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#Sheepgate – did National ask the Saudi Sheep Farmer to sue NZ?

Written By: - Date published: 8:36 am, June 24th, 2015 - 42 comments
Categories: david parker, Economy, farming, john key, national, national/act government, same old national, spin, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

There was some crazy talk in Parliament yesterday.  Greens leader James Shaw suggested that a National Cabinet Minister may have invited the Saudi Sheep Farmer whose sheep raising efforts have not been very successful to sue NZ Inc.

James Shaw and David Parker asked John Key some very interesting questions.  The video is here:

The transcript from Hansard included these passages:

James Shaw : Does he have confidence that all of his Ministers, in particular Murray McCully, disclosed all details about the threat of legal action against the Government by Mr Al Khalaf and his associates?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : Yes. I will refer the member to the Cabinet paper on this matter.

James Shaw : Did any of his Ministers suggest to Mr Al Khalaf and his associates that they sue the Government of New Zealand?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : Well, I cannot speak for the other Ministers—I have never asked that question—but I know I certainly did not and I would be surprised if they did.

So John Key would be surprised if his ministers suggested to a Saudi sheep farmer that he should sue NZ?  I mean was he being real?  I mean WTF?  Did he really think that it was possible?

Then there was this question:

James Shaw : Why then did Brownrigg Agriculture in a letter dated November 2011 to Murray McCully say that Mr Al Kalaf will be looking “to seek commercial redress, as indeed suggested by your Government as a last resort option for him.”?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : I cannot answer that question because I was not privy to those conversations, but what we do know by the paper trail that was released last week is that this problem was the making of Labour, which misled that investor and misled Saudi Ministers. [Interruption] It is very inconvenient for those members, but it is actually factually correct.

The “it is all Labour’s fault” is getting really weak.  And for a Minister to suggest to someone that they should sue the Government should be grounds for immediate sacking.  Shaw then asked if it was true:

James Shaw : Did the Government encourage Mr Al Khalaf to seek commercial redress so that his Government could justify buying Mr Al Khalaf’s cooperation for the Gulf States free-trade deal?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : I am not aware of all the conversations that other Ministers would have had, but the reality of the situation was that Labour inherited a mess by deliberately misleading the Saudis over this issue.

Surely the answer should have been “NO NO NO”.  So National Ministers may have encouraged the Saudi sheep farmer to seek redress but it was all Labour’s fault?

James Shaw : Why did the Prime Minister say to the media last week that he was not aware of any cause of action when Murray McCully claimed in the House that the reason for the farm in the desert was that New Zealand was exposed to “legal claims estimated to be up to $30 million”?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : Because the way I interpreted the question was, had I actually seen the action of the $20 to $30 million, and I said I was aware of it. My point was that I was aware of it in the Cabinet paper, but I was also aware that that was a potential threat, and it was parked up when negotiations began.

Key should allow release of the unredacted cabinet papers so that his claims can be understood.  Then David Parker asked this question:

Hon David Parker : Does he believe that in 2013 the Al Khalaf group had a legal right of action against the New Zealand Government for $20 to $30 million?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : It is not for me to offer legal opinions in this House, and the member knows that.

So that is a probable no.  Parker then again sought to table the un-redacted version of the Sheepgate Cabinet papers but this was refused.  Murray McCully suggested that the proof was in the unredacted part of the cabinet papers.  If so he and Key are reading something that no one else has been able to.

The final question was a doozie:

Hon David Parker : Would a Minister who authorised a multimillion-dollar facilitation payment to be made to a disaffected businessman to unlock a free-trade agreement retain his confidence?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : Absolutely, and for the reasons I pointed out earlier. The previous Labour Government can run, but it cannot hide. On two occasions, it deliberately misled the Saudis. They know it. Phil Goff actually went to Riyadh—

So facilitation payments aka bribes are acceptable to the Prime Minister?

Brownrigg Agriculture Group Limited is the company in which the Saudi Sheep farmer has an interest.  It supplied the sheep which were airfreighted to Saudi Arabia with disastrous results for the sheep’s offspring.  I would be really interested to see how that tender process was handled given the threat to commence legal proceedings.

Director David Brownrigg confirmed the important details of the letter.  From the Herald this morning:

David Brownrigg, managing director of Brownrigg, said it was the company’s understanding the Government had suggested commercial redress as an option for Mr Al Khalaf.

