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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

  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    24 mins ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    49 mins ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 hours ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    7 hours ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    8 hours ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    9 hours ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    11 hours ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    12 hours ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    14 hours ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 day ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    1 day ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    1 day ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 days ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 days ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 days ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    3 days ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    3 days ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    3 days ago
  • Out of the past – Tories to revive racist laws from the 16th century
    Did you know there once was a time when it was illegal to be a gypsy (aka Romani) in Britain?That was between 1530, when the Egyptians Act was passed, and 1856, when it was repealed.Amongst other things, the act forbade the entry of 'Egyptians' into England, ordered those already there ...
    4 days ago
  • 1000 of these now
    Some days I sit and think, “what will I write…?” What do you say when you get to 1000 posts? Maybe you just start where you are, diverge to where this all began, then offer a collection of reader’s favourite posts, and a few of your own? (And throw in ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    4 days ago
  • Has Shane Jones Just Saved NZ First?
    Counter-Puncher: The “activists” and “radicals” (his own words) from the Indian community who took such strong exception to Shane Jones’ remarks about Immigration NZ’s treatment of arranged marriages, may end up bitterly regretting their intervention. Jones is not the sort of person who turns the other cheek to his critics.SHANE ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: As predicted
    Yesterday, when National voted for the Zero Carbon Bill, I predicted they'd gut it the moment they regained power, just as they had done to the ETS. And indeed, they have explicitly promised to do exactly that within their first hundred days in office. What would their amendments do? Abandon ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Let this never be forgot
    In the spirit of Remember, remember the fifth of November, let's keep this in mind FOREVER.
    Oh dear. Extraordinary interview on PM with Andrew Bridgen and @EvanHD just now. Bridgen was defending Jacob Rees Mogg’s Grenfell comments. Evan asked him if JRM had meant to say he would have left ...
    5 days ago
  • Too Late To Change Capitalism’s Flightpath?
    Collision Course? In conditions of ideological white-out, the international bankers’ “Woop-Woop! Pull Up!” warning may have come too late to save global capitalism.WHAT DOES IT MEAN when international bankers are more willing to embrace radical solutions than our politicians and their electors? At both the International Monetary Fund and the ...
    5 days ago
  • Whooping cough vaccine works well despite its imperfections
    Pertussis (whooping cough) is a conundrum. It is a disease that was described hundreds of years ago and the bacteria that causes it (Bordetella pertussis) isolated in 1906. We have had vaccines for about 80 years but this disease is defiant in the face of human immunity. I wanted to ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Passed
    The Zero Carbon Bill has just passed its third reading, uanimously. In the end, National supported it - but we all know they'll turn around and gut it the moment they regain power. Meanwhile, I guess ACT's David Seymour didn't even bother to show up. I am on record as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Retailing of vaping products – New NZ Research
    Dr Lindsay Robertson, Dr Jerram Bateman, Professor Janet Hoek Members of the public health community hold divergent views on how access to vaping products or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS) products should be arranged. Some believe ENDS should be as widely available as smoked tobacco and argue for liberal ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    5 days ago
  • Justice for Bomber
    When the Police were trying to cover up for the National Party over Dirty Politics, they went all-in with their abuses of power. They illegally search Nicky Hager's house, violating his journalistic privilege and invading his privacy. They unlawfully acquired Hager's bank records. They did the same to left-wing blogger ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Britain’s climate tyranny was unlawful
    Last month, in response to a wave of protests by Extinction Rebellion, the British government purported to ban their protests from the whole of London. It was a significant interference with the freedoms of expression and assembly, and another sign of the country's decline into tyranny. But now, a court ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • More crime from the spies
    Last year, the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security reported on significant problems with the intelligence warrant system. While they were unwilling to declare any warrant "irregular" (meaning unlawful) due to the recent law change, they were also not willing to give the system a clean bill of health. Now, they've ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Vaccination, compulsion, and paternalism for the lower orders
    The National Party has come out in support of encouraging greater vaccination uptake. But it sure isn’t the way I’d do it. National’s suggested docking the benefits of those on benefit whose kids aren’t keeping up with their vaccinations. Some in National have suggested extending that to payments under Working ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    5 days ago
  • Global Protests Rage On: But Slogans Are Not Plans.
