Spies and lies – can anyone trust Key?

Written By: - Date published: 6:52 am, June 13th, 2013 - 43 comments
Categories: accountability, human rights, International, national, Spying - Tags: , ,

The angles and implications of the GCSB / PRISM / Palantir story are multiplying at a frightening rate, and only a mug would trust anything coming out from the government about it. How’s this for starers:

Report on GCSB changed from ‘sensitive’ to ‘sanitised’

The senior lawyer appointed by the Prime Minister to investigate the GCSB wrote a report which was more detailed and highly classified than the one released.

The existence of the highly classified version of the report was revealed by Air Marshal Sir Bruce Ferguson, who was a former director of the GCSB and consulted on a draft of the report. He said the report released was “a sanitised version”.

Right, so – where is the full version of the report, who has seen it, what does it say, and why is it being hidden?

Are New Zealand spy agencies feeding into the American / NSA data mining technologies such as PRISM? The Greens make a good case:

Greens sure Palantir working for Govt

The Prime Minister has done his best to shut down questions about whether his spy agencies are outsourcing confidential data to American software company Palantir. The Greens say there’s no doubt Palantir’s working with the Government, suggesting it may even be replicating the controversial US PRISM system.

Palantir mines data for some of the world’s most powerful spy agencies. Staff call its California headquarters “The Shire”, and the company’s named after a seeing stone from the Lord of the Rings. That’s not the only New Zealand connection. Palantir has an office in Wellington. Its goal is to “bring Silicon Valley to New Zealand”.

“I want to know if John Key is creating a New Zealand version of PRISM to spy on us,” Green Party co-leader Russel Norman says.

Unlike PRISM, the Palantir software that US spies use apparently doesn’t collect data; it sifts through it. It matches everything from phone records, internet activity, credit card use and GPS locations to find patterns.

Dr Norman wants answers from the Prime Minister. “Is his government using Palantir to replicate the US PRISM spy system?” But Mr Key won’t divulge any information.

Here’s the (start of the) relevant exchange from Question time yesterday:

2. Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader—Green) to the Prime Minister: What intelligence agencies that he is responsible for, have contracts with Palantir; if so, what is the nature of those contracts?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): It is not my practice to discuss the operational capabilities or contracts of the New Zealand intelligence agencies. I do not believe it is in the public interest to do so.

Dr Russel Norman: Does intelligence data-mining company Palantir have any contracts with other New Zealand Government agencies or departments, such as the Police or Defence Force?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: In terms of the intelligence agencies, it is not my practice to talk about who they have contracts with and who they do not. In terms of the Police or others, I am not in a position to answer that question.

Dr Russel Norman: Will he allow Palantir to embed one of its analysts in his Government, given that the company is advertising just such an embedded position?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: What takes place in terms of the operational matters of intelligence agencies and any company they may contract with is a matter for them, and they would not reference that to me.

Dr Russel Norman: I seek leave to table the job advert from Palantir for an embedded analyst in Government New Zealand—

Mr SPEAKER: What is the source of the document, please?

Dr Russel Norman: It is a job advertisement from a company called Palantir—

Mr SPEAKER: Yes, but where has the member sourced the advert from?

Dr Russel Norman: The document is from May 2013, and it was printed off the Palantir careers website.

Mr SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table that document. Is there any objection? There is.

Dr Russel Norman: Given that it is obvious his Government is using Palantir, will he cut Government ties with the company if it is proven to be involved in violating the privacy of New Zealanders through the PRISM spy system?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: As I have said on numerous occasions, it is not my policy—nor has it been any other Prime Minister’s policy—to talk about the operational matters of the Government Communications Security Bureau or SIS. What I can reconfirm for the member, though, is the same point I made yesterday: I am confident, on the legal advice that I have received from my agencies, that they act within the law at all times, and there have not been any occasions where the Government Communications Security Bureau has advised me that it has sought to circumvent the law.

Dr Russel Norman: Is his Government using Palantir to replicate the US PRISM spy system so that it can more intensely spy into every aspect of New Zealanders’ online activity?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: The member is basing his question on a hypothetical assumption. As I said, I am not in a position to comment about what capability our intelligence agencies have or do not have. But what I can say, though, is that the Government Communications Security Bureau and the SIS have very clear rules under which circumstances they can gather information about New Zealanders. Those rules require, not least of all, me, as the Minister in charge, to sign the warrant. That warrant has to be recommended and supported by the Commissioner of Security Warrants. It is a very detailed and significant process. The member knows that, and the reason he shakes his head in answer to those questions is that he is trying to delude members of the public. He sits on the Intelligence and Security Committee, he knows what goes on, and if he wants to carry on the act, he is free to do so, but I do not think he will convince very many New Zealanders.

Key repeatedly evades and refuses to answer the question. But the evidence all points to strong “cooperation” between NZ and US spy agencies – or in other words to NZ giving America whatever it asks for (case in point the bungled Kim Dotcom raids).

Just in passing note this little gem from Key’s last quoted answer:

But what I can say, though, is that the Government Communications Security Bureau and the SIS have very clear rules under which circumstances they can gather information about New Zealanders.

