remember they won’t be governing alone, the Greens will be there (if they become Govt) and they won’t back down on an issue like this.

              • Mary

                Now that it’s been passed Labour needs to say strongly that it will reverse all anti-democratic, anti-constitutional measures this government has introduced, including this bill. This bill being passed may well serve as a means to oust Key and his greedy mates. There needs to be a concerted attack on everything Key’s done so far to undermine democracy and a clear message sent that Labour will fix it. So from this perspective the bill passing may well be a useful thing, but Labour needs to capitalise on this. The only trouble is that this is impossible to do while Shearer is the leader. A further problem is that Labour is either too lazy or too stupid to ensure this happens. Just try to imagine the idiots in Shearer’s office suggesting anything remotely like this. Key could tell everyone to vote Labour at the next election and he’d still get voted back in. That’s how bad Labour’s become under Shearer. Give Cunliffe a go and get the strategy right and Key could be gone. Keep limping along with Shearer and we’re all doomed. Simple.

          • Tazireviper 5.2.2.1.3

            +1

      • Anne 5.2.3

        Put it this way Iprent. While the GCSB probably played a subservient role to the NSA in particular it was, until tonight, still a New Zealand agency. Now, you might as well say it is owned and run by the NSA which would have been the task Key was charged with achieving when he came into office. Hence the reason for the various quick trips he’s made to America/Hawaii under the guise of private/ holiday trips. And hence the reason for is over the top desperate language because there’s a lot of cred riding on this for him.

        • lprent 5.2.3.1

          Yeah that tends to be my view of the history of it as well.

          During the cold war, it wasn’t a bad idea of helping with improving the view of at least one of the sides. After all we really didn’t want the kind of daft accidental brinksmanship that resulted in the cuban missile crisis or even the proxy wars like Yom Kippur.

          However the desperate case for those capabilities is long past. If the only thing that such capabilities can be used for is the surveillance of our citizens and those of our allies. Then the time for expending cash on the GCSB is over. We’d be better off using the cash for extending our physical presence further out into the world with more embassies and trade missions.

      • RJL 5.2.4

        I think that we should have a serious look at killing the GCSB at the same time…

        Absolutely.

        It will be a hard task. But at one time declaring NZ nuclear free looked impossible too.

      • karol 5.2.5

        Lynn, that matches with Nicky Hagar’s speech at the Town Hall on Monday night – he said most of the GCSB work is for foreign entities and has little to do with NZ.

        • travellerev 5.2.5.1

          I have been in contact with Nicky over the years via email and in the flesh and he is a charming and mild person whom as a human being I really like but I have come to the conclusion that Nicky for all his journalistic acumen is either naive or worse.

          Just like the NSA the GCSB has not been legalized as the ultimate control mechanism. Maybe not straightaway but in the years to come it will be used more and more to spy, control and punish those of us who speak out against the globalist agenda.

          This is from the Wall street journal. Not a publication known for its conspiracy theories.

          From experience I know that if a state has the ability to spy on its citizens it will.

      • Crashcart 5.2.6

        The only coherent reason I can provide for the GCSB to you is that they provide intelligence support to the Defence Force when operating in high risk environments. This is not perfect but it does contribute to keeping our defence force personnel safe.

        If you want to argue they shouldn’t be harms way in the first place feel free, I am just pointing out a valuble service (in my opinion) that they do provide.

        • lprent 5.2.6.1

          That is a reasonable use for them and so are general strategic external threats. For instance if there was a move to block shipping lanes.

          That was the understanding of the basis of the 2003 laws, and why there was what was meant to be a absolute proscription against domestic spying except in emergency situations (eg civil war, disaster etc).

          However they seemed to have moved quite a way from that to where domestic spying against internal ‘enemies’ (ie activists of various types) appears to becoming their primary focus. Since there is effectively no civilian oversight apart from a PM (the current one appears to incompetent at understanding both the legal position and the limits of his powers), I don’t trust the paranoid buggers in the intelligence and security systems not to mistake domestic change activists as being “enemies”.

          It has been bad enough with the paranoid fuckwits of the “specials” in the police abusing their positions with “fishing warrants”. Now we have an legally unquestionable surveillance for the police to cloud evidence under. You only have to look at the legal process of the Operation 8 prosecutions to see how that ability have unquestionable and undiscussable evidence being used to acquire unwarranted convictions.

          That is what is unacceptable.

          Abolish the GCSB and move signals intelligence back under the military who will at least keep it focused on a few narrow tasks. Even with the best PM in place (let alone this lazy and irresponsible fool), I think that the risks to our democracy far outweigh any conceivable damage from the things that they are meant to be “guarding” us from.