    Feeding The Flames: It is simply not enough to demand an end to “corruption”, or “inequality”, or the overbearing influence of the authorities in Beijing. These are just “lowest common denominator” demands: the sort of slogans that pull people onto the streets. They are not a plan.WHERE’S THE PLAN? Across ...
    5 days ago
  • 11,000 employed under Labour
    The labour market statistics have been released, and unemployment has risen to 4.2%. There are 115,000 unemployed - 11,000 fewer than when Labour took office. In that time the minimum wage has gone up by $2 an hour, which shows that the right's fears about increases causing unemployment are simply ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Boycott this democratic fraud
    The Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee has called for submissions on Andrew Little's tyrannical Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill. Normally I encourage participation in the democratic process. I am not doing so in this case. Instead, I encourage all of you to boycott this submissions process, and to post ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Why Mars is cold despite an atmosphere of mostly carbon dioxide
    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 If tiny concentrations of carbon dioxide can hold enough heat ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Ban private jets
    Aviation is one of the fastest growing sources of greenhouse gas emissions, and within it, one of the fastest sources is elite travel: billionaires flitting around the world in their private jets, spewing excessive pollution into the atmosphere just so they can avoid mixing with us dirty peasants. But in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Untold Suffering
    That's what we face if we don't stop climate change, according to a warning from 11,000 scientists:The world’s people face “untold suffering due to the climate crisis” unless there are major transformations to global society, according to a stark warning from more than 11,000 scientists. “We declare clearly and unequivocally ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • The left and violent misogyny
    by Phil Duncan Here’s just a few of the kind of threats issued day in and day out against gender-critical women – feminists, marxists, etc – overwhelmingly by MEN (albeit men identifying as women). “Kill all Terfs”. “Shoot a Terf today”. “All terfs deserve to be shot in the head”. ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Imperialism and the iPhone
    This is the third of the synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016). The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Unlike the humble cup of coffee and t-shirt that we looked at in ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • The freshwater mussel housing crisis: eviction by invasive weeds?
    Tom Moore Traditionally a food source and cutting tool, freshwater mussels/kākahi are now widely valued as water filters that help clean our waterbodies and maintain ecosystem health throughout Aotearoa. The improvement they provide in water quality can make it easier for other animals to live in streams and rivers, as ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Back it up Luxon: endorsing the destructive past is not actually the way forward
    And to think he gave all the potential goodwill away with that moronic, cult-like statement (repeated ad nauseam by many National hardliners) that Key is quite simply “the greatest PM we ever had”… Installation complete: this was nothing ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Good riddance
    National MP and former Conservation Minister Maggie Barry will not seek re-election next year. Good riddance. Because in case anyone has forgotten, barry is a bullying thug who terrorised both public servants and fellow MPs. She is one of the people who makes Parliament a toxic workplace, and our country ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: D-Day
    The Zero Carbon Bill is back in the House today for its second reading. While this isn't the final stage, its still effectively D-Day for the bill. Because today, at around 5pm, is when we're going to find out if it has a majority, whether National will support it or ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Winston is right
    Winston Peters is in court today, suing a bunch of former Minister and civil servants over their pre-election leak of his superannuation repayment. He's characterised the leak as malicious, and said that it is repugnant that his information was passed on to Ministers to use for political advantage. And he's ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Media impartiality
    Sky's economics editor, Ed Conway has posted a Twitter thread responding to a claim that - as far as I can see - Labour never made:
    Are NHS operation cancellations at an all-time high? That's the impression you might have been left with if you read this story from the ...
    1 week ago
  • Finish what’s on your plate
    Murray Cox Do I have to finish my favourite genome? That’s an often-asked question. Geneticists generally strive to produce high-quality genomes that sequence every last gene, making full use of the state-of-the-art technologies coming on stream. Sequencing DNA means determining the order of the four chemical building blocks – called ...
    SciBlogsBy Genomics Aotearoa
    1 week ago
  • Gainful Employment: A Cautionary Tale.
    Transformative Politics: The idea is to turn each recipient into an unwitting accomplice in their own transformation. From interested observer to hyped-up activist, sharing our messages promiscuously with ‘friends’. You’ll be part of an ever-expanding circulatory system, Jennifer, for the ideas that will win us the election.”JENNIFER SKITTERED her chair ...