These “very clear rules” are exactly the same rules that are so unclear that new legislation has to be rushed through Parliament to “clarify” them, extend the GCSB’s powers, and retrospectively “validate” previously illegal spying. Key’s open self-contradiction on this point is farcical.

The next government should have a massive clean out of our entire security apparatus and agreements with foreign governments. Put together a Commission to decide what the powers of our security organisations should be, and what data (if any) should be shared outside of NZ. Implement the recommendations with publicly open checks and balances to make sure that they are followed. Enough of the current cloak and dagger nonsense.

43 comments on “Spies and lies – can anyone trust Key?”

  1. One Anonymous Knucklehead 1

    Norman makes a good case, but your last paragraph holds true whether or not he has it right on this occasion.

    Green policy is pretty sparse – it’s more about what our spooks shouldn’t be doing. I suspect there is a bit of denial going on, but Tsun Tzu’s four-thousand year old observations still apply:

    Hostile armies may face each other for years, striving for the victory which is decided in a single day. This being so, to remain in ignorance of the enemy’s condition simply because one grudges the outlay of a hundred ounces of silver in honours and emoluments, is the height of inhumanity.

  2. While answering Norman’s questions Key kept making that hissing sucking in of breath that he does when under pressure. The opposition need to keep the pressure up.

    • Paul 2.1

      Yeah it was quite notable.
      Good on Norman…he’s getting to the RWNJs.

      • freedom 2.1.1

        On Tuesday it sounded like he was using a handyvac every time he spoke 🙂

    • Anne 2.2

      So far, the opposition parties are doing a grand job. Grant Robertson in particular for Labour, Russell Norman for the Greens and of course the wily old Winnie whom I nevertheless still don’t trust for one minute.

      One thing that should be remembered: these proposed changes to current intelligence gathering laws seem to be driven by John Key and a secretive band of associates both in NZ and almost certainly elsewhere. I doubt it is coming from the rank and file of the intelligence agencies themselves. Indeed, I would go so far as to say some at least will be finding the proposed changes as worrying as the rest of us.

      Perhaps I’m being a bit naive but even so… all opposition should be directed at the govt. and John Key rather than the agencies. They’re the ones pushing for the draconian measures and we know Key’s motivation is not in the interest of NZ and NZers.

      • RobertM 2.2.1

        It should all be taken with a grain of salt. Grant Robertson and Russel Norman can grandstand from opposition, but there comments are really only valid in terms of the general position that increasingly in NZ as everywhere else people are suffering too much surveillance and in some ways the surveillance cameras and electronic spying are too comprehensive. Any nations government can change to a regime with a much more restrictive view on all sorts of lifestyle choices and interests. In the USA and NZ most people seem to think their better off with universal surveillance. However my view is that social and night life, was always better in Wellington partly because of the lack of police and security cameras in the CBD, although it was also doubtless the cause of some serious assaults.
        Any sort of new or innovative political party or movement, often only has a chance to develop its ideas, policy and techniques, if it is not spied on. Jefferson always understood and the experience of being in Paris during the years before the French Revolution convinced him the middle class and political leadership, has to able to plot in private- and this may also may be true of individuals who are writers and political theorist. So my position is that the police and spies should not be allowed on university campus and that generally the middle class and intelligent should not be subject to surveillance because I don’t believe people are equal and neither did Thomas Jefferson, the declaration of US Independence was always a political statement,, which offered the highest rights in theory- but really only the right to joy and for the ordinary man to hunt and shoot game and fish, but in reality had a highly restrictive view of how the constitution and the structure state and legal system would operate- much like Leninist communism and the British concept of law, which is really built on the concept of structures and veils on the basic assumption that there are two classes of people the intelligent and ordinary and therefore the workings of elite, business, the rich and the military must be subject to restricted scrutiny.
        Having said that, universal surveillance is not in the greater human interest and current global developments have to be checked and will be once it is realised people are not equal.
        In terms of the Norman and Robertson comments on surveillance and satellite systems, computer programmes and intelligence gathering, my view is they lack the experience and expertise for any useful analysis and synthesis of this sort of material and claims.
        All information on significant defence and intelligence matters by US, UK, NZ, Aus authorities, military or experts or academics can only be usefully understood if you have the knowledge, experience and contacts to have a high speed shit detectors – because in all such information and statements by air marshalls and GCSB bosses past and present there is likely to be a significant amount of inaccuracy, lies , degrees of deception etc as well as some or lot of truth.
        This applies to just about anything you could ever find or real about any intelligence or matter which has still relevant operational significance.

  3. vto 3

    .
    “can anyone trust Key?”

    That should be the big issue for the general election.

  4. Tautoko Viper 4

    ‘But what I can say, though, is that the Government Communications Security Bureau and the SIS have very clear rules under which circumstances they can gather information about New Zealanders. Those rules require, not least of all, me, as the Minister in charge, to sign the warrant. That warrant has to be recommended and supported by the Commissioner of Security Warrants. It is a very detailed and significant process. ‘ John Key

    Does this mean that John Key signed the warrant for spying on Dotcom??

