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Spying scandal forensics

Written By: - Date published: 10:46 am, August 4th, 2013 - 49 comments
Categories: Parliament, Spying - Tags: , , , ,

National’s Friday afternoon document dump of emails between the Henry enquiry and Parliamentary Services is a trove of information. John Armstrong describes the whole mess as “Govt betrayal on a monumental scale”.

Anyone planning to sort through the email evidence trail will find that a lot of the work has been done for them already by none other than Pete George. Although my personal advice to Pete would be to spend more time outside in the fresh air, I don’t think anyone could deny that he’s done a great job with these emails! There are extracts from two of his posts here, but go read both of them on his site (and maybe leave him a comment or two).

Update: It turns out that the first of these quoted posts, on the timeline, is not George’s work at all, it is from Scoop. Disappointing that George would repost that without attribution.

Henry Inquiry timeline

[…etc…]

Monday 20 May 11:41am Henry Inquiry Administrator emails Parliamentary Service – were you able to locate remaining 10 or so phone records? On another matter, how long would it take for you to retrieve the content of emails if we requested them? If those emails were for Ministers, does that present any issues?
1:32pm Parliamentary Service replies to Henry Inquiry Administrator to say “it can be the same day if it is only a few or less. I believe we have the necessary approval for Ministers.”
2:25pm Henry Inquiry Administrator lodges formal request for all emails between Andrea Vance and Peter Dunne between 22 March and 9 April (dates provided in metadata rundown in email on 16 May at 3:24pm). Also emails between Andrea Vance and one staff member from each of Adams, Finlayson, Tolley, PM’s offices.
5:53pm Henry Inquiry Administrator emails Parliamentary Service and requests phone records for Ministers and staff extensions for contact to and from two “numbers of interest” (Andrea Vance’s landline and mobile). Also states “Please note, we do not want the call logs of the two numbers of interest. That is outside the parameters of our Inquiry.”
21 May 9:55am Parliamentary Service forwards email record request to a contractor allocated to this. Parliamentary Service then emails contractor to get idea of effort and ETA.
10:50am Parliamentary Service contractor sends email with attachment of emails records for Dunne/Vance and email records between four Ministerial staff/Vance to Parliamentary Service at 10:50am.
4:25pm Parliamentary Service sends email records file for Dunne/Vance emails and emails between four staff and Andrea Vance to Inquiry at 4:25pm. At 5:12pm Parliamentary Services emails Henry Inquiry Administratorwith a message to call urgently re email sent today and then sends a recall notice for email at 5:18pm. Email titled “DPMC Info Request”.
5:16pm At 5:16pm Parliamentary Service sends revised file with only email records between four Ministerial staff/Vance to Inquiry. Email titled: “Last part of info”
Henry Inquiry Administrator deletes email titled “DPMC info requests” with Dunne/Vance email records from his email without opening file.
Thursday 23 May 8:34am Henry Inquiry Administrator to Parliamentary Service re email title “last part of info” to say “as discussed we can’t open .pst documents”
9:30am Henry Inquiry Administrator emails Parliamentary Service saying Mr Henry discussed an issue with Ministerial Services and Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff but not Acting Head of Parliamentary Service. The upshot is that Acting Head of Parliamentary Service will be talking with Dunne’s office with the aim of getting the Minister’s permission to view the emails.
Sunday 26 May 9:49pm Parliamentary Service emails Henry Inquiry Administrator – “if you have authorisation sorted, I can send you the files.”

[…etc…]

And:

Henry inquiry – emails on emails.

The Henry inquiry requested email logs and contents relating to Peter Dunne and Andrea Vance. This information was sent to them. They claim to have been unable to open the email contents file.

But the email trail shows that these emails were requested and obtained before authorisation was even attempted – a week before non authorisation was acknowledged.

[…etc…]

The emails are sent the following day, 21 May.
Henry email 23 May 1

Another two days later they say they can’t open the email file.Henry email 23 May 2

Still no permission, still requesting they work around the problem of email access.

