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Snowden on US-NZ intelligence

Written By: - Date published: 9:51 pm, July 8th, 2013 - 87 comments
Categories: accountability, democracy under attack, john key, slippery, Spying, telecommunications, us politics - Tags:

This just up on Stuff, about Edward Snowden making links between US and NZ intelligence services, as well as between other “5 Eyes” participants.  The article, taken from The Sydney Morning Herald, begins:

United States whistleblower Edward Snowden has disclosed a link between New Zealand and US global surveillance, identifying the Waihopai spy base as a contributor to a key American intelligence collection programme.

Classified US National Security Agency maps leaked by Snowden and published by US journalist Glenn Greenwald in the Brazilian O Globo newspaper reveal the locations of dozens of US and allied signals intelligence collection sites that contribute to interception of telecommunications and internet traffic worldwide.

The New Zealand Government Security Communications Bureau facility at Waihopai near Blenheim contributes to the NSA’s collection programme codenamed X-Keyscore.

X-Keyscore! Ripe for puns about a big time gambler!

Today Bomber Bradbury highlighted a comment by Kim Dotcom in the last week, andspeculated that it may indicate Dotcom had been in contact with Snowden.  Bomber suggested that this was Dotcom’s source for the (alleged) evidence that Key had lied about having prior knowledge about Dotcom before the raid on his mansion.  Bradbury pointed out:

On Campbell Live last week, John asked Kim about Edward Snowden. Kim replied that he didn’t know Snowden personally and that he’d rather leave it at that with a large wry smile.

In the above linked Stuff article, there’s this bit:

Snowden also argued that the “Five eyes” partnerships are organised so that authorities in each country can “insulate their political leaders from the backlash” when it became public “how grievously they’re violating global privacy”.

So what evidence does Snowden have on such insulation, and is it as specific as Bradbury suggests?  However it plays out, there’s a lot more mileage in this issue yet.

87 comments on “Snowden on US-NZ intelligence”

  1. Bill 1

    Well, seeing as how echelon would allow NZ (say) to ask the US for any info it has on NZ citizens…and seeing as how all the info is collectively collected…. and so circumventing any laws disallowing spying on ones own nationals is a dawdle….

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 1.1

      So why did the GCSB break the law and spy on Kiwis?

      Is it that they thought the cops and SIS weren’t secure enough to handle the information (that the NSA/CIA/MI6/by-this-point-it-leaks-like-a-sieve-so-what-does-it-matter-who-else are doing it anyway)? Or that they weren’t important enough to need to know? Or because they thought they wouldn’t get caught in the act?

      Or are they just stupid and incompetent?

      • McFlock 1.1.1

        because the folk who wanted the data had no idea how to activate protocols implemented 30 years ago? But the spook at the embassy is real nice when he pops by to say how professional and smart they all are…

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.2

        You need to think about the model of intelligence collection now being led by the USA. Which is to be able to understand everything about the behaviours, interests, contacts and motivations of every single person in the world.

        So why did the GCSB break the law and spy on Kiwis?

        Given the above model of intelligence gathering, this question is irrelevant.

        The only relevant question is how seriously the USA respected the privileges that NZ has as a “2nd party” intelligence partner.

        • McFlock 1.1.2.1

          irrelevant from the US perspective, maybe.

          But a valid question as to what NZ gets in a supposedly “reciprocal” organisation. Especially considering the Rainbow Warrior. the wise oppressor throws some crumbs to their serfs – bread and circuses, etc.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.2.1.1

            The Rainbow Warrior occurred in a different era, when the geopolitics and technology of the world were immensely different. Further, it was not, except in a peripheral way, an attack against NZ.

            • McFlock 1.1.2.1.1.1

              [splutters coffee] you forgot the sarc tag?

              • Colonial Viper

                I’m serious. Don’t make the mistake of every armchair general – and most real ones. Making preparations to fight the last war.

                • felix

                  Fair ’nuff re:- last war.

                  But the bombing of the RW was most definitely an attack on NZ. It was an act of terrorism against a small nation who dared to take an independent stance in the face of the nuclear establishment.

                • McFlock

                  Oh well then, drone strikes aren’t attacks against the nations they occur in. /sarc

                • Colonial Viper

                  Oh well then, drone strikes aren’t attacks against the nations they occur in. /sarc

                  They are certainly an attack on the sovereignty and independence of those nations, particularly if they have not freely given the US authorisation to conduct the operations.

                  • McFlock

                    But sending in troops to carry out a similar strike is only an attack in “a peripheral way”.