    • Pascal's bookie 4.1

      Fuck knows what he meant, or whether he was talking about the old rules which were being broken or the new rules which aren’t in force yet, or if he meant residents or citizens.

      It was a useless answer in terms of actrual info, as per pfsssst.

    • rob 4.2

      He must have
      Such a pity he didn’t know anything about him for so many months afterwards.

  5. tracey 5

    Remember 2008? Labours motto was correct but the nats made suck a mockery of labour the message failed.

    norman should have asked the pm if he relying on the same legal advice that said gcsb cld spy on a nz resident?

  6. Sanctuary 6

    The levels of secrecy our government adopts when security is mentioned is childish. A quick look at the Palantir website reveals a career opportunity for an ‘Embedded Analyst, Government: New Zealand’ – http://www.palantir.com/careers/OpenPosDetail?id=a0m80000003mUYHAA2 and the position is clearly aimed at sub-contracting data analysis from NZ state security services.

    Key must think we are all stupid, and that no one can make simply deductions based on the bleeding obvious.

    P.S. It seems Palintir are one of the Scientology-lite Silicon valley companies that, amongst other things, has dispensed with the boring old social club in favour of – wait for it – “The Group Therapy Club” – http://www.palantir.com/life-at-palantir/

  7. Pasupial 7

    Hah!..

    “I am confident, on the legal advice that I have received from my agencies, that they act within the law at all times, and there have not been any occasions where the Government Communications Security Bureau has advised me that it has sought to circumvent the law.”

    Kitteridge report? What Kitteridge report??

    Or maybe:

    “I am confident, on the legal advice that I have received from Sky City, that they act within the law at all times, and there have not been any occasions where Sky City has advised me that it has sought to circumvent the law.”

  8. Jackal 8

    ANTHONY R0BINS

    The next government should have a massive clean out of our entire security apparatus and agreements with foreign governments.

    Easier said than done… The GCSB and SIS receives more than $100 million in funding per year and have a combined staff of 526. There’s another 13 government funded spying agencies in New Zealand, one of which is rumored to have over 500 employees.

    The spooks are likely to make up a large chunk of the current 298,384 state sector employees, and at an estimate I would say that these agencies receive well over a billion dollars of public money per year (unfortunately the true extent of funding for the spies is kept off government books).

    These agencies appear to have unlimited access to information and will strongly resist any attempts to limit their extensive and questionable powers. They will likely try to undermine any political party that looks set to move against their corrupt practices.

    Given the size of and funding for these agencies, anybody would think New Zealand was at war… Unfortunately that war appears to be focused on undermining our civil liberties.

    • gnomic 8.1

      “anybody would think New Zealand was at war”

      Could it be that they are preparing for the civil war after the shit finally hits the fan? When the global fiscal collapse finally eventuates in full? That could never happen of course. No no, the future is brighter.

  9. BLiP 9

    John Key lie? No, surely not . . . oh, hang on . . .

    – Iain Rennie came to me and recommended Fletcher for the GCSB job

    – I told Cabinet that I knew Ian Fletcher

    – I forgot that after I scrapped the shortlist for GCSB job I phoned a life-long friend to tell him to apply for the position

    – I told Iain Rennie I would contact Fletcher

    – for 30 years, or three decades, I didn’t have any dinners or lunches or breakfasts with Ian Fletcher

    – I did not mislead the House (9)

    – it was always the intent of the GCSB Act to be able to spy on New Zealanders on behalf of the SIS and police

  10. erentz 10

    I’m a Green voter, but I’m concerned Norman is stepping out a bit far on this with unfounded accusations he can’t back up. I hope it doesn’t backfire. There’s no evidence of bulk spying such as what is being talked about with the NSA occurring in New Zealand. Many reasons to think its not (yet). He should tread carefully and not step into technical realms that can easily be refuted.

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      Caution is advisable, indeed. He should be asking for an assurances from the PM that NZ has not participated in these broad information collection systems.

      Many reasons to think its not (yet).

      What are these reasons?

  11. Anne 11

    Timely comment erentz. But at the same time we know that under the proposed legislation it will only be a matter of time before bulk spying becomes the norm in NZ as well. What the fallout from such a scenario might ultimately be we can only guess at… but it is likely to result in a frightened and subservient population with many individuals being hounded and harassed for no justifiable reason. You know… like that place in Europe in the 1930s.

    Why won’t Key and co. agree to a Commission of Inquiry so that NZers can be assured all necessary measures are – or will be put – in place preventing new technology being used against ordinary NZers at some time in the future? Why? That’s a question the Opposition should be asking of him on an almost a daily basis.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Well for starters, journalists and their sources are going to be screwed in this future system. The Obama administration has already been found out tracing phone calls made to Associated Press journalists.

      Going forwards, who needs the likes of Peter Dunne and Andrea Vance to agree to release their emails. Just click on their email inboxes yourself and see everything there is to see.

  12. Poission 12

    What gets overlooked is there is a very powerful piece of entrenched legislation that prohibits arbitrary interference in an individuals correspondence.

