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Slip, slip, slip

Written By: - Date published: 1:48 pm, September 16th, 2014 - 82 comments
Categories: john key, slippery - Tags: , , ,

John Key will no doubt – like with Dirty Politics – keep saying that “most of it is proven false” about the Snowden revelations… while slowly admitting most of the charges against him.

The bulk of it is wrong, just all the details are right, or somesuch.

But we’ve had a Prime Minister going from “there’s no mass surveillance” to “we made a business case, but I stopped it” to “yes we did tap into the Southern Cross cable, but we didn’t do anything once we’d done that” to “we implemented something narrower” (along with “we didn’t go for the full version because we couldn’t store it all”!)… and now we have Sir Bruce Ferguson describing XKeyScore and saying – essentially – we do hoover up the information, but we don’t look at it without a warrant.

So we are doing mass surveillance then – it’s just alright because we never look at it without someone’s say so.  And we trust the other members of the 5 Eyes who we supply that data to, to do likewise.

Well I don’t trust them.

And I don’t trust John Key either. Particularly when his version of “we don’t do mass surveillance” is slowly dragged out of him to be “we do do mass surveillance, we just don’t look at it”.

And I don’t trust anyone with the morals of Dirty Politics to be in charge of people looking at our personal correspondence.

82 comments on “Slip, slip, slip”

  1. paddy 1

    Can we get the election back to important issues like poverty and education rather than this sideshow?

    • blue leopard 1.1

      Can’t get any issue addressed if our government has gone awol, paddy.

      This issue needs to be addressed in order to ensure that it is the people of NZ that the NZ government holds as top priority.

      How the NZ people respond to this issue will give a strong message to all future governments what they can get away with.

      If the NZ public go ‘meh’, things will only get worse
      If the NZ public get angry and assertive all political parties in NZ will know they need to take a lot of care about compromising New Zealanders’ interests for dubious agendas.

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Can’t get any issue addressed if our government has gone awol, paddy.

        And/or our media infrastructure+Fourth Estate.

        • blue leopard 1.1.1.1

          +1

          I hope this shifts attitudes in the media, government and corridors of power. Their cynicism is palpable and is destroying our entire system.

          The system they, funnily enough, enjoy greater privileges from than a lot of others.

          • Jilly Bee 1.1.1.1.1

            I bet attitudes in the MSM will rapidly change if the Nats are voted out on Saturday. They will suddenly become extremely investigative.

        • Local Kiwi 1.1.1.2

          Who’s gonna turn the lights off when we all are forced to leave?
          Opps that’s from the 1970’s.

          A brighter future says the key clown,, well who is gonna keep the lights on when the money runs out keyster?

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.2

        I do wish that the left leaning parties would put up some decent anti-corruption policies. A large chunk of National should be in jail right about now.

    • Tracey 1.2

      Of course we can…

      national claims to have some policies but their leader is a habitual liar so you cant actually believe any of their policies.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.3

      The corruption of our democracy by National isn’t a sideshow.

    • Douglas 1.4

      How can you call this a “sideshow”? This is single-handedly the most important issue facing our country. Years from now we will look back at this five eyes scenario and realize just how important it was. We are at a turning point in the worldwide socio-political landscape: foreign policy; diplomacy; intelligence… and no, this is not a conspiracy. At best, it’s fact, at worst, it’s circumstantially evident. This isn’t just about a KDC v. JK vendetta: it deals with matters of integrity; sovereignty; and the very nature of politics and how we, as an informed public, perceive it.

      For the record, no, I am not a conspiracy theorist, no I did not vote Internet Mana, and no, this comment is not Anti-National. Surveillance is not an election issue, it is a New Zealand issue, and a global issue that we must acknowledge.

    • Hanswurst 1.5

      Apart from any of the points mentioned above, there is rather a lot of evidence (from TVNZ’s rather piecemeal and hodge-podge “vote-compass” coverage, for instance) that National has already lost the policy debate in the minds of most NZers, but that those NZers either don’t connect the (lack of) policies to National or for some peculiar reason don’t see policy as the most important tool of an elected government.

      Given that, I don’t see how there is much advantage for the Left in continuing to push policy. Key’s integrity is a legitimate target, and it appears that that may resonate more with voters.

    • Roy 1.6

      Isn’t the honesty and integrity of the incumbent PM seeking re-election an important issue?

  2. Tom Gould 2

    Why is Key incapable of proving there has been no mass surveillance on New Zealanders as he claims? He has all the power and access at his disposal. Yet he is unable to prove what he says it true. There is no evidence to back up his assurances. Surely we can expect better from him?

    • Roflcopter 2.1

      — Why is Key incapable of proving there has been no mass surveillance on New Zealanders as he claims? —

      For all the same reasons as all previous Prime Ministers state, going right back to WWII.