            • AmaKiwi 1.1.2.1.1.2

              But the Rainbow Warrior is the ONLY terrorist attack to have taken place in NZ (and was by an allied government!)

              The Law Society criticized Key for giving no reasons to justify increasing GCSB’s powers. In the USA and UK they can only justify their Big Brother spying because of “the threat of terrorism.”

              So Key’s GCSB empowerment is NOT about national security. What is it about, Mr. Key? It’s about spying on you and me for commercial and political purposes.

              • Populuxe1

                Neil Roberts blowing himself up at the Whanganui Computer?

                • McFlock

                  Ernie Abbott being murdered.

                  • felix

                    The constant threat of another “Fly My Pretties”.

                  • Anne

                    Ernie Abbott

                    May 1984. The Wellington Trade Union building caretaker killed by a bomb. Pat Kelly and other unionists were domiciled there – all prominent anti nuclear campaigners. The Lange govt. elected about a month later… anti nuclear sentiment reaches its zenith. A year later the Rainbow Warrior bombing. French Secret Service the culprits.

                    Anti nuclear legislation passes in parliament. The majority of NZers rejoice. The UK/USA indulge in petty tantrums.

                    The police close file on Ernie Abbott murder.

      • Geoff Dunbar 1.1.3

        Or is it that they are confident (with historically justified reason) that the NZ PUBLC is “stupid and incompetent” enough to continually fail to ascertain when it is being royally screwed by its own “representatives” (which is just about all of the time)?

  2. You know if this base, was what they say it was, I doubt two people would’ve got anywhere
    near it.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1

      That’s because you’re cherry-picking what they say it is and who “they” are.

      • Brett Dale 2.1.1

        Not much of a spy base if protestors can walk up to it, take their shoes off and scream shame shame for seven hours.

        • Colonial Viper 2.1.1.1

          Why not? Were actual data collection and signal operations interrupted in any way?

          • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.1.1

            Tinfoil strips and a lemon cannon might. Just saying 🙂

            • One Anonymous Knucklehead 2.1.1.1.1.1

              On reflection, I realise that this comment could get people into trouble. If you’re going to test this hypothesis, please conduct test trials in open ground, work out a way to weave tinfoil strips together so that they unravel for maximum effect, that sort of thing. If you’re going to get arrested at least demonstrate some bloody competence!

              PS: and lemon cannons are dangerous: treat all equipment with respect.

              • Lanthanide

                Never heard of a “lemon cannon” before, apparently it’s just a potato cannon though.

    • tracey 2.2

      I see Mr Key has messed up facts again… this time over MRP…

      Having accused Cosgrove of making it up… he then backtracked and fell back on olf faithful.

      “”I haven’t actually seen those myself, well I can’t recall them.”

      You must feel so proud Brett

  3. Wouldnt it be like fort knox, no matter what?

    • weka 3.1

      Brett, if you are going to take over another thread, can you please at least use the reply button so that your comments appear in some kind of context?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 3.2

      Brett, while you’re figuring out how to use the reply button, ask yourself what would Waihopai gain by “being like Fort Knox”. Are protesters, for example, unable to stand outside Fort Knox?

      Then ask yourself what you look like.

      • Brett Dale 3.2.1

        Knucklehead.

        Its simple if this was real spy base, people would not get close enough to cause damage to it. I think some people have watched to many movies.

        • karol 3.2.1.1

          And yet, Nicky Hager was able to talk to members of NZ’s branch of Echelon (GCSB) and to use that information to publicly Out the network. This resulted in the “5 Eyes” governments publicly confirming it’s existence. Hager was able to do this because of the low key approach in NZ, making it a weak security link in the system.

        • felix 3.2.1.2

          Brett, it happened.

          You’re arguing that the sun didn’t come up this morning.

          • Brett Dale 3.2.1.2.1

            Felix:

            Its not what you think it is.

            President Obama is not saying, “Wow some guy from Hornby, did a post
            on the website the standard, then he went to the library and got out
            Alex Jones’s book, then he went to the University cafe coffee shop
            with members of socialist aotearoa and made jokes about John Key.

            I think he has more important things to do with his time.

            • framu 3.2.1.2.1.1

              so if its not a real spy base brett – what is it?

              come one lets hear it – whats your oh so logical explanation for its existence (considering what is already in the public domain)

              wind farm?
              geodesic dome for woofers?
              brettstock2014?
              what exactly?

              • Framu:

                Not a spy base in terms of finding out what the average kiwi is doing, library records, how many cups of coffee you buy, what cds you listen to.

                If you think they’re spending hundreds of millions to find out what youtube videos
                of cats tap dancing people are watching, then your sadly mistake.