Peter Dunne says “my approval was never sought – first I knew they had been accessed was when I met Henry for the first time on 23 May”.

The emails had already been requested and received.

Henry email 27 May 1

A week after requesting the email contents, six days after sending the email contents, five days after first failing to open the email contents file, four days after continuing to work around the problem, an acknowledgement they don’t have authorisation.

This brings into question this claim:

About 40 minutes after the message was sent,  officials tried to recall the email and asked the inquiry to call urgently.

The head of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet Andrew Kibblewhite said the file was deleted immediately and could not have been opened because the email system was incompatible with that used by .

Sent on Tuesday morning, advise they can’t open on Wednesday morning, asked to continue trying to work around the access issue on Thursday morning.

[…etc…]

Good work Pete George. Now someone needs to cross-reference these timelines with all the official statements and denials. We can get this started in comments…

49 comments on “Spying scandal forensics ”

  1. mickysavage 1

    Agreed r0b about the work that Pete had been doing on this issue! I have been hoping that he would persuade Dunne to change his mind on the GCSB bill …

    • r0b 1.1

      I hope so too, but I don’t think it’s likely. I think it’s clear than Dunne has been bought off with a deal for the next election.

      • CC 1.1.1

        ………. or blackmailed with the contents of some emails???

        • Paul 1.1.1.1

          I sense the latter

          • Anne 1.1.1.1.1

            Me too. Dunne’s interview on Campbell Live left me with the feeling that he’s scared about something… perhaps a past action or comment of his he knows John Key et al know about, and which will be acutely embarrassing and hard for him to explain should it ever become public knowledge.

            There is a big difference between Muldoon and Key. Muldoon was a bully and he didn’t hide it. Key is a bully but he hides behind a veneer of laid back good cheer. The latter bullies are the dangerous ones because they can do untold damage with few people being aware of it.

            • Craig Glen viper 1.1.1.1.1.1

              Spot on Anne.

              • JonL

                Key is a psychopath – the worst of all options!

                • Draco T Bastard

                  And, by extension, so is the National Party. Yes, they are people in National who aren’t psychopaths but they’re still following the leader.

            • RedLogix 1.1.1.1.1.2

              Yes. While few of us here can have much sympathy for Peter Dunne’s politics, you have to respect the fact that he’s survived a remarkably long time in Parliament and he does know how the system works. He’s no fool.

              So when he appears on Campell Live and makes a total dumpling of himself … you know for certain that something else is at work here.

            • Paul 1.1.1.1.1.3

              The mainstream media was complicit in the creation mod Key’s image.

            • asd 1.1.1.1.1.4

              Superb analysis and the truth about Key:

              “Muldoon was a bully and he didn’t hide it. Key is a bully but he hides behind a veneer of laid back good cheer.”

              And this is why Key is the most damaging bully of all, and explains clearly why the general public need to take these issues (GCSB etc) very seriously indded:

              “The latter bullies are the dangerous ones because they can do untold damage with few people being aware of it”

              Thanks Anne. That’s a gem that’ll eventually come home to roost.

    • Skinny 1.2

      Mick… Dunne won’t back down from supporting the bill because Key has a plan ‘B’ up his sleeves. There is another MP that has voted NO that thinks the bill is ok after the third reading ‘fact.’ I bet if that MP is pinned down you will not get a guaranteed answer they will vote NO again. 

  2. Anne 2

    It should be noted here that Helen Clark was interviewed (yesterday I think) but I can’t locate where I read it.

    She went to some pains to point out that… in her experience as NZ prime-minister she had full cooperation and due diligence from both the SIS and the GCSB. She intimated she had total confidence in them for the way they carried out their duties, and the warrants she signed were always well within the law as it was understood to be..

    Very interesting and confirms one or two things for me but I must rush…

    I thought the link was on Stuff. Can someone locate it?

