Some questions

Written By: - Date published: 9:51 pm, March 5th, 2008 - 54 comments
Categories: john key, Media, rumour - Tags: , ,

Today in Parliament Bill English made a very interesting comment which, if true, raises some very concerning questions about either his own honesty or the editorial integrity of APN, publishers of the New Zealand Herald.

Referring to a quip from Michael Cullen about John Key’s statement that ‘we would love to see wages drop‘, English said:

Is the Minister aware that the newspaper concerned is going to publish a retraction?

Fascinated, a regular reader of The Standard followed up the story by making a few phone calls. Eventually he reached a senior manager at the Northern Advocate, who told him the story would not be a retraction, but a correction, and would be running in the Advocate’s sister paper the New Zealand Herald either tomorrow or in the next few days.

According to this manager the Herald’s correction will run Key’s (eventual) line that he was misquoted and had actually been talking about Australian wages all along.

If true, this is a huge turnaround from APN that needs some serious explaining. The reporter has stood by every word that was written in his original article and a transcript has been released to back him up. The editor backed the journalist and his story to the hilt in an editorial last week. And the publisher has also gone on the public record backing the story:

Northern Publishing stands by the story published in the Bay Report on December 20, 2007 in which National Leader John Key was quoted as saying “We would love to see wages drop.”

Our reporter was at the meeting with the Kerikeri District Business Association President Carolyne Brooks-Quan and recorded the conversation.

We have a transcript of the meeting and we are happy that the quotes printed in the story are an accurate record of what Mr Key said.

Furthermore, if APN does plan to run the line that Key was talking about wanting Australian wages to drop then it has even more explaining to do, because the transcript shows it is simply implausible that Key could have been talking about Australia.

Of course, we don’t know for sure if any of this is true, but it does raise some concerning questions:

1. How and why did Bill English know about the correction in advance?
2. Is it true that Key’s office tried to get journalist Greg Roberston sacked for his story?
3. Why would APN publish the correction in the Herald and not the Advocate or the Bay Report?
4. Why would APN buy Key’s line that he was talking about Australian wages when the transcript suggests this is not the case and Key has issued multiple conflicting denials?
5. Why is this suddenly a story now, more than two weeks after it broke?

Again, I stress that none of this has yet been verified. But given Bill English’s comments in the house today, our reader’s conversation with the APN manager and Key’s rather menacing comments on Havoc the other day it all looks a little murky. Hopefully Bill or APN can clear it up soon.

54 comments on “Some questions”

  1. Wilson 1

    You know if there was going to be an article they’ll have pulled it after reading this.

  2. insider 2

    It’s perfectly standard for the Herald to inform those concerned if there is to be a correction. In my experience the wording and timing are the result of negotiations. Papers don’t like admitting fault unless they have made a real booboo but you can negotiate clarifications. That said I’ve found the herald is pretty good about admitting when they get things wrong.

    Stop bringing APN into this. This is an editorial decision and each paper will do their own thing. Remember the Herald ran their own story so will likely be clairifcation of that, which was a different story than what ran in the Bay times.

  3. dave 3

    Once again I was right and the standard was wrong

  4. Odd definitions of ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ you have there, Dave. Check it out:

    English: …the newspaper concerned is going to publish a retraction.

    According to the Standard, what will actually happen is that a different newspaper is going to publish a correction, ‘correction’ in this instance also having an odd definition if it directly contradicts the transcript.

    If the Standard’s commenter who phoned the Northern Advocate is to be believed, the newspaper concerned is standing by its story, not publishing a retraction. Whether some other paper that didn’t have a reporter present wants to back Key is of little relevance.

  5. Oh Dear – I wonder if Rick and John had a wee chat down at the club. I imagine National is trying to inoculate the issue but a correction stating he was talking about Australia would directly contradict Key’s statement on Havoc that he never even said the words.

    Cap: “Partying been” – I guess now it’s time for the hangover…

  6. Right there, for all to see this morning in the Herald:

    “Meanwhile, another controversy Labour has targeted will have a sequel today when Northland’s Bay Report newspaper, in which Mr Key was quoted as saying, “We would love to see wages drop”, issues a clarification.

    The Bay Report will say it accepted that any impression its report gave that Mr Key wanted wages to drop was incorrect.