  6. freedom 6

    lest we forget eh john,
    isn’t that what you always crow when posing in front of the half mast flags?

    you have now contributed directly to the incremental destruction of democracy
    hope the bonus is worth it
    traitor

  7. Anne 7

    Yes. The bill passed by two votes. That presumably means someone in the Maori Party abstained. Tariana Turia? I’ll say no more until /unless it is confirmed.

    Now, it is up to the opposition parties to use every opportunity both inside the House and outside to remind the public what this government has just done and, in the process, to treat Key and his lackeys with the contempt they deserve.

    I listened to him on the news tonight and was flabbergasted that he had the temerity to suggest that without this bill the security services cannot do their job and that makes every NZer a terrorist target.(I paraphrase of course). What the hell have the security services been doing for the past 60 years then? Then he had the utter gall to accuse the opposition of scaring the bejesus out of people.

    For Wayne’s benefit I repeat my oft repeated claim. Key’s a liar. Add to that the word traitor. 😉

    • karol 7.1

      Yes, Anne. The Maori Party only stated 2 votes against the Bill – someone didn’t vote. Flavell spoke against the Bill. So it was either Pita or Turia who abstained.

      • Anne 7.1.1

        I suspect it was Tariana Turia. Still has a crush on Johhny boy then?

        • felix 7.1.1.1

          Yep, that’ll be Tariana providing the Nats with a buffer just in case someone crossed the floor.

          Choice eh?

          • Jenny 7.1.1.1.1

            More likely Sharples. The last nail in his political coffin.

            • Paul 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Is a list provided?

            • muzza 7.1.1.1.1.2

              Pita Sharples has previous, when he abstained from the depleted uranium bill…just saying.

              A disgraceful, but not unsurprising day in for the country known as NZ.

              The individual who abstained must be outed, there will be a record somewhere, expect its a matter of time before it’s made public

              • I read somewhere that Sharples was absent and couldn’t vote. That’s how he avoided the Uranium vote to. He picked the vote date as THE DAY he had to visit a Tangi!

    • Draco T Bastard 7.2

      Yes. The bill passed by two votes.

      Yep, one more step along the way to Key’s Brighter Future police state.

    • Veutoviper 7.3

      Anne and Karol @3 above, the most likely reason for the Maori Party recording only 2 votes and not 3 – against the Bill , is because of the absence rules applying to voting in the House.

      I have done a number of posts on these rules and their effects on Maori Party voting over recent months in response to others raising this issue of only 2 MP votes being recorded.

      The most recent was just a few days ago in Open Mike on 14 August.

      Open mike 14/08/2013

      In that comment or my other one in that thread, there is a link to my earlier comments which provides the full detail of the absence rules and voting in the House including the detailed rules from the Parliament site.

      As mentioned, if one of the Maori Party members wanted to abstain or to vote differently from the other MP members, this would be formally recorded in the vote. Because no abstention or one MP vote for the GCSB Bill was reported/recorded in the overall vote, the most likely reason for 2 votes only would be the absence rules.

      Under the absence rules, probably only one Maori Party member was in the House or within the Parliament precinct (Flavell) at the time of the vote -with Turia and Sharples presumbly absence from the precinct. This means that the MP only get 2 votes – one for the member present and the one absence vote only allowed in the rules.

      A quirk of the rules that appears to affect the Maori Party more than any other current party – and has affected their vote allowance quite frequently.

      • karol 7.3.1

        So one Maori Party MP was detained elsewhere, or didn’t care enough to be at parliament for this important vote?

        I noticed Horan still got a vote, even though he’d been booted out of the debating chamber for his protest against not being able to speak because the vote had been called.

        • Veutoviper 7.3.1.1

          Saw that too, but he would still have been counted as ‘being within the Parliament precinct” even though not in the House itself.

      • Anne 7.3.2

        Thanks veutoviper but even so, you can’t help suspect the convenience of being absent. It would be interesting to know what other controversial/embarrassing for NAct govt. legislation they have conveniently absented themselves from… when it came time for the vote.

        • Veutoviper 7.3.2.1

          I wish I had kept a list, Anne. But it was a Bill last year that I first noticed this 2 vote anomaly with the Maori Party – and wondered why. And then noticed it quite frequently. But I only boned up on the absence rules in relation to the GCSB Bill when I noticed they only cast 2 votes on the second reading vote. Hardly ever see Turia and Sharples in the House other than occasionally in Question Time. Flavell is there much more frequently by himself.

