Some Random impertinent questions about Michelle Boag’s access to confidential medical information

Written By: - Date published: 8:24 am, July 9th, 2020 - 81 comments
Categories: health, national, same old national, spin, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags: , ,

No doubt these are matters that the Heron inquiry will delve into.  But Michelle Boag’s self serving press release from two days ago raises more questions than it answers.  Especially after yesterday’s announcement by the Helicopter Trust that information it holds on patients is private with access on a restricted basis and that in its view privacy rights had not been breached.  And her confirmation that she had received the information direct from the Ministry of Health.

She originally said:

The information was made available to me in my position as then Acting CEO of the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust, although it was sent to my private email address.

This raises a number of questions:

  • How long had she been receiving sensitive information from the Ministry of Health?
  • How was this arranged?
  • What other information was she provided with?
  • Why was her personal email account and not her Helicopter Trust email used?
  • If the provision of information predates her appointment as acting Chief Executive why was it provided?
  • How can the Helicopter Trust claim that privacy rights had not been breached by it unless in its view Boag was not receiving the information in her capacity as acting Chief Executive?
  • When was she appointed acting Chief Executive?
  • Why did Health think it necessary for this information to be provided daily rather than on a need to know basis?
  • When did she send the information to Walker and was it before or after he claimed that Queenstown was about to be invaded by Indians, Pakistanis and Koreans some of which had Covid?
  • Who else has she forwarded these reports to?
  • Does she really want the country to believe that she has not told her best friend Nikki Kaye about the information?
  • Is this related to the information leaks that Michael Woodhouse has been receiving?
  • Is she the source of the homeless man staying in the Plaza rumour?

Heron has the power to require Boag to produce any documents or things in her possession or control.  A trawl through her email account could provide interesting.

81 comments on “Some Random impertinent questions about Michelle Boag’s access to confidential medical information ”

  1. Andre 1

    A trawl through McFlock's comments in yesterday's Daily Review turns up a lot of plausible and apparently well-informed speculation about possible answers to some of those random questions.

  2. I Feel Love 2

    She said herself she has been receiving the info since the pandemic in NZ began. Why? That is the question.

    • Anne 2.1

      Because she asked for them? We're talking about the Queen B of NZ remember. She gets whatever she wants.

      Who – as in identity of individual – put her on the list? That is the question.

  3. Incognito 3

    What are the Terms of Reference of the enquiry and the time lines?

    Surely, MoH will know if Boag was on an authorised e-mail distribution list to receive said information.

  4. Enough is Enough 4

    We know where the information ended up. The key question is where did it originate from?

    Something untoward is going on within the MoH

  5. Frida 5

    As a health and privacy lawyer I am deeply concerned about this and I agree Micky, these questions all need to be answered.

  6. dv 6

    Yah recon that email still exists?

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    I sincerely hope Mr Heron is able to keep digging, because it really does appear there is a significant National mole in the MoH along with all the garden variety tory snitches in the public service.

    During the lockdown, Immigration was initially one Dept. that had difficulty enabling ‘work from home’ due to security issues. And during the height of the ‘Soubrek affair’ Simon Bridges had a near permanent early morning RNZ slot dropping the latest morsels of Govt embarrassing material someone had supplied to him over night.

    National has a busy dirty tricks IT group operating out of its parliamentary services anyway, regardless of whether Mr Brownlee’s “intelligence unit” was ever a reality. Seven year old social media files were trawled to get rid of one POTENTIAL Labour Candidate, so the Nat filthy squad should not be under estimated.

    • Anne 7.1

      …it really does appear there is a significant National mole in the MoH along with all the garden variety tory snitches in the public service.

      There's been plenty of those tory snitches down through the decades – fossicking into the personal lives of P.S. employees and leaking information to politicians and other agencies. I had one of those snitchy bosses.

      A National mole in the MOH? More like several moles if past practice is any indication.

  8. riffer 8

    Jesus, I hope this isn't going to turn into a "but her emails" election. Is there any legal impact if these emails have been deleted?

    Methinks MOH might have some questions to answer if it turns out that they were supplying emails to Michelle Boag on a regular basis, number one being who else is in receipt of this regular update, and can they explain the methodology behind choosing the recipients?

    • mary_a 8.1

      @ riffer (8) … I believe it is practice that all emergency and rescue services, of which the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust is one, are kept updated with official information regarding the present Covid-19 outbreak. This is a precautioary measure so medical and emergency personnel are able to protect themselves should they come into contact with an identified infected person as part of their work.

      Could be how Michelle Boag came to be on the mailing list, in her then capacity of acting CEO of ARHT. How that information was used and abused by her is the main issue here!

  9. George 9

    Again I mention the well publicised events in 2012 with Bronwyn Pullar ..leaked ACC claimant details of quite a few thousand people, and Michelle Boag slap bang in the middle.. on that occasion the details were " accidentally emailed" to Boag's friend Pullar. Quite the coincidence. How many of us or our friends are sent the medical files of others in such a way? Then they were sent to a reporter…sound familiar? Then Boag was representing Pullar in these ACC conferences where it was claimed by ACC that Pullar had asked for a large amount of money. You can Google this. It was about 8 years ago. Someone knows someone….

