Sheepgate

Written By: - Date published: 8:54 am, May 28th, 2015 - 102 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, capitalism, corruption, Economy, exports, farming, farming, International, Minister for International Embarrassment, national, overseas investment, Politics, same old national, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

Murray McCully used to be a feared operator.  Dubbed “the black prince” his wielding of the dark arts of politics created awe in the minds of those who admire that sorts of thing.

More recently he has become a major embarrassment.  His handling of the MFAT restructure was shambolic and he was only saved by persuading former head John Allen to fall on his sword and take the blame.  His handling of issues concerning the Malaysian Diplomat and the attack on Tania Billigsley should have persuaded anyone beyond any doubt that he is not fit to hold office.

His latest escapade involves paying large amounts of money (up to $11m) to a Saudi businessman to settle a legal dispute that did not exist and which is probably, at least in New Zealand, statute barred.

He tried to defend himself yesterday in Parliament.  As words cannot adequately describe how awful he was I thought it best to include the video.

David Parker was trying to get McCully to confirm how much money had been paid to the Saudi businessman to settle the long running dispute. McCully claimed that actions of the fifth Labour Government had exposed New Zealand to potential liability of up to $30 million. The actions were the stopping of the live export of sheep, a policy decision made after 4,000 sheep died on a ship bound for Saudi Arabia and apparently subsequent discussions which led him to believe that the ban would have been dropped. National renewed the ban in 2010.

Words used by others to describe the transaction included “bribe” and “corrupt”.  The payment appears to have been made to persuade an influential individual to support New Zealand’s proposed free trade agreement with Saudi Arabia.

Parliament reached peak cray with the following interchange:

Hon David Parker : Can the Minister point to any other example where the New Zealand Government has ever paid millions of dollars to an overseas businessman in order to advance a free-trade agreement?

Hon MURRAY McCULLY : I cannot point to any such example, because I do not think New Zealanders had a Government as stupid and dishonest as the Government that Mr Parker was a member of.

Seven years after its demise the fifth Labour Government is still being blamed for all of the country’s woes.

McCully was questioned this morning on Morning Report about the payment.

Guyon Espiner did a good job and McCully was absolutely dreadful.

He said that there was “an active misleading of the individuals who had invested over that period which would have led them that had they continued to invest they would have been able to export live sheep for slaughter to Saudi Arabia.”  Mistake number one.  A Minister of the Crown should never ever publicly agree with someone who apparently wants to sue the Crown about the basis of their claim.

McCully was asked if New Zealand would have lost the Court case, if one had ever been filed.  McCully answered another question and talked about a claim of up to $30 million dollars.  He was asked if NZ Inc had actually paid compensation.  McCully then again answered another question.

Then Espiner asked a Zinger.  He asked if a liability waiver had been obtained so that there would be no prospect of New Zealand being sued.  McCully blustered and said that he was not going to get into the detail.  He eventually came up with the response that the Government was satisfied that it had met that objective.  The Government being satisfied it will not be sued is not the same as the businessman accepting the payment in full and final settlement of his claim.  Either the waiver exists or it does not.  Saying that you are confident you will not be sued suggests to me that a cast iron waiver had not been obtained.

I received the distinct impression McCully’s nose was attempting to grow during the interview.

Whatever the background the distinct impression is that New Zealand money has been paid to an individual not to settle a non existent legal dispute but to curry favour so that the Gulf Free Trade Agreement is signed.  There is an unparliamentary word for this sort of behaviour.

Update:  Maybe there was the threat of legal action but because of actions taken by National, not Labour.  From Dimpost (h/t Sacha):

  • “According to Hooton (his stories are paywalled at the NBR), a very wealthy and influential Saudi businessman named Hmood Al Khalaf, who had a business importing sheep contacted National when they were in opposition, and John Key and David Carter privately assured him that exports would resume when National came to power.
  • When National won the election in 2008, Al Khalaf supposedly invested tens of millions of dollars in New Zealand farmland and a ship that could transport sheep to Saudi Arabia. But National didn’t change the law.
  • So Al Khalaf hired Mai Chen to prepare a lawsuit against the government, claiming for ‘between $20 million and $30 million. He also, allegedly, used his influence in Saudi Arabia to block a free trade deal between New Zealand and the Gulf States.”

Update:

102 comments on “Sheepgate”

  1. Ed 1

    Will National support McCully’s campaign for FIFA President?

  2. ianmac 2

    So far there is no evidence that a legal opinion was sought or given. An approach from a lawyer that the Government could be sued for $30million is not enough cause to pay up.

    Did I get the impression that the Speaker was not covering up for McCully? Could this have a Key move to abandon McCully with an eye on the 2017 election?

    • mickysavage 2.1

      I think even Carter has standards and modest though they may be McCully was in breach of them!

      • Tracey 2.1.1

        I haven’t seen those standards, so given Nats don’t do anything without a CT strategy in place, perhaps McCully is going to London (and Lockwood coming home)

        Carter, imo is worse than Wilson, but plays the same role for the government as she did. I was disappointed with her performance. I thought she would be impartial. Turned out Lockwood was the kind of Speaker I thought she would be.

      • ianmac 2.1.2

        Wasn’t Speaker Carter involved with the earlier tinkering with the sheep export problem?
        Edit: John Key and David Carter privately assured him that exports would resume when National came to power. (Dimpost)

    • Sacha 2.2

      McCully’s “answers” in question time say there was no legal opinion sought or received. Who needs that when you’re a stone-cold genius like him?