  8. Zorr 8

    My greatest fear with this bill is that if it makes it through the next electoral cycle without repeal, it will have become entrenched and the anger against it’s existence shall have dissipated to the point that it won’t continue to be an election issue.

    And then we end up playing the waiting game – for the government/leader (of any flavor) to come along and who will use it’s implicit powers to further their own agenda at the expense of our freedom and democracy.

    We have put in to place the legislation to allow the murder of our democracy and to allow for the birth of an autocracy/dictatorship.

    • Rhinocrates 8.1

      it will have become entrenched

      I fear that it will be one of the “dead rats to swallow” or just a minor issue, like the fate of Peter Ellis that the Labour troughers like Mumblefuck, Goff, King and Mallard will consider an acceptable and trivial price to pay.

      After all, Clarke’s administration didn’t reverse Richardson’s benefit cuts.

      I don’t think that a future Labour-dominated administration will do anything about Bennett’s without a strong push either, so vote Green to ensure that there is real pressure for change – I disagree with them on a lot of points, but they are both competent in the new media environment and committed to core principles instead of short-term survival (and by “survival” I mean meal tickets at Bellamy’s for the front trough, I mean bench… no, I mean front trough).

    • Rhinocrates 8.2

      A shallow slope, but one that is well-greased. As someone with a lot of East European and older German friends, I’m profoundly saddened and frightened by Kiwis’ naiveté.

      Key is New Zealand’s Putin.

      • Murray Olsen 8.2.1

        How do you get Putin from Key? Putin is at least a Russian nationalist. Key’s highest ambition is to be a fluffer for the big corporates when they screw us.

        As for repeal of this bill, I think it’s something good that can come from MMP. Labour on their own might find reasons not to repeal, but with Greens and Mana in the mix, they won’t get away with it. I doubt if even Winnie would let them.

        As to whether we can repeal it, I don’t share the defeatism and despair of certain people. The world isn’t changed by watching youtube or cutting and pasting into a blog. It’s changed by committed people who believe in change. Forget nuclear ship visits, we’d be complaining about how women would never get the vote or how the eight hour day was impossible if we followed their lead.

        • Tracey 8.2.1.1

          Putin is not only a fluffer for their richest men he is one of the fluffers himself.

          • Murray Olsen 8.2.1.1.1

            The difference is that Putin serves obscenely rich Russians. Key serves anyone, as long as they are obscenely rich. I don’t like either policy, but it is possible that Putin thinks what he does is good for Russia. Key directly serves American interests. He is a cringing little school prefect, who would not know that challenging those in power is even possible, no matter how reprehensible their demands.

            PS Why am I having to fill in my name and email all the time now?

  9. mickysavage 9

    Gawd I just watched Finlayson’s contribution. What a shrill. He chose to criticise Geoffrey Palmer for the fourth Labour Government’s ramming through of the SOE legislation. Fair enough. It was the wrong thing to do and the country has suffered ever since. So why does this justify the repetition of this behaviour?

    And he got stuck into the law society and Rodney Harrison. Pillock. The collective knowledge there is far greater than his meagre abilities.

    And he then got stuck into Dame Anne Salmond. Utterly disgusting behaviour.

    The video is at http://inthehouse.co.nz/node/20507.

    Now is the time for all good lefties to get active to make sure this rabble is removed from office.

    • Paul 9.1

      Unbelievable. What a disgrace. The barbarians have taken over.

    • Veutoviper 9.2

      It was disgusting behaviour on Finlayson’s part. I hope it gets widely broadcast. and this is our Attorney General?

      His behaviour last night in the final Committee stages was also disgusting childish prima dona stuff .

      He was sitting in the Minister’s chair next to the Committee Chairman and spent a lot of the time with his back turned to the Chair. And then he threw a real hissy fit when Mallard was speaking and storned off to his usual seat.

      (

    • Tim 9.3

      I often wonder what’s gotten into CF over the past couple/few years!! There aren’t many words I could think of without being banned to describe his unprincipled, self-serving, holier-than-thou, !@#$%^ attitude since having to serve under master Key.
      Does somebody have something on him or what!

      • Rhinocrates 9.3.1

        I wonder what Finlayson, as a devout Christian, must feel in trying to reconcile his conscience with his actions, but then again, those who have made a big deal of their religion have found it easy to act in ways that seem utterly hypocritical, while those who have been quieter in their faith have been truer.

        • emergency mike 9.3.1.1

          Chris Findalyson is an odd man. Every time I see him speaking he seems like a very cold operator. A very efficient strawman machine.

    • BM 9.4

      Wow, he’s a good speaker.
      What a great speech.