                Perhaps they’re looking for certain phrases? to see what the international crims are up to, terrorists, child traffickers, global drug rings.

                • Pascal's bookie

                  And to find those phrases and patterns, Brett, they grab everything.

                  • Pascal:

                    I think not, if they looking for a certain phrase, they looking for that phrase, not
                    innocent phrases. Now if they find a sinister phrase from someone, they may
                    then grab everything, but not the other way around.

                • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                  As usual, Brett adopts a position bereft of the most basic thought or consideration. He cannot, for example, imagine what the United States would look like now if King George had had PRISM.

                  I can only hope that in the future he falls foul of the authorities, thus serving the dual purpose of educating himself and sparing us his feeble offerings.

                  • Knucklehead?

                    What is wrong with what I said? You think the US Government cares
                    about if Joe Bloggs is watching clips of the Sopranos on youtube?

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Not particularly, but they don’t know that Soprano clips is what Joe Bloggs is looking at until they have a look at what he is looking at.

                    • One Anonymous Knucklehead

                      You don’t think at all, do you?

                      I harbour too much contempt for you to bother spending too much time explaining this, so if this is too cryptic tough shit.

                      It’s 1960. You’re gay. The government has PRISM. Think about it.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Or it’s 1937 Nazi Germany and you are Jewish.
                      Or it’s 1950 Tibet and you are a supporter of the Dalai Lama.
                      Or it’s 1959 USA and you’re a negro in Louisiana.
                      Or it’s 1980 South Africa and you’re white while your lover is black.

                    • McFlock

                      Or “the government” (or eager prosecutors therein) think you’re the “prime suspect” in a murder, so use your youtube records because the sopranos was violent, therefore watching the sopranos “shows a fascination with violence”. Top ten grossest clips shown in succession to the jury? Character sorted.

                      Or maybe he pissed off someone, so the chached video becomes “publishing/pirating” and copyright violation.

                      Or you have a VOIP phone, so the traffic interception is as good as a wiretap.

                      The police already have a very good computer forensics unit. They don’t need warrantless wiretapping. And we as a society don’t need it, either.

  4. Wayne 4

    Karol,

    One of your assertions in this piece is that Kim Dotcom is correct about the PM’s knowledge. But you also know that the PM emphatically denied any such knowledge on TV immediately after the hearing. There was no doubt or hesitation. And he knows what is at stake in making that statement.

    Now in my experience when a politician makes such a statement in these circumstances they are correct. For instance if he had any doubt he may have met Dotcom or heard about the Police operation earlier than the day before, he would have qualified his answer, something like,”I certainly don’t recall”.

    Remember nothing actually hangs on whether the PM knew earlier to when he has previously said he first knew about the police operation, except his credibility.

    It is not like Peter Dunne, who knows a leak is a career killer, or President Clinton who was covering up something that was extremely embarrassing

    And it is not surprising the PM did not know about Dotcom. I have friends who live opposite the Dotcom mansion, and they never told me about him, and they are in the IT business. I guess they just assumed that Dotcom’s world and mine would never intersect. They may have said a rich guy lived there, since I knew the owner of Chrisco had left, but of course only a rich guy could live there.

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.1

      Wayne, did you wake up from a ten-year sleep or something? The Prime Minister has form we can go on. There were fifty thousand shares yeah a hundred thousand shares. His lies are always delivered with “sincerity”.

    • karol 4.2

      Wayne, John Key backed up that “emphatic” denial by saying that they had done a thorough search of his office’s records and found no evidence of any such prior knowledge.

      But the new slant provided by the Snowden comments, is that there is something built into the Echelon system to “insulate political leaders from any backlash” from Echelon’s “grievous” violation of “global privacy”.

    • Pascal's bookie 4.3

      Wayne, the PM has couched many of his claims in terms of ‘proof’. And Polioticians make bold claims that are false, all the time. Surely you remember Winston’s NO sign? Or the PMs quick reversal on his claims about how many tranzrail shares he owned? It’s not a short list.

      And if Key knew about the raid earlier, it brings all sorts of things into play. Like his extent of knowledge about GCSB/SIS activity, particularly his awareness about the questions of illegality, and what he did about it. If Key was involved earlier in discussions about the DotCom raid than he has been letting on, then he is in the frame over the illegality of the GCSBs involvement in those raids.

      • Wayne 4.3.1

        The PM has been consistent on this one for many weeks. As you say he has checked his files, and seemingly rechecked them. I am sure he has thought about this a lot, to try and remember if someone may have said him something about Dotcom. And the PM remains adamant.