      • Tracey 2.2.1

        I thought he said something like he didnt think MFAT would do something like make a payment without legal advice?

  3. dukeofurl 3

    Sounds to me like National got a big juicy donation in advance of a policy change ( but kept the money off the books)

    No other possible conclusion that you would pay out someone on the situation described, unless you dont want unpleasant truths coming out in court.

    • Tracey 3.1

      “unpleasant truths coming out in court.”

      You could have a waiver but they threaten to sue anyway, knowing that they can expose some stuff a politically driven group would not want aired… so, despite having a waiver, you settle. That’s a possible scenario.

  4. Tracey 4

    “Either the waiver exists or it does not. Saying that you are confident you will not be sued suggests to me that a cast iron waiver had not been obtained.”

    Not having the law on your side does not stop people suing others. It is possible that there was a waiver but the Saudis were going to challenge it on other grounds or just sue to embarrass the government… The Crown would weigh up the cost of defending (even to a win) against a settlement.

    Of course, were that the case one wonders why McCully wouldn’t just say that.

  5. saveNZ 5

    Funny how human rights don’t come into it when seeking a free trade agreement with Saudi Arabia, while at the same time making a case to go to war in Iraq for human rights.

    Remember how the nationalities of the 9/11 bombing were mostly Saudi’s? Funny Iraq used to be secular but now after the illegal war, it is like a poster child for turning to Muslim in the middle East.

    Gosh those human rights are a moving target with National.

    Any else looking forward to 100 lashes for putting up a website criticising the government – I guess that is what John Key wants shut down here in NZ of freedom of Speech and well as selling a few oil rights maybe.

    Who knows, NZ does what the puppet master in the US dictates.

  6. saveNZ 6

    As for Murray McCully, everything he touches turns into a liability.

  7. Sacha 7

    Love the detail that we paid this guy’s NZ company to send his sheep to his Saudi company. Cosy.

  8. Stuart Munro 8

    I’m interested in this network of supply farms – it looks like the Key junta is building a middle east version of Oravida. A please explain is certainly overdue – we’ll probably get a Brownlee response – how dare you ask me such questions.

    • wyndham 8.1

      Yes Stuart, Unmistakable arrogance from Brownlee, Groser, Tolley, Findlayson and now McCully. Parata has a “born to rule” air of superiority .
      It’s getting to them !

  9. NZJester 9

    I’m guessing this man was chosen so they can defend themselves with the smoke and mirrors of blaming it all on the previous Labour government.
    They have also potentially created a ticking export time bomb for our farmers in the middle east by not having control of that farm with all that prime NZ breading stock.
    If the farm is successful and stock numbers increase I can see the meat exports of the sheep from NZ farm being squeezed out by the descendants of those very sheep. Then there is the large loss of NZ Jobs in the meat industry with all the processing being done overseas by cheaper lower paid workers. There has been a lot of problems in that area of virtual indentured workers being tricked into low paying jobs that they can not legally quit to move to a different employer. With the talk of trial farms being set up in other countries as well it sounds like National is exporting farm jobs now also and not just the meat processing ones. A few investors are likely to get very rich at a huge cost to the average NZ farmers future profits.

    • Capn Insano 9.1

      Yes, I’ve been thinking this myself about whether we’re potentially screwing over more of our farm exports by doing this. Is this National’s bizarre method of diversifying the economy?

  10. T Chris 10

    Off topic, but does it annoy anyone else that every issue now has to have “gate” added to the end of it?

    • mickysavage 11.1

      Thanks Sacha fascinating. Occasional Standard commentator thinks that the threat of a lawsuit was because of National’s actions and not Labour’s.

      From the article:

      “According to Hooton (his stories are paywalled at the NBR), a very wealthy and influential Saudi businessman named Hmood Al Khalaf, who had a business importing sheep contacted National when they were in opposition, and John Key and David Carter privately assured him that exports would resume when National came to power.
      When National won the election in 2008, Al Khalaf supposedly invested tens of millions of dollars in New Zealand farmland and a ship that could transport sheep to Saudi Arabia. But National didn’t change the law.
      So Al Khalaf hired Mai Chen to prepare a lawsuit against the government, claiming for ‘between $20 million and $30 million. He also, allegedly, used his influence in Saudi Arabia to block a free trade deal between New Zealand and the Gulf States.”

      • Tracey 11.1.1

        And people think we don’t have to worry about the investor clauses in the TPP. Look what can be achieved without the OOMPH of the TPP behind it. How much bigger would the settlement have to be under TTP??

        • Macro 11.1.1.1

          Exactly!
          Wayne! Wayne! Where are you Wayne? We need your reassurance it’s going to be perfectly ok!

  11. Old Mickey 12

    Hamood invested heavily into farm assets in NZ, as well as converting a cruise liner for transport. His family have been in the live sheep game for hundreds & hundreds of years. Hamood invested on the assurances he was given from the then Labour Government run by Helen Clark, via MFAT officials – at least one of which is still with the ministry today. Hamood relied on the assurances that live sheep exports would be continued. The 2011 Government delegation was ambushed by Hamood about the fact he was lied to by the former government (his words, I was there). It was clear that the FTA would not be concluded with the GCC despite substantive agreement already reached between the GCC & NZ. Minister McCully established a special envoy (who is now working in investment banking) to broker a solution for NZ and the GCC. The investment in the Saudi farm to allow breeding for slaughter was seen as the most effective way forward. A tender to NZ companies was issued seeking parties that were keen to establish a farming center of excellence in Saudi – there were many companies keen on taking part – why ? It is a great opportunity and show case for NZ excellence. A plan was agreed, and then executed – there was a fly in the ointment, a local NZ’er nutter tried to blackmail MFAT claiming that MFAT had stolen his idea to solve the problem with a breeding farm in Saudi. For the record this was done in the months leading up to the last election – how nervous wa steh Government about this getting out then ? (MFAT ignored this nutter, and I do wonder if he has been leaking this to the media as nutters are disposed to do ?). The legal threat from Hamood & George was kept pretty quiet, and is news to me although one of the MFAT/NZTE guys in Dubai has come from a top law firm so suspect he evaluated the claim/risk. Is the amount of money compensation reasonable ? Hard to tell, however, if it leads to the FTA being signed then it will make a huge difference to NZ trade in the region, and the dollars at question here will be peanuts.