    Mr Key reportedly made the comment during an informal meeting with Kerikeri Business Association head Carolyne Brooks-Quan in which they discussed the wage gap between Australia and New Zealand. It has been repeatedly used by Labour as evidence of a “secret agenda” by Mr Key.”

    How’s the heads boys, after two weeks of banging them against brick walls?

  7. george 7

    Well i have found the “correction” Buried deep in an article in the herald titled
    “Key admits blunder over Treaty”

    “Meanwhile, another controversy Labour has targeted will have a sequel today when Northland’s Bay Report newspaper, in which Mr Key was quoted as saying, “We would love to see wages drop”, issues a clarification.

    The Bay Report will say it accepted that any impression its report gave that Mr Key wanted wages to drop was incorrect.

    Mr Key reportedly made the comment during an informal meeting with Kerikeri Business Association head Carolyne Brooks-Quan in which they discussed the wage gap between Australia and New Zealand. It has been repeatedly used by Labour as evidence of a “secret agenda” by Mr Key.

    Yesterday, National described the clarification as a “retraction” when Finance Minister Michael Cullen again used the quote against Mr Key in Parliament.

    Dr Cullen also claimed Mr Key had tried to bully the editor and newspaper into sacking the reporter who wrote the article.

    Northern Advocate general manager Tony Verdon said Dr Cullen’s version of events was incorrect.

    “There was never any question of anyone being bullied or sacked for it. That was never an issue and it was never raised with us.”

    Mr Key has previously said that while he did not remember the quote it was probably a reference to Australian wages dropping.

    He claimed he was “badly misrepresented” by the Bay of Islands newspaper and “took umbrage with the reporting”.

    Ms Brooks-Quan has also backed Mr Key, telling the Herald she never got the impression Mr Key wanted wages to drop.

    However, the quote has continued to attract barbs from Labour. The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union and Council for Trade Unions have also used the quote and yesterday issued another round of press releases querying National’s commitment to wage increases.”

    How was Bill English aware of this before hand.
    Interference with the MSM?
    Seems to have a bad smell to it!

  8. Oh yes – why did it take this long? And why when Key’s last position was he never said it is the apparent position that he did but was taken out of context? Something is murky here. Very murky…

  9. James Kearney 9

    Once again the Herald does the National party’s bidding. Not a good look.

    [captcha: ‘staying Burnside’ At John Key’s place?]

  10. george 10

    I suppose the next question is why no word from the Journalist Greg Robertson ?
    I left a message of support and asked him to call me.
    I instead got a call from his manager Tony Verdon.
    Can anyone raise the reporters view or has he been silenced?

  11. higherstandard 11

    Dead story move on

  12. James Kearney 12

    hs- Why’s it in the paper then?

    The sudden about-face after two weeks and with no new evidence is very suspicious.

    There’s been some pressure applied somewhere in this case- the only question is where and by whom.

  13. mike 13

    First can we have a retraction from the Standard as well?

  14. higherstandard 14

    James I’d suggest it’s in the paper due to the ongoing quips in parliament.

    If a clarification/retraction or whatever has now been printed surely that’s the end of the matter.

    r0b – Agree absolutely which is why I’d like to see some comment regarding the HBDHB, this seems to me a far more concerning issue.

  15. insider 15

    MAybe the reason they have had to issue a clarification is because the circumstances as originally described by the Bay news and the transcript were not quite as robust as they made out…after standing by the story and the accuracy of the transcript, to then say the story gave the wrong impression is quite a turnaround.

    Perhaps it has taken two weeks for the answers as to what actually happened to flow through. PErhaps, as Key said, there was more to the story than what appeared in the paper.

  16. Tane 16

    From the Dom Post:

    “Mr Key revealed yesterday that the Bay Report would be printing a retraction, which he said had been “communicated to him” by APN chief executive Martin Simons”

    So there’s the Herald acting alone theory blown out of the water. I suspect that’s not the last we’ll hear of this.

  17. higherstandard 17

    Tane just as an update on this from the herald.

    The Bay Report will say it accepted that any impression its report gave that Mr Key wanted wages to drop was incorrect.

    Mr Key reportedly made the comment during an informal meeting with Kerikeri Business Association head Carolyne Brooks-Quan in which they discussed the wage gap between Australia and New Zealand. It has been repeatedly used by Labour as evidence of a “secret agenda” by Mr Key.