    • Tracey 9.5

      But..but…but the Nats don’t DO the politics of personalities!

  10. Rodel 10

    It is now up to Labour, Greens, NZ First, one Maori Party member and anyone else who wants me to bother to vote, to state emphatically that they will repeal this bill.
    Failure to do this and I’ll just stay home election day like a million others did last time.
    There’s no point in casting a vote unless you have something to vote for.

  11. Anne 11

    Btw, I saw a letter in yesterday’s Herald from a former Privacy Commissioner, Bruce Slane opposing the GCSB legislation. I’m surprised there’s been no media comment about it – then again no I’m not surprised.

    • mickysavage 11.1

      Bruce is a former Law Society President. He is obviously an extremist communist sympathiser whose views should be given no credence at all …

      • Anne 11.1.1

        Ahhh I see… former Law Society President. That explains it. Cor…those Reds have got a lot to answer for. Bin causing trouble for years with their high falutin talking… going on and on and nobody knows what they’re on about. Should’ve chucked em into prison and thrown away the key years ago.

        • mickysavage 11.1.1.1

          🙂

        • Tim 11.1.1.2

          Indeed Anne. Maybe Herr Attorney General could knock those damned “High and Mighty” down a peg or two and show ’em some discipline! (Pot calls Kettle)
          He’s quite obviously been captured by the sense of power he thinks he now wields since becoming Herr General …. or maybe its just that he was always a two-faced bullshitting bastard and expert at double-speak.

    • karol 11.2

      Slane’s letter was reproduced by Minto yesterday on the Daily Blog, along with letters from other name people opposed to the Bill.

    • Tracey 11.3

      Finlayson will attack him today… accuse him of dementia or something.

  12. Paul 12

    “When the Nazis came for the communists,
    I did not speak out;
    As I was not a communist.
    When they locked up the social democrats,
    I did not speak out;
    I was not a social democrat.
    When they came for the trade unionists,
    I did not speak out;
    As I was not a trade unionist.
    When they came for the Jews,
    I did not speak out;
    As I was not a Jew.
    When they came for me,
    there was no one left to speak out.”

    61 people just sold democracy in New Zealand.
    Aided and abetted by a corrupt media and commentariat.

    Welcome to Key’s Brave New World.

    • karol 12.1

      61 people just sold democracy in New Zealand.
      Aided and abetted by a corrupt media and commentariat.

      61, plus one Maori Party MP.

    • SHG (not Colonial Viper) 12.2

      “When the Nazis came for the communists,
      blah blah blah”

      Let me guess – you live in NZ and have no plans to leave, right?

  13. Jenny 13

    The Key-Dunne spying Bill. Will, from now on, be known as the Dunne-Key Law.

    At least until it is repealed at the first opportunity.

    So watch it all you GCSB spooks and hold off on your plans to track our metadata, and continue your legal/illegal spying, you may be held to account for it after all.

  14. FYI

    ____________________________________________________________________________

    21 August 2013

    Prime Minister of New Zealand
    John Key,

    Dear Prime Minister,

    Attached are the signatures of nearly 400 people who have signed the following petition:

    “To the Prime Minister of New Zealand, John Key:
    _____________________________________________________________________________

    “The will of the people is the basis of the authority of Government.”

    We, the undersigned, call upon YOU, to defend the lawful human rights of New Zealanders to privacy, freedom of association and freedom of expression – that is – to oppose arbitrary search and surveillance by ‘BIG BROTHER’ State over citizens.

    If YOU, as Prime Minister, vote for this GCSB Bill, which will allow widespread spying on New Zealanders, we, the undersigned hereby PLEDGE to campaign for the public NOT to ‘Party vote National’ in the 2014 election, and to encourage our families, neighbours and workmates to do the same. ”
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    May I respectfully suggest that your, in my considered opinion, apparently cavalier and contemptuous ‘Wall Street’ ways, are no way to treat the people of New Zealand?

    Please, do NOT underestimate the growing concern of citizens of New Zealand, to the legislative undermining of our lawful rights to privacy, and against arbitrary search and surveillance.

    The GCSB has not yet ‘got it’s house in order’, yet you want to give them even more powers?

    The Kitteridge Report came up with 80 recommendations, of which 76 the GCSB is directly responsible for implementing.

    So far, according to GCSB Director Ian Fletcher, the GCSB has only implemented 25 out of these 76 recommendations.

    ______________________________________________________________________________

    http://www.gcsb.govt.nz/newsroom/reports-publications/Compliance%20Review%20Progress%20Report%201.pdf

    “Of the 80 recommendations, there are 76 that the GCSB is directly responsible for implementing, and there are others, such as legislation, for which others are responsible.