    • Wensleydale 9.1

      Happens to me all the time. I've lost count of how many times I've been 'accidentally' sent confidential government files. I've had to set up multiple e-mail accounts just to evade the torrents of scandal-ridden spam I'm sent on a daily basis.

      But seriously, that's a bullshit line and everyone knows it. This is National being National again. They couldn't lie straight in bed if you strapped them to a spinal board.

  10. Sacha 10

    All good questions, and so far we have only heard Boag's story about it all – which is to be trusted accordingly.

  11. mac1 11

    The question that also came to my mind was that fact that a member of a Trust is acting CEO of that Trust.

    Surely that is a very unusual arrangement with conflicting roles of governance and management?

    So the question of why and for how long is also pertinent.

    • Bill hanna 11.1

      mac1 My thoughts exactly

    • Sacha 11.2

      Operators like her thrive on conflicts of interest. And NZ's weak governance culture enables them.

      • tc 11.2.1

        Governance setup to achieve certain objectives as we've seen again and again.

        Governance doesn't mean it's good or serves the people. Ours serve the club.

        Our corporate governance has been a joke since the 90’s with international fund managers.

      • Chris 11.2.2

        And she doesn't communicate, she only bullies.

    • NZJester 11.3

      Also how she was even given that role after having misused the Rescue Helicopter back in 2006 to go get her passport for her she had left at home when going on a trip out of the country.

  12. 'WHO' is running the MOH ?

  13. Ffloyd 13

    Anyone seen Key lately. When there’s a bad smell he’s not usually far away.

    • tc 13.1

      Bad for his brand to be reminded of his absence of leadership when pullya did it as a minister.

  14. greywarshark 14

    I think that there has been a long-term government plan to make information about citizens available to all 'players' in the 'government business'. It is to primarily avoid double-ups on payments or concessions or treatments between departments and agencies and government/local government I believe. To cut down on fraud, and prevent people being able to ask for help from more than one entity so the authorities can be as miserly and cheese paring as possible.

    Also it is for fast access of patient records in medical emergencies. And for police to have fast access to anything they might decide they want to know.

    So it would probably be normal to have this information floating round on the ether. It seems to me it's like a smorgasbord out there. I used to work for solicitors and they would talk together about their clients private matters – it was an in-group of discreet, principled people. But now with the onset of the huge information hungry social media, and young people's incredible willingness to participate with a slogan in mind 'There are no strangers, only friends you haven't met', the idea of being an individual person in charge of your own life and details is well eroded.

  15. Chris 15

    Where have I seen that phrase 'some random impertinent questions' before?

  16. Chris T 16

    You might want to add, assuming the reports it was a spreadsheet are true.

    Why was it sent to a private email address?

    Why was it not password protected/or encrypted (like basic fricken shit)?

    Why it actually needed to be sent to her?

    Who is the idiot that decides who gets these emails?

    • Dennis Frank 16.1

      The Nat mole in the health dept who did it knew to send it to someone who would use it against the govt. Isn't that obvious? As regards the computer forensics, leave it to the QC because speculation is a waste of time. Mind you, the last QC Labour hired failed at that task – just issued a cover-up without even tracking the emails, so we ought not to expect competence!

      • Chris T 16.1.1

        Fair call.

        Like all of these things it will never probably come out any way.

        (from our most open and transparent govt ever, who ends up being just like the others)

        • Sacha 16.1.1.1

          The person who called this govt "open and transparent" was Clare Curran. That's all.

          • Enough is Enough 16.1.1.1.1

            "This government will foster a more open and democratic society. It will strengthen transparency around official information."

            J. Ardern

          • Chris T 16.1.1.1.2

            I can dig out the quotes from Ardern saying it if you like, but it would be annoying, you are the only one denying it and it is a bit have you not looked at the media.

          • observer 16.1.1.1.3

            People like to quote that comment, but the following are both entirely possible – and probably true:

            1) The government is not open and transparent.

            2) The government is the most open and transparent ever.

            If no. 2 is false, we need to name a predecessor, and I welcome suggestions.

            • Chris T 16.1.1.1.3.1

              Probably no govt has been open and transparent.

              The point is pretending you will be is quite laughable

              • woodart

                like pretending to do away with unneccesary red tape?bonfire of regulations etc.

      • Incognito 16.1.2

        I would not expect competence from a QC and former Solicitor General. They’re just hired to whitewash and spin away inconveniencies and remove ‘disturbances in the force’. /sarc

        Mind you, you’re completely wrong about who hired the QC. Hint: it is not Labour.

        But don’t let a tiny inconvenient fact spoil your nice wee rant 😉

    • I received privalaged emails from the MOH all through the lock down, none since it ended, never were names and places other than reference to known clusters used. Always to a work Email not private.

      The MOH is too savy to release information that would identify individuals, so this breech has a real stink to it. The accessing of information is all traceable, DHB,s conduct random audits of who accesses what information, people are gone overnight if found to be inbreech, they then lose there health registrations with their professional bodies. Someone somewhere will be shitting themselves waiting for the knock on the door.