    Yesterday, National described the clarification as a “retraction” when Finance Minister Michael Cullen again used the quote against Mr Key in Parliament.

    Dr Cullen also claimed Mr Key had tried to bully the editor and newspaper into sacking the reporter who wrote the article.

    Northern Advocate general manager Tony Verdon said Dr Cullen’s version of events was incorrect.

    “There was never any question of anyone being bullied or sacked for it. That was never an issue and it was never raised with us.”

    Mr Key has previously said that while he did not remember the quote it was probably a reference to Australian wages dropping.

    He claimed he was “badly misrepresented” by the Bay of Islands newspaper and “took umbrage with the reporting”.

    Ms Brooks-Quan has also backed Mr Key, telling the Herald she never got the impression Mr Key wanted wages to drop.

    As an aside I haven’t seen anything in the Bay Report as yet had a quick look on line – the main story was a 15 year old girl killed by a drunk driver who drove into her and a number of other young ones puts things in perspective in a very depressing way.

  18. ghostwhowalks 18

    So the Chief executive of the group is now running the ‘corrections’ column.

    perhaps it was after a ‘direction’ from the board to the CEO

  19. Tane 19

    hs – that’s already been published further up the thread. What I find interesting is that the Bay Report hasn’t even been published yet. It’s an afternoon paper.

  20. the sprout 20

    “Stop bringing APN into this”

    why – you don’t think it’s a coordinated effort? the very fact that the Herald is running ‘corrections’ for its sister paper suggests inter-publication coordination.

    next the Listener will have a partially buried throw-away reference to the issue in an attempt to further innoculate.

    naive or disingenuous insider?

  21. Tane 21

    Sprout, it doesn’t matter whether people think APN has taken control of this issue from the highest levels, it’s in black and white in the Dom Post:

    “Mr Key revealed yesterday that the Bay Report would be printing a retraction, which he said had been “communicated to him’ by APN chief executive Martin Simons’

  22. Steve Pierson 22

    george. None of people who actually dealt with this story are being allowed to go on record. We’ve had correspondence with various people involved but, unfortunately, can’t cite them directly because of this gagging order which seems to have come from high up in APN.

  23. higherstandard 23

    Apologies Tane

    Didn’t read the whole thread – I still think you chaps are trying to find a story where there isn’t one.

    Oh well each to their own.

    Have a good day.

  24. the sprout 24

    for readers’ information here’s Rosenberg’s 2008 paper on media ownership in NZ, which helps for tracking APN’s “Elect National” campaign.

    http://canterbury.cyberplace.org.nz/community/CAFCA/publications/Miscellaneous/mediaown.pdf

  25. ghostwhowalks 25

    There isnt a story ?
    When retractions are announced first by the deputy leader of the opposition.
    And this from the Newspaper that used the banner line democracy under threat when helen only said NZH has all ways been uncharitable to Labour.

  26. anon reporter 26

    For the benefit of the confused, or those playing deliberate diversion:

    A reporter or editor has one job. The chief executive of the publishing company has a very different one.

    The chief executive does not write, or comment on, or re-write, the stories in the papers. At least, not publicly.

    So now we know who is responsible for the APN papers’ editorial line. Not the editors.

  27. anon reporter 27

    And to add: this IS a big story. This kind of pressure on independent professionals is very disturbing indeed.

  28. r0b 28

    You know what they say – the cover-up is always more damaging than the original crime! Good to see this issue alive and well in the msm.

  29. insider 29

    Sprout

    There seems a fair bit of confusion. The Standard has said that the Herald would run a clarification not the Bay Times. Now we find that was wrong and it will apparantly be the BT – not sure what has gone wrong there, perhaps Tane can explain how the confusion arose. (I don’t class the Herald story as a clarification BTW.)

    I’ve had to negotiate corrections before and always found that if you have a good case the media are reasonable. They don’t enjoy the process and will try to minimise a correction to a clarification but I put that down to professional pride. In my experience these issues are managed by the editorial staff.

    However, if you don’t get anywhere with them and are unsatisfied, you can do what any consumer organisation suggests – take it up with the management. Didn’t Cullen do that regarding the Herald once?