        Your proposition now is that he has to continue with a falsehood, and restate it many times because to do otherwise “brings all sorts of things into play”. But that would be truly playing with fire. Exposure in that case would bring about the John Armstrong scenario (usually a hated pundit for Standardnistas). If you were right the PM would say nothing more on the subject, because to say more, digs the hole deeper.

        Well, I just don’t buy that.

        Most of the so called “lies” you raise occur when he answers something on the fly.

        He is an extremely accessible PM by any reasonable standard, and answers all sorts of questions on a vast range of topics. It is hardly surprising he does not immediately recollect everything and sometimes has to amend answers after he has had time to think about it. I am sure we have all been in that situation, and we don’t have to deal with, and remember the range of things the PM does.

        • One Anonymous Knucklehead 4.3.1.1

          😆 Just, by an amazing coincidence, his brain fades always manage to cast him in a good light, and the corrections always come with caveats where apologies belong.

          Dr. Mapp and the invisible bias.

        • Anne 4.3.1.2

          …he has checked his files, and seemingly rechecked them. I am sure he has thought about this a lot, to try and remember if someone may have said him something about Dotcom. And the PM remains adamant.

          You are an ignorant bunny aren’t you Wayne.

          Of course he and his staff didn’t find anything. He knew they wouldn’t find anything. There are other ways to communicate information without leaving a paper, electronic or some other visible trail. These ‘ways’ are not available to ordinary citizens, but many people know they exist. For example I worked for a few years on a Defence Force base and picked up on a few security of information techniques. I never knew how they worked, but the results were a big eye-opener.

          • Wayne 4.3.1.2.1

            Anne, You may know my prior role. I know a bit about the relevant organisations.

            • Anne 4.3.1.2.1.1

              So do I Wayne.

              And if you are who I suspect you are, then I know well (or in one case knew) a couple of others who were in the same role as yourself. They didn’t have rose tinted spectacles on their noses like you. Take them off Wayne and perceive John Key for what he is – a pretender who really works for offshore networks and not NZ. He doesn’t give a damm about ordinary people. I look forward to that zany individual Kim Dotcom putting him in his place once and for all.

        • Pascal's bookie 4.3.1.3

          Your proposition now is that he has to continue with a falsehood, and restate it many times because to do otherwise “brings all sorts of things into play”. But that would be truly playing with fire. Exposure in that case would bring about the John Armstrong scenario (usually a hated pundit for Standardnistas). If you were right the PM would say nothing more on the subject, because to say more, digs the hole deeper.

          It’s not my proposition ‘now’, it’s simply obvious. If the PM lied when first asked about this, then he needs to keep lying about it. Those other things are in play whether or not he says anymore on the subject. They were set in play when/if first lied; if it was a lie.

          Assuming for the sake of argument that it was a lie, he wouldn’t have lied for no reason. If he lied, it was to keep something that might have costed him the job from us. For example, that he knew the spying was possibly illegal and did nothing not knowing it was going to come out due to a judge’s ruling. Perhaps.

          The “John Armstrong scenario” (although I think Armstrong is weak on this*) has therefore always been in play. Right when he told the supposed lie. The thesis is that Key knew something about this earlier than he has been letting on, and that he has taken steps to be in a position of plausible deniability. That may or may not be true, but if it isn’t true, then it seems like either gross incompetence or a freakish series of coincidences that kept him out of the loop.

          How would him saying nothing more on the subject make his initial denials go away? They wouldn’t. So either his story will hold, or it will not. His comments range from outright denial, which was his initial position, to ‘You can’t prove it’.

          He also claims that DotCom is a fantasist and blah blah who isn’t worth discussing, and yet he also seems to have been through Mr DotCom’s filings for the extradition case looking for evidence of something he claims not to exist. Now that doesn’t mean anything at one level, it could also suggest that he isn’t sure that actual documents might exist.

          There were a lot of very close calls when Key might have found out about DotCom. And some very odd things later when nobody talked to him about failings in the GCSB, or signing unusual documents on his behalf, or having electorate matters handled by Simon Power without the PM being told, all while the PM was having discussions with US people who also had an interest in DotCom.

          None of that proves anything. But it does look odd, and it requires some sort of explanation.

          The current potential explanations are, as far as I can see; slack oversight combined with series of coincidences and poor cabinet communication leading to the PM being out of the loop, slack oversight combined with a deliberate attempt to genuinely keep the PM out of the loop, plausible deniability of the PM being in the loop, or the PM lying about being in the loop.