    • Sacha 12.1

      Interesting. Can you shed any light on Hooton’s claims that Key and Carter offered assurances to Hamood?

      • Old Mickey 12.1.1

        No idea about Hooton’s claims….the truth and his world don’t often intersect. His behaviour on the 2011 delegation was disgraceful.

        From speaking to Hamood personally, I know that he believed that the National Government would endeavour to do its best to allow live sheep export – he had made his investment based on prior assurances. The argument was that if National couldnt swing the change then it would never happen in NZ under a labour/green govt. Hamood’s partner George also received this message, and it is what I believe stopped any legal action (if there was any). There was also concern that the MFAT official who made the original commitment on behalf of the Clark government was still employed by MFAT – they would have liked to see that person removed from MFAT completely. I was amazed that the Saudi intel was that good on our public service – Hamood joked to me, that I would be shocked at what the Saudi government knows about us.

        • Karen 12.1.1.1

          So this MFAT official is the one who made the promise initially. When was this? Who was he talking to? Did he do this off his own bat because he believed the Nats would soon be back in power?

          Certainly the Nats wasted no time in trying to get live sheep exports back as this 2009 article shows:
          http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/2287062/Live-sheep-exports-to-resume

          Unfortunately for Carter it was just too unpopular with the public.

        • Tracey 12.1.1.2

          Why would Hooton make this up?

          During your time with MFAT or whatever position that led you to be having these conversations, did you or anyone else you overheard tell the Saudi’s that in a democracy, a new government may undo things done by a previous government or vice versa? And that “promises” by opposition parties are relatively meaningless?

  12. toad 13

    If you or I did this sort of shit, Micky, I suspect we’d be facing prosecution under section 105C Crimes Act 1961.

    But the Crown can’t prosecute itself, I guess (or can it?)

    • mickysavage 13.1

      A minister could be …

      The cheek of McCully trying to blame Labour for it though. It looks like they were up to their ears in it.

      • Old Mickey 13.1.1

        From the horses mouth, labour were the govt of the day whose officials made promises and assurances to Hamood. He would swear an affidavit on that point.

        • mickysavage 13.1.1.1

          Citation please old mickey. Hooton says that the only people who made promises were National MPs.

          • Old Mickey 13.1.1.1.1

            Wheres Hooton citation ?
            I heard it directly from Hamood, and George.

          • Old Mickey 13.1.1.1.2

            Can I also suggest that that you also ask Phil Goff.

          • Sacha 13.1.1.1.3

            Hooton only mentioned those – doesn’t exclude an earlier set of assurances as well.

            • Matthew Hooton 13.1.1.1.3.1

              Correct. But it is not a secret. David Carter spoke publicly about this at the start of the government’s term. http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/2287062/Live-sheep-exports-to-resume
              My understanding is that private promises were also made from opposition. I wrote about this (behind the NBR paywall) here: http://www.nbr.co.nz/opinion/gulf-games-fail-deliver

              • Karen

                See my comment at 12.1.1.1
                Just because a MFAT official said something to some Saudi businessmen that doesn’t necessarily mean the Labour government supported the resumption of live sheep exports.

                • Old Mickey

                  With all due respect, it will come out that it was more than an official who just “said something”. Our MFAT officials don’t say anything that is not aligned to policy, and carefully avoid creating mis-understandings. The assurances were significantly more, and reasonable to accept they were part of government policy.

                  • mickysavage

                    Well OM can you point to government policy? Discussing the possibility of a change in policy is not of itself actionable.

                    • Old Mickey

                      Have a quiet chat to Phil Goff. I am sure he will enlighten you as to how MFAT officials work. Failing that, I am sure Tim Groser will be happy to explain it to you.

                  • Crashcart

                    Just like when they let the Malaysian go home, because MFAT would never make a staement to an over seas government without ministerial aproval on the off chance it may lead to confusion over the message.

        • Matthew Hooton 13.1.1.2

          There may well have been assurances from the previous Labour government. Labour clearly wasn’t that concerned about the so-called animal welfare issues, because (if I recall correctly) there were live sheep shipments during 1999-2003. Do you know if this is correct? But even if Labour did make promises, I fail to see what cause of action Hmood would have had against the Crown – especially by February 2013 when he was briefing Cabinet. Surely even if there was a cause of action, isn’t there a six year limitation period?

          Also, I am pretty sure the delegation where Hmood spoke was in 2010 not 2011. This was after David Carter had announced through the media in August 2009 that there would be no resumption of the trade while he was agriculture minister, contradicting his public and private statements earlier that year. See http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/farming/2287062/Live-sheep-exports-to-resume

          • Karen 13.1.1.2.1

            Don’t have time to check now but from memory there had been live sheep exports under Labour but animal welfare concerns caused a change in policy and they were banned. That’s why it seems odd to me that a Labour MP would have promised to reinstate them.