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand should not fund bigotry
    Two years ago, the Cook Islands government announced that it was planning to join the civilised world and decriminalise consensual homosexual sex between men. Now, they've reversed their position, and decided to criminalise lesbians into the bargain:Two years ago, in a step welcomed by many people including the gay and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • More tyranny in Australia
    The boycott is a fundamental tool of protest. By choosing who we buy from, we can send a message, and hopefully change corporate behaviour. Historically, boycotts have been effective, for example over apartheid in South Africa and Israel, in forcing divestment from Myanmar, and in ending bus segregation in the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Submission for rationality and science against the assaults of pre-modernism and post-modernism
    Jan Rivers spoke at the Abortion Legislation Select Committee in favour of the bill, but in opposition to calls from other submitters to exchange the word ‘woman’ for ‘person’ throughout the bill. Jan is a supporter of the feminist group Speak Up For Women and has recently written an excellent ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • My loyal readership of … Cam girls and Pornbots?
    I checked my traffic stats:I was intrigued by 'monica29' - who was this very dedicated individual?  I clicked on the link, to be greeted with ...Ho, hum.Spreadin' the word, spreadin' the word.  Doesn't matter who hears it, as long as it gets out there. ...
    1 week ago
  • Worth repeating forever
    There have been three polls since the election was announced, and I will shamelessly steal YouGov / UK Polling Report's Anthony Wells' summary of them:Survation – CON 34%, LAB 26%, LDEM 19%, BREX 12%, GRN 1% Ipsos MORI – CON 41%, LAB 24%, LDEM 20%, BREX 7%, GRN 3% YouGov ...
    1 week ago
  • Lutte Ouvriere on the explosion in Chile
    The following article is translated from Lutte Ouvrière, the weekly newspaper of the organisation usually known by the same name in France. When, for the second time this year, Chilean President Piñera announced an increase in the price of Metro tickets from 800 to 830 pesos, students in the high ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Wage theft – I’m fucking over it.
    Today, a worker contacted me asking if she could go to the police over her employer stealing thousands of dollars from her in unpaid wages. The employer also did not pay this worker’s taxes or student loan which amounts to tax fraud. As a workers rights activist, who founded the ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • On The Rebound.
    Signed, Sealed, Delivered, They're Yours: Is there any person more vulnerable than a jilted lover on the rebound? Or, anything more certain than that the charmer, the predator, the glib spinner of lies and promises will seek such broken people out? Yes, of course, he will love every one of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Rabbi urges congregation to vote against Corbyn
    Though Jonathan Romain is a fairly high profile Rabbi, writing in several papers and popping up on TV and the radio, this story doesn't seem to have made it to the Guardian yet, so I'll take the unusual step of linking the Stephen Pollard edited Jewish Chronicle:Rabbi Dr Jonathan Romain ...
    2 weeks ago
  • My absurdly optimistic prediction
    There's an election afoot, and that is when noted opinion formers such as myself get to make wild fools of ourselves by pretending we have the faintest idea what will happen.So, here is my absurdly optimistic prediction:Labour - 285Conservative - 262SNP - 53Lib Dems - 20PC - 5Ireland - 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image Credit: Increase Social Media Traffic & Website Traffic I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A mountain of a challenge in banning glyphosate
    Belinda Cridge I was reading my son a story last night. A great tale of derring-do of five mountaineers scaling the Matterhorn for the first time. One in the party had tried six times previously and failed, this was the last attempt before winter closed another season. They tried a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • This government has a problem with secrecy
    As introduced, the Zero Carbon Bill included an expansive secrecy clause, which would have covered virtually all decisions by the Climate Change Commission over our most important policy area. The Ministry for the Environment admitted this was a mistake (or as they put it, an "oversight"), and the select committee ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A small New Zealand songbird that hides food for later use provides insights into cognitive evolutio...
    Rachael Shaw, Victoria University of Wellington When we think about animals storing food, the image that usually comes to mind is a squirrel busily hiding nuts for the winter. We don’t usually think of a small songbird taking down an enormous invertebrate, tearing it into pieces and hiding these titbits ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Referenda on Euthanasia – NZ First’s Victory – or a Major Miscalculation?