    The universal declaration of human rights article 12 states that.

    No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honour and reputation. Everyone has the right to the protection of the law against such interference or attacks.

    This in essence prohibits broad-based fishing excursions,and would allow for remedies in an international tribunal with unlimited liabilities ( a risk that has been overlooked).

    • Colonial Viper 12.1

      Snowden has suggested that documented rules and policies aren’t going to stop the capabilities of these systems from being designed used, and indeed, it has not stopped these systems from being designed and used.

  13. Shaz 13

    Its interesting that our PM’s reassurance is that GCSB is “doing nothing illegal” with data sourced from the NSA and that someone who will shortly be effectively be a political refugee is “not welcome” here.

    In contrast and at the same time this issue is bringing about the most serious bipartisanship the American Senate that has been seen for years as both sides are recoiling at what the Patriot Act has brought about. Many more Americans are regarding the leaking of the information as patriotic than treasonable, the US internet freedom organisations are furious after what they have regarded as years of cautious reigning in of the intrusive power of social media and the elected heads of Europe are calling on the US to ensure their citizens’ rights are not impacted by the NSA.

    (All sourced – from the Guardian and RadioNZ)

    Our PM has instinctively jumped in line with those who would limit freedom. I hope the contrast between this response and those of other leaders overseas becomes clearer as the impacts and responses unfold. His response shines a strong light on his view of citizenship and its not a flattering one.

  14. Yes 14

    I trust Keys.

    Doesnt all political data mine..how do scandals occur in all parties.

    • Mcflock 14.1

      “Yes”, that isn’t even a coherent statement. Are you drunk already?

    • fender 14.2

      Yeah I trust Keys too, but I definitely do NOT trust Key.

      Key is PM yes no maybe.

    • ropata 14.3

      “Yes”, here is a warning to you from the greatest sermon ever spoken:

      15 Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves.

      16 By their fruits ye shall know them. Do [men] gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?

      17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but the corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

      18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

      19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

      20 Therefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

      Is selling off assets, spying on citizens, and doing deals with SkyCity a good thing for NZ?

  15. aerobubble 15

    Its pretty simple, NZ is pathetic on National Security. The reason we need oversight is clear, should the head of the spies convert to Islam, having a problem with western policies regards the middle east; would anyone be watching who become aware would have to convince the PM who personal shoulder tapped the man, and so had no political cover to change matters.

    The Pm shoulder tapping anyone should suggest a huge gross ignorance of that PM in the nature of politics and how people will always disappoint at the most inappropriate moments.

    Key is dumb, parliament is dumber, and its a damn disgrace.

  16. Draco T Bastard 16

    The next government should have a massive clean out of our entire security apparatus and agreements with foreign governments.

    QFT

    A government should not spy on it’s people and it should not help another government spy on its people.

  17. Yes 17

    Let’s talk about trust. Labour has three MPs and a leader doing deals with sky city already. What deal were they doing at the rugby?
    Was the deal…if you give us a party donation we won’t repel the act? I mean let’s be very clear here. Labour said they will kill the convention centre.

    I trust John Key

    • Nordy 17.1

      Evidence? Citation?

      Is the desparation from the 9th floor of the Beehive getting to you as well? Keep it up – you might even convince yourself…..eventually.

      So ‘sad’ that you trust a politician who has proved he is not worth of yours or anybody elses trust. You do realise that trust has to be earned and continue to be earned?

      You may well have hope or even faith in Key, based on something not in evidence to any thinking person.

      Meanwhile here in the real world, people are really just laughing at you.

    • ropata 17.2

      I guess “Yes” has demonstrated that we can trust John Key… to rip off NZ for his bankster pals

  18. gnomic 18

    Trust John Key? Isn’t that an oxymoron? How can a weasel be trustworthy? It’s probably too late to seek help from a medical professional if you trust Key. Devious and misleading come to mind.

    • ropata 18.1

      Hi “Yes”,
      I have a fantastic investment opportunity, guaranteed* double your money in 1 year, I wear a shiny suit and talk monetarist gobbledygook, just like “Keys”.

      You can trust me too, NZ investment companies are safe as houses**

      Show me the money!

      * or not
      ** in christchurch red zone

  19. Poneke 19

    Heh .. you speak with a forked Ropata, .. but I enjoy the parody.

    We need more truth-speakers.

    Can I sell you a small Antipodean country so I can retire tax-free to Monaco ?

    You might have a small problem with tangata whenua ..