    • Bill 2.2

      Tom, ‘mass surveillance’ implies something very different to mass collection of meta data. ‘Mass surveillance’ would involve intruding into all the meta data. And data collection implies the collection of all the content associated with the meta-data.

      Journalists (on the back of my link in comment #3) really need to get focused and cut the crap.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        Nah I think you’re wrong on this count, Bill.

        Is attaching a tracking device on to your car which records all your movements around town placing you under “surveillance”? I would say it is. Or is it (as you seem to be saying) only “surveillance” when someone finally looks through the readouts of your movements.

        Which to me is clearly nonsense.

        ‘Mass surveillance’ would involve intruding into all the meta data.

        All the metadata collected is processed, including being run through scanning algorithms to flag items of potential interest, and ordering/indexing the information for quick and orderly retrieval.

        Is that not enough “intruding” into the data, from your point of view?

        • Tracey 2.2.1.1

          If someone or their “automated investigative capability” is collecting/downloading all my electronic data then I am under surveillance.

          Then we have the issue of what key-word filter searches are done?

          Donations to the Green party? Donations to Greenpeace? Does that qualify?

          I have an Uncle who sincerely believes, never having read a word Hager has ever written, that it is right to spy on Hager because he holds “extreme views” and what he wants for NZ is dangerous.

          National, Key and Collins have shown, if nothing else, they cannot be trusted with secrets. Mr Key and Ms Collins have both misused their Ministerial warrants for personal/political purposes.

          Anyone who thinks that is not the case needs to read more widely, start examing ALL the documents released over the last 12 months, and put those odcument sunder the microscope. THEN go look at Key’s statements and how they change and change and change…

        • Bill 2.2.1.2

          Nah I think you’re wrong on this count, Bill.

          Yeah, maybe. What I was trying to do was highlight potential slippery wordsmithery on JK’s part – not suggest that mass collection of meta data was somehow or in any way acceptable or ‘neutral’ as far as activity goes.

      • Not a PS Staffer 2.2.2

        John Key used SIS files to knobble Phil Goff.

        Do you think John Key, knowing that the capability exists to access massive amounts of information on enemies, would not do so?

        It would be like taking a child to a chocolate factory and expecting it to not eat the stuff!

        • Local Kiwi 2.2.2.1

          Key stood in parliament near end of Parliament during debate and said glaring at Labour cross benches and said be careful I have a draw full of dirt on you so if you want I am happy to use it!
          Do you want this as your leader remembering he is harvesting all our documents and data as we speak now?

          Back to Pre-war Germany days of public fear and suppression again folks.

          Best we kick his rotten lot out and save our land from evil.

        • Colonial Viper 2.2.2.2

          More like taking that greedy, mean fat boy to Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory…

      • greywarbler 2.2.3

        Thinking about surveillance and snooping and information gathering.

        If someone is looking into my life and movements, and keeping records for a short or a long time, informing themselves of my doings to use sometime, or to possibly gossip about now or in the future to my embarrassment or harm, to twist and use to create a false impression about me, to show a true impression about me that I might not be wanting to reveal to others now or in the future, then my privacy and the essence of my life is being breached and stolen from me.

        Like the ideas that peoples in undeveloped countries are said to have – “Take my image (my life events and spoken and written thoughts) and you steal my life, my reality for your own use.”

        This is intrusion into people’s lives and cannot be categorised simply as bad, okay or inevitable.
        edited

        • Bill 2.2.3.1

          Yeah, I agree with you. But what I’m trying to get at is JK’s selective use of language to potentially obfuscate and maintain a degree of (thanks emergency mike) deniability.

    • JanMeyer 2.3

      You mean prove a negative? What exactly did you have in mind? What more can the government do to “prove” there was no mass surveillance? The onus is on those who claim there has been mass surveillance to produce the hard evidence to back that up.

      • Bill 2.3.1

        The evidence has been produced. And the government hasn’t engaged with the evidence.

        Or are you suggesting that the guys who did the physical work must be found and swear under oath that they were tapping the cable? Or that the guys who searched the meta-data that was compiled from non collection of meta-data….oh wait, we already have Snowdon to verify that one 😉

        I mean, what exactly would be required to clear the bar of your burden of proof?

        • karol 2.3.1.1

          John Key accuses the opposition of his own tactics:

          He said Mr Greenwald has miraculously turned up six days before an election “to try and bamboozle people and try to make all these claims which don’t stack up.
          […]
          “They’re a bunch of henchmen out here six days before an election trying to bamboozle people, making incorrect and false information.”

        • Local Kiwi 2.3.1.2

          1000%+++++ Key nis a gambler with our truth and soon it will confront him as it did Nixon, who’s’ favourite saying was “I have never lied”.

          Talk about deniability eh!

          Times up “Creepy-Key.”