      • Anne 16.2.1

        Very interesting. Thank you Psych Nurse.

        Names and addresses of Covid patients sent to Michelle Boag was one very large red flag from the start. No way was she in a position that entitled her to such a privilege – especially given her extremely close emotional and ideological ties to a major political party.

        • Peter 16.2.1.1

          "No way was she in a position that entitled her to such a privilege – especially given her extremely close emotional and ideological ties to a major political party."

          Did some minions in the MSD decide that Winston Peters' confidential information should go to people with close emotional and ideological ties to a major political party?

          On grounds that were superficial and spurious? And that serious, independent in-depth consideration and analysis of those grounds was secondary to following other smells on other tracks?

          • Anne 16.2.1.1.1

            On grounds that were superficial and spurious? And that serious, independent in-depth consideration and analysis of those grounds was secondary to following other smells on other tracks?

            WTF?surprise

            And what's WP got to do with it?

      • Chris 16.2.2

        Yes, health information has its own specific set of privacy rules so just the fact something like this was sent to someone like Boag says a lot.

  17. joe90 17

    @ Chris T (no reply function)

    My SO convenes multiple inter-agency panels and manages spreadsheet data on agency platforms. Using a private address points to a deliberate circumvention of platform protocols.

    Dirty politics from a rotten to the core party helmed by amoral, born to rule fuckwits.

    [Added a space after full stop to improve readability]

    • Chris T 17.1

      Sorry but that is a crock of shit.

      You don't send private data to private emails.

      And even to govt addresses

      It should at the very least be password protected if you are stupid enough to do so.

      Edit: Information that sensitive

    • Chris T 17.2

      As an aside I am not denying the Nat MP behaved appallingly

      The dude is obviously an arsehole, but you also need to look at how he obtained the data and the basic security of the system.

      • Drowsy M. Kram 17.2.1

        It's regrettable that the constituents of the Clutha-Southland electorate have had to endure a brace (at least) of MPs who exhibited such a paucity of political perspicacity. Surely that electorate must get lucky eventually.

        • Wensleydale 17.2.1.1

          I wouldn't hold my breath. It's been said you could pin a blue rosette on a goat down there and they'd vote for it.

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 17.2.2

        Repeating the current National Party mantra – "individual bad apple, rogue operator" etc etc.

        When in fact the actual issue is that the Dirty Politics culture is alive and well in National and as a party they routinely display the morals of an alley cat selling meth outside a kindergarten (and the meth is drain cleaner just disguised to look like meth).

      • Chris 17.2.3

        Regardless of how sensitive information may be, there will always be a human who has control over that information. If that human decides to treat that information in a way they're not supposed to, no system security can necessarily stop that.

  18. joe90 18

    As I said, data is managed on secure platforms and accessed by those with appropriate permissions. Someone has circumvented platform protocols and forwarded data to an amoral party with an history of playing fast and loose with private information.

  19. Chris 19

    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/122081806/michelle-boag-offers-to-resign-from-simplicity-kiwisaver-board

    Boag's income is going to take a hit over this. How many more parasitic and narcissist-driven sweet numbers does she have? If they all come crumbling down there'll be very little left for her to milk.
    Her complete and utter irrelevance will be on show for all to see..

    • woodart 19.1

      she still will be getting the pension, until the nats means test it!

      • Chris 19.1.1

        That's all though, but I suppose the chances of her being a slum landlord are pretty high, too, so there's always that.

    • Paddington 19.2

      Good! This person has been a stain on politics for far too long.

  20. Brian Tregaskin 20

    I received privalaged emails from the MOH all through the lock down, none since it ended, never were names and places other than reference to known clusters used. Always to a work Email not private.

    The MOH is too savy to release information that would identify individuals, so this breech has a real stink to it. The accessing of information is all traceable, DHB,s conduct random audits of who accesses what information, people are gone overnight if found to be inbreech, they then lose there health registrations with their professional bodies. Someone somewhere will be shitting themselves waiting for the knock on the door.

    NZ could be looking at its first treason charge against an individual if there is indeed a "MOH leaker" (employee or contractor) and if the actions endangered the NZ People.

    • woodart 20.1

      yes, sending personal medical history with names and addresses to a private email address is the killer. there will be nerds frantically trying to erase the trail, but luckily(?) our electronic footprint can be traced back, even with burner phones. and the g.p.s. will show where the phone was while being used. aint big brother wonderful? nothing to hide, nothing to fear..

    • Adrian 20.2

      Treason! Great, do we still do Capital Punishment. ? quick, order the popcorn.

  21. Brian Tregaskin 21

    New Zealand

    New Zealand has treason laws that are stipulated under the Crimes Act 1961. Section 73 of the Crimes Act reads as follows:

    Every one owing allegiance to Her Majesty the Queen in right of New Zealand commits treason who, within or outside New Zealand,—

    (a) Kills or wounds or does grievous bodily harm to Her Majesty the Queen, or imprisons or restrains her; or

    (b) Levies war against New Zealand; or

    (c) Assists an enemy at war with New Zealand, or any armed forces against which New Zealand forces are engaged in hostilities, whether or not a state of war exists between New Zealand and any other country; or

    (d) Incites or assists any person with force to invade New Zealand; or

    (e) Uses force for the purpose of overthrowing the Government of New Zealand; or

    (f) Conspires with any person to do anything mentioned in this section.