        • Tracey 13.1.1.3

          I repeat my question above… did you or anyone else explain to Hamood that in a democracy only so much stock can be put in assurance, due to change of government and sovereignty regarding policy implementation through legislation? And that governments/political parties are occassionally driven by public opinion leading to changed “minds”?

          • Matthew Hooton 13.1.1.3.1

            I believe David Carter’s political advisor made these points to the Saudi Agriculture Minister in a meeting at the FAO in Rome.

            • Tracey 13.1.1.3.1.1

              Thanks.

              It seems odd that no one would have pointed this out to Mr Hamood, either amongst his own advisors or ours.

        • Macro 13.1.1.4

          An official may have said that (if that is what the man claims) – but that official was clearly speaking out of line. It was not government policy, and could never have been, the government having banned the export of live sheep only 5 years previously!

  13. PhilDC 14

    bit of a warning here for the TPPA – sign it and get sued for non-existant claims by bullies, paid off by a bunch of chicken poop bureaucrats to curry favor. This is before a so-called agreement is signed – this was done to get it signed – maybe(?)
    and they gave away IP which can be copied – blindly arrogant shortsighted fuckwittedness.

  14. tinfoilhat 15

    McCully is a disgrace who has achieved nothing of any merit in or outside of parliament.

  15. ianmac 16

    Two questions for McCully today Question Time:
    JAMES SHAW to the Minister of Foreign Affairs: Has a full and final settlement been reached with Mr Al Khalaf; if so, what is the total cost to taxpayers?

    Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Foreign Affairs: Did he seek advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade about whether, using the multimillion dollar payment for the benefit of Hamood Al Ali Al Khalaf – a Saudi Arabian businessman to cause the Saudi Arabian officials to advance the GCC FTA which had stalled, breached the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions?

    • Old Mickey 16.1

      The reply from McCully will be very interesting on the Parker question…..enough people know the answer to this one.

      • It’s got to be “no” I assume?
        (Especially as no bribe was paid to Saudi officials.)

        • Tracey 16.1.1.1

          It makes me wonder what the follow up question is?

          • Old Mickey 16.1.1.1.1

            Parker should split this line of questioning:

            Hon DAVID PARKER to the Minister of Foreign Affairs: Did he seek advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade about whether, using the multimillion dollar payment for the benefit of Hamood Al Ali Al Khalaf – a Saudi Arabian businessman to cause the Saudi Arabian officials to advance the GCC FTA ?

            The answer to this is Yes

            If so, did MFAT provide an opinion on the view that the payment would breach the OECD Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions? If yes, what was their advice ? If no, why was this not considered by MFAT ?

            • Matthew Hooton 16.1.1.1.1.1

              What are the real answers to this one?

              • Tracey

                I suspect/guess that Old mickey is telling us MFAT told McCully that it would or could breach the Convention but that would be OIA-ble wouldn’t it, unless the MFAT official was a lawyer and then can they claim they don’t have to release it?

              • Old Mickey

                The real answers – try this:

                National inherited a very bad situation, and tried hard to create a better outcome for NZ in the long term. Given the delicate nature of the relationship & lack of trust due to an apparent backdown by the NZ govt, MFAT needed to be creative in order to create a win/win situation. To that end it is harsh to judge this now. If NZ does not get an FTA with the GCC, then this was a bad call. On the balance of probabilities this strategy was worth the effort and a rational response. Nothing to see here yet.

                • Macro

                  It’s only a bad situation if you are desperate to have a FTA with a corrupt government.

            • felix 16.1.1.1.1.2

              Yes Old Mickey that’s exactly what he should have done.

              I have no idea why Labour MPs insist on cramming so much into their questions, and then at the same time waste questions by asking questions that other parties are already asking on the same day.

              • Old Mickey

                At least he didnt start with “does the minister stand by all his statements ?”
                which seems to be the the question de jure of greens and Winnie First.

                • felix

                  Always worth having one of those per session though. Got to give them a surprise now and then 😉

            • Matthew Hooton 16.1.1.1.1.3

              He didn’t answer “yes”.
              He said “not specifically”.

            • Erling 16.1.1.1.1.4

              Add also “was Crown Law consulted on whether would breach domestic legislation prohibiting corruption/bribery.”

        • toad 16.1.1.2

          The New Zealand legislation implementing our obligations under that OECD convention is s 105C Crimes Act. This does not require the bribe to be given to the foreign official for an offence to have been committed. All that is required is that the bribe be given to a person with intent to influence the foreign official.

          Every one is liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years who corruptly gives or offers or agrees to give a bribe to a person with intent to influence a foreign public official in respect of any act or omission by that official in his or her official capacity…

    • Sacha 16.2

      Ooh that last question is a doozie (though hard to parse).

  16. Given the growing public interest in this story, the NBR has put my two flying sheep columns on the free side of the paywall.
    http://www.nbr.co.nz/opinion/gulf-games-fail-deliver
    http://www.nbr.co.nz/opinion/flying-sheep-endanger-mccully

    • ianmac 17.1

      Reads as a credible record Matthew. Very interesting. The Question Time today will be even more interesting in the light of your record.

      • Matthew Hooton 17.1.1

        No doubt an error or two as had to rely on memory, and much more has now been revealed by others.

    • Tracey 17.2

      Has google earth updated, can you see buildings and sheep?

      McCully might have to fly emirates… so he can take the sheep with him to the opening?