  3. Bill 3

    What’s so difficult about the term ‘meta data’? Anyone listening to John Key would think the term doesn’t exist. What’s this shit he keeps spouting about ‘mass surveillance’ as though that somehow means there has been no mass and or indiscriminate collection of meta data?

    Video link here for anyone interested in hearing the whirr of spin.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11325598

    • emergency mike 3.1

      He did state in that interview that there is no mass ‘collection’ of NZer’s data. That’s more specific than ‘surveillance’.

      • Bill 3.1.1

        But doesn’t data refer to (say) the contents of this comment rather than any meta data concerning where the comment was sent from (IPS address for example), how many other communications have been sent from this location and to where/who and on what subject etcetera?

        What I’m suspecting is that by referring to data and absolutely avoiding the term meta-data, JK is being deliberately obtuse in order maintain a degree of honesty. (Honesty isn’t the correct word, but hopefully you get my meaning).

        Anyway, I’d just like to hear journalists shut him down when he makes announcements about data and pointedly ask him about meta data.

        • weka 3.1.1.1

          I would take data to mean anything being communicated (content, metadata) but I agree someone should be asking him to clarify what he means.

          Watching that, I can see how plausible he will come across to people who haven’t listened to/read any other sources. I’m also thinking he has nothing left to lose now and can just lie outright.

        • emergency mike 3.1.1.2

          “But doesn’t data refer to (say) the contents of this comment rather than any meta data…”

          To me and surely to any reasonable person, ‘meta data’ is a subset of ‘data’. So for me, to say you are not collecting any data when you are collecting meta data, would be wrong/lying. Meta data is a kind of data.

          “What I’m suspecting is that by referring to data and absolutely avoiding the term meta-data, JK is being deliberately obtuse in order maintain a degree of honesty. (Honesty isn’t the correct word, but hopefully you get my meaning).”

          However I do take your point, it’s John Key we are talking about here, (or his office perhaps). We have seen for years his uncanny ability to make words mean whatever he decides is convenient for them to mean at that particular time. You could well be right about his chosen understanding of the word ‘data’. And I think the word you are looking for is ‘deniability’.

    • weka 3.2

      Just watching now.

      Did Greenwald/Snowden say that the mass collection was being done by the GCSB (as opposed to the NSA)? Key seems to be saying that they aren’t doing that, but that doesn’t mean the NSA isn’t. Or is he suggesting that he is privy to what the US intelligences services do?

      • weka 3.2.1

        “GCSB doesn’t have the physical capability to do that” (mass surveillance). Well duh, isn’t that the point of being part of the Five Eyes?

        • Tracey 3.2.1.1

          and the other point of being part of 5 eyes is to share… but apparently we are neither capable or sharing…. could sum up the national party of course, but is a lie about our secret services (IMO)…

  4. NZJon 4

    Bunji,

    Can you provide any URLs for the places where Key said the following bits:

    But we’ve had a Prime Minister going from “there’s no mass surveillance” to “we made a business case, but I stopped it” to “yes we did tap into the Southern Cross cable, but we didn’t do anything once we’d done that” to “we implemented something narrower” (along with “we didn’t go for the full version because we couldn’t store it all”!)… and now we have Sir Bruce Ferguson describing XKeyScore and saying – essentially – we do hoover up the information, but we don’t look at it without a warrant.

    I’m just really interested to hear these bits… 🙂

    Jon

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1

      Bit o’ basic searching is your friend.

      This one’s for free.

    • Tracey 4.2

      Hi Jon

      Take a close read of the documents that Key released yesterday. I think you will see that it doesn’t answer the core question of whether kiwis have been mass spied upon and their data mass collected in the past, or today.

      No mention in Key’s documents of Operation Spearhead or X-KEYSCORE, yet today he is claiming he proved he was right yesterday.

      • Local Kiwi 4.2.1

        “Take a close read of the documents that Key released yesterday. I think you will see that it doesn’t answer the core question of whether kiwis have been mass spied upon and their data mass collected in the past, or today.

        No mention in Key’s documents of Operation Spearhead or X-KEYSCORE, yet today he is claiming he proved he was right yesterday.”

        Where the hell is the Investigative journalism to go over these documents as no one has yet mentioned this?

        Talk about a corrupt press and media are we taken over by mafia here in NZ? Corruption corruption everywhere.

  5. exitlane 5

    “Sir Bruce Ferguson describing XKeyScore and saying – essentially – we do hoover up the information, but we don’t look at it without a warrant.”

    That may or may not have been the case under his watch which ended in 2011, but as this NZ Herald column by lawyer Denis Tegg points out – all this changed under the 2013 GCSB Act. Loopholes were deliberately placed in the Act to allow warrant-less surveillance of New Zealanders.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11308965

    And as Greenwald pointed out, Phase 2 of Operation Speargun for accessing the Southern Cross cable and carrying out mass surveillance – relied on that Act being passed – complete with its convenient and cynically placed loopholes

    • Tracey 5.1

      Stop doing an analysis, there is no room for analysis in this country. You, sir/m’am are a traitor

  6. Tracey 6

    IF Key said

    ““yes we did tap into the Southern Cross cable, but we didn’t do anything once we’d done that””

    how is that reconciled with

    “Earlier, the Prime Minister acknowledged that project did involve putting “a probe” across the Southern Cross cable but he said the probe was never used.”