    • Veutoviper 2.1

      Chris Laidlaw’s interview with Helen Clark was on his programme this morning on RNZ National about 11.15am.

      The interview was excellent, but is not yet up on the website.

      It was after “Down the list” – one of the best and a Must Listen!

      http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/sunday/audio/2564312/down-the-list-for-4-august-2013

    • Waffler 2.2

      I think it’s this one

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/8999662/No-spying-on-Kiwis-under-Clark

      It was on the main politics page last night – couldn’t find it there this morning.

    • Colonial Viper 2.3

      in her experience as NZ prime-minister she had full cooperation and due diligence from both the SIS and the GCSB. She intimated she had total confidence in them for the way they carried out their duties

      Nah, good as Clark was, a good number of those 88 NZers illegally spied on were done on her watch.

      This is not a matter of trusting any particular politician from any specific political party at any given time. That’s just not enough. Every government no matter its shade has to be bound down tightly with strict oversight and transparency requirements.

    • Robert M 2.4

      The interview was a video one by audrey young in the NZ Herald. The possibly more interesting comment by Clark was that she had always assumed politicians communications were intercepted. Possibly from early in her career with her interest in defence matters and anti nuclear causes she had reason to believe, phone calls etc were monitored ,of politicians and writers with relevant knowledge of defence. As NZ was a member of Anzus at the time and the predecessor USACUK or whatever predecessor agreement for signals intelligence before the five eyes set up it it is probably correct to believe that any effective and accurate journalist or politician with an interest in defence private communications and public writings would be examined closely even 30 years ago as NZ sources and services had access to some critical ANZUS and British intelligence.
      Clark said she responded by keeping her public and private statements consistent, ie no deviance or variation and I suppose anything more sensitive by word of mouth, hand shake or friendly courier. Such a conservative and cautious instinct may greatly have aided her rise in NZ and World Politics and other political aspirants of whatever colour should take note.

  3. Veutoviper 3

    Well there is good in all of us – sometimes hard to discover. Thanks to PG for this hard work.

    However, being pedantic, I have a question/issue with one particular point in the summary:

    Thursday, 23 May
    “9:30am Henry Inquiry Administrator emails Parliamentary Service saying Mr Henry discussed an issue with Ministerial Services and Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff but not Acting Head of Parliamentary Service. The upshot is that Acting Head of Parliamentary Service will be talking with Dunne’s office with the aim of getting the Minister’s permission to view the emails.”

    The actual email says
    “David Henry has discussed with … but not with David Stevenson (to the best of my knowledge). The upshot is that David will be discussing with Rob Eady….”

    It is unclear which David is referred to in the “The upshot is that David…”; whereas PG’s summary assumes this is David Stevenson. From the previous sentence saying that David Henry has not discussed it with David Stephenson, I would assume that it was agreed that David Henry, not Stevenson, would talk to Eady.

    A small point, but makes a difference in terms of responsibility/accountability.

    • bad12 3.1

      What is clear tho, is that there was much to-ing and fro-ing between the various players using ‘verbal communications’ as the medium,

      A lot of this ‘verbal communication’ will never be revealed in either content or intent, ie: a verbal conversation between the Prime Ministers Chief of Staff and Ministerial Services may have been seen by Ministerial Services as ‘threatening’

      Questioning at the Privileges Committee hearings later in the month may well reveal more of the scope and nature of these verbal communications,

      The 2 central issues exposed by the ‘document dump’ are as the post points out, the timeline of the phone records/email records, when they were sent from Parliamentary Services and for how long they were in the possession of the Henry Inquiry/Prime Ministers Office,

      Obviously that first point exposes the LIE put forward by the Prime Minister and i cannot at this moment remember if this LIE was conveyed by the Prime Minister in the House as part of an answer during ‘Question Time’, i am sure tho this will not escape the attention of either David Shearer or Russell Norman,