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    An average kiwiBy admin@averagekiwi.com
    3 days ago
  • A climate of tyranny
    For the past week, Extinction Rebellion has been peacefully protesting in London to demand action on climate change. The British government's response? Ban their protests:Police have banned Extinction Rebellion protests from continuing anywhere in London, as they moved in almost without warning to clear protesters who remained at the movement’s ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Collins crushes climate
    An essay by Judith Collins MP reported on Carbon News yesterday seems to show an alarming shift in attitude within the National Party. Collins argues against the Zero Carbon Bill, the Paris Agreement, and downplays the magnitude of climate impacts. The Paris Agreement was adopted in December 2015 and ratified ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    4 days ago
  • More disappointment
    When they were running for election, Labour promised to overhaul the Employment Relations Act and introduce fair pay agreements to set basic pay and conditions on an industry level, preventing bad employers from undercutting good ones. They followed this up by establishing a working group, which reported back in January ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
    A list of indicators of bad science – many of these are found in articles promoted by anti-fluoride activists. Anti-fluoride activists have been pouring money into a scaremongering campaign warning pregnant women not to drink fluoridated water. They claim fluoride will lower the IQ of their future child. Fluoride ...
    4 days ago
  • Losing Labour’s Mills-Tone.
    Nothing Left To Say: Labour's pollster, Stephen Mills, remains swaddled-up in the comforting myths of the 1980s. As if the experience of Roger Douglas’s genuinely radical post-Muldoon policy agenda was literally a once-in-a-lifetime thing – as much as the party could possibly absorb for at least the next 50 years.MEMO ...
    4 days ago
  • Speaker: Disability and the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Historical Abuse
    The Royal Commission on abuse in care is very significant for the disability community. For many decades last century, thousands of disabled children, and adults who managed to survive, were locked away from families and communities. This was not for anything they had done, but for the perceived threat their ...
    4 days ago
  • Spain is not a democracy
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • UK Conservatives hate democracy
    With an unfair voting system, uneven electorates and an un-elected upper house, the UK's "democracy" is barely worthy of the name. But now the government wants to make it worse:The government has been accused of suppressing voters’ rights with the potential disenfranchisement of tens of thousands of people after plans ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • What is wrong with our building industry?
    Back in the 90's and early 2000's, the building industry was building leaky homes which should never have been granted consent. Now it turns out they've been building dodgy office blocks as well:New imaging technology has revealed hundreds of major buildings nationwide have defective or missing concrete or reinforcing steel. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Local bodies
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A future of government
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    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Speaker: Catalonia, interrupted
    Two years have now gone by since the Friday afternoon when my university-student son and I headed out of our Barcelona flat to a nearby primary school, designated as a polling station for the vote that was to be held the following Sunday: the referendum on Catalonia’s independence from Spain ...
    7 days ago
  • Sage Decisions Unwisely Over-Ruled.
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    7 days ago
  • Government may ban voting in effort to get more people to do it
    More than double the number of people who will vote in this year’s local body elections have tried marijuana or urinated somewhere they shouldn’t have. As local elections look set for the lowest turnout in decades, with many regions falling well short of 40%, the Government is exploring a number ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Woman: Deleted.
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • The Hollowest of Men Ride Again… SURPRISE!
    Musings continue apace about “the experienced businessman!” soon to be taking up a National Party MP position. Or to be more accurate, being parachuted into a seat to shut down their former MP Jamie-Lee Ross, who despite his own shortcomings shed at least some more light on the inner workings ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    1 week ago
  • Barbaric
    The Ugandan government wants to murder gay people:Uganda has announced plans to impose the death penalty on homosexuals. The bill, colloquially known as “Kill the Gays” in Uganda, was nullified five years ago on a technicality, but the government said on Thursday it plans to resurrect it within weeks. The ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Fighting Monsters.
    Freedom Of Speech? The Säuberung (cleansing by fire) was the work of the German Student Union which, on 10 May 1933, under the watchful eye of the Nazi Reichminister for Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, consigned 25,000 books to the flames in a ritual exorcism of “un-German thought”. According to the logic of the ...
    1 week ago
  • The next wave of kaupapa Māori politics: its constitutional, it must be.
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    EllipsisterBy Ellipsister
    1 week ago
  • Night lights of NZ from orbit
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    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    1 week ago
  • Reporters deliver uplifting news to fleeing Japanese residents: they won’t miss any rugby
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    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Government in contentious discussions about whether to put surplus on red or black
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones is the only Cabinet member in favour of putting it all on green. As Finance Minister Grant Robertson finds himself with an enormous $7.5 billion surplus, the Government has begun intense, at times contentious conversations about whether to put the money on red or black at ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Jordanian teachers’ successful strike has lessons for here
    by Susanne Kemp At the start of September close to 100,000 school teachers went on strike in Jordan.  They demanded a 50% pay rise.  A pay rise actually agreed to by the regime back in 2014. In early October, however, in the face of government repression and threats, the teachers’ ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Why some people still think climate change isn’t real
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The SIS unlawfully spied on Nicky Hager
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • October 2019 – Newsletter
    https://mailchi.mp/7d9133add053/closing-the-gap-october-2019-newsletter ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • And they wonder why we think they’re environmental vandals…
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: Paying the price in California
    Last year, California burned. This year, to stop it happening again (or rather, to stop themselves from being found liable if it happens again), Pacific Gas and Electric is cutting power to half the state for a week:Schools are closed. Traffic lights down. Tunnels dark. Businesses unopened. Hospitals running on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Let’s Hear It For Up-Close-And-Personal, Hard-Copy Democracy!