    Is key saying the probe was put in but never used or the probe was never put in”?

    Then we have the twisting of the issue by Key and others to the issue of the GCSB doing stuff that is legal and therefore ok…


    US spies have two bases in New Zealand: Snowden

    By Adam Bennett, Rebecca Quilliam, Derek Cheng
    8:22 AM Tuesday Sep 16, 2014

    Bill Arkin, a US national security analyst, said he believed XKeyscore was being used in New Zealand, but that didn’t mean it was illegal surveillance.

    “Using XKeyscore and being a member of this [Five Eyes] partnership and being engaged in the collection of what is called raw, unselected, bulk traffic does not necessarily mean to me that people in New Zealand are illegally being surveilled,” he told Newstalk ZB radio this morning.

    Snowden had “very ably demonstrated” that mass collection of information was capable, but Mr Arkin said he was “still agnostic on the question as to whether or not innocent people are being surveilled”.

    “What I see is just a collection system that is out of control and I’m not quite sure at this point that there’s any evidence that indicates that a normal New Zealander who is not engaged in terrorism, crime, or some other illegality, that their communications would ever be looked at,” he said.”

    Then Mr Briscoe

    “The cables, which link New Zealand to Australia, the Pacific and the United States, are untouched, Mr Briscoe noted.

    “I can tell you quite categorically there is no facility by the NSA, the GCSB or anyone else on the Southern Cross cable network.”

    “Let’s be quite blunt. To do this, we would have to take the cable out of service and I can assure you there’s no way we are going to do that.

    “It is a physical impossibility to do it without us knowing. There is just no way it can be done. I can give you absolute assurances from Southern Cross – and me as a Kiwi – that there are no sites anywhere on the Southern Cross network that have to do with interception or anything else the NSA or GCSB might want to do.””

    • Tom Gould 6.1

      It’s the exact same ‘rolling maul’ as with Collins and Oravida, dripping out a bit of information as you get caught out in the last lie. Remember ‘dropping in for a cuppa on the way to the airport’?

      • Tracey 6.1.1

        had to edit my post above due to it putting in more than I wanted in my copy and paste…

        yWhich is why we need, butnever get, a journalist doing a timeline of John key’s statement son this… when you see them following in chronological order you see the lies and the flip flopping and the bamboozling and the light shows he accuses others of.

        A chronology of his statements would be so easy to do and yet, no MSM person is doing it…

    • weka 6.2

      Tracey, can you please link to the things you are cuting and pasting from? It makes it so much easier to understand what you and others are saying to be able to see it on context.

      For instance, the first part of your comment 6, I can’t tell what is actual quote of Key and what is speculation. Nor do I know where that came from (which all things considered is important).

    • Bill 6.3

      “Let’s be quite blunt. To do this, we would have to take the cable out of service and I can assure you there’s no way we are going to do that.

      Except the cable suffered a supposed catastrophic failure, and so was out of service, apparently due to an “unauthorised and un-notified software change” in Sept 2012. Oh well.

      (See comment 14 for link)

  7. Tracey 7

    Conbfidant from media coverage this morning that he has managed to fudge the press and NZers, Key now swings into his “Greenwald and Snowden should prove it” mode.

    Anyone who has read the documents released by Key yesterday should know by now they do not prove that NZ is not involved in mass surveillance…

    They raise more questions than they answer…

    It seems NZ is the only nation which has been able to prevent its cables being tapped… its people being surveilled. Canada, UK, Australia… all succumbed but not Mr key, that champion of independence from the USA

    • Rich 7.1

      Love that last bit of sarc. Thoroughly deseverd target.

    • Bill 7.2

      If I put up pretty convincing or damning evidence that points to you being a sheep shagger, it’s up to you to explain or demonstrably refute the evidence in order to convince me that, no, you’re not a sheep shagger.

      It isn’t up to me to somehow shove your feet back into the muddy gumboots and have you retrace your steps to the arse end of your last sheep, is it?

      And yet, it appears that’s the farce JK would have us engage in.

  8. Rich 8

    Yes and it’s pretty obvious that Key himself thinks this is a lolly jar he can stick his hand in anytime. Some of his comments to journalists before this blew were along the lines of “I know what you write in your emails’.