Asked if Mr Al Khalaf considered commercial redress as a response to National’s actions, Mr Brownrigg said: “Yes, it is our understanding that Mr Al Khalaf considered commercial redress as a response to Governments’ actions on live sheep exports over the previous seven years.”

One burning question I have is if Labour did damage the relationship with the Saudis then why were they able to successfully commence free trade negotiations which have been concluded?  It seems much more likely that the Saudi sheep farmer is upset at National’s broken promise to lift the ban on the export of sheep for slaughter than he was for Labour continuing the ban which started in 2003.

Murray McCully is back in the country and I am pretty sure he will be targeted for questions in Parliament today.  Talk about leading sheep to the slaughter …

 

 

42 comments on “#Sheepgate – did National ask the Saudi Sheep Farmer to sue NZ?”

  1. dv 1

    Sort of odd that Key knows more about what Labour did several years ago but not what his cabinet minister have been doing recently!!!!

    • Pascals bookie 1.1

      Well, it’s important for the continuation of stable government that he retains confidence in his ministers. Best not to pay much attention to any details whatsoever.

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        Yeah, but here’s what gets me. In two and a half years, or longer, Labour will release the unredacted cabinet papers which will show Key’s abuse of process. Given that Key is correct and the stench for not fully releasing was all an own goal, more smoke around what obviously Keys govt is trying to put out. As here’s the thing, Keys own statement, that he believes a Saudi business person thought they had a promise from a kiwi politician to provide pork, which I’m told is reliously and legally impossible, just because Labour were in power and could, yes, command all future public condemnation of a ship of dead sheep from forcing them into taking it on the chin, Labour would have been toast, no politician gives that kind of promise, to lose the next election, to allow our Parliament to be decided by a Saudi businessman. Really, how else was the Saudi business man to think we’d react, that he had some personally insurance with the NZ govt for all future loses aka TTP like. WTF.

        No, this is your classic arrogant govt who lavish opportunities to keep clean even when they cost heaps pf taxpayer funds, or worse provide precedent for all future loses compensation schemes to foreign businesses wrong but their own lack of risk management around environment or ethical wrongs. Strange why anyone would provide future loses compensation when its not provided to citizens and thus is unconciousable

  2. Save NZ 2

    Hon David Parker : Would a Minister who authorised a multimillion-dollar facilitation payment to be made to a disaffected businessman to unlock a free-trade agreement retain his confidence?

    Rt Hon JOHN KEY : Absolutely, and for the reasons I pointed out earlier. The previous Labour Government can run, but it cannot hide. On two occasions, it deliberately misled the Saudis. They know it. Phil Goff actually went to Riyadh—

    Absolute proof that John Key agrees with Bribery with tax payers money.

    To think we used to rank no 2 in the government corruption stakes. Not any more.

    Surely there must be some redress legally that the oppositions should be taking!

    ie in JK world, ok to bride a saudi business man because he wants a free trade deal and it is all Labour’s fault.

    And this man runs our country?

    • Anne 2.1

      Surely there must be some redress legally that the oppositions should be taking!

      Of course they should be taking some sort of legal action but I bet they won’t…

      Does Labour not understand this constant attacking and smearing and lying about Labour is soul destroying for members and they are in danger of losing many of them because they have had enough?

  3. vto 3

    Of course bribes are ok in John Key’s book ….. this is the world of “winning” at all costs, where money matters and everything else can eat shit. This is the world we have created – where lying is considered ok, where bribes are fine, where the short and easy dollar is to be celebrated, and where humanity is completely absent….

    cold hearted bloodsuckers

  4. David H 4

    And if that’s not enough the NZ taxpayer has stumped up another 11 million for the same Saudi guy. for Waygu Beef farming

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11461963

    How to become a Saudi Billionaire? Key & NZ Taxpayer

  5. Anne 5

    Matthew Hooton – “John Key flat out lying about sheepgate. He’s a disgrace.”

    • Tracey 5.1

      Hopefully Matthew dislikes enough of what he played a small part in creating (read Hollowmen about him in 2002 ) to do more than just tweet.

      • tc 5.1.1

        Trying to reconstitute himself to maximise opportunity. A sellsword of the pen variety where money cleanses and forgives all.

        I’ll give matty credit for being honest though….Key is a disgrace ….one he helped put there.

  6. dukeofurl 6

    You see with Key, when he has enormous power, what he does with it.