          ——————

          *Armstrong seems to think that Key would have to resign just because he was busted lying about knowing about DotCom. I think it would take a few dots being joined. He’d probably survive something that he could claim was something he didn’t pay attention to, or could have forgotten.

    • tracey 4.4

      “PM emphatically denied any such knowledge on TV immediately after the hearing. There was no doubt or hesitation. And he knows what is at stake in making that statement.”

      yea but wayne yesterday he said cosgrove was making up the allocation of 100 to Soolid energy from MRP sale… but by today he is saying this

      “”I haven’t actually seen those myself, well I can’t recall them.”

      • Wayne 4.4.1

        And that is the point. He has not had different views. He has got more emphatic about Dotcom, especially after he checked.

        • felix 4.4.1.1

          Nonsense. His denials have become more specific and limited in their scope.

          Saying “to the best of my recollection” means fuck all when you have the brain of a goldfish. He can’t remember the Springbok tour FFS!

  5. framu 5

    “PM emphatically denied any such knowledge”

    yeah wayne – good one. Its not like our PM has never, ever been caught out bullshitting with gay abandon in front of the press before is it?

    you must be a real hoot down the cossie club mate with jokes like that

  6. Anne 6

    Snowden also argued that the “Five eyes” partnerships are organised so that authorities in each country can “insulate their political leaders from the backlash” when it became public “how grievously they’re violating global privacy”.

    So where was Ian Fletcher in August of last year when Key flew off to America to watch his son play baseball and disappeared into the bowels of Hollywood for a couple of days first? Did Fletcher have a little private holiday at the same time too?

    Key was up to shonky business that is a given, and its long been my view it was to do with Dotcom – an update where things were at… and what do do about it? Shonky John still thinks any comms with the FBI/NSA is as safe as houses. Perhaps that has given him a false confidence.

    Whatever, as tempting as it is to want to know what Dotcom knows… Dotcom will not release it until the time is exactly right for him. Fair enough. He’s the bloke in the firing line.

    • MrSmith 6.1

      Kim.com’s extradition is a political decision yes? and so if I had the goods then I would let the other party know somehow then sit on it. Call it what you like but after I had had my home invaded illegally the gloves would be off.
      And so we may never know what he has.

  7. Sable 7

    Both Labour and National are selling out our country to foreign interests. Based on how things have progressed its clear they have been for quite a while. Time to put these political dinosaurs out of their misery and look at other alternatives.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      The man is good, that’s for sure.

      Greenwald, although not out on a limb as far as Snowden, must know that him and everyone he comes in contact with is under round the clock surveillance.

  8. Knucklehead

    1960 Gay Prism:

    Its not 1960, its 2013, maybe 50 odd years ago, they would use
    it to spy and take away gay people, in 2013, they’re dont care.

    Too hard for you too understand?

    • One Anonymous Knucklehead 9.1

      Obviously far too hard for you to grasp, Brett, that there might be an analogous situation today. What a waste of oxygen.

  9. GUYS,

    It’s 2013 now.

    Yes, in the past some Governments would of used it for the
    wrong reasons.

    In 2013, they dont give a fuck if some tosser is watching
    Hamster on a mother fukin piano.

    Oh bTW if some green party hacker, hacked into say
    Cameron Slater’s email and got some juicy information,
    you guys would be cheering them on.

    • karol 10.1

      Did you see the oral submission from the anti-nuclear and peace activists at the GCSB hearing? Been under surveillance for decades – still happening.

      • insider 10.1.1

        So they say. They appeared to me to have fairly active imaginations and revel in their self proclaimed victim hood.

        • Colonial Viper 10.1.1.1

          There are many many instances now internationally of ordinary political activist groups being blacklisted as “extremists” and targetted by government surveillance and pressure.

          Yes, in the past some Governments would of used it for the
          wrong reasons.

          What’s this “in the past” business?

          This is what is happening every day and in every way internationally, and NZ’s spymasters are learning the same tricks from the US and the UK.

    • Pascal's bookie 10.2

      Nothing bad happens today Brett, it’s ok.

      Sleep well young fella.

      http://t.co/d84SQlIS4f

  10. pascal:

    If a terrorist at gitmo had of died because of a hunger strike,
    people would’ve said “They should’ve forced feed him”

    • Pascal's bookie 11.1

      Do you know how many people in gitmo aren’t terrorists Brett?

      Also, what they doing in that video. Comfortable watching it mate?

      And too, I wouldn’t being saying “They should’ve forced feed him”, nor would Amnesty, or any civil liberties group I can think of.

      And as an aside, your comment there. Reckon it would be out of place on Fox News? Hannitty maybe?