    The penalty is life imprisonment, except for conspiracy, for which the maximum sentence is 14 years' imprisonment.

    MOH leaker could be charged under f (maximum sentence is 14 years' imprisonment.)

    • McFlock 21.1

      F? Conspiring to do what…levy war against NZ via email? lol

      • Brian Tregaskin 21.1.1

        Not the email –other things

        If there is a "MOH Leaker" and that persons actions led to a case of COIVD-19 community transmission by leaking information to an opposition party and both parties don't act on the alarm and sit on it—e and f charges could apply. An intentional COIVD-19 community transmission would be Force.

        e) Uses force for the purpose of overthrowing the Government of New Zealand; or

        (f) Conspires with any person to do anything mentioned in this section.

        • McFlock 21.1.1.1

          How is it "overthrowing the government of New Zealand"?

          I think you're massively overreaching there.

          • Brian Tregaskin 21.1.1.1.1

            Let me spell it out to you if the National party sat on information in the hope a community transmission may happen "if we wait long enough" to bring down the current Government of New Zealand.

            changing the subject from treason from Daily blog -quote
            When the confession came from Walker and resignation from Boag, we knew we were seeing the biggest political story in NZ for many years. We all accept our media is running interference for the National Party and for National to win in September, NZ must lose the Covid battle. The biggest question now was how will our media sell what’s unfolded?

            • McFlock 21.1.1.1.1.1

              Besides the fact that Boag did the opposite of "sitting on information", you can't "overthrow" the government by winning an election.

              Otherwise every party campaigning for the last 150 years has been committing treason.

        • Gabby 21.1.1.2

          I don't think so Tim. Nobody's conspiring with someone who is using force etc.

  22. Heather Tanguay 22

    The questions raised by Micky are all most interesting and I sincerely hope we get the answers. I am pleased that the independent enquiry is going ahead, hopefully that will provide the answers.

    I agree with the comments about Governance at the Helicopter Trust. Was Boag both the CEO and a member of the Trust. Who were the people who stated the Helicopter Trust did not receive the emails?

    Can not believe there are only the two of them involved.

  23. The intrigue is fascinating, better than Sherlock Holmes

  24. NZJester 24

    MSN has reprinted a story from The Spinoff by Sam Brooks their Culture Editor.

    A list of some of her greatest Hits.

    https://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/national/the-insider-three-decades-of-amazing-michelle-boag-headlines/ar-BB16uNo1

    How was she sill on that board after sending the rescue helicopter to pick up her passport back in 2006?

  25. JustMe 25

    Michelle Boag is obviously a very nasty piece of work and probably has been all throughout her lifetime. In fact I was talking to a neighbour recently who grew up near to the Boag's in Glen Eden. I was told she was a nasty person even as a child and it has continued even into 'adult-hood'. He said he is pleased she has been caught out as it has been a long time in coming.

    Recently we heard Michelle Boag again demean herself and her beloved NZ National Party by trying to blame the Minister of Health for the personal information of the COVID-19 patients being sent to her. She resorted to the typical National Party Mantra of blaming everyone else but the face staring back at say Michelle Boag in the mirror of her life.

    She deliberately and without an iota of remorse or conscience breached the right to privacy of NZ citizens and all for the purpose of National gaining 'brownie point' politically. What a shallow creature she truly is. I have come to the conclusion in regards to Michelle Boag that she is living proof that both Satan and the NZ National Party would be so proud to have her within their midst. Well done National for showing to us all what most humans should never be like.

    Her short-sightedness is a bad reflection back upon National and so on her head be it(whatever Muller and National decide). If National gives her a mere slap on the hand with a wet bus ticket then it's likely she will not have learnt a lesson from it all and will embarrass National again later on down the track. I am sure she has embarrassed the previous National government in the past i.e about 2011 or so.

    Boag mis-used resources i.e had a Rescue Helicopter fly from Mechanics' Bay to Waiheke Island and then onto the Auckland International Airport because Boag had left her 'passport' on the Island. The cost of that flight was $4000.00. I am now wondering if Boag paid that or if she made the payment as a donation so as to claim it back in tax later.

    The General Election is not too far away and whilst National resorts to dirty politics I am hoping their actions will catch up on them at the voting booths around the country. I am sure NZers cannot stand this sort of behaviour from those elected to serve them.

    My tolerance of National and its supporters is non-existent now. I think alot of NZers are feeling this way. We are fed up with the petty nasty behaviour of elected members of society who hold the right to privacy of those in their electorates with utter contempt.