    Deceit and corruption- check

    Flag waving mindless patriotism- check ( first create a new ‘product’)

    Discredit the business/machinery of government- check

    Embrace negative campaigning -check ( brought it right into 9th floor)

    These are the stars on his walk of fame.

  7. Tracey 7

    “but it is actually factually correct.”

    like when people say “honestly, it’s true”.

    When John Key says “actually factually correct” I become suspicious of the veracity.

    • dukeofurl 7.1

      By hiding behind the redacted version, hes just like a medieval priest who doesnt want the bible translated into everyday languages.

    • peter 7.2

      Yeah its a little bit like Clinton ‘I did not have sexual relations with that women’. True but ……
      Gee, I wonder how long it will take ‘one anonymous guy’ to troll me on this thread!

      • tracey 7.2.1

        well, you did choose to engage almost exclusively with him on the other thread… and then behave in a way you found offensive when he did it to you.

        • peter 7.2.1.1

          Actually I was trying originally to gave a discussion. I guess 8t my nature that if someone reply to me I will then reply to them. But if you think that is the case fine. But I disagree. But really tomorrow I will be recovered from my ear operation and gave a life again. But thank you for replying.

          • Tracey 7.2.1.1.1

            i tried to have a discussion with you but your first focus was lots of replies to OAB. that is your perogative but dont then whine in another thread when you stooped

  8. Tracey 8

    Definition of facilitated payment

    “A financial payment that may constitute a bribe and that is made with the intention of expediting an administrative process. A facilitating payment is a payment made to a public or government official that acts as incentive for the official to complete some action or process expeditiously, to the benefit of the party making the payment.

    In general, a facilitating payment is made to smooth the progress of a service to which the payer is legally entitled, without making such a payment. In some countries, these payments are considered normal, whereas in other countries, facilitating payments are prohibited by law and considered bribes. Also called facilitation payments.”

    Read more: http://www.investopedia.com/terms/f/facilitating-payment.asp#ixzz3dvr6Xknx

    John Key is a currency trader and latterly a “banker”, He will not blink at the notion of paying money to smooth a transaction. The ability to do stuff like this gets you a jump on your colleagues and your competitors. In his mind he will believe this either saved NZ money or got a free trade deal which makes NZ money…

    For the record, those without FTA with countries still trade with them

  9. esoteric pineapples 9

    “Talk about leading sheep to the slaughter” – that would be the huge number of New Zealanders who keep voting for this government (unfortunately dragging the rest of us down with them)

  10. Question Time has been interesting. David Parker seems to be suggesting that Michelle Boag was the fixer for the payoff.

  11. Anne 11

    Goodness gracious…

    David Parker has just revealed in parliament the presence of another Brownrigg letter indicating a Michelle Boag was involved in the Saudi sheep deal.

    So, do we have it? Was Ms Boag acting as an intermediary between minister, Murray McCully and the Saudi business man? If so, who was guiding her with her deliberations eh?

    Will upload video as soon as available.

    • mickysavage 11.1

      Yep the rifts in National’s ranks on this issue are getting clearer and clearer …

    • tracey 11.2

      She was one of the women on the last Saudi trip wasn’t she? In her scarf? Mrs Key, a CEO and Ms Boag

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/68055160/John-Key-hopes-for-talks-with-Saudi-royals

      I think people forget mcCully was a midget of dark arts for the Nats for some time… including when Boag was President. He lost that main role when Joyce the usurper arrived on the scene…

    • ianmac 11.4

      Michelle Boag acting as go between means that “no Minister” said or did anything naughty, like suggest that the Saudis should sue.

      • Anne 11.4.1

        If this is more or less what happened, there’s no way she would have gone ahead with the ‘arrangements’ without the tacit approval of SOMEBODY in government. And If it was who I think it might have been (somebody whose former profession was doing such deals on a daily basis), then McCully may well find himself being made the scapegoat.

        • mickysavage 11.4.1.1

          Boag has got some explaining to do and her use as a political commentator by TVNZ must be questioned.

          Here is her on TVNZ where she is asked and says that she is a member of the Middle Eastern Business Council.

          http://tvnz.co.nz/q-and-a-news/mccully-has-done-huge-favour-nz-michelle-boag-saudi-sheep-deal-video-6326992

          Here is my transcript from QT today:

          Parker: Did former National Party president Michelle Boag ever propose or endorse a proposal that the New ZEaland Government subsidise a model farm in Saudi Arabia benefitting the AL Khalaf group

          McCully -I think that as a member of the Middle East Business Council she was involved in making representations on those matters and those have been in the public arena.