    One of our greatest challenges has been finding staff with expertise in the areas we need with appropriate security clearances. Nonetheless, we have made real progress, which means we will have even greater resource to implement the recommendations.

    The first tranche of recommendations that we have implemented focuses on the things that we need to have in place immediately to function more effectively: getting new processes and systems bedded in to be business as usual, and making appointments to key roles including the Associate Director, a Chief of Staff, a Chief Legal Adviser, and a Compliance and Policy Manager.

    A total of 25 recommendations have been completed. We are on track to have another 11 recommendations implemented in the next quarter.

    Some of the recommendations will take well into 2014 to implement, as they involve longer term programmes including staff rotation, external secondments and performance management practices. ”
    ______________________________________________________________________________

    The Privacy Commission are actively investigating my complaint (and others), regarding the unlawful spying upon 88 New Zealanders, but this process is not yet complete.

    http://www.occupyaucklandvsaucklandcouncilappeal.org.nz/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/GCSB-Privacy-Comm-Update-Letter-30_7_13.pdf

    Why are you not doing things in a proper way?

    Where’s the fire?

    What’s the rush?

    Where and what is the ‘real and present threat’ to the security of New Zealanders, that warrants this railroading over our lawful human rights and civil liberties, with the slimmest of Parliamentary majorities?

    How is this a right and proper way to run our country?

    Can your word, as the Prime Minister of New Zealand, be trusted?

    In my considered opinion, no, it cannot.

    I state this, as someone who, in 2008, took a private prosecution against you, over TranzRail.

    In February 2011, I asked you to your face, at a Grey Power public meeting, if you were personally profiting from New Zealand’s growing indebtedness, given your shareholding in the Bank of America.

    On 2 July 2013, I raised my concerns about the GCSB directly with you, in your capacity as Chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee.

    (FYI – I am sending this email directly to the Programme Manager of the United Nations Universal Periodic Review responsible for New Zealand, so that it can be considered, as part thereof.)

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright

    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation’ campaigner

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

    http://www.pennybright4mayor.org.nz

  15. Tigger 15

    Democracy not just under attack, but stabbed in the head. 61 times.

    Some superb tweets blasting Key and his kin, though. Stirring stuff. Gives me hope.

  16. So because of some very belligerent, emotionally challenged creatures with rigormortis-like intellects who can be found somewhere across the other side of the world–creatures who consistently choose to break international rules/conventions and decent behaviour and go aggressively attacking and or/ mucking up other countries (either covert or overt) and do so ostensibly to spread democracy (choke) and by doing so creating a state of increasing insecurity world-wide.

    …That because of these crusty-belligerent creatures, “fighting for democracy” (choke) my country forgoes important democratic principles and processes, just so that we can get paid money from The Crusties in order to ‘protect’ ‘American’ interests (more like big money) from the insecurity The Crusties have created from their belligerent, rigid attitudes from the outset? Is this correct? Am I understanding this clearly??

    Gees they must be having a grand old laugh at us tonight.

    Going to hell in a handbasket, thats what our world will continue to do while we keep listening to The Crusties’ horrific narratives.

  17. paul andersen 17

    the next person on this site who quotes the “nothing to hide ,nothing to fear” line, while hiding behind a nom-de plume. should be permanantley banned.

    [lprent: For obvious reasons to do with the widespread distribution of the disease, being an idiot isn’t a bannable offense. After all in my opinion, I’m the *only* person who is right, but I have to put up with your opinion anyway. 😈

    But you should also read our policy. The site isn’t a democracy, it is an anarchical cooperative where those who work on it get the privilege of being listened to by the others who work on it. Our toleration for other people telling us what to do tends to be quite limited. We welcome people suggesting (in carefully appropriate terms) ways that we could improve parts of the site. However we also tend to be abrupt (curmudgeon’s can already suck eggs) when we get told directly or even indirectly *what* we should do.

    Be careful how you phrase such exhortations. Bear in mind the reactions of the moderators. It is your ability to write comments that is always on the line…. ]

  18. infused 18

    I have rolls of tinfoil available for purchase at a very cheap price. Let me know how much you require!

    • fender 18.1

      The GCSB are on to you and your foils, dropkick. Expect a visit.

    • felix 18.2

      That used to be kind of a funny thing to say, infused.

      But now that everyone knows that Facebook and Google are actually cooperating with the governments of the world to track your every movement and record everything you do, it just seems weird.

      It’s a bit flat-earth of you really mate.