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    The Tertiary Education Commission has named the two universities it says are at high risk financially. They are Massey and Victoria. The Commission appeared before Parliament’s Education Select Committee yesterday and offered a revealing and rare insight into the complex world of university economics. Its Briefing to the Incoming Minister ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 day ago
  • You keep Luxin' when you oughta be thruthin'
    Christopher Luxon’s campaign to win last year's election continued yesterday with a speech.Channelling possibly Bruce Willis in Die Hard, he was all, I'm not going to dress it up, I'm going to level with you guys: the state of the nation is fragile.The thing he’s maybe missing is that it ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    2 days ago
  • The PM spoke of the need for tough choices – and then opted to beat a retreat when gays and Gaza a...
    Buzz from the Beehive The PM’s State of the Nation speech – according to a Newshub headline – was a ‘buffet of buzzwords’ and full of ‘nonsense’. Fair to say, the quoted words were attributed to Opposition politicians, who were unlikely to say the speech was visionary and inspiring: PM ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    2 days ago
  • Keynesian Wisdom.
    When the facts change, I change my mind - what do you do, sir?John Maynard Keynes (1883-1946)This posting is exclusive to Bowalley Road. ...
    2 days ago
  • BRIAN EASTON: Puffing policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. Brian Easton writes – In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    2 days ago
  • Is 2.8% per year population growth too much?
    TL;DR: The Government is reviewing migration settings that produced 2.8% population growth last year and is looking at a longer-term strategy of matching population growth to the ‘absorbtive capacity’ of Aotearoa-NZ’s infrastructure.Our population grew last year at its fastest rate since 1947, when large numbers of troops returning from World ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    2 days ago
  • Tough Choices & Tough Love.
    I've been trying to hurt youI've been holding you tightI've been learning to love youAm I doing it right?How are you still breathingWith my hands all over your heart?How do we start healingIf we can't keep out the dark?Yesterday the Prime Minister delivered his State of the Nation, for no ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    2 days ago
  • Will the 2024 RLTP be yet another debacle?
    A couple of years ago, Auckland Council and Auckland Transport found themselves in court over the 2021 Regional Land Transport Plan (RLTP). A non-profit alliance for transport decarbonisation, All Aboard Aotearoa, argued that among other factors, the RLTP was unlawful because it failed to give effect to the 2021 Government ...
    2 days ago
  • 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #07
    A listing of 31 news and opinion articles we found interesting and shared on social media during the past week: Sun, Feb 11, 2024 thru Sat, Feb 17, 2024. Story of the week Based on mission alignment, our Story of the Week is certainly Can we be inoculated against climate ...
    3 days ago
  • Immigration Issues.
    Help is comingI heard a whisperWhite caps turningThe breath of summerA distant drummingAnd liar birds callingEscape the anguish of our pastAnd prayOne of the major challenges of the the 21st century will be the mass migration of human beings around our globe.Some seeking economic opportunities, others fleeing repressive regimes, war ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Trust us, we know what we’re doing
    The best trick the National Party ever pulled was to fabricate their reputation as the responsible ones.This would be the National Party that denied us the New Zealand Superannuation Scheme that—Brian Gaynor wrote back in 2007would be worth more than $240 billion today and would have transformed the New Zealand ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    3 days ago
  • The Left’s Timidity
    It is not just Karl Marx – even the most enthusiastic supporters of the market economy (not least Adam Smith) will concede that its normal operation inevitably leads to a concentration of wealth in relatively few hands. Some, at least, of these enthusiasts will accept that such a concentration is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    4 days ago
  • OLIVER HARTWICH: Absurd – NZ courts can now decide on climate change
    Oliver Hartwich writes – The World Justice Project ranks New Zealand 7th out of 142 countries on its ‘Rule of Law Index’, narrowly ahead of Australia’s 13th place. However, Australia still has hope – if only because of a recent decision by the Supreme Court of New Zealand. The ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    4 days ago
  • Still waiting on that turnaround
    Hello! Here comes the Saturday edition of More Than A Feilding, catching you up on the past week’s editions.Friday: Week in review, quiz style2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    4 days ago
  • Mihi Forbes and the great Atlas conspiracy
    Graham Adams writes — Last week, Mihingarangi Forbes made an extraordinary claim while interviewing David Seymour on Mata Reports, a taxpayer-funded current affairs programme which, she says, looks at events through an “indigenous lens”. She asked him about Act’s links to the Atlas Network, which fosters connections between centre-right ...
    Point of OrderBy gadams1000
    5 days ago
  • Puffing Policy
    Public policy towards tobacco consumption remains politically sensitive. In 1983, a young researcher was told by a medium-level Treasury official that Treasury policy was to abandon excise duties on tobacco. The senior Treasury economist that I consulted, famed for his commonsense, snorted ‘we need the money’. He explained that no-excise-duty ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    5 days ago
  • Luxon is one of three prime ministers pressing for a ceasefire in Gaza – but the two-state solutio...
    Buzz from the Beehive Two days after hundreds of people rallied outside the New Zealand parliament and the US embassy in Wellington to protest against what they maintain is genocide in Gaza,  Prime Minister Chris Luxon joined with the Prime Ministers of Australia and Canada to express their  concerns that ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    5 days ago
  • All jellied up with possum grease