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    1 week ago
  • 10/10: World Day Against the Death Penalty
    Today, October 10, is the world day against the death penalty. Out of 195 UN member states, 84 still permit capital punishment. Today is the day we work to change that. This year's theme is children. Having a parent sentenced to death or executed causes long-term trauma and stigmatization which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Talking Freer Lives: a Marxist gender-critical perspective from Australia
    Among the great new bunch of political friends we have been making recently is the excellent Australian-based Marxist gender-critical site, Freer Lives.  So we asked the comrade who set up that blog to write something for Redline on the blog, himself, his analysis of the rise of gender politics and ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Government spin accepted by union leadership
    by Don Franks  The Auckland City Mission is struggling with a 40 percent increase in demand for food parcels this year. A total of 23,020 were needed by June. Last month Missioner Chris Farrelly told the Herald the “cupboards are bare” and without an emergency food drive, he can’t see ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Forbidden Thoughts
    by The Council of Disobedient Women   Massey Wellington Student Association had a sit-in today. Imagine a sit-in. On a campus. Against a women’s rights meeting. Did the ’60s really happen or did we fucking dream it? They gathered in the student square, an echo chamber. Sitting on soft pillows ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Much love to my loyal Ukrainian readership
    For some reasons, my post about the mystery message from inside the Downing Street bunker seemed to catch people's attention.  Quite a lot of hits from NZ (unsurprisingly) and the USA (a bit more puzzlingly, but hi there, USAians!!) and 76 views from the Ukraine.I've celebrated my Ukrainian readers in ...
    1 week ago
  • Another day of bonkers GNUmours (again, sorry)
    First, almost a score of Labour MPs seem to have sent a letter to the EU basically begging them to accept a deal - any deal - just so Britain can get the Heck on with Brexiting instead of being trapped in limbo:
    To avoid no deal, deliver on the ...
    1 week ago
  • Labour vs working class immigrants – again!
    by Phil Duncan In 2016 the National-led government suspended the Parent Visa Category, through which migrants were able to bring their parents into New Zealand.  Since then over 5,700 people have been in immigration limbo, stuck on the visa wait list. Labour is now bringing back the scheme.  Well, sort ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Speak Up for Women press statement: on Massey University and Feminism 2020
    The following was released yesterday (Tues, October 8) by the women’s liberation organisation Speak Up for Women. On 23 September Speak Up For Women announced that we would be holding an event at the Massey University Theaterette in Wellington. The event is called Feminism 2020. The intention of the event ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Farmers support dirty rivers
    The government is currently consulting on plans to improve freshwater quality. So naturally, farmers oppose it:South Taranaki farmers are preparing to fight proposed national freshwater changes that some fear will bankrupt them. The Government's proposed National Environment Standard on Freshwater Management, released in September, rated the Waingongoro River as one ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No-one cares about local government
    Yesterday was the last day for (reliably) posting your vote away in local body elections. Turnouts are mostly much lower than the equivalent time last year (Palmerston North is down 2.3%), and so naturally people are pushing their online-voting snake oil again. Because the online census worked so well, lets ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The political ghosts of eugenics may matter more than the genetic
    This essay, on the political legacy of the eugenics movement, by Kenan Malik was originally published in the Observer on 6 October 2019, under the headline ‘The spirit of eugenics is still with us, as immigrants know to their cost’. Birth control. Intelligence tests. Town planning. Immigration controls. It’s striking how ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “Surplus” again
    Another year, and the government has announced another enormous government "surplus". And just like last year, its nothing of the sort. When we have people homeless and sick and hungry, when we have schools and hospitals still falling down, when we have underpaid public servants and infrastucture unmaintained or unbuilt, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Inside the Downing Street bunker
    James Forsyth at The Spectator (I know, I know) has tapped one of his contacts inside Number Ten for an insight into the Johnson administration's thinking and strategy.It is fascinating, unsettling and quite, quite mad.  Some key points:Negotiations have stalled and the Johnson administration are keen to blame the EU: ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taking Control Of The Nation’s Story.
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    2 weeks ago
  • Are GNUs extinct?
    Another round of tactical talks about forming a Government of National Unity have come to nothing with the Liberal Democrats still refusing countenance putting Jeremy Corbyn into Downing Street:Opposition talks on Monday made little headway over when to try and vote down Boris Johnson's government and who might succeed him as ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour chickens out again
    When the government was elected, it promised to lead the way on electric vehicles, and specifically to make the government vehicle fleet emissions-free where-practicable by 2025.They lied:There are 15,473 vehicles in the government fleet and only 78 are electric. When the coalition Government came into power in late 2017, the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Transgender extremism, violence at work against feminist meeting at British Labour Party conference
    by Nick Rogers The debate around the meaning of sex and gender made an appearance at this year’s British Labour Party conference in Brighton. Women’s Place UK – an organisation that questions the demand that biological males who self-identify as woman should have access to women’s spaces, to all-women shortlists, ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Rebelling in Wellington
    Yesterday I went down to Wellington to participate in the Extinction Rebellion protest. Its part of the latest global wave of XR actions, with actions happening all over the world. Some of those protests are massively disruptive: in Canada, XR is blocking major bridges, stopping people from getting to work. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • ‘The Workshop’ – Report: Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform: A Guide to Strategies that ...
    The Workshop is a charitable trust for public good. The Workshop undertake research to find ways of communicating that will build support for the solutions that work to solve complex social and environmental problems. See their Report on Talking about Poverty and Welfare Reform below. ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago
  • Exclusive language
    What is language? We generally assume that it a facility unique to humans, allowing us to share what’s in and on our minds. We can tell of our plans, our past exploits, our knowledge. It also allows us to lie. And yet there are vast numbers of people we can’t ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • April 2018 – Submission to the NZ Govt Tax Working Group
    You can read our submission HERE ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    2 weeks ago