      • Brett Dale 11.1.1

        Pascal:

        I Loathe Faux News:

        No that statement would’nt been said on faux news, they would say.

        “That guy is a known terrorist who taught all the other terrorist, he should
        be billed for the food down the tube, and his family should all be read the
        bible, while shown a big picture of George W Bush,and tvs should be put
        in his cell, so he can watch fox news, because we are fair and balance, unlike
        the LIBERAL MEDIA. (and they would say liberal media in a real scary voice)
        while flashing a picture of jane fonda on the screen.

        • Pascal's bookie 11.1.1.1

          Nah, that’s a cartoon version.

          They’d just imply that everyone in gitmo is a terrorist, and that they are being treated well, and that people complaining are just dishonest liberals doing so for political reasons and would complain anyway. Like you did.

  11. Pascal:

    No one has any idea the level that faux news will go to.

    Hell to see rove on election night, was just so bizarre, what was
    more bizarre is that they showed it.

    • Pascal's bookie 12.1

      No more bizarre than many other things said on Fox. But there are levels of bizarre. And a common level on fox is that one you ran with. Responding in that way you did to what was in that clip.

      • Brett Dale 12.1.1

        Pascal:

        You dont let the person die, its ugly I know, its looks terrible. but what else do you do?

        • Pascal's bookie 12.1.1.1

          Not lock them up in a legal blackhole Brett. It’s not difficult mate.

          • Brett Dale 12.1.1.1.1

            Pascal:

            Ya can blame Bush for that, believe me President Obama will do his best to close it buy the end of his term.

            • Pascal's bookie 12.1.1.1.1.1

              Why should I believe you Brett?


              The Obama administration had argued the court did not have jurisdiction. Under federal law, civilian courts do not have jurisdiction to hear cases concerning the detention, treatment or conditions of confinement of any enemy combatant, Kessler wrote, citing a 2009 court decision. Government lawyers said the government had well-established legal authority to force-feed hunger-striking detainees.

              Read more: Guantanamo Inmates Request To Stop Force Feeding Denied – The Gitmo Torture Obama Is Ignoring – Esquire
              Follow us: @Esquiremag on Twitter | Esquire on Facebook
              Visit us at Esquire.com

              That’s Obama using Bush era legal arguments in court in order to what? Hold people in gitmo even if that means torturing them.

              • He cant do nothing while the repugs control the house.

                • When I saw you’d commented on a post about intelligence, Brett, I decided it was time to call it a day. Then curiosity got the better of me (I really wanted to know whether “Brett Dale” and “intelligence” weren’t an oxymoron) and to my surprise I found a little gem. “…repugs control the house”. Brilliant.

                • felix

                  The legal opinion above doesn’t come from the the house, Brett. It comes from the executive.