    1. Shane Jones, addressing the energy industry, called climate concern what?a. The only sane responseb. Undeniably valid c. Our last best hope d. A "religion" 2. Shane Jones’ demeanour in mocking and deriding climate activists can be observed in what other realm of human behaviour?a. Gleeful little boys pulling wings off fliesb. Gleeful ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    5 days ago
  • Equality comes to Greece
    The Greek Parliament has voted for marriage equality: Greece has become the first Christian Orthodox-majority country to legalise same-sex marriage. Same-sex couples will now also be legally allowed to adopt children after Thursday's 176-76 vote in parliament. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the new law would "boldly abolish a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • CHRIS TROTTER:  Iron in her soul.
      “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche   Chris Trotter writes – TELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    5 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to Feb 16
    Net emigration of New Zealanders overseas hit a record-high 47,000 in the 2023 year, which only partly offset net immigration of 173,000, which was dominated by arrivals from India, the Philippines and China with temporary work visas. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The five things that mattered in Aotearoa’s ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Stop Whispering.
    There's nothing to sayAnd there's nothing to doStop whispering, start shoutingStop whispering, start shoutingYesterday our government surprised a few of us by standing up for something. It wasn’t for the benefit of people who own holiday homes and multiple investment properties. Neither were there any tobacco companies or fishing cartels ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    5 days ago
  • “I'm Not Keen on Whataboutism, But What About…”
    Hi,Not sure how your week is going, but I’ve had a pretty frustrating one. I’ve been trying to put my finger on it, and I think it’s perhaps distilled in this message I got on Twitter:What got me a bit riled up is that it was a response to the ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on National passing bad policies under urgency
    If National really had faith in its welfare policies, it wouldn’t be ramming them through Parliament under urgency – a step that means the policies can’t be exposed to select committee debate, public submissions, expert commentary, media scrutiny and all the normal democratic processes that this coalition appears to hold ...
    5 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 16-February-2024
    It’s Friday so once again here”s our roundup of some of the articles that caught our attention this week. This Week in Greater Auckland On Monday Matt looked at the Government’s war on Auckland. On Tuesday Matt covered the ongoing issues with the rail network. On Thursday Matt ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    5 days ago
  • The Dawn Chorus for Friday, February 16
    The six things to note in my view at 6.30 am on Friday, February 16 in Aotearoa-NZ’s political economy are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Iron In Her Soul.
    “Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.” – Friedrich NietzscheTELEVISION NEW ZEALAND is to be congratulated for inviting Chloe Swarbrick onto its Q+A current affairs show. The Green MP for Auckland Central is the odds-on ...
    5 days ago
  • Dig this
    Resources Minister Shane Jones yesterday told a breakfast hosted by Energy Resources Aotearoa precisely what they wanted to hear. “We campaigned to rehabilitate relegitimise and stand up for working families who derive their income,  derive their hope and derive purpose in regional New Zealand through a flourishing, growing, forward-leaning energy ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #7 2024
    Open access notables Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course, van Westen et al., Science Advances: Here, we show results of the first tipping event in the Community Earth System Model, including the large climate impacts of the collapse. Using these results, we develop a physics-based and ...
    6 days ago
  • A rejection of the rule of law
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Shrugging-Off The Atlas Network.
    Upholding The Status-Quo: The Left’s election defeat is not the work of the Atlas Network. It is not even the work of David Seymour and Act. It is the work of ordinary citizens who liked the Right’s stories better than they liked the Left’s. If the Right’s stories were made ...
    6 days ago
  • BARRIE SAUNDERS: Treaty Principles – all rather problematic
    Barrie Saunders writes – When ACT’s leader said they wanted legislation to state what the Treaty principles mean, my first thought was this will be controversial and divisive.  Clearly it is. The first reference to the principles of the Treaty were contained in the 1975 Act establishing the Treaty of ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    6 days ago
  • Luxon Rejects The “Rejection Election” At His Peril.
    Fitting Right In: National retailed a reactionary manifesto of right-wing, racially-charged policies to the electorate throughout 2023. No talk back then of ignoring the overwhelming political preferences of the voting public and making a strong stand on principle. If Luxon’s pollsters and focus-groups were telling him that the public was ...
    6 days ago
  • Valentine’s Day went unnoticed on the Beehive website – but it is not “baa, humbug” to celeb...
    Buzz from the Beehive None of our ministers – a quick check with the Beehive website suggests – found cause to mention, let along celebrate, Valentine’s Day. But two ministers – Agriculture Minister Todd McClay and Rural Communities Minister Mark Patterson – ensured that National Lamb Day did not pass ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    6 days ago
  • Are You A Leftist?
    Nothing To Lose But Our Chains: The emancipatory movement which the Left, understood correctly, has always been, cannot accommodate those who are only able to celebrate one group’s freedom by taking it from another. The expectation, always, among leftists, is that liberty enlarges us. That striking-off a person’s shackles not ...
    6 days ago
  • An unlawful directive
    An interesting question in the Parliamentary written questions feed today, from Jan Tinetti to the Minister of Education: Has she or her Office directed the Ministry of Education to not release Official Information Act material prior to the full twenty working days, if so, why? Given that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • I’ve been doing this all wrong