      The second aspect, whether the phone/email records were ever read by either the Henry Inquiry or the Prime Ministers Office would firstly probably only be able to be exposed by some form of forensic examination of the different Parliamentary computer networks, something i dare suggest will not occur,

      However, if Dunne stands by the public assertion, broadcast on Prime News on the Thursday night befor Friday’s ‘document dump’ that Henry came to Him and verbally asked about ‘specific’ cell phone communications between Him,(Dunne), and Andrea Vance then at the least a prima facie case is made that the information contained in the phone/email records had been ‘read’ by either Henry or someone who then conveyed the specifics of those phone/email records to Henry…

    • Veutoviper 3.2

      Correction to my comment at 3.

      As mentioned in my post at 6, the timeline, including the summary of the Thurs 23 May 9.30am email quoted in my 3, appears to be that of DPMC and is included in their Friday press release on Scoop.

      My query as to which David is referred to still stands – if anything, it would probably serve DPMC’s interests to give the impression that the ‘David’ was Stevenson, not Henry.

  4. Molly 4

    Apart from the occasional spelling and grammar errors in the emails, I do wonder about the competency of the staff there at the inquiry.

    Took all of three seconds to type “.pst Groupwise” into Google to find the software plugin to allow you to read the Outlook files. Might be a security issue, but seems pretty below par to me.

    • Pete 4.1

      You can’t just install things willy-nilly on work computers in the government sector. At least not when I worked in the public service. You just don’t have the rights to run a .exe file. You have to get someone from the IT department to install it – I don’t know if that extends to plugins, I was able to install Firefox plugins without issue.

      If the Henry enquiry did need some kind of permission, there should be an IT work order – which itself should be OIA-able.

      • Molly 4.1.1

        Yes, thought that was likely to be the case, but the response time of four days still seems ridiculous for an enquiry that was operating on a strict time restraint.

        Be interesting if the work order was requested.

        • yeshe 4.1.1.1

          Or how about simply replying to whomever sent it as .pst asking for it to be supplied in HTML or another format ? Duh.

          No, I just can’t believe the reply that went back saying we haven’t requested it, don’t need it anyway, and can’t open it. LIES, LIES, LIES ( courtesy the late JJ Cale)

          This is unravelling in much the way that Watergate did .. and the greatest protection Nixon enjoyed at the very beginning was that few believed the President would orchestrate such awful deceits.

          Actually, I am waiting for Mrs Dunne to be our Martha Mitchell; she, who would not be silenced out of pure love and respect for her country.

  5. BrucetheMoose 5

    I consulted my trusty Crystal Ball today. It told me that John Key will be taking a holiday or have a important international engagement to attend very soon. It wasn’t clear on the details, as unfortunately the batteries are a bit flat.

  6. Veutoviper 6

    ANTHONY ROBINS – ALERT

    Re the timeline, it would seem that this was not PG’s work although put up on his website (without any mention of source or whether it was his work). .

    Here is the DPMC’s Friday press release on Scoop

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PO1308/S00039/dpmc-releases-email-correspondence-relating-to-henry-inquiry.htm

    Scroll down and low and behold at the bottom – this timeline.

    The second PG Post (emails on emails) appears to be his own work.

    He also has several newer posts up – including one claiming that Helen Clark supports the GCSB Bill and Dunne’s amendments…. I did not see Q & A, so cannot comment on his claim.

    • mickysavage 6.1

      I did. Helen said in general terms that the security organizations are important and necessary and if there were problems with the drafting they needed to be fixed.

      She was very discrete and did not criticise the bill. There is no way that her diplomacy should be interpreted as support however.

      • lprent 6.1.1

        Ah so PG is back to his usual form. Insinuating a dogwhistle.