  • Methane reducing cattle feed one step closer
    The Government today announced its support for a project that could substantially reduce agricultural greenhouse gas emissions from cattle. The announcement was made as part of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s and Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor’s visit to Nelson’s Cawthron Aquaculture Park. The Cawthron Institute will receive $100,000 from the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Bill to refresh superannuation system passes first reading
    Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the first reading of the New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension Legislation Amendment Bill. “Every New Zealander has a stake in New Zealand Superannuation and Veteran’s Pension,” says Carmel Sepuloni. “They are our most common form of social assistance – nearly 800,000 New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Government announces next steps in fight against measles
    Babies in Auckland aged six months and over can receive a free vaccination and children will all have access to vaccines, Associate Minister of Health Julie Anne Genter announced today at Papatoetoe High School.   The move comes as part of Government efforts to step up the fight against measles. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    16 hours ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs, Pacific Futures: Connections, Identity...
    ***Check against delivery*** Good morning. It is a pleasure to be here, and to have the honour of opening this important conference on behalf of the New Zealand Institute of International Affairs. Let us take the opportunity to acknowledge all the people who have helped make today possible, including our special ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Police trial new response to high risk events
    Police Minister Stuart Nash says the safety of frontline officers and members of the public will be the focus of a new trial of specialist Police response teams in three of our largest urban centres. Police have this morning released details of an initiative to be trialled in Counties Manukau, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • New awards celebrate fisheries sustainability
    The Minister of Fisheries is calling for entries for a new public award to celebrate innovation in our seafood sector. “I have established the Seafood Sustainability Awards to recognise and celebrate those throughout industry, tangata whenua and communities who demonstrate outstanding dedication and innovation towards the sustainability of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • More progress for women and we can do more
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter welcomes leaders in the private sector taking action on closing their gender pay gaps to ensure a fairer workplace for all New Zealanders. Ms Genter today launched a new report, Addressing the gender pay gap and driving women’s representation in senior leadership, from the Champions for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Proposals to curb environmental damage help our coasts and the oceans
    Government Ministers today welcomed the release of a marine environment report highlighting the four key issues affecting our oceans, estuaries and coastlines.  The release underlines the importance of government proposals to combat climate pollution, ensure clean freshwater, protect biodiversity, make land use more sustainable, and reduce waste and plastic.    Environment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New mental health facility for Waikato
    The Government has approved funding for a new acute mental health facility for Waikato which will provide better care and support to people with mental health and addiction issues. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Health Minister Dr David Clark announced the $100 million project to replace the aging Henry Rongomau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • 500 new te reo Māori champions in our classrooms
    The Government is making progress on its goal to integrate te reo Māori into education by 2025, with over 500 teachers and support staff already graduating from Te Ahu o te Reo Māori,  Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis announced today. Kelvin Davis made the announcement at an awards ceremony in Waikanae today, for ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Minister James Shaw welcomes 2018 Census first release
    Statistics Minister James Shaw has welcomed the first release of 2018 Census data. The first release of data today, 23 September, includes key data on population, regional growth, the number of homes and the size of different ethnic groups in New Zealand. Data from the 2018 Census will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Driving transparency, ethics and accountability in government use of algorithms
    Minister for Statistics James Shaw today announced a public consultation on a proposed algorithm charter for government agencies. The charter has been developed by the Government Chief Data Steward in response to growing calls for more transparency in government use of data. Computer algorithms – procedures or formulas for solving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and the Netherlands working together on climate change
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, Climate Change Minister James Shaw and visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte co-hosted a business roundtable in Auckland this morning focused on working together to address climate change.  “The Netherlands is an important partner for New Zealand. We share a strong agricultural history. Sustainable agribusiness and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Protecting fairness for workers and businesses
    The Government is taking action to build an inclusive economy where more of us receive our fair share at work and businesses can compete on great products and services, not undercutting wages and conditions, Immigration and Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. Two consultations launched today seek feedback ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Indigenous Freshwater Fish Bill Passes
    The future for New Zealand’s threatened indigenous freshwater fish looks brighter with the passing of the Conservation (Indigenous Freshwater Fish) Amendment Bill in Parliament today said Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “Until now, our freshwater fish legislation has been 20 years out of date. We have lacked effective tools to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Kiwis to take part in world’s biggest earthquake drill
    At 1.30pm tomorrow, hundreds of thousands of Kiwis will join about 65 million people around the globe in ShakeOut, the world’s biggest earthquake drill. The annual drill is to remind people of the right action to take during an earthquake which is to Drop, Cover, Hold, and to practise their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Rising wages and low inflation supporting Kiwis
    Kiwis are benefiting from higher wage growth and low inflation under the Coalition Government. Stats NZ data out today shows the rise in the cost of living remains low, as annual Consumers Price Index (CPI) inflation fell to 1.5% in September from 1.7% in June. “The low inflation comes as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ economy strong amid global headwinds