    Here are six words that are not easy to say but god it can feel good when you finally say them:I’ve been doing this all wrongFive years ago today I said to myself:What if I'm doing this all wrong?Five years ago today I said to Karren: I think I’m going to ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”
    This is a re-post from RealClimate by Stefan Rahmstorf A new paper was published in Science Advances today. Its title says what it is about: “Physics-based early warning signal shows that AMOC is on tipping course.” The study follows one by Danish colleagues which made headlines last July, likewise looking for early warning signals ...
    6 days ago
  • Drawn
    A ballot for five Member's Bills was held today, and the following bills were drawn: Parole (Mandatory Completion of Rehabilitative Programmes) Amendment Bill (Todd Stephenson) Goods and Services Tax (Removing GST From Food) Amendment Bill (Rawiri Waititi) Income Tax (ACC Payments) Amendment Bill (Hamish Campbell) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Valentines from ACT.
    Some of us make a big deal out of Valentine’s Day. We’ll buy the flowers, eye watering though the price spike might be. Say the things we should be saying anyway, although diminished by being scheduled for delivery. Some of us will even write long free-form newsletters with declarations of ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Tax cuts paid for by 13k more kids in poverty
    MSD advised the government that the indexation change it passed under urgency last night is likely to put around 7,000 extra children (and potentially up to 13,000) into poverty. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: The Government has reverted indexation for main beneficiaries to price inflation from wage inflation under ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Fuel Tax Fight and Rail Fail update
    The two stories we covered at the start of the week continue to be in the headlines so it’s worth looking at the latest for each of them. Regional Fuel Tax Mayor Wayne Brown promised some ‘argy-bargy’ over the government’s decision to cancel the Regional Fuel Tax and he’s ...
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: Arsonists
    Today, a major fire broke out on the Port Hills in Ōtutahi. Like its 2017 predecessors, it is almost certainly exacerbated by climate change. And it is still burning. The present government did not start the fire. But they piled the tinder high last time they were in power, gutting ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • I don’t know!
    http://en.kremlin.ru/events/president/news/73411 7 examples And who actually makes the decisions? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know. America is a complex country, conservative on the one hand, rapidly changing on the other. It’s not easy for us to sort it all out.   Tucker Carlson: Do you think Zelensky has the freedom to negotiate the settlement to this conflict? Vladimir Putin: I don’t know the details, of course it’s difficult for me to judge, but ...
    7 days ago
  • Fresh thinkers
    Fresh thinking will always give you hope.It might be the kind that makes you smite your brow, exclaiming: Why didn't we think of that! It's obvious!It might be the kind that makes you go: Dude you’re a genius.Sometimes it will simply be Wayne Brown handing Simeon Brown his weasel ass ...
    More than a fieldingBy David Slack
    7 days ago
  • It is not about age, it is about team.
    Much attention has been directed at Joe Biden’s mental lapses and physical frailty. Less attention has been spent on Donald Trump’s cognitive difficulties and physical limitations, with most focus being devoted to his insults and exaggerated claims (as if they … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    7 days ago
  • ROBERT MacCULLOCH: Fletcher Building – it is time to break up NZ’s most useless company.
    Robert MacCulloch writes –  Gosh, the CEO of Fletcher Building, Ross Taylor, says today’s announcement of a half-year loss of $120 million for the company is “disappointing” and was “heavily impacted” by the Convention Centre losses. He must be crying all the way to the bank (to quote Las ...
    Point of OrderBy poonzteam5443
    7 days ago
  • Mortgage rates seen high for even longer
    Government and borrower hopes for early mortgage cost relief look likely to be thwarted. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: Stronger-than-expected US inflation data out overnight is expected to delay the first US Federal Reserve rate cut into the second half of 2024, which in turn would hold mortgage rates ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    7 days ago
  • Member’s Day
    Today is a Member's Day, the first of the new Parliament. And to start the Parliament off, there's a bunch of first readings. A bunch of other bills have been postponed, so first up is Duncan Webb's District Court (Protecting Judgment Debtors on Main Benefit) Amendment Bill, followed by Katie ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Three Waters go down the legislative gurgler – but what should we make of Local Water Done Well?
    Buzz from the Beehive Local Government Minister Simeon Brown – it seems fair to suppose – was flushed with success after the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation. As he explained, repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing his government’s Local Water Done Well ...
    Point of OrderBy Bob Edlin
    1 week ago
  • Gordon Campbell on five of Luxon’s Gaza absurdities
    Earlier this week, PM Christopher Luxon met with 48 public service CEOs to make sure they were on board with his plans to cut spending on public services so that National can proceed to give the revenue away to those New Zealanders least in need. This wasn’t the only absurdity ...
    1 week ago
  • Love and the Fairer Sex.
    This morning I woke early with many thoughts in my head of things said, events of the week, things that matter. I’m afraid none of them involved Seymour, Willis, or Luxon so if you’re looking for something political maybe take the day off and come back tomorrow. You won’t find ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago
  • He stood up to Muldoon and Lange and the Fji army
    Gerald Hensley, who died aged 88 on Saturday, was the key official who presided over the tumultuous events that followed the election of the Lange Labour Government in 1984. He was also instrumental in helping a key Fijian official escape the country during one of the 1987 coups. A diplomat ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    1 week ago