      • infused 18.2.1

        lol. Facebook already knows your shit, so does google. Your phones gps. It’s been like this for ages. That photo you took, contains so much data, including your location. When uploaded to google/facebook/whatever, they take that data.

        Have you read Facebooks TOS?

        If you are this paranoid, you need to stop using the internet.

  19. Nicolas 19

    Honestly, I think opposition to the bill has been largely manifested in a less-than-effective way.

    Sure, you’ll find the brilliant Dr. Harrison, amongst other specialists, referring to the nuts and bolts of the Bill, and I also found David Parker’s contribution to the debate, a few days back, pretty good.

    However, many (like Shearer) have NOT really faced the Nats like they should. Key, Ryall, Finlayson… They all deny the basic premise that this is an expansion of the powers of the GCSB. Rarely will you find people within National actively supporting the creation of a surveillance state; the Nats have been vigorously denying this is what’s happening through the Bill.

    So, while there is a fucking valid argument that this Bill represents a violation of our rights, in order to really put the Nats against a corner, I think MPs should have more frequently referred to how this Bill does, indeed, represent an unjustified expansion of the powers of our spying agency. Then, after establishing this, there isn’t much else the Nats can say, unless they come out supporting mass surveillance, publicly (which I’m pretty sure some of them do, but behind closed doors). That’s when talk of democratic principles being shat upon is more appropriate.

    To be honest, after seeing Shearer’s speech today, it did seem like he hasn’t read the Bill very much, and has solely relied on what others told him. I have a horrible feeling (hope I’m wrong) that if one was to ask Shearer to explain how the Bill represents an expansion of the GCSB’s powers, with specific reference to the Bill, he would simply not be able to do it. Certainly, not convincingly. And a lot of people need some serious convincing before they start opposing Key and friends…

    In other words, it is not enough to simply cross-reference to the Law Commission’s great report. MPs should show they know what the fuck they’re talking about, or else it may look like they’re simply trying to score points (like Dotcom did during the select committee hearing, where he made no reference to anything specific within the Bill), looking pretty ignorant in the process.

    • Rhinocrates 19.1

      To be honest, after seeing Shearer’s speech today, it did seem like he hasn’t read the Bill very much, and has solely relied on what others told him. I have a horrible feeling (hope I’m wrong) that if one was to ask Shearer to explain how the Bill represents an expansion of the GCSB’s powers, with specific reference to the Bill, he would simply not be able to do it. Certainly, not convincingly. And a lot of people need some serious convincing before they start opposing Key and friends…

      This is a perfect storm – we have the worst, rapacious capitalist crony government in place and the weakest, most acquiescent troughers in supposed opposition who have no idea what they stand for except their own privileges and who think that their real enemies are – as that yuppie snot Hipkins said – their own party.

      Jesus wept.

      • Rhinocrates 19.1.1

        has solely relied on what others told him

        That’s my impression of Mumblefuck. “Nice guy, but…” excuses are bullshit – he’s the Pointy-Haired Boss. Thick as pigshit, uninterested in anything but his own position, dependent on his cronies, suspicious of anyone with talent and so he surrounds himself with sycophants and they compound his mistakes, not correct them. He exiles those who do well, because he jealously thinks talent is subversion.

        He’s a typical bureaucrat – quite secure in a stable, closed environment, but utterly unsuited for democratic politics.

        He’s a liability – get rid of him, put him in a subordinate position perhaps, but never, ever let people like him run the show or be a puppet for the troughers.

        We need a real leader, not an idol, but someone who can weld a team together and fight for US. All Shearer does is try to cement his own position and those of his cronies.

      • weka 19.1.2

        This is a perfect storm – we have the worst, rapacious capitalist crony government in place and the weakest, most acquiescent troughers in supposed opposition who have no idea what they stand for except their own privileges and who think that their real enemies are – as that yuppie snot Hipkins said – their own party.

        Am feeling especially grateful to the GP right now, particularly all the hard graft they’ve put in over the years to make sure they are in a position now to have a voice that can be heard. Does this make them the shelter in the storm?

    • karol 19.2

      Nicolas (@9.42pm) the opposition have made the point that the Bill legitimises an expansion in the powers of the GCSB. I think maybe the MSM and public pick up more on the breach of privacy issue – it more obviously and immediately effects them.

      The main section re-expansion is Section 8C – the GCSB’s role in cybersecurity.

      The other issue they have picked up on is poor oversight. Expansion of powers, cybersecurity, poor oversight (in the hands of the PM), accessing all metadata form within NZ & capacity to access content of all communications – all parts of the same whole.