    • mickysavage 17.3

      Cheers Matthew. I am going to do a Mike Williams and say I agree with you! McCully should be sacked for misleading Cabinet if not Parliament.

  17. Goodshepherd 18

    I was farming sheep (and beef) during those years.

    I supported the ban on the live sheep trade to the gulf for animal welfare reasons.

    Before, (and even after the ban was imposed because I feared the trade would be renewed one day) I docked and wethered all my surplus male lambs and put blackface rams over my ewes, because only entire white ram lambs were acceptable for the Muslim festivals. I was surprised to read yesterday that it was Suffolks (black face bred for cool climates) that were part of this latest breeding deal tbh; hadn’t realised things had changed so much.

    Yes, it cost me a considerable premium but it was the right thing to do.

    • ianmac 18.1

      Does that mean that the reason for setting the “farm” up is not for the festival?

      • Goodshepherd 18.1.1

        Ianmac, I don’t know.

        They say it’s a breeding operation and obviously it must be or we wouldn’t be sending pb ewes across. But black face rams are mostly used to produce meat animals; the wool is not high quality and there’s a black fibre that contaminates it too.

        So my guess is that this has been set up to produce meat for every day and someone else with another line of stock will be producing animals destined for the festivals or rituals.

        Never the less, meat animals must be slaughtered and, if it is as it was, back in my day, many of them will be slaughtered by amateurs with poor skills and little concern for their suffering.

  18. Draco T Bastard 19

    Government accused of wasting $11.5 million on wealthy Saudi farmer

    Mr McCully’s Cabinet paper says Mr Khalaf’s business had “indicated that they had received legal advice suggesting they pursue a claim for between $20 million and $30 million”.

    But a source has told ONE News the legal claim was withdrawn a year earlier, in February 2012.

    Mr McCully has confirmed there was no pending legal action at the time he took the paper to Cabinet.

    Deeper and deeper he digs the hole he’s in.

    • Tracey 19.1

      and the more it shines away from Key and Carter…

      • tc 19.1.1

        like the scene in Steven Soderburgh’s ‘Traffic’ where there are 2 envelopes to be opened in times of crises:

        the first letter is ‘blame the last guy’ and the second one is ‘sit down and write 2 letters’.

        Mccully needs to wake up to the fact maybe his time is up and Shonky needs some meat for the pack to feed off whilst he goes about flogging Nzild to his mates.

  19. finbar 20

    Of course,putting my boots on and running on the ground gives me 40 thousand pounds every time a game,got to be some tax relief their above the hundreds of millions transfer fee of my feets ability

  20. finbar 21

    look we believe in Labours belief,we do,just give us a chance.Mike, the voters rejected it back then,and the new pin numbered poverty will be left looking for a social change for their care.

  21. finbar 22

    Never happen here.How much now this rag head greed extortion have you payed Murry,for your governments control of free trading,how much was that ease paid .Never happen here in our Aotearoa,these bribes,its how they operate over there give millions and receive more,its not corruption as our knowing,its like a modern version of Oprah,give and receive.Dont think Opera understood the religious abuse of caliphate power dominance. Seems our corporation control governance is not shy of backhanding.

  22. b waghorn 23

    On one news they have just revealed that the threat of legal action had been stopped in 2012 a year before this dodgy deal was done.
    Another minister about to bite the dust??

  23. Michael 24

    David Parker’s legal skills ride to Labour’s rescue again. He will be difficult for it to replace, if not impossible. Still, it looks though he’s on the way out (straight, white male).

  24. NZSage 25

    This sordid episode would topple governments elsewhere but not in good old demure NZ.

    What depths does National have to plunge to make NZ’ers wake up?

    Ban iPhones perhaps?

  25. Good Oil 26

    Interesting that the Exclusive Brethren Brownriggs were ‘selected’ to provide the ‘sheepware’. I wonder if Don Brash provided consultancy??

  26. peterlepaysan 27

    Did not Bill English describe Mcully as a toxic gnome/dwarf that needed dealing to? (reference Hollow Men).

    No wonder he got MFAT. Out of the country, out of our hair. Some government did that to Winston (once). Heh.

    Mind you john banks is back to save the nats.

  27. Paul Robinson 28

    It seems to me that there is agreement that these payments were made a) either to prevent legal action in relation to live sheep exports and/or b) to facilitate a free trade agreement. If b) – it is a bribe, if a) then there should have been a formal claim lodged, and somehow all process of mediation followed. Prima facie – it looks like a), if b) then a complete and utter failure of due process.

  28. Nathanhanes 29

    It seems Paul Robinson that the payments were made

    B) to facilitate an FTA,

    but it was dressed up and sold to cabinet as

    A) to prevent legal action.

    In common speak it was a bribe but to get around legal issues was dressed up as a neccessity to avoid legal recourse. I can see that Hooton and HDA now understand there was no legal threat, a point McCully has admitted himself.

    The question is who was involved in the dressing up? I am pretty sure MFAT staff have enough nous not to go near this sort of thing – so who did the dirty work?

    • felix 29.1

      Probably not a good idea to use a name so similar to the name of a well-known New Zealander.