          Parker: Did the letter of 18 October 2015 from Brownrigg Agriculture also say that it was being copied to Michelle Boag saying “who has been in contact with both of us in her capacity as a director of lorian asset management regarding her interest in seeing live sheep export issue resolved and free trade with the golf advanced.”

          McCully: Yes

          Then there is this … (http://www.voxy.co.nz/politics/more-questions-saudi-farm-deal/5/224800?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter)

          “Today in Parliament Murray McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is that she was not on that council until 2012, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker.

          “Ms Boag was on TV on the 31 May of this year defending the government. Asked then about her involvement, she said she worked for the Middle East Business Council. Asked if she helped with the farm deal she said: ‘ No, no it was done entirely by officials.’

          “The letter dated 2 November 2011 to the Foreign Minister from Brownrigg Agriculture (the eventual tender winner which built the multimillion dollar farm in the desert) said the letter was being copied to “Michelle Boag, who has been in contact with both of us in her capacity as a director of Laurium Asset Management, regarding her interest in seeing the live sheep export issue resolved and free trade with the Gulf States advanced.’

          “This newest information, and the letter from Brownrigg Agriculture, shows yet more inconsistencies.

          “The $4 million initial payment was a facilitation payment. It, and the bizarre $7 million spent on a model farm in the desert, were made to remove the barrier to the FTA. There was no legal claim.

          “Mr McCully has misled his cabinet colleagues and sullied New Zealand’s reputation for fair dealing, animal welfare and agricultural excellence,” says David Parker.”

          Weirder and weirder …

          • Anne 11.4.1.1.1

            Thanks for the above and especially the link to the Boag Q+A interview ms.

            Two salient points:

            1. She said… He (McCully) inherited an international relationship that was not good as a result of the banning of live sheep exports and it was left up to Murray McCully to come up with some way to resolve the issue.

            I remember there was an outcry over the death of so many sheep on the voyage to Saudi Arabia and also after they had arrived. The Labour government responded by banning live sheep exports. In other words the decision to ban was based on humane grounds. It seems cruelty and inhumane treatment of animals are of no importance to this government.

            It also confirms for me that the “it’s all Labour’s fault” line was thrashed out between the guilty parties some time ago. They knew if the truth was ever revealed they were in big trouble.

            2. She said… All I did when I met the gentleman (Saudi businessman), who was “really affronted” (emphasized by Boag) by the way he had been treated by the previous government, was to say to Mr McCully “I think you should talk to him (businessman) because he is really upset…”

            She then goes on to talk about being part of a delegation with the PM to the Middle East etc.etc.

            In other words, she was ‘donkey deep in it’ from the start and was involved in the official talks and the decision making process. Her line it was all done by officials was nothing more than a smokescreen. Of course the officials drew up the final agreement. That’s what they’re there to do – but only after they have received instructions from their political masters and mistresses.

            Boag’s overall tone in that item was one of belligerent defiance. She knew this issue was about to blow up and she was desperately covering her backside. She considers herself a VVVIP (very, very, very important person) – a power behind the political throne.

  12. wyndham 12

    It is obvious that Key is going to brazen out the Saudi sheep scandal. Whatever the questions directed at him, it’s all the fault of Labour and he’s in no way going to acknowledge the fact that a National govt. was just as culpable. It’s Alistair Campbell stuff – – – deny, deny, deny and eventually everyone will get tired and go away. Key’s evasions, distortions and outright lies grow worse by the day.
    When he has left politics Key will have to live with his duplicity – – -good luck with that. And not one of his present lickspittles and sycophants will hold out a hand to help.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 12.1

      just as culpable

      How exactly? Bribery is a crime. How exactly was Lab5 “culpable”?

      • peter 12.1.1

        Yes bribery IS a crime. But ird recognize it as s legitimate tax deduction. Now that’s weird!

    • Anne 12.2

      A repeat of the Dirty Politics saga in August last year. And he succeeded in hood-winking almost an entire nation of voters. Says it all about this govt. and unfortunately even more about the majority of voters.

      And to quote OAB… where was Labour culpable? They weren’t culpable over anything. Key is lying, lying, lying!