      Also, some of the opposition speakers in the House have focused on the content of specific sections of the Bill. But the problems are complex (as I indicated in my post yesterday). And most of the public will be lost in the labyrinthine explanation.

      • Nicolas 19.2.1

        Karol, I totally understand this is a complex bill. I’m not gonna lie; it took me a while to come to grips with it (and I’m still no bloody expert on it), after looking at the current Act, the proposed amendment, the Law Society’s submission, the departmental report answering the LS and other submissions… It’s definitely not easy to stomach.

        Still, after watching the debates for the past few weeks, I still feel many MPs focused too much on the underpinning democratic values of our society, instead of how exactly this bill represents a threat to these values. That’s the reason why a lot of people still trust Key; because they believe him when he says no fundamental rights will be infringed upon thanks to this bill.

        I just feel a bit less rhetoric and more details (for instance, MPs could have challenged, “line by line”, the departmental report Key referred to this morning, on RNZ) could have gone a long way in clarifying to people why this soon-to-be-legislation bill is so toxic.

  20. Rhinocrates 20

    The worst thing about dictatorships is that they have always been welcomed by many. That is profoundly devastating to one’s faith in human nature.

  21. James 21

    You seem to forget that this is indeed how democracy works. The government who is voted in and parties in mmp make the laws that they think are right.

    The majority of government voted to pass this.

    People saying it is a sad day for democracy are missing or ignoring the fact that their legitimate government passed this.

    Sorry I know a lot of you don’t like this act but tough really. If labour get in and have the votes to change it then they can democratically also.

    • blue leopard 21.1

      @ James,

      Perhaps you haven’t been following the recent dialogue here and elsewhere on the subject.

      It has been stated that it is useful and good practice for governments to work across the house on legislation like this; not scrape by with the least numbers that is possible.

      If the National government had made any effort at all to achieve this ‘working together’ with all main parties; it is likely that the Bill would have come out in a shape that would suit a huge majority of NZers, unlike what we have now, where huge numbers do not trust what this Bill consists of, nor its implications.

      This government has once again has shown poor practice.

      • Anne 21.1.1

        It has been stated that it is useful and good practice for governments to work across the house on legislation like this;

        Actually it’s more than that blue leopoard. My understanding is that intelligence and security matters were always handled on a bi-partisan basis. That is, the major parties were/are kept informed of developments etc. and their views sought and taken into consideration by the PM of the day. That is why David Shearer requested a meeting with Key. He was essentially following mutually agreed practice. It’s John Key who has broken all convention and – like Muldoon – he’s going to pay a very big price in the end.

        • blue leopard 21.1.1.1

          @ Anne
          I was being careful with my wording because I am not an expert on these things and would rather err on the side of caution. Thanks for clarifying 🙂

        • James 21.1.1.2

          So if Labour, Greens, Mana, NZ FIrst had a single seat majority and were voting in something you didnt like would you be squalking “un democratic:?

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 21.1.1.2.1

            Not “something”, suck-up boy. Legislation that affects national security makes a poor political football. You think this is an issue that requires partisan treatment? What the fuck is wrong with you? Do you have shit for brains?

    • karol 21.2

      James, you obviously didn’t hear Russel Norman’s speech (yesterday, I think), when he explained that democracy is more than just voting for a government every few years.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 21.3

      James, you sycophantic authority-worshipping subhuman, get off your knees.

  22. Dan1 22

    It was Marilyn Waring and fellow Waikato MP Mike Minogue who stuck to their principles and eventually precipitated the election that dumped Muldoon. I have a feeling the arrogance and the mindless putdowns of people who have clear and reasonable concerns may be the tipping point for this administration’s deserved demise.

  23. Veutoviper 23

    My anger is cooling marginally, and a few old sayings, songs etc have crossed my mind such as that old song about “pick yourself up and start all over again” and something about “live to fight another day”.

    Which led me to think about the fact that the GCSB Bill (or rather now the three amendment Acts it has now become) has a companion Bill still going through the Parliamentary stages – the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Bill.

    This TICS Bill is way above my knowledge levels of its highly technical provisions and I wonder how much effect it will have if it passes in terms of its connection to the GCSB Bill provisions – AND how much effect it will have if this Bill is not passed.

    While this Bill was introduced to the House IIRC about the same time as the GCSB Bill, Key and co have been quite discrete in keeping the two Bills apart.

    The TICS Bill has a different timeline to the GCSB . Although it is going through Select Committee stages at present, report back is not due until 20 September, meaning that it will not go through second reading, Committee stages etc until Oct/Nov.

    So – lets not give up the fight yet, people.