      • Dan1 6.1.2

        I listened to Helen frankly, openly and without hesitation, answer diplomatically all the questions Dann put to her. At no time did I try to figure out what lie was coming next; what pathetic putdown was coming next; what shifty deal was in the wings.
        As other bloggers have noted, she was outed on the notion of too much nanny state interventionism. I am so sad that such a talented woman was chucked out by a PM with strong pyschopathic tendencies and leading NZ to who knows where.
        Dunne and Peters need to come on board and chuck this embarassment back to Hawaii.

      • swan 6.1.3

        I suspect she would rather parliament fix the original Act rather than the opposite – make it explicit that what was happening under her and JK’s leadership was illegal, and was not acceptable to parliament. A bit of a retrospective validation if you will.

    • r0b 6.2

      Thanks Veutoviper. Disappointing that George posted that without attribution.

  7. BLiP 7

    Where are all the emails from Ministerial Services to both Parliamentary Services and the Henry Administrator? There’s one or two there but where’s the rest of them? Does “Ministerial Services” also include Wayne Eagleson? Also, I want to see John Key’s emails during this time.

    • BLiP 7.1

      . . . and, since I’m on my high horse, to whom were each of the emails copied?

    • TruthSeeker 7.2

      Yes, exactly. Also critical are any comms between Henry and Kibblewhite/Eagleson and Kibblewhite.

  8. Rhinocrates 8

    Much as I am loath to admit that PG, who has always been terrified of anyone actually having a stance on anything and obsessively determined to smother every debate under a mountain of cold porridge as a consequence, is this a positive sign that even the most servile now are starting to realise, dimly, that maybe they don’t trust their idols after all? It could be, coupled with the MSM show ponies’ belated realisation that they’re not loved as much as they love in itself promise a much-awaited fundamental shift in their previously complacent support for the Nat brand.

    The exotherm turns against the cryogenically cold capitalist. Well, I suppose that’s at least late winter, if not spring. Sorry for the REALLY obscure metaphor…

    • felix 8.1

      Yeah nah.

      PG is just sticking up for his homie PD, nothing more. There’s no principle in it.

  9. Sable 9

    I think Dunnes behaviour is reprehensible BUT lets not forget the treatment he received when he was perceived as a whistle-blower. He should have been supported by the Greens and Labour but he wasn’t. Maybe if he had been he would have felt he had more scope to oppose Keys rather than feeling surrounded by enemies on all sides.

    • Colonial Viper 9.1

      yep. Political mistake by both the Greens and Labour. A holier than thou attitude does not wash with the electorate; successfully convincing Dunne to oppose the GCSB bill would have.

  10. Rosetinted 10

    Matthew Hoots and Mike Wills are having a lively discussion this a.m. The Tea Party NZ was brought up. Apparently the police could access everybody’s emails and phones between the cameraman Ambrose and TV, and so on. It was a good practice run for this GCSB buiso.

    Hoots was having a go at Nicky Hager reading other people’s communications – whistle blowing for the purpose of revealing info to the public is apparently disgraceful behaviour to him. He can be trusted to take this sort of line. One thing is that he is consistent.

  11. It seems the Standard is being monitored by the NSA according to a Firefox addon purporting to be able to tell.

    The alert also rang when I accessed Martin Bradbury’s “the Daily blog” and not when I accessed Kiwiblog and Whaleoil.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      It may simply be an issue of where the servers are based. Nevertheless, the NSA screens and records almost all web traffic so I don’t think we should feel too creeped out.