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    Mt Albert MP David Shearer is being proposed for a demanding and exciting role heading the United Nations peacekeeping force in South Sudan, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “David has kept me fully informed about this opportunity and we are ...
    1 day ago
  • Karori Kids and Campbell Kindergarten must be saved
    The Minister of Education needs to show some leadership and secure the future of two not-for-profit early childhood education centres that could be faced with closure as the land they sit on is up for sale, Grant Robertson Labour MP ...
    1 day ago
  • Ministry reveals shocking charter school results
    NCEA results for charter schools have been massively overstated with documents revealing many students leaving school without basic NCEA level two qualifications despite this being a main educational target for the Government, says Labour Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins.  “Documents obtained ...
    1 day ago
  • Minister must protect MSD staff
      The Minister of Social Development should immediately implement safer work practices to ensure tragedies such as the Ashburton killings don’t happen again, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.   ...
    2 days ago
  • A vote for the Māori Party is a vote for National
    Comments made by the Māori Party leadership in the wake of John Key’s surprise resignation make one thing clear: a vote for them is a vote for a fourth term National Government, and the increasing inequality and poverty for Māori ...
    2 days ago
  • Collins and English split over police funding
    The bloodletting has already begun with splits and divisions emerging after the Police Minister knifed the Finance Minister via the media, says Labour Police spokesman Stuart Nash. ...
    2 days ago
  • Next Prime Minister must tackle foreign speculators
    The public rightly puts much of the blame for the housing bubble at the feet of foreign speculators, and the next Prime Minister must listen to their concerns, says Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 days ago
  • NZ student performance slips in international study – again
    The continuing fall in Kiwi kids’ performance in the OECD Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) study shows the damage being inflicted by National’s cuts to education and one-size-fits-all approach, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. “For years, National has ...
    2 days ago
  • CYF reforms dangerous backward step
    Child protection has taken a massive step backwards today with the Government passing a Bill that will give significant powers to unspecified ‘professionals’ or contract holders, says Labour’s Acting Children’s spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    3 days ago
  • Improve workplaces, and address domestic violence
    Last week the Productivity Commission put out a report about how to grow “weak labour productivity”. These views are being criticised as being straight out of the 1980s. What is a real problem is that we have a problem of ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    3 days ago
  • Palm oil industry implicated in human rights abuses
    The Green Party has campaigned for several years for mandatory palm oil labeling to give consumers choice. Most consumers do not want to support a palm oil industry that is destroying tropical rainforests and contributing to dangerous climate change emissions. ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    3 days ago
  • Syphilis on the rise in NZ
    Cases of syphilis are increasing in Auckland. You read that right, syphilis!  RNZ reported today that rates of syphilis have increased by 71 percent (between 2013-2015). We have known about the increase in syphilis figures for a while, but nothing ...
    GreensBy Julie Anne Genter
    4 days ago
  • We need to work smarter not longer
    The charade of this Government’s sound economic management is unraveling. Misleading GDP figures, pumped up by property speculation and high immigration, have given the impression that all is well, masking our continued productivity decline compared to OECD countries. In fact, ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    4 days ago
  • Statement on John Key’s resignation
    Labour Party Leader Andrew Little has acknowledged John Key’s contribution to Government.  “John Key has served New Zealand generously and with dedication. Although we may have had our policy differences over the years, I respect the Prime Minister’s decision to ...
    4 days ago
  • Positive plan secures victory
    The victory of Labour’s newest MP, Michael Wood, in Mt Roskill is the result of a well-organised campaign run with honesty and integrity, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “I congratulate Michael Wood on his great victory. He will be a ...
    6 days ago
  • Wave of support for Kiwibuild continues to grow
    Apartment builder Ockham Residential has become the latest voice to call for the government to build affordable homes for Kiwi families to buy, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Helen O'Sullivan of Ockham has now joined prominent businesspeople like EMA ...
    7 days ago
  • Cuba Si Yankee No – Fidel Castro and the Revolution
    The death of Fidel Castro is a huge historical moment for the older generation who grew up with the toppling of Batista, the Bay of Pigs debacle, the death of Che Guevara and the US blockade against Cuba. For younger ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    1 week ago
  • Government slashes observer coverage, fails snapper fishery
    The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has more than halved the number of fisheries observers in the East Coast North Island snapper trawl fishery (SNA1). This reduction in observer days, combined with major failures in an unproven and controversial video ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage
    1 week ago
  • ‘Exemplar’ Māori Land Court under siege
    TheMāori Land Court, hailed as an “exemplar” by the Ministry of Justice chief executive and Secretary, Andrew Bridgman is under siege by the Government through Māori land reforms and a Ministry restructure, says Labour’s Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    1 week ago
  • He Poroporoaki ki a Te Awanuiārangi Black
    Kua hinga he whatukura o Tauranga Moana. Kua hinga rangatira o te iwi Māori. Ka tangi tonu ana te ngākau nā tāna wehe kei tua o te ārai. E rere haere ana ngā mihi aroha o mātou o Te Rōpū ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • CYF reforms ignoring whānau based solution
    When approximately 60 per cent of children in state care are Māori processes need to change in favour of whānau, hapū and iwi solutions, said Labour’s Whānau Ora spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta.  “Widespread concern about Government reforms of Child Youth and ...
    1 week ago
  • Hip and knees surgery takes a tumble