  24. Whatever next 24

    Veutoviper, it was very hard not to stand up and cheer after Goff’s speach, and having to tolerate Finlayson’s poncing around throughout was difficult.don’t know how opposition parties can sit and watch the obsequious acquiescence of the Nats fawning over their great leader, lets hope they crawl under stones next year when they are shown it is them who are out of touch, not Labour and Greens

    • Veutoviper 24.1

      Agreed, Whatever next. Unfortunately, I cannot see the current bunch of Nats crawling under stones – they are just so arrogant and ignorant and living in their own little out of touch world and dreaming of Planet Key!

    • karol 24.2

      Goff made the point that on the GCSB committee, over which the PM has oversight, Key largely seems disinterested in goings on (Goff has also sat at that committee). Goff said key shows little vigilance in his powerful oversight tole.

  25. yeshe 25

    Behold the ignominy of our name involved with this mess; just in case the slightest doubt remains about the true meaning of this vote:

    NSA still doesn’t know what Snowden took with him :

    “Sources said authorities believe the trove of unreleased materials includes details of data collection by U.S. allies, including the U.K., Canada, Australia and New Zealand. These English-speaking allies, known along with the U.S. as the “Five Eyes,” are CRITICAL to U.S. intelligence efforts.” ( my caps)

    http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/08/20/20108770-us-doesnt-know-what-snowden-took-sources-say?lite

    • yeshe 25.1

      (I know what we can do … let’s get Kim Dotcom to ask him !!! and I wonder if Snowden knows what NSA pays us or if not, can he confirm that they do ?? )

    • yeshe 25.2

      Have to post this comment from under the NBC story:

      BREAKING NEWS!!!!….

      WASHINGTON– According to high ranking government sources, today it was reported that the NSA doesn’t know its ass from its elbow. Details to follow.

  26. xtasy 26

    Hey Rob –

    I am damned furious like you, also disappointed, but it was to be expected. Hence Hone Harawira made this clear, same as Nicky Hager at the meeting at the Auckland Town Hall. Hone raised issues of us beneficiaries and Maori and Pacifica, and I agreed. Nicky said the bill would be passed and we should focus on future measures to fight for privacy and so forth.

    I have yet another message. We are as beneficiaries, and I am one, persecuted like shit now, and I am getting pretty angry and even furious about this. Most, if not all of us, did not choose to live of a crap benefit, but we get harassed, shamed and treated like crap daily, by WINZ and even neighbours. I came across this tonight, and it should be spread, as it tells some truth. Perhaps you can see to it:

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/15264-welfare-reform-the-health-and-disability-panel-msd-the-truth-behind-the-agenda/

  27. chris73 27

    look at the bright side:

    its passed so labour can move on and try to find something else that might ackshully resonate with the NZ public at large

    this whole thing will turn out to be nothing, nob ody will notice anything different and it’ll be no different to how things have gone the last few years

    its democracy at its finest, the govt of the day had the votes to pass the bill and when labour regain power in 2017 they can change the law if they get enough votes (they wont though because it simply wont be worth the hassle)

    so cheer up its not all bad 🙂

  28. tracey 28

    Finlayson owes an outstanding new zealander an apology. One he needs to do face to face and on live television.

    dont forget a specialist in trademark copright and patent law now heads the gcsb. So when key said companies applying for warrants he meant it. This is as much about protecting and strengthening certain brands as well as the nsa stuff

  29. tracey 29

    Dont hold your breath about keys judgment on your metadata… see his comment below his hypocritical ministers

    Justice Minister Judith Collins: “I found it was quite chilling to realise that ministers and staff’s emails and the right to privacy was treated with what I would say was frankly a contemptuous attitude.”Police Minister Anne Tolley: ‘did it never occur to you… that you should perhaps seek some guidance from the Speaker… around some of these more delicate issues that impinge on the privacy of ministers of the Crown, their staff and Members of Parliament?Prime Minister John Key: Key: “We put out public terms of reference it was up to any minister to come and complain if they wanted to but let’s be honest… it was the most basic level of intrusion saying we’re going to look at the metadata to try and determine if the person’s of any interest or not. If you can’t meet that level well you wouldn’t make it as a minister.”

  30. Sable 30

    Welcome to the new age of totalitarianism in New Zealand compliments of National, ACT and Dunne.
    The question is will Labour if they are elected put the genie back in the bottle? Personally I have my doubts.

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    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    4 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    4 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    5 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    5 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    5 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    6 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    6 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    6 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    6 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    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 ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    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

  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days 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
    4 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 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
    5 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
    5 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
    5 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 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
    6 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
    6 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 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
    7 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 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    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
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  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
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