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    RedlineBy Admin
    2 hours ago
  • A prediction
    There was another police chase in Christchurch this morning, resulting in a crash which killed one person and injured five more. Because someone died, the chase is being investigated by the Independent Police Conduct Authority. And based on previous reports by the IPCA, we know how it will go: the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 hours ago
  • Climate Change: The Zero Carbon Bill
    Just a month ago we saw the biggest protest in a generation as people marched to demand stronger action on climate change. A core demand of the protesters was to strengthen the Zero Carbon Bill's target to net-zero by 2040. So what is the government's response? Judging by the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    8 hours ago
  • Zombie ants, updated
    Back in 2010, I wrote about the strange tale of the zombie ants, which do the bidding of their fungal overlords. (They’re not an isolated example; a range of parasites change their hosts’ behaviour. See here and here for example – though as you’ll find, the toxoplasmosis story may be ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    10 hours ago
  • Paying For Our Pakeha “Guilt” And “Privilege”.
    Shouldn't That Be: "Wrong White Crowd"? Rather than apportion guilt, would it not have been wiser for the makers of Land Of The Long White Cloud to accept that the Pakeha of 2019 are not – and never will be – “Europeans”? Just as contemporary Maori are not – and ...
    11 hours ago
  • A Bodyguard of Truths.
    One, Two, Many Truths: With the collapse of “actually existing socialism” in 1991, the universities of the West found themselves saddled with a new mission. With their ideological competitors now soundly defeated they were no longer required to demonstrate the superiority of capitalist values. Their job now was to cement ...
    12 hours ago
  • A call to unionists
    by the Council of Disobedient Women   We call on the Council of Trade Unions to show some fortitude and take a stand with your sisters. Unionists know that there is a material world, otherwise workers could simply identify out of poverty. They could declare themselves Well Paid. Why stop ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 day ago
  • Sophistry and bullshit
    I spent some time reading the Regulatory Impact Statement and Bill of Rights Act advice for the government's odious control order scheme today. I am not impressed with either of them. Starting with the RIS, it is built on some pretty questionable assumptions. For example:Unless individuals have been convicted of ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • I’m so fly, I’m #NoFly!
    #NoFly: Walking the talk on climate change, by Shaun Hendy. BWB Texts, 2019. Reviewed by Robert McLachlan In June 2018, Swede Maja Rosén founded We stay on the ground with a pledge not to fly in 2019, and a goal of persuading 100,000 other Swedes to join her. In August, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 day ago
  • Punishing the young
    We all know that NZ First is a party of and for old people who hate the young. But they've topped their previous pedophobia with a proposal that all young people be forced to do 100 hours community work:NZ First wants all young people to do 100 hours of community ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Journalism, clickbait, & ideas of classical beauty – but not science
    A couple days ago the NZ Herald published a story with the headline, “Science says Bella Hadid is world’s most beautiful woman“, and followed up with the ridiculous statement that Supermodel Bella Hadid has been declared as the world’s most beautiful woman following a scientific study into what constitutes as ...
    SciBlogsBy Alison Campbell
    1 day ago
  • Is Simon’s Smile Sustainable?
    A Sustainable Proposition: With as much as 18 percent of the electorate declaring itself “undecided” about who to vote for, there is obviously plenty of space for a party like former Green Party member, Vernon Tava's, about-to-be-launched "Sustainable NZ Party" to move into. The most hospitable political territory for such ...
    1 day ago
  • What the actual Hell?
    Keir Starmer has hinted that Labour might vote in favour of the Johnson government's shoddy deal, with the proviso that a second referendum is attached:Speaking to BBC One’s The Andrew Marr Show, he said: “We will see what that looks like but it makes sense to say that by whatever ...
    2 days ago
  • Hard News: Dealer’s Choice, an oral history from Planet 1994
    In 1994, I was the editor for an issue of Planet magazine focused on cannabis, its culture and the prospects for the end of its prohibition. Part of that issue was an interview with 'Ringo', an experienced cannabis dealer.I recently posted my essay from that issue, and I figured it ...
    3 days ago
  • The invasion of women’s sports by men: some facts
    Dr Helen Waite, sports sociologist and former elite athlete, on the invasion of women’s sport by men and the anti-scientific and misogynist ideology used to rationalise it.   ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Remainers starting to sound like fascists
    As Brexit comes to a grisly conclusion (perhaps) people on all sides are saying intemperate and uwise things.  Some, like the Daly Mail, have been doing it for years.People as normally level headed as Jon Lansman are calling for automatic deselection of MPs who vote against a (likely) Labour three ...
    3 days ago
  • Labour MPs supporting Johnson’s turd-sandwich deal?
    I find this unbelievable:
    I've got one source saying more Labour MPs than expected are mulling whether to vote for the deal - including names who were not on the letter to Juncker and Tusk— Emilio Casalicchio (@e_casalicchio) 17 October 2019 I've compiled a list of possible reasons why Labour ...
    4 days ago
  • Why do we need control orders again?
    On Wednesday, the government was loudly telling us that it needed to legislate to allow it to impose "control orders" - effectively a parole regime, but imposed without charge, prosecution, conviction or real evidence - on suspected terrorists because they couldn't be prosecuted for their supposed crimes. Today, it turns ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Bullshitting the Minister
    On Monday, the Hit and Run inquiry heard from NZDF's former director of special operations, who claimed that the defence Minister knew everything about the Operation Burnham raid. Today, the inquiry heard from that (former) Minister - and it turns out that he didn't know nearly as much as NZDF ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Extinction Rebellion is not a cult (but ecstasy for the people)
    Yoga gurus and cult leaders – I’ve seen a few. Two weeks ago, I unknowingly joined an alleged new-age cult at the Kāpiti coast, together with a giant kraken and some neatly dressed pensioners who would make any book club proud.They were among the two hundred people of all ages ...
    4 days ago
  • We need to bring the police under control
    The last decade has seen a trend of increasing weapons availability to police. Assault rifles. Tasers on every hip. Guns in cars. And following the march 15 massacre, pistols on every hip, all over the country. At the same time, its also seen an increase in the abuse of force: ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • If you can’t measure it, does it exist?