  30. the sprout 30

    cheers ap

  31. higherstandard 31

    Anon

    If that’s the case and you have proof why not drop it on Nicky Hagar – he loves this kind of thing

  32. insider 32

    ap

    If a story has been misleading, it’s legitimate to question how professional and independent the poeple responsible were.

    Publishers have always influenced editorial line. That may not mean directly but they hire the editor, they are responsible for its financial performance etc. So the concept of independent editors is naive. They are independent within the boundaries set by the company they work for.

    You only have to look at the UK to see how this works with politically aligned papers. The editor of the Mirror is unlikely to be free to align it with the Tories as that would be commercial suicide.

    I think the APN CEO calling Bill English is unusual, but then it may be he is fronting for the company. That is his job at times. For all we know National was demanding a full blown front page retraction and the CEO was called in to deliver the bad news that they were getting an inside clarification.

  33. Brownie 33

    Another question, boys?

    Say you go and buy a car. The salesman tells you it has a 3 yr warranty and you buy it under this impression. Later you find out it only has a 2 yr warranty and that, for whatever reason, the salesperson got it wrong but, too late – you have allready bought the car. Being a bit angry about a missrepresentation, you would naturally ring the salesperson’s manager. The sales manager says that you must have heard wrong and backs his employee (something I personally agree with) and says no restitution will be forthcoming. Having no joy with the salesmanager, you contact the business owner. This would be entirely reasonable and I would say logical step.

    Yet when John Key believes he has been missrepresented and takes steps to seek appropriate corrective action, there are howls of derision? If the Editor refuses to “clarify” or “correct”, it would be absolutely appropriate for National to go to the owners.

    BTW, is there a complete transcript hanging around?

  34. the sprout 34

    and no doubt APN and National have a memo of understanding that needed to be observed.

  35. insider 35

    But rOb there is no evidence of such interference. Only The Standard’s inferences. ANd as shwon in this thread they got much of the clarification printing wrong, despite having a direct source/

  36. How many times does the Herald misrepresent people’s positions? How many times have ordinary people been incorrectly quoted or had their positions skewed.

    And yet poor vulnerable Mr Key is misquoted and the head of the publishing conglomerate personally tells him they are printing a correction. POLITICS OF PRIVILEGE ANYONE? This reeks, they publish incorrect things about Clark everyday and she just has to get on with it. Key on the other hand makes another enormous fuck up and the Herald jumps, licks his wounds and makes it alllll better. Yay for our media!

  37. r0b 37

    anon reporter – if you are indeed what your name suggests, then bravo for contributing here. Blogs are a great forum for whistle-blowers, and whistle-blowers do a great service to democracy.

  38. insider 38

    If I thought I had been misquoted I too would put pressure on the media to correct it. What exactly is wrong with that? You, me or Cullen saying something happened doesn’t make it true.

  39. insider 40

    I would add that the press council complaints process specifically says that people who have an issue with soomething printed must take it up with the media concerned first. Not doing so means you have no options to follow up further.

    The PC is the industry’s self governing body, so they encourage disaffected people to ‘pressure’ them. So where is the issue?

  40. You wouldn’t have a shit show in being succesful though would you insider? Unless you know something us little people don’t? Which according to your name you should…

  41. Brownie 42

    “…apparently using their mates the owners to put pressure on editors to influence what is reported.”

    rOb, Sorry but who says they are his mates? The analogy is quite correct – you keep going higher up until you get someone to make good on an error.

    And Bean

    “Key on the other hand makes another enormous fuck up”

    Isn’t this the whole point, Bean? That he didn’t stuff up and the Bay report got it wrong? Thats why they would be printing a “clarification”?

    “This reeks, they publish incorrect things about Clark everyday and she just has to get on with it. ”

    What things were factually incorrect?

    “POLITICS OF PRIVILEGE ANYONE?”

    You also have the same privilege, Bean. If someone materially affects you by getting something wrong, you too have the right to complain to whomever will listen until it’s either proven that you were right or wrong.

    Captcha: Technology 69 – this thing is scary sometimes

  42. insider 43

    Oh FFS bean. Stop looking for conspiracies in every part of your little life. It’s the online name I have been using for years in a range of fora.

    To be absolutely clear, all I know about the specifics of this case are what has appeared in public fora such as here and the papers.

    Stop taking the paranoia pills and engage on the issues.