    . . NZ First’s success in putting the euthenasia bill to a public referenda may not be the victory they believe it to be. They may even have sounded the death-knell for a second Labour-NZ First-Green coalition. On 23 July this year, NZ First MP, Jenny Marcroft, submitted a Supplementary ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 weeks ago
  • Corbyn the Mighty vs BoJo the Clown
    Interesting contrasting pictures in the Guardian:Corbyn gets the classic positive shot - low angle and a clear background, making him look authoritative (of course, being Corbyn, he doesn't do authoritative very well).Where as Johnson gets pictured with children at some sort of mad-hatters' tea party:Begging the question, who is the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Public health, externality, and vaccination
    Paternalism is contentious. Arguments for state action to protect us from ourselves are fraught. I come down pretty heavily on the anti-paternalism side of the argument, but I’ve heard respectable defences of paternalism. But policy around vaccination is hardly paternalistic. There’s a clear market failure that could be pointed to ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • Happy Halloween
    Its Halloween, so its time for annual pumpkin trepanning and chocolate eating ritual. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Twenty thousand leagues under the sea
    I’ve been reading Jules Verne’s novel Twenty thousand leagues under the sea, considered as one of the very earliest science fiction stories. In brief, Monsieur Aronnax and a couple of sidekicks are taken prisoner by Captain Nemo and his mysterious crew and treated to an underwater voyage around the world ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Disclosing the risks
    The climate crisis is going to mean some pretty big changes in our country, both from its impacts and the policies required to address them. Most obviously, whole suburbs are going to be underwater by 2100, meaning people and businesses are going to have to relocate to higher ground. But ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • MPI fails again
    Yesterday a dairy company was fined $483,000 for repeatedly failing to report listeria in its facility. Its a serious fine for a serious crime: listeria is a serious disease, and they were effectively trying to kill people with it. But there's another story hidden in there, and its not a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Gay Men Address Gender Identity
    Gay men see the excesses of trans activism and are increasingly speaking out.  A new Facebook group addressing ‘gender identity’ and contemporary trans activism has been set up for gay men, by gay men. The following is the group’s Statement of Intent, Group Rules, and link to the group for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • National’s Going Gangbusters.
    Criminal Enterprises: Gangs are not welfare institutions. Nor are they a substitute for the family their members never had. They are ruthless, violent, criminal money-making machines. That is all.OKAY, first-things-first. Gangs exist for one purpose – and only one. They are a sure-fired, time-tested institution for making crime pay – ...
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    4 days ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    4 days ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    5 days ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: 2,000 teachers in two years
    We began the week by commemorating the New Zealand Wars and celebrating a major increase in the number of teachers. Then, we were busy supporting offenders into work and getting our rail back on track after years of underinvestment. And that's just the start! ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winning an election one conversation at a time
    In October I was sworn in as the Mayor of Lower Hutt. It’s the privilege of my life to serve Hutt people as their Mayor. There is something really special to be able to serve the community where I was raised, and where I live.   ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Closer cooperation with Korean horse racing industry
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters met with Korea Racing Authority Chairperson Nak Soon Kim in Seoul today to discuss closer cooperation between the New Zealand and Korean horse racing industries. As part of the visit to the Seoul Racecourse, Mr Peters witnessed ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Otago to lead digital creativity
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $10 million to establish Otago as the centre of New Zealand’s creative digital industry over the next ten years, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “The initiative will bring us closer to the vision of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Young Otago students encouraged to take on forestry careers
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF)’s skills and employment programme will help young Otago people into long-term forestry careers, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Ara Mahi will invest $63,000 in the 2020 school year to support eight 17 and 18 ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF backing Dunedin’s waterfront ambitions
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will support local plans to revitalise and stimulate economic development opportunities in Otago, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The four Regional Economic Development Ministers have approved an in-principle investment of $19.9 million towards the region’s ...
    2 weeks ago
  • M. Bovis eradication progress welcomed
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is pleased to have received the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) report on the Coalition Government’s Mycoplasma bovis eradication efforts, which shows significant progress in the fight against the disease. New Zealand First Spokesperson for Primary Industries, Mark Patterson, says the report’s findings ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF boosts Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sector
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Regional Economic Development Hon David Parker, Minister for Trade and Export Growth The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing to support economic growth opportunities for Otago’s engineering and manufacturing sectors, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones and Trade and Export Minister David Parker announced today. Almost $20 million ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Peters discusses Pacific challenges and denuclearisation in Seoul
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