    • emergency mike 8.1

      Yep a moment in that infamous 20min standup he did straight after Dirty Politics was released stuck with me. Key said (from memory) “Probably if we looked at your emails they might be a bit rough Patrick Gower.” He delivered it with a nasty lingering grimace/stare and the recipient. That and the stating of Gower’s full name like that…

      • Local Kiwi 8.1.1

        Same for me when I felt a shiver down my spine when key had a strong threatening glare at Labour cross benches late July in Debate and said;
        “I have a draw full of dirt and if you want me to use it I am happy to”…. The shock resounded around parliamentary chamber then.

  9. Iron Sky 9

    Qutoe from “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold:

    “Alec Leamas: What the hell do you think spies are? Moral philosophers measuring everything they do against the word of God or Karl Marx? They’re not! They’re just a bunch of seedy, squalid bastards like me: little men, drunkards, queers, hen-pecked husbands, civil servants playing cowboys and Indians to brighten their rotten little lives. Do you think they sit like monks in a cell, balancing right against wrong?”

    The illustration here, is that they are just human to. Like the rest of us a ragtag mob of good, bad and in-between.

    The problem, however, is here:
    “What the hell do you think spies are? Moral philosophers measuring everything they do against the word of God or Karl Marx? They’re not!”

    I suspect a certain number have morals, do philosophize etc, however, in general are they just high functionalised trained attack dogs with too much power and not enough thinking. Thats what the HR vetting process is about. Because if you think too much, those wheels doth maketh crazy and suddenly black and white fades to grey.

    Note how on the News Oceania Gold is now suing El Salvador for $301 million

    Note how also the TPP was mentioned in The Moment of Truth with the majority of MSM overlooking this point (even RNZ)

    I apologize to the “spies” that are enabling this to happen in NZ to, but I have to say this.

    With your high intelligence, your disciplined life styles, well groomed clothes, deep pockets, loyalty to your master, EQs, the veneer of diplomacy hidden by a confident walk and softly spoken but authoritative words coupled with designer clothes

    I give you a white feather.

    • Tracey 9.1

      which is why Snowden is a hero. And rare

    • Local Kiwi 9.2

      MSM never mentioned at all questions raised over TPPA revelations that were released last night at “Moment of truth’.

      So because the media failed to raise this vital issue they will be afterward be held to account for their crimes as a complicit partner in the crime that is lose our sovereignty to a few corporate global elitists who will control us all after TPPA takes us.

      This is a taking over of countries without a shot fired.

      Key is a traitor to all New Zealanders.

  10. One Anonymous Bloke 10

    Q. “Does the NSA have a base here?”

    A. “we don’t operate a base with NSA”

    That’s a yes, then.

    • Tracey 10.1

      it has a facility though…

      and then we cut to this tried and true measure of John Key

      Do you promise to answer questions even if journalists forget to ask them?

      JOHN KEY: I will do my best

  11. politikiwi 11

    The smoke and mirrors here are important: Key said “the GCSB has not illegally spied on New Zealanders.”

    That leaves the door wide open for another agency (NSA etc) to have spied on New Zealanders, and for the GCSB to know about it.

    It also leaves the door wide open for saying the GCSB have legally spied on New Zealanders, as they are allowed to do under the 2013 law.

    He’s extremely good at grey areas is John Key, and the media are shamefully bad at pointing that out.

    • Tracey 11.1

      it also leaves open the interpretation that under the new legislation he misleadingly rammed through, it is legal, or arguable that it is legal.

      • politikiwi 11.1.1

        Precisely.

        That’s the law they were waiting for before deploying the probes they considered but never planned. I mean, they planned but they never installed. I mean, they installed but they never used…

    • tricledrown 11.2

      so the GSCB didn’t spy on Dotcom didn’t need a warrant which John Key would have to have signed off!

  12. tricledrown 12

    their maybe some NSA operatives but their is no base well hello!
    Do they need a Base they can rely on the GSCB and the SIS along with 5 Eyes
    Key is saying yes no yes no yes no but at the end of the day in the end you know its a left wing conspiracy to hijack my knighthood,
    Keys hoodwinking as many people as he can con!

  13. just saying 13

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/entertainment/news/article.cfm?c_id=1501119&objectid=11

    Another slip

    Eminem is suing National for breach of copyright for using his song “lose yourself’ for their campaign.

    Beautiful, symmetrical even.

    • Tracey 13.1

      So that is twice the National party has flouted copyright laws and used a song that is remarkably similar to an International hit…

      Three strikes rule on copyright…. do we really have to wait for the next election to Act

  14. riffer 14

    This link is starting to appear all over facebook. Timing is interesting:

    http://www.zdnet.com/southern-cross-cable-hit-by-an-outage-7000007153/

    • tc 14.1

      “unauthorised and un-notified software change” and connecting the dots Pacific Fibre cable didn’t get too far given it’s well heeled backers and the need for diversity should stn cross fail.