  43. Tane 44

    they got much of the clarification printing wrong, despite having a direct source/

    No, we had a second-hand tip-off and made it very clear that’s what it was. We told our readers (some) of what we knew asked some relevant questions. I’m actually pretty stoked our tip-off was largely right.

  44. insider – the story came out in December and turned up in parliament three weeks ago. The paper stood by it until the CEO stepped in. What the fuck would the CEO (not a journalist) know about the story that the people on the ground didn’t? Answer: nothing except what he was told to do by National.

  45. “You also have the same privilege, Bean. If someone materially affects you by getting something wrong, you too have the right to complain to whomever will listen until it’s either proven that you were right or wrong.”

    Actually Brownie I don’t. I wouldn’t have the public profile to make enough of a fuss to push a paper into ‘correcting’ what I had said.

    Key here has people working for him specifically to clean up his mess and this is what they have managed to do- he stuffed up. Just like he did on Breakfast yesterday, and about Iraq and about the Auckland Airport issue. This time though he was able to throw his weight around and the herald jumped. I bet if he hadn’t been caught on camera screwing up his treaty policy he would have claimed Paul Henry lied as well.

  46. r0b 47

    Say you go and buy a car.

    All very reasonable Brownie. But – when the PM makes some mildly critical remarks of The Herald, it gets plastered all over the front page. So clearly politician’s relationships to the media are somewhat more sensitive than my relationship with a car dealer. They are news.

    Here we have Key / National, not making a few public remarks, but apparently using their mates the owners to put pressure on editors to influence what is reported. That’s news. It should be plastered all over the front page.

  47. “Oh FFS bean. Stop looking for conspiracies in every part of your little life. It’s the online name I have been using for years in a range of fora.

    To be absolutely clear, all I know about the specifics of this case are what has appeared in public fora such as here and the papers.

    Stop taking the paranoia pills and engage on the issues”

    Nerve hit anyone? next insider will use that witty zing ‘go put on your tinfoil hat’.

  48. specifically to clean up his mess

    Oh, but I think they may have made a bigger mess…

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO0803/S00055.htm

  49. the sprout 50

    you’ve usually made a hit when you’re either “PC” or “a conspiracist”. the conspiracist dismissal seems to be growing in popularity at the moment.

  50. r0b 51

    But rOb there is no evidence of such interference. Only The Standard’s inferences.

    Insider, it’s true that no one has (yet) popped up with a recording of Key on the phone to the Hearld’s owners or whatever. But add up the public comments that are on record, in this thread, and also in this one:

    Did Key try to get ‘wage drop’ journalist sacked?

    If you can reasonably come to any conclusion other than “Key / National have been putting pressure on the mdeia”, well, good for you, I admire your touching faith in the purity of politicians.

  51. r0b 52

    Hey bean – good to see you back!

  52. r0b 53

    If I thought I had been misquoted I too would put pressure on the media to correct it.

    So you not see any difference between you doing that, and a major politician doing that?

    Why has it been front page news every time it seems Clark or Cullen has expressed an opinion on the media? And given that context, why should it not be front page news if Key does the same? Does he get some kind of special free pass?

    Not to mention that if he really did try to get a reporter sacked, then he way crossed the line, and he should resign.

  53. dave 54

    Yes, ther is a story here – but not the “story” told by The Standard… get your angles right, boys and girl.