    In the last couple of weeks, I’ve been busy preparing for our summer paper on Science Communication. Looking for something amusing about ‘risk’ in science, I came across this neat xkcd.com cartoon about why so many people come knocking on my door (or phoning me, or emailing me) desperately wanting ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    4 days ago
  • Swinson’s swithering
    Jo Swinson is doing even worse at this Being Sensible lark that I'd thought.  I've just become aware of the following utterance
    .@KayBurley presses Lib Dem leader @joswinson on whether she would agree to a #Brexit deal 'no matter how bad a deal it is' as long as it had ...
    5 days ago
  • Women’s rights, trans ideology and Gramsci’s morbid symptoms
    by John Edmundson The International Socialist Organisation (ISO) have recently reposted a February article, by Romany Tasker-Poland, explaining ISO’s position in the “trans rights” debate.  It is available on their website and on their Facebook Page.  The article sets out to explain why “socialists support trans rights”.  It reads more ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    5 days ago
  • We need to take guns off police
    Today's IPCA report of police criminality: a police officer unalwfully tasered a fleeing suspect who posed no threat to anyone:The police watchdog has found an officer unlawfully tasered an Auckland man who broke his ankle jumping off a balcony to escape arrest. [...] To avoid arrest, the man jumped over ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • “Bringing kindness back”
    "Auckland City Mission: 10% of Kiwis experiencing food insecurity", RNZ, 16 October 2019:About half a million people are experiencing food insecurity, according to new research from the Auckland City Mission. Food insecurity, or food poverty, is defined as not having enough appropriate food. The City Mission said over the last ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Press Release: “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance b...
    Media Statement for Immediate Release 16th October 2019 “Fake News” from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers Despite comments from Auckland City Council CCOs Board Chairs re pay and performance bonuses for top managers—Herald Newspaper Tuesday Oct 15th–there is very little evidence ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    5 days ago
  • Ever-So-Slightly Bonkers: Simon Bridges Plays To His Base.
    Would You Buy A Used Propaganda Video From This Man? Bridges and the National Party’s strategists have discovered that the ideas and attitudes considered acceptable by today’s editors and journalists are no longer enforceable. The rise and rise of the Internet and the social media platforms it spawned means that ...
    5 days ago
  • Asking for food
    There is plenty of evidence of the way the business mentality has permeated every level of society since the recrudescence of market liberalism 35 years ago. You only need to think of how citizens in need of help from their government, their state, their country, are now routinely described as ...
    Opposable ThumbBy Unknown
    5 days ago
  • Forty years of change in the jobs Kiwi do and the places they call home
    John MacCormick Over the last 40 years, New Zealanders – and people in other countries – have experienced big changes in the jobs they do and where they live and work. These changes include: a decline in manufacturing jobs an increase in jobs in ‘information-intensive’ industries (which are better paid ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Protecting Fresh Waterways in Aotearoa/NZ: The Strong Public Health Case
    Nick Wilson, Leah Grout, Mereana Wilson, Anja Mizdrak, Phil Shoemack, Michael Baker Protecting waterways has the benefits of: (1) protecting water from hazardous microbes; (2) minimising cancer risk and other problems from nitrates in water; (3) avoiding algal blooms that are hazardous to health; (4) protecting mahinga kai uses (cultural ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • Massey University triggered to rebrand
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In a press release today Massey University announced it has decided to rebrand and reorientate after struggling to be a University for grown-ups. For some time the University has wanted to be a safe play space for wee-woke-misogynists who have been really badly triggered ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • Swinson backing calls for a second referendum (again)
    After a brief dalliance with 'hard Revoke' it looks like the Lib Dems are changing ground on on Brexit, with leader Jo Swinson reverting to calling for a second referendum on Johnson's deal.The party has tabled an amendment to the Queen’s speech requesting that any deal brought back from Brussels ...
    6 days ago
  • An odious bill
    The government has decided that someone has done Something Bad. But despite their belief, there seems to be no evidence that they have actually broken the law. So the government's solution is to pass a retrospective law allowing them to be punished anyway, on a lower standard of proof. If ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • National is now the party of climate arson
    So, Judith Collins has done a Facebook rant about climate change, peddling the same shit National has been shovelling for the past twenty years: the impacts are overstated, there's no need to do anything about it, and its too hard anyway (oh, and its so unfair that people who peddle ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The environmental footprint of electric versus fossil car
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz There is a lot of discussion on the benefits of ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • “Manifest” by Andrew Bird – A Song For The Times.
    I came across this song quite by accident. If it isn't one of Greta Thunberg's favourites - it should be.Video courtesy of YouTube.This post is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    6 days ago
  • Passing the buck
    Last month, NZDF's shoddy coverup of what it knew about civilian casualties in Operation Burnham began to fall apart, with the revelation that a report on the matter, which NZDF claimed not to have, had been sitting in an NZDF safe for the past nine years. Yesterday, the man responsible ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • India a major player in Earth observation satellites
    While many imagine that countries like the USA and Europe dominate space activities, in fact India is now a major player on this stage. It launches satellites for its own purposes and also commercially, and has constellations orbiting our planet and returning data of vital importance to that nation in ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • The rot at the top (2).
    Thanks to a report from the Acting Inspector General of Intelligence and Security following a complaint by Nicky Hager, we have come to find out that the SIS illegally spied on Mr. Hager on behalf of the NZDF after publication of Hager’s 2011 book, Other People’s Wars. The NZDF justified ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Common misconceptions about “Global Warming”
    COMMON MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT GLOBAL WARMING MYTH 1: Global temperatures are rising at a rapid, unprecedented rate. FACT: The HadCRUT3 surface temperature index, produced by the Hadley Centre of the UK Met Office and the Climate Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, shows warming to 1878, cooling to 1911, ...