    • Bill 14.2

      The 9th of Sept 2012 potentially dovetails with shit how closely? (Sorry to ask. Just too much flying around my head at the moment.) S’okay, found it. From ‘The Intercept’ article

      One top secret 2012 NSA document states: “Project Speargun underway.” Another top secret NSA document discussing the activities of its surveillance partners reports, under the heading “New Zealand,” that “Partner cable access program achieves Phase I.”

      and

      completion of Speargun was “awaiting new GCSB Act expected July 2013.”

      While the illegality of GCSB spying on Dotcom and others was apparently ‘discovered’ or ‘realised’ (or we were told about said ‘realisation’) in …Sept 2012.

      • emergency mike 14.2.1

        The zdnet article says November 9, 2012.

      • One Anonymous Bloke 14.2.2

        Using a Speargun to catch a big fish. Hollywood script much? Creative fingerprints all over this shit.

        When in the fuckety fuck did civil disputes about distribution paradigms become the purview of Military Intelligence?

        Around about the time Congress sold itself, or long before that?

  15. Tracey 15

    Cant be relevant cos CEO Briscoe would know about it… if NSA were tapping his probe… 😉

  16. dave 16

    The bastard has to resign

  17. Penny Bright 17

    Seeking TRUTH from FACTS – FYI
    _____________________________________________________________________________________

    16 September 2014

    ‘Open Letter/ OIA request to NZ Prime Minister John Key regarding questions arising from the Edward Snowden GCSB/ NSA ‘revelations’

    Dear Prime Minister,

    Under the ‘urgency’ and ‘public interest’ provisions of the NZ Official Information Act, please provide answers to the following by 5pm Thursday 18 September 2014:

    Please provide the following information that explains:

    1) Why did you inform the public that the GCSB Amendment Bill would not lead to an expansion of powers when at the same time you were planning the Speargun mass surveillance initiative?

    2) Why was phase one of the Speargun project completed if it was, as you have claimed, something that never made it past the “business case”?

    3) Why New Zealanders were not informed about the Cortex project until the NZ Government’s hand was forced by disclosures based on documents from Snowden?

    4) How much data is collected on a daily basis by GCSB under the Cortex project, and how does the agency ensure this data does not “incidentally” include the content or metadata of citizens’ communications?

    5) What technology is this, referred to in the Cortex documents, that “has been around for some time”?

    6) Is any information collected by GCSB under Cortex — or any other program that accesses internet data — shared with the NSA and/or other Five Eyes agencies through systems such as XKEYSCORE?

    7) Does GCSB have access to XKEYSCORE and, if so, for how long has this been the case?

    8) Does GCSB use its access to internet data streams — under initiatives like Cortex or similar — to launch active/offensive cyber operations that involve hacking computer systems to collect information?

    9) When will you declassify documents detailing the Speargun project and showing that it was not completed?

    _________________________________________________________

    Please be advised that I have based this OIA request upon information contained in the following article:

    “THE QUESTIONS FOR NEW ZEALAND ON MASS SURVEILLANCE”

    https://firstlook.org/theintercept/2014/09/15/questions-new-zealand-mass-surveillance/

    I believe that these are fair questions to which the New Zealander voting public need true and accurate answers.

    Yours sincerely,

    Penny Bright

  18. Inky 18

    The Guardian:

    Greenwald, Dotcom, Snowden and
    Assange take on ‘adolescent’ John Key

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/sep/15/moment-truth-greenwald-dotcom-snowden-assange-new-zealand-john-key