    • Ffloyd 12.3

      The Opposition just needs to keep on hammering key. He is not looking good/well. He is not getting the whooping and hollering he is used to from his own party. Have noticed that English keeps his head down now when key is off on one of his lying REPETITIVE rants. The whole country knows he is lying. His whole party knows he is lying. HE knows he is lying. The more he utters *Labour’s fault* the more it becomes obvious that that is all he has. If he has any intestinal fortitude he would ALLOW Parker to be able to table the so called damming evidence that key say’s exists. He (key) knows that will show him to be a LIAR! So that is not an option. Ably supported by failed woodwork teacher Slim Brownlee , and esteemed Speaker of the House, waste of space Carter. Keep hammering! He will implode.

      • Clemgeopin 12.3.1

        Great post. You are absolutely correct.

        The opposition is doing a very good job exposing the apparent corruption and lies from Key, McCully and this government, but are not supported by a pretty biased speaker, the coalition supporting dishonourable patsy parties and a sad set of mediocre and gutless journalists and our weak piss poor RW media. Only hope is that the general public will see through all this government crap sooner or later. But sadly, that too seems like a forlorn, going by our recent history and the public’s scant interest in important political matters!

  13. ian 13

    Labour need to keep up the pressure. Mccully is toast based on current facts. Why are the opposition so useless ?

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    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    3 days ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    3 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    3 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • Saving lives
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    3 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
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    RedlineBy Admin
    4 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    4 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    4 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
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    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    5 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
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    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    6 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    6 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    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
    6 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
    6 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 ...
    6 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 ...
    7 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
    7 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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 ...
    1 week 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
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    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

  • Further measures to support businesses
    The Government will be introducing legislation to make changes to the Companies Act to help companies facing insolvency due to COVID-19 to remain viable and keep New Zealanders in jobs. The temporary changes include: Giving directors of companies facing significant liquidity problems because of COVID-19 a ‘safe harbour’ from insolvency ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Govt’s COVID plan, economic strength recognised
    The Government’s plan to cushion the blow of COVID-19 by supporting incomes, jobs and businesses, and position the economy to recover has been backed by another international report. International credit rating agency Moody’s today reaffirmed its highest Aaa credit rating on New Zealand, saying the economy is expected to remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Funding certainty for sports through COVID-19
    National sports organisations have been given certainty of funding to ensure they can remain viable through the COVID-19 pandemic, Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “The global spread of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on sport and recreation in New Zealand, including the cancellation or postponement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Butchers now allowed to process pork
    Changes have been made to allow butchers to process pork, only for supply to supermarkets or other processors or retailers that are open, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has announced. “We carefully weighed the risk of allowing butchers to open their shops for retail customers, but the risk of spreading COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Essential workers leave scheme established
    Essential workers who take leave from work to comply with public health guidance are being supported with a leave scheme to ensure they will continue to receive income, say the Minister of Workplace Relations and Safety Iain Lees-Galloway and Minister for Social Development, Carmel Sepuloni. A number of essential businesses ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Govt WhatsApp helps share COVID-19 information
    A Government WhatsApp channel has been launched to help make information more easily accessible and shareable in the fight against COVID-19. Govt.NZ, which is free to use on any mobile device, will carry information and news for the public, businesses, healthcare providers, not for profits and local government. It can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Managed departure plan for stranded foreign nationals enables safe, orderly exit
    The Government has announced a plan to enable the safe, orderly exit of tens of thousands of stranded foreign nationals from New Zealand during the current COVID-19 Alert Level 4 restrictions, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Winston Peters has said. “When we moved into lockdown a week ago, the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government delivers COVID-19 support to GPs and Pharmacies
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says the Government is delivering on its commitment to support general practice doctors and nurses, and pharmacies on the front-line of our fight against COVID-19. "For us to overcome COVID-19, we need community health services such as general practice and community pharmacy to step up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day 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
    2 days 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
    2 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days ago
  • Supermarkets able to open on Easter Sunday
    The Government is ensuring supermarkets can open on Easter Sunday so we can buy groceries, but stay closed on Good Friday allowing workers to take a break. This provides a balanced approach and ensures we avoid large queues that two days closure may cause. “Supermarkets will be able to open ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    3 days 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
    4 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
    4 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
    6 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
    6 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
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  • 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 ...
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    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 ...
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