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    5 days ago
  • The Abigail Article; Martyn Bradbury’s Article, and My Response
    . . This blogpost is different to my usual format of reporting on issues… Since July 1011, I have blogged on a variety of political issues; near always political and/or environmental; mostly highly critical of the previous National Government. Other issues included Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and repression of ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • Police will have to wear silly Buckingham Palace hats from now on, says Police Minister
    Those close to the Police Minister believe the initiative may be the result of Nash “seeing a great deal” on AliExpress. In a move that comes seemingly out of nowhere, Police Minister Stuart Nash announced this afternoon that he expects all frontline staff to don bearskin hats, famously worn by ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    6 days ago
  • A sensible crackdown
    The government has released its Arms Legislation Bill, containing the second tranche of changes to gun laws following the March 15 massacre. And it all looks quite sensible: a national gun register, higher penalties for illegal possession and dealing, tighter restrictions on arms dealers and shooting clubs, and a shorter ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • California bans private prisons
    Private prisons are a stain on humanity. Prison operators explicitly profit from human misery, then lobby for longer prisons terms so they can keep on profiting. And in the US, prison companies run not only local and state prisons, but also Donald Trump's immigration concentration camps. Faced with this moral ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Why PPPs are a bad idea
    When National was in power, they were very keen on Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs) - basicly, using private companies to finance public infrastructure as a way of hiding debt from the public. They were keen on using them for everything - roads, schools, hospitals. But as the UK shows, that "service" ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • A Movement That No Longer Moves.
    Moving And Shaking: There was a time when people spoke matter-of-factly about the “labour movement” – a political phenomenon understood to embrace much more than the Labour Party. Included within the term’s definition was the whole trade union movement – many of whose members looked upon the Labour Party as ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ ‘left’ politically embracing extreme postmodernism
    by Philip Ferguson Much of the left, even people who formally identify as marxists, have collapsed politically in the face of postmodern gender theory of the sort pioneered by American philosopher Judith Butler. For Butler even biological sex is socially constructed. “If the immutable character of sex is contested, perhaps ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    6 days ago
  • The obvious question
    The media is reporting that the (alleged) Labour party sexual assaulter has resigned from their job at Parliament, which means hopefully he won't be turning up there making people feel unsafe in future. Good. But as with everything about this scandal, it just raises other questions. Most significantly: why the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The moment I found out that you found out, I acted swiftly
    By Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern I am every bit as angry as you are. I am every bit as disappointed as you must be. The people with power, oversight and the ability to do something about these processes within the Labour Party should be ashamed. Whoever those people are, I ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    7 days ago
  • This is why people hate property developers
    Property developers think there is an "oversupply" of houses in Auckland:High turnover rates and falling prices may be a sign that there are too many new houses going in to some parts of Auckland, commentators say. [...] Property developer David Whitburn said there was a "bit of an oversupply" in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Australia to Pacific: “Fuck you, you can all drown”
    World leaders are meeting in New York in two weeks for the 2019 Climate Action Summit, where they are expected to announce new and more ambitious targets to stop the world from burning. But the Australian Prime Minister won't be there, despite being in the USA at the time:Scott Morrison ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Implausible ignorance
    Labour Party president Nigel Haworth resigned yesterday over the party's sexual assault scandal. But while that's good news, its unlikely to take away the stench of a coverup. Because according to Paula Bennett in Parliament yesterday, pretty much everyone in the Prime Minister's office was involved as well:I have been ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • Labour’s Fatal Flaw.
     Two-Faced? Labour insiders' commitment to the neoliberal status quo puts them at odds with their party’s membership; its trade union affiliates; and a majority of Labour voters, but this only serves to strengthen the perception they have of themselves as a special elite. Among the lesser breeds, they’ll talk up a ...
    7 days ago
  • Ten reasons the Tories do NOT want an election
    There has been a lot of talk about Boris Johnson wanting an election, and he has blustered with great gusto about 'chicken' Jeremy Corbyn refusing one, but I think there are many reasons why he is secretly glad he has been refused the opportunity:The Tories are an utter rabble,tearing themselves ...
    1 week ago
  • Prorogation Illegal, rule Scottish judges
    Scottish appeal court judges have declared that Boris Johnson’s decision to suspend parliament in the run-up to the October Brexit deadline is unlawful. The three judges, chaired by Lord Carloway, Scotland’s most senior judge, overturned an earlier ruling that the courts did not have the powers to interfere in the prime ...
    1 week ago
  • Let me explain what I meant by Everyday New Zealanders
    By Simon Bridges. The following is a press release from the office of Simon Bridges, leader of The National Party. Key ora, New Zealand. Happy Maori Language Week. Look, I’m writing to you today because I want to clear something up. There’s been a lot of kerfuffle around some things ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Yes, the SIS is subject to the Public Records Act