    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    1 week ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    1 week ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    1 week ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Local bodies
    Local body election results were released over the weekend, to joy or despair depending on where you live. In Auckland, Phil Goff trounced John Tamihere, who is muttering darkly about running for Parliament again (but which party would want him?) Wellington is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Weta Workshop, except ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A future of government
      How could government evolve over the next decades? Reports of democracy’s imminent demise are greatly exaggerated.  However, satisfaction with political systems in many countries is low, so there is much to do for governments of all political stripes to improve relevance and trust. Digital technologies are seen as one ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    1 week ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
    Overruled: The joint decision of Finance Minister, Grant Robertson (Labour) and his Associate Minister, David Parker (Labour) arguably the two most powerful ministers in Jacinda Ardern’s government, to grant OceanaGold the consents which Land Information Minister, Eugenie Sage (Greens) had earlier denied them, offers bitter proof of how hard fighting ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
    A Statement on Abortion Law Reform by the Council of Disobedient Women   On the eve of bringing an end to antiquated, anti-women abortion laws Green MP Jan Logie intends to write women out of the Bill. With a stroke of the pen, the woke are aiming for total erasure ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Is this study legit? 5 questions to ask when reading news stories of medical research
    Hassan Vally, La Trobe University Who doesn’t want to know if drinking that second or third cup of coffee a day will improve your memory, or if sleeping too much increases your risk of a heart attack? We’re invested in staying healthy and many of us are interested in reading ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
      “There can be no such thing as kaupapa Māori political parties or politics in Aotearoa” (Willie Jackson, Labour Party (2017). Māori TV, General/List Election Special) I begin with that claim because at the time, I was confounded at first that it fell out of Willie Jackson’s mouth, and then ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    2 weeks ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
    New Zealand has prided itself for decades with regard to its lack of pollution, and all will be aware that the ‘100% Pure New Zealand‘ meme is under threat through land, water and air pollution of various causes. There is another type of contamination that the country also faces: light ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
    New Zealand’s media is doing its part in Japan, reassuring those in the path of the storm that they won’t miss any rugby while away from their flooded homes. New Zealand sports reporters stationed in Japan for the Rugby World Cup have had the rare and heartwarming opportunity to inform ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz Why do people still think climate change isn’t real? David ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
    Back in 2011, journalist Nicky Hager published Other People's Wars, an expose on NZDF's activities over the previous decade of the "war on terror". NZDF didn't like this, and especially didn't like the fact that it was base don leaks from their own. So, they had the SIS investigate him ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
    The Zero Carbon Bill is due back from select committee in two weeks, and will likely pass its final stages in November. So naturally, farmers are planning a hate-march against it. But they're not just demanding lower methane targets so they can keep on destroying the planet; they're also demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
    The Best Way: Missing from the on-line voting debate is any reference to the voting system that produces turn-out figures ranging from 77 to 93 percent of registered voters. The voting system used to collect and count the votes cast in our parliamentary elections. The system that involves citizens making ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Corrections Amendment Bill passes third reading
    A Bill to improve prison security and ensure the fair, safe, and humane treatment of people in prison while upholding public safety has passed its third reading. Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says the Corrections Amendment Bill makes a number of changes to ensure the Corrections Act 2004 is fit for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Ngāi Tahu CEO appointed to NZ-China Council
    Minister for Māori Development, Nanaia Mahuta, has selected Arihia Bennett MNZM, Chief Executive Officer of Te Rūnanga o Ngāi Tahu, as the Te Puni Kōkiri appointed representative on the New Zealand-China Council. The New Zealand-China Council (the Council) was established in 2012 as a New Zealand led and funded organisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Southern Response claims move to EQC
    Responsibility for processing the small number of Southern Response claims still to be settled will be transferred to EQC by the end of the year. “As claim numbers reduce, it no longer makes sense for the Crown to have two organisations processing the remaining Canterbury claims,” Grant Robertson says. “Since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Bowel screening starts in Whanganui
    Health Minister David Clark is encouraging Whanganui residents to take up the opportunity for free bowel screening, which can detect cancer early when it’s easier to treat.   Over the next two years 12,000 Whanganui locals, aged 60 to 74 will be invited to participate in the National Bowel Screening ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Pacific Peoples Minister to attend Our Ocean Conference in Norway
    Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, heads to Oslo today to represent New Zealand at the sixth Our Ocean Conference, which is being hosted by the Norwegian Government from the 23-24 October. “The Our Ocean Conference mobilises real action on issues like marine plastic pollution and the impacts of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government announces 27 percent increase in Trades Academy places
    Two secondary-school initiatives are being expanded as part of the Government’s plan to see more young New Zealanders take up a trade to help close the skills gap.   This includes the largest single increase in Trades Academy places in recent years. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures Conference: Connection...
    Session 4: Pacific Connectivity – Youth, Media and New Opportunities   Kia ora tatou katoa and Warm Pacific greetings to one and all. Representatives of Tainui, the local people of the land, or manawhenua – the indigenous peoples of this area – have welcomed you this morning in accordance with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
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