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 hours 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
    22 hours 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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 ...
    1 day 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
    2 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
    2 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    2 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    3 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    3 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    3 days ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    4 days 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
    4 days ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days 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 ...
    4 days 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
    4 days 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
    5 days ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    5 days ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    6 days ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    6 days ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    6 days ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    7 days ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    1 week ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • Hammering home measures to stop COVID-19
    COVID-19 has plunged Aotearoa New Zealand (indeed, the world) into territory that, while maybe not totally unprecedented, certainly hasn’t been seen during the lifetimes of most of us here today. Our borders are closed to non-citizens, we’re being told not to gather in groups of more than 500 outside/100 inside, ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    1 week ago
  • What does ‘level two’ mean – and why does it matter?
    For the last few weeks, I’ve been urging you to prepare yourself, your family, business, and community for Covid-19. Now it’s time for real action.  Yesterday the director-general of health Dr Ashley Bloomfield announced another 13 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand, bringing our total to date to 52. ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #12
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 15, 2020 through Sat, Mar 21, 2020 Editor's Pick Now Isn’t the Time to Forget About Our Climate Change Efforts   Tasha Tilberg, Lindsey Wixson, and Liu Wen photographed ...
    1 week ago
  • Is the Guardian becoming  a real newspaper again?
    by Jan Rivers The article has been corrected to show that it was Ewen MacAskill, former Guardian journalist and not Luke Harding who travelled to meet Edward Snowden with journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras.  Some of the Guardian’s well-known journalists who did not sign the protest letter are ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Life asserts itself regardless
    by Cultural Worker Late March 2020 amidst the virus. With gigs crashing and burning all around it was without much hope that I called a long standing rest home booking: “ Hi, I’m supposed to be entertaining at your place this afternoon – is it still on?” “”If you don’t ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Politics, the possible, and the pandemic
    Whenever people demand real change from their politicians, we're told that "politics is the art of the possible". The implication is that change isn't possible, so we'd better just get used to the sucky status quo. But now that there's a pandemic, a lot of things we were previously told ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The Only Way Through This Crisis Is Together.
    Together: In leading New Zealand through the Covid-19 Pandemic, the Prime Minister could do a lot worse than allow herself to be guided by the spirit of collective sacrifice and co-operation that animated the New Zealanders of 80 years ago. Most Kiwis alive today have had no opportunity to prove their ...
    1 week ago
  • GFC vs Covid-19
    It is said that generals fight the last war. In the case of the early stages of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) they had learned from the Great Depression of the 1930s and they fought intelligently and successfully. Later their advice would be ignored in favour of the Austerians who ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • Nobody Left Behind.
    Solidarity Forever: All over the world, the arrival of the Covid-19 virus has exposed the fragility of the walls we erect around ourselves and our loved ones. It has shattered our illusions of autonomy and revealed to us how utterly dependent we all are on other human-beings. Finally, we see ...
    1 week ago
  • Rebuilding a truly “Democratic” counter, or a “moderate Republican” bolt-hol...
    Looking across the various arguments for/against the leading candidates to take the Democratic Nomination, you might honestly be very hard pressed to tell. There are a number of things that have now started happening since Amy Klobuchar and “Mayor Pete” Buttigieg both threw the towel in and immediately (and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Abortion law reform a win for women
    by Daphna Whitmore Abortion is no longer in the Crimes Act in New Zealand. The law reform passed yesterday and now abortion is a medical matter between a woman and her doctor. Many women’s groups and progressive people have campaigned for reform for decades. The women’s liberation movement and some ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • How to spot bogus science stories and read the news like a scientist
    Doug Specht, University of Westminster and Julio Gimenez, University of Westminster When fake news, misreporting and alternative facts are everywhere, reading the news can be a challenge. Not only is there plenty of misinformation about the coronavirus pandemic, climate change and other scientific topics floating around social media, you also ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why New Zealand needs to continue decisive action to contain coronavirus
    Michael Baker, University of Otago and Nick Wilson, University of Otago With some of the toughest border restrictions and a newly-announced NZ$500 million boost to health services, New Zealand is among a small number of countries with a strategy to contain the COVID-19 pandemic. New Zealand is also fortunate in ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Parliament and the pandemic II
    As expected, the government has introduced a sessional order to allow Parliament to operate during the pandemic. You can read it on the Order Paper here, but the short version is that questions and motions can be filed electronicly, select committees can work remotely, and the the Business Committee can ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When a virus goes viral: pros and cons to the coronavirus spread on social media
    Axel Bruns, Queensland University of Technology; Daniel Angus, Queensland University of Technology; Timothy Graham, Queensland University of Technology, and Tobias R. Keller, Queensland University of Technology News and views about coronavirus has spread via social media in a way that no health emergency has done before. Platforms like Twitter, Facebook, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • How to survive 14 days of self-isolation
    So you’ve recently returned from overseas, come into contact with someone who tested positive, got a bit of a dry cough yourself or perhaps just want to self isolate for 14 days to avoid other people who might have COVID-19. Here are a few tips and tricks to help get ...
    1 week ago
  • Abortion Legislation Bill passes third reading
    Some fave speeches:     ...
    Boots TheoryBy Stephanie Rodgers
    1 week ago
  • Why Leadership Matters – More Than Anything.
    Our Good Fortune: Precisely because she has never been an ideologue (she calls herself a “pragmatic idealist”) Jacinda Ardern has a political nimbleness and spontaneity which, when infused with her exceptional emotional intelligence, produces spectacular demonstrations of leadership. Jacinda's empathic political personality contrasts sharply with the less-than-sunny ways of her ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #11, 2020
    1 week ago
  • 68-51
    The Abortion Legislation Bill has just passed its third reading, 68-51. NZ First MPs bailed because their referendum amendment didn't pass, but there were plenty of MPs to provide a majority without them. The bill is a long way from perfect - most significantly, it subjects pregnant people who need ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The ‘herd immunity’ route to fighting coronavirus is unethical and potentially dangerous