    New Zealand’s economic strength and resilience has been recognised in a major update on the state of the global economy. The IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook released overnight shows a reduced global growth forecast over the next two years as issues like the US-China trade war and Brexit take hold. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Keeping New Zealanders safer with better counter-terrorism laws
    Justice Minister Andrew Little has today introduced a new Bill to prevent terrorism and support the de-radicalisation of New Zealanders returning from overseas. The Terrorism Suppression (Control Orders) Bill gives the New Zealand Police the ability to apply to the High Court to impose control orders on New Zealanders who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Improved succession and dispute resolution core of Ture Whenua changes
    A Bill that proposes targeted changes to simplify the processes for Māori land owners when engaging with the Māori Land Court has had its First Reading today. “The approach taken by the Government is to ensure that the protection of Māori land remains a priority as we seek to improve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Speech to CTU Biennial Conference
    Let me first thank all the new unionists and members in the room. There is nothing more important to improving people’s working lives than people making the decision to care, to get on board and help, to take up the reins and get involved. Congratulations to you. You bring the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Minister ensures continued Whenuapai flight operations
    Minister of Defence Ron Mark has signed a certificate exempting the activity of engine testing at Whenuapai Airbase from the Resource Management Act 1991. The Act gives the Minister of Defence the power to exempt activities for the purposes of national security.  The certificate will mean the recent Environment Court ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ joins Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action
    Finance Minister Grant Robertson has announced New Zealand will join the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action while attending APEC meetings in Chile. The objective of the 39 member Coalition is to share information and promote action to tackle climate change. It was formed in April this year, in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Lyttelton Parking
    Feedback sought– Lyttelton commercial zone parking  The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to remove on-site car parking requirements for new developments in the Lyttelton commercial zone.  The proposal, by Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section 71 of the Greater ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Feedback Sought – Section 71 – Hagley Oval
    Hon Minister Poto Williams Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration   MEDIA STATEMENT       Tuesday 15 October 2019 Feedback sought – Hagley Oval The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal about Hagley Oval. The proposal was developed by Regenerate Christchurch ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • CTU speech – DPM
    Ladies and gentlemen, NZCTU President Richard Wagstaff, members of respective unions – thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This might be preaching to the choir, but the importance of trade unions in New Zealand’s historical arch is difficult to understate. And it is my belief that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Police Association Annual Conference
    "Let’s start by acknowledging that it has been a huge year. " Police Association Annual Conference James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel Wellington Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, ka nui te mihi, ki a koutou katoa. President of the Police Association, Chris Cahill; Members of the Association and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand announces a further P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark have announced the New Zealand Government’s decision to again deploy a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea. New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand deeply concerned at developments in north-east Syria
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand continues to have serious concerns for peace and stability in north-east Syria. “Recent reports that hundreds of ISIS-affiliated families have fled from a camp are deeply concerning from a humanitarian and security perspective”, Mr Peters says. “While we acknowledge Turkey’s domestic security ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government on high alert for stink bugs
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor is warning travelling Kiwis to be vigilant as the high-season for the crop-eating brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is under way. “We’re on high alert to stop BMSB arriving in NZ. The high season runs until April 30 and we’ve strengthened our measures to stop stink ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Better protections for students in halls of residence
    The Government is moving swiftly to change the law to improve the welfare and pastoral care of students living in university halls of residence and other tertiary hostels. Cabinet has agreed to several changes, including creating a new mandatory Code of Practice that sets out the duty of pastoral care ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New trapping guide for community and expert trappers alike
    The Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage has launched a new comprehensive trapping guide for community trappers to help them protect our native birds, plants and other wildlife, at Zealandia in Wellington today. ‘A practical guide to trapping’, has been developed by the Department of Conservation (DOC), and was launched during ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Widening Access to Contraceptives Welcomed
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter welcomes PHARMAC’s move to improve access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARCs). PHARMAC has today announced it will fund the full cost of Mirena and Jaydess for anyone seeking long term contraception, lifting previous restrictions on access to Mirena. “I welcome women having greater choices ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major upgrade for Taranaki Base Hospital
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    6 days ago
  • Extra support for rural families
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Howard Leaque Beekeeper programme graduation
    Thank you for the opportunity to be here to present certificates to the 16 graduates who have completed a beekeeping course delivered by the Howard League.  Let us start by acknowledging Auckland Prison’s Deputy Prison Director Tom Sherlock, and Acting Assistant Regional Commissioner of Corrections Northern Region Scott Walker - ...
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    1 week ago
  • Finance Minister to attend APEC meetings
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pacific languages are a source of strength, they ground us and build confidence
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  • More prefab homes to be built as red tape cut
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