  • PM shocked and saddened at death of Efeso Collins
    “I am truly shocked and saddened at the news of Efeso Collins’ sudden death,” Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “Efeso was a good man, always friendly and kind, and a true champion and advocate for his Samoan and South Auckland communities. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his family, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 mins ago
  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Cost of living support for beneficiary households
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its commitment to ease the cost-of-living by increasing main benefit rates in line with inflation and ensuring the Minimum Family Tax Credit threshold remains aligned with this change, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. The Social Security (Benefits Adjustment) and Income Tax ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government announces agriculture delegations to better support Primary sector
    The coalition Government has announced ministerial delegations to support key areas across the Primary sector to deliver for New Zealand’s food and fibre sector, Agriculture Minister Todd McClay announced today. “I will be supported in my roles as Minister of Agriculture, Trade, Forestry and Hunting and Fishing, by three Associate ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Waikato MoU reinforces Govt’s commitment to increase NZ doctors
    The Government has taken an important step forward in addressing a critical shortage of New Zealand-trained doctors, with today’s signing of a Memorandum of Understanding for a third medical school, Minister of Health Dr Shane Reti has announced.  “Today’s signing by the Ministry of Health and the University of Waikato ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech – Lunar New Year 2024
    Annyeonghaseyo, greetings and welcome all. It is my pleasure as the Minister for Ethnic Communities to welcome you to the first Lunar New Year Event in Parliament. Thank you to our emcees for greeting us in the different languages that represent the many cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More funding to Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti
    Urgent work to clean-up cyclone-affected regions will continue, thanks to a $63 million boost from the Government for sediment and debris removal in Hawke’s Bay and Tairāwhiti.                                                                                                   The funding will help local councils continue urgent work removing and disposing of sediment and debris left from Cyclone Gabrielle.   “This additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Budget will be delivered on 30 May
    Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, Finance Minister Nicola Willis says. The plans will be announced in the Budget which is currently being developed by Ministers.  “The last government’s mismanagement of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government advances Local Water Done Well
    The Coalition Government is continuing work to restore council ownership and control of water assets by repealing Three Waters and appointing a Technical Advisory Group to provide expert advice on the implementation of Local Water Done Well, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “The Government will pass a bill to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister congratulates NZQA Top Scholars
    Education Minister Erica Stanford congratulates the New Zealand Scholarship recipients from 2023 announced today.  “Receiving a New Zealand Scholarship is a fantastic achievement and is a testament to the hard work and dedication the recipients have put in throughout the year,” says Ms Stanford.  “New Zealand Scholarship tests not only ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has today announced five new diplomatic appointments.  "Strong and effective diplomacy to protect and advance our interests in the world is needed now more than ever," Mr Peters says.  “We are delighted to appoint senior diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade to these ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech to the Committee for Auckland
    It is great to be here today at this event as Minister for Auckland and Minister ofTransport. Let me start by acknowledging each one of you and thanking the Committee forAuckland for hosting this event and inviting me to speak here today. The Committee for Auckland has been a symbol ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting Transport Back on Track in Auckland
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has today confirmed his high-level transport priorities for Auckland, in the lead up to releasing the draft Government Policy Statement on Land Transport. “Our economic growth and productivity are underpinned by a transport network that enables people and freight to move around safely and efficiently. At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government to axe Auckland Regional Fuel Tax
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has confirmed that the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax will end on 30 June 2024. “Today, I can confirm that the Government has agreed to remove the Auckland Regional Fuel Tax in line with our coalition commitments, and legislation will be introduced to parliament to repeal the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister Calls for Work to Tackle Kina Barrens
    Changes to fishing rules and a significant science programme are being undertaken to address kina barrens, says Minister for Oceans and Fisheries Shane Jones. “There has been tremendous interest from iwi, communities and recreational fishers who had raised concerns about such kina infestations being a major threat to Northland’s marine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Government law and order crackdown begins
    The coalition Government is making good on its promise to restore law and order by removing government funding for Section 27 reports and abolishing the previous Labour Government’s prison reduction target, Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Corrections Minister Mark Mitchell say.  “In recent years, the development of Section 27 reports ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Greater focus on getting people into work
    The coalition government will refocus employment efforts and the welfare system so that supporting people who can work into jobs is the number one priority, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. “Of concern in the labour market statistics released by Stats NZ today was the number of youth not ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • One year on, NZ appeals for release of Phillip Mehrtens
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appealed to those holding New Zealand pilot Phillip Mehrtens in remote Papua, Indonesia, to release him immediately.  Phillip Mehrtens was taken hostage a year ago on 7 February in Paro, Papua, while providing vital air links and supplies to remote communities. “We strongly urge those holding ...
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    2 weeks ago
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