    As most of the world tries to suppress the coronavirus spread, some countries are going it alone – trying to manage the pandemic through so-called “herd immunity”. Herd immunity means letting a large number of people catch a disease, and hence develop immunity to it, to stop the virus spreading. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Eight new COVID-19 cases today. It’s no surprise when you look at some numbers
    So, as I sit at home with a very, very slight headache (i.e. not at work when I would otherwise be so), the now familiar figure of Ashley Bloomfield reports eight new confirmed cases of COVID-19  including two in Waikato. A surprise, given that we had just twelve yesterday? No. ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • The WINZ Paradox versus the new COVID-19 Reality: Get real people, seriously…
    Many who advocated for, and voted for, the current Coalition – particularly those who voted Labour and the Green Party – expected to see a sea change in the reality of social services. A real, deep change of attitude, approach of process through which the system negotiates the difficult and ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • The Air New Zealand bailout
    Stuff reports that the government is going to have to throw $2 - 3 billion at Air new Zealand to get it through the pandemic. Good. While international routes are basicly closed, Air New Zealand is a strategic asset which is vital to our tourism industry, not to mentioning airfreight. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Why NZ’s tough coronavirus travel rules are crucial to protecting lives at home and across the Pac...
    New Zealand’s border restrictions will come with significant job and business losses in the tourism sector, both at home and in the Pacific. But the new travel rules are absolutely necessary to protect the health of New Zealanders and people right across Pacific Islands, because New Zealand is a gateway ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • The tiniest of teeth
    Back in early 2018, as a shoddy legal tactic to try and avoid the prisoner voting ban being formally declared inconsistent with the BORA by the Supreme Court, Justice Minister Andrew Little floated the idea of greater legal protection for human rights. When the Supreme Court case didn't go the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • One simple, common factor to success against COVID-19
    Professor Philip Hill and Associate Professor James Ussher Most infectious diseases have an Achilles heel, the secret is to find it. The question is if we don’t have a drug or a vaccine for COVID-19, is there something else we can do to beat it? Some people estimate that, without ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • National should isolate Simon Bridges
    The Coalition Governments $12.1 billion economic package to help combat the financial effects of COVID-19 was generally well received across the board, even amongst many business leaders who would normally be critical of a Labour led Government.However there was one glaringly obvious exception, Simon Bridges. The so-called leader of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • How testing for Covid-19 works
    With confirmed cases of Covid-19 in New Zealand up to 12, many influential people are writing open letters and opinion pieces and doing press conferences asking why we aren’t pulling out all the stops and testing thousands of people a day like they are in South Korea. The thing is, ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    2 weeks ago
  • The COVID-19 package and the limits of capitalism
    by Daphna Whitmore The willingness to put human life before business shows that sometimes capitalism is capable of suspending its relentless drive for profit. For a short time it can behave differently. Flatten the curve is the public health message since COVID-19 suddenly overwhelmed the hospital system in northern Italy. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • Black April, May and June?
    Worldwide, the 1918 influenza epidemic – wrongly called ‘Spanish’ flu – lasted about two years. However, it lasted about six weeks in New Zealand (remembered as ‘Black November’, because the dead turned a purplish-black). It is thought about 7000 Pakeha died and 2,500 Maori. The population mortality rate was about ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    2 weeks ago
  • COVID 19 has struck… as has a lot of terrible ineptitude from far too many
    In a world and a time when the worst off and most vulnerable have been asked, time and again, to foot the bill for the complete subjugating to the will of the 1% thanks to the GFC, at a point where the world as a whole is now seeing quite ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    2 weeks ago
  • What’s in the Coronavirus Package?
    With the economy already reeling from a crisis that’s barely begun, the Government today sought to provide reassurance to workers and businesses in the form of a massive phallic pun to insert much-needed cash into the private sector and help fight the looming pandemic. Here are the key components: $5.1 ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • I just had my benefit suspended during a fucking pandemic
    I am a member of the working poor and so still need state welfare to make rent. So I had booked an appointment for yesterday with my caseworker at Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) to apply for a transition to work grant. However the current health advice in New ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    2 weeks 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
    1 day 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
    1 day 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
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
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    4 days ago
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    4 days ago
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    4 days ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
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    4 days ago
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    4 days ago
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    4 days ago
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    4 days ago
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    4 days ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
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    5 days ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
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    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
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    6 days ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
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    6 days ago
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    6 days ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
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    1 week ago
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    1 week ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
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    1 week ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
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    1 week ago
  • PM Address – Covid-19 Update
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    1 week ago
  • NZ and Singapore commit to keeping supply and trade links open, including on essential goods and med...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Ministerial Statement by Singapore and New Zealand -Covid-19 situation
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  • Transit between Australia and New Zealand
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    1 week ago
  • $100 million to redeploy workers
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    1 week ago
  • More support for wood processing
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    1 week ago
  • Govt steps in to protect Air New Zealand
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    1 week ago
  • Stronger border measures to protect NZers from COVID-19
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    1 week ago
  • Action on indoor gatherings and events to protect public health
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    1 week ago
  • New Zealanders advised not to travel overseas
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    1 week ago
  • Govt announces aviation relief package
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    1 week ago