    The statistics for hip and knee electives under this Government make depressing reading, says Labour’s Health spokesperson Annette King.  “Under the last Labour Government we achieved a 91 per cent growth in hip and knee elective surgery. Sadly under this ...
    1 week ago
  • Parata’s spin can’t hide cuts to early childhood education
    No amount of spin from Hekia Parata can hide the fact that per-child funding for early childhood education has been steadily decreasing under the National government, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “In the 2009/10 year early childhood services received ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats will jump at chance to vote for KiwiBuild Bill
    National will welcome the chance to vote for a real solution to the housing crisis after their many, many failed attempts, says Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau Kelvin Davis. Kelvin Davis’s Housing Corporation (Affordable Housing Development) Amendment Bill was ...
    1 week ago
  • Million dollar houses put homeownership out of reach of middle New Zealand
    35% of New Zealanders now live in places where the average house costs over a million dollars, and it’s killing the Kiwi dream of owning your own place, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. Latest QV stats show that Queenstown ...
    1 week ago
  • Opportunity for political parties to back Kiwi-made and Kiwi jobs
    The First Reading in Parliament today of his Our Work, Our Future Bill is a chance for political parties to ensure the government buys Kiwi-made more often and backs Kiwi jobs, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. The reading ...
    1 week ago
  • Solid Energy must open the drift
    Solid Energy is showing no moral spine and should not have any legal right to block re-entry into the Pike River drift, says Damien O’Connor MP for West Coast-Tasman.  “Todays failed meeting with  representatives from the state owned company is ...
    1 week ago
  • 20,000 at risk students “missing”
    A briefing to the Minister of Education reveals 20,000 at-risk students can’t be found, undermining claims by Hekia Parata that a new funding model would ensure additional funding reached students identified as at-risk, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 week ago
  • Crime continues to rise
    Overall crime is up five per cent and the Government just doesn’t seem to care, says Labour’s Police Spokesperson Stuart Nash. ...
    1 week ago
  • Treasury fritters $10 million on failed state house sell off
    The Treasury has wasted $10 million in two years on the National Government's flawed state house sell off programme, including nearly $5.5 million on consultants, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. "New Zealand needs more state housing than ever, with ...
    1 week ago
  • National slow to learn new trade lessons post TPPA
    Yesterday, the Minister for Trade misused economic data in order to try to make the case for more so-called ‘trade agreements’ like the TPPA which are actually deregulatory straitjackets in disguise. In welcoming a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    1 week ago
  • Skilled migrant wages plummeting under National
    Wages have plummeted for people with skilled migrant visas working in low-skilled occupations, driving down wages for workers in a number of industries, says Labour’s Immigration Spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. “Documents acquired by Labour under the Official Information Act reveal that ...
    1 week ago
  • Child abuse apology needed
    The Government's failure to act on recommendations from Judge Henwood, based on years of work by the Confidential Listening and Assistance Service (CLAS) will further undermine any faith victims may have put into the process, says Labour’s Children’s Spokesperson Jacinda ...
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank again highlights National’s housing failure
    National’s failure to deal with the housing crisis in New Zealand is once again being exposed by the Reserve Bank today, in a scathing assessment of the Government’s response, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson “Governor Wheeler is clearly worried ...
    1 week ago
  • Palm Oil Labelling: Possible Progress?
    On Friday, the Minister for Food Safety, along with her Australian colleagues finally looked at the issue of mandatory labelling of palm oil. We’ve been calling for mandatory labelling for years and we were hoping that the Ministers would agree ...
    GreensBy Mojo Mathers
    1 week ago
  • National: Fails to achieve
    The ineffectiveness of the National Government’s approach to schooling has been highlighted by the latest Trends in International Maths and Science Study (TIMSS) report released overnight, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. ...
    1 week ago
  • Faster into Homes – a new pathway for first home buyers
    This week Parliament will select another members’ bill from the cookie tin (I kid you not, it really is a cookie tin) and I’ve just launched a new bill I’m hoping will get pulled – to help people get into ...
    GreensBy Gareth Hughes
    1 week ago
  • Selling off our state housing stock isn’t working for NZers
    I want to end homelessness and ensure that everyone has a warm, safe, dry home. This National Government has let down New Zealanders, especially the thousands of New Zealanders who are struggling with something so basic and important as housing. ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    1 week ago
  • Government needs to ensure fair deal on EQC assessments
    Kiwis affected by earthquakes might not get a fair deal if the Government pushes ahead with secret plans to let private insurers take over the assessment of claims, says Labour’s Canterbury spokesperson Megan Woods. “Under questioning from Labour the Government ...
    1 week ago
  • Key’s priorities the real ‘load of nonsense’
    The Prime Minister’s fixation with tax cuts, despite a failure to pay down any debt and growing pressure on public services is the real ‘load of nonsense’, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “We’re getting mixed messages from National. John ...
    1 week ago
  • Free Speech and Hate Speech
    Last week we were very concerned to hear that an Auckland imam, Dr Anwar Sahib, had been preaching divisive and derogatory messages about Jewish people and women during his sermons. It was a disturbing incident coming at the end of ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Young Kiwis struggling under record mortgage debt
    The Government needs to step in and start building affordable homes for first homebuyers now more than ever, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Tairāwhiti says No Stat Oil!
    Tairāwhiti says yes to a clean environment for our mokopuna today and for generations to come. Tairāwhiti are have a responsibility to uphold their mana motuhake over their land and their peoples and are calling on the Government to honour ...
    GreensBy Marama Davidson
    2 weeks ago