    I understand there's some stuff going round about how the SIS "was removed from the list of public offices covered by the Public Records Act in 2017". The context of course being their records derived from US torture, which will be disposed of or sealed. The good news is that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
    Dr. Christopher Labos and Jonathan Jarry discuss the recent Canadian fluoride/IQ research. They provide an expert analysis of the paper and its problems. Click on image to go to podcast. The critical debate about the recent ...
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Australia in denial
    Australia is burning down again, and meanwhile its natural disaster minister is denying climate change:Australia’s minister responsible for drought and natural disasters, David Littleproud, has said that he doesn’t “know if climate change is manmade”. Clarifying earlier comments that the question is “irrelevant” when considering the Coalition government’s response to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Philippines activist speaking on the Duterte tyranny
    Auckland Philippines Solidarity is excited to host Professor Judy Taguiwalo for a speaking tour of NZ in September. She is a well-known activist in the Philippines and was a political prisoner under the Marcos dictatorship. Professor Taguiwalo briefly served as a Cabinet member under President Duterte but was forced from ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Disgust
    I have no special insights to offer on the Labour sexual assault coverup. All I have is disgust. Disgust that an organisation could fail its people so badly. Disgust that they punished the victims rather than the perpetrator. Disgust that its party hacks are apparently blaming the victims for demanding ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women calls out Greens’ censorship
    This open letter to the Green Party was penned after an opinion piece by Jill Abigail, a feminist and founding member of the party, was censored by the Greens’ leadership. (Redline has reprinted her article here).The intolerance of the Green Party leaders and their acceptance of the misogyny of gender ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: End of Life Choice, part 3
    Today is a Member's day, and David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill continues its slow crawl through its committee stage. They're spending the whole day on it today, though the first hour is likely to be spent on voting left over from last time. After that they'll move on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Flight to Los Angeles turned back after passengers decide they don’t want to go anymore
    An ambitious plan to fly to Los Angeles petered out into a brief sight-seeing trip and a desire to return home and get some sleep before work tomorrow. Air New Zealand has confirmed a flight to Los Angeles last night was turned back about a quarter of the way into ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Indigenous Futures: defuturing and futuring – an analytical framework for policy development?
    There appears to be consensus – by omission – that the concept of indigenous futures should be accepted at face value. So I scavenged the internet to see if I could locate an academic descriptor or a framework around how we think about it as a concept, and whether it ...
    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Cadbury rumoured to be releasing the Pineapple Trump
    Here’s another novelty chocolate to shove in your gob, New Zealand Cadbury could be seeking to make itself great again with a rumoured new release: Pineapple Trumps, a spin on its classic chocolate-encased pineapple treat and do-it-yourself tooth remover. The global confectionery manufacturer and bumbling “before” character in an infomercial, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • The coming resource war.
    During my time in the Pentagon I had the privilege of sitting down with military leaders and defence and security officials from a variety of Latin American nations. Sometimes I was present as a subordinate assistant to a senior US defence department official, sometimes as part of a delegation that ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Māori Language Week with The Civilian
    Kia ora, Aotearoa. It’s that magical time of year. Te Wiki o te Reo Māori. In English, the week that frightens talk radio. As you probably know by now, all your favourite media outlets are participating, some more successfully than others. Stuff has changed its name to Puna for the ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Will Horizons act on climate change?
    Local body elections are coming up next month. And it looks like all Palmerston North candidates for Horizons (the Manawatu-Whanganui Regional Council) want to take action on climate change:Climate change is set to be a key issue in Palmerston North for the next three years if those wanting to get ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • BORA reform is stalled
    Eighteen months ago, the government promised to strengthen the Bill of Rights Act, by explicitly affirming the power of the courts to issue declarations of inconsistency and requiring Parliament to formally respond to them. So how's that going? I was curious, so I asked for all advice about the proposal. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Corbyn and Brexit
    As the Brexit saga staggers on, the focus is naturally enough on the Prime Minister and his attempts to achieve Brexit “do or die”. But the role played by the Leader of the Opposition is of almost equal interest and complexity. The first problem for Jeremy Corbyn is that he ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • A ditch for him to die in
    Last week, English Prime Minister Boris Johnson boldly declared that he would rather die be dead in a ditch than delay Brexit. Unfortunately for him, the UK parliament accepted the challenge, and promptly dug one for him. The "rebellion bill" requires him to ask for and secure yet another temporary ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Warning! Warning! Danger Jacinda Ardern! Danger Marama Davidson! Warning!
    Lost In Political Space: The most important takeaway from this latest Labour sexual assault scandal, which (if I may paraphrase Nixon’s White House counsel’s, John Dean’s, infamous description of Watergate) is “growing like a cancer” on the premiership, is the Labour Party organisation’s extraordinary professional paralysis in the face of ...
    1 week ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago

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