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  • Ian Powell: Does private healthcare threaten public healthcare in New Zealand?
    Is the private health system impacting negatively on the public health system? Health commentator Ian Powell evaluates a recent NZ Herald article by Natalie Akoorie (“Public v private healthcare: Moonlighting, skimming, duplication – should NZ do better”), and looks at how the dual system works, and concludes that the answer ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • A rabbit-hole election debate: So do you want more avocado orchards?
    We live in strange and unusual times. It’s been a century since we’ve endured a global pandemic like this, more than half a century since we’ve had economic woes like this. So maybe we got an opening election debate for the times - because that was a strange and unusual ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • LIVE: Jacinda Ardern vs. Judith Collins, First Debate
    Tonight, The Civilian will be live-blogging the first of too many debates between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Judith Collins, and also the last fifteen minutes of the news. Be sure to tune in from 6:45pm for regular updates, which can be accessed by refreshing this page ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • Hundreds of Aucklanders arrested after illegal mass gathering on Harbour Bridge
    An enormous drive-in party, shown here, was held this morning on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, where police were forced to intervene. Hundreds of Aucklanders were arrested this morning on public health grounds, after an apparent illegal mass gathering on the city’s Harbour Bridge. Police say hundreds of Aucklanders gathered in their ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • The Looming Fight.
    Social Distancing Be Damned - It's Jacinda! Shortly after ascending to Labour’s leadership, Jacinda described herself as a “pragmatic idealist”. It was an inspired oxymoron – packing into just two words the essence of the social-democrat’s dilemma. It was good to know that she knew what lay ahead of her. ...
    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Moving faster
    Back in 2017, the UK announced that it would ban the sale of new fossil fuel vehicles by 2040. Its a basic climate change measure, aimed at reducing emissions by shifting the vehicle fleet to cleaner technologies. Now, in the wake of the pandemic, they're planning to bring it forward ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The Australian courts have had enough of refugee detention
    For the past decade, Australia has had a racist, anti-refugee policy. Those claiming refugee status are imprisoned without trial and left to rot in the hope they would "voluntarily" return to be tortured and murdered. When the courts have granted them visas, the government has immediately revoked them on racial ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Friction and the Anti-lock Braking System
    Yesterday afternoon I had to call on my car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS). For reasons best known to its driver, a car pulled out of a side road right in front of me while I was driving home after work, and I needed to stop in a hurry. I rather ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    4 days ago
  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
    There are a fair few misconceptions about conditions within New Zealand’s Quarantine Hotels. Madeline Grant’s misplaced accusations being one prominent example, though she is not alone. Today, I thought I’d share the inside word, so to speak. A friend of mine has recently returned to New Zealand from overseas, and ...
    4 days ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    4 days ago
  • This is not kind
    New Zealand has a serious homelessness problem, due to skyrocketing rents and a lack of state houses. One of the ways we stick a band-aid on it is to put people up in motels. Previously, they were charged full commercial rates, saddled with odious debt due to the government's failure ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
    by Ani O’Brien In the absence of a better word with which to refer to the rabid activists who claim progressivism while demanding adherence to an increasingly prescriptive set of political beliefs, I call them “woke”. With its roots in Black American slang, the term originally denoted a person or ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
    Over the weekend, the Ministry of Health reported a case of Covid-19 in Auckland that is not related to the current Auckland cluster. Before we start to panic, here’s how I think the case happened and how we can strengthen our current border controls. The new Covid-19 case is someone ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Neuralink and You: A Human-AI Symbiosis
    Becky Casale Elon Musk reckons his Neuralink brain implant is much more than a medical device–that one day it will drive a symbiosis between humans and artificial intelligence. “Good morning! I’m Dr Benedict Egg and I’ll be supervising your Neuralink insertion today. Do you have any questions?” “Yes, Doc. ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: Our obsession with American politics
    Many New Zealanders take a strong interest in US politics, with the death of Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsberg being the latest example. Liam Hehir wonders if it very wise for New Zealanders to get so worked about it.   Many politically engaged New Zealanders are now furiously ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • COVID: Back to Level 1
    After stamping the Coronavirus out via strict lockdown between March and May, New Zealand went through a good three months without any community cases. Then a local outbreak in Auckland rather buggered things up last month. Auckland’s been in level 3 and level 2.5 for the past six weeks. ...
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Climate injustice
    Who's causing our skyrocketing emissions? As with most of our other problems, It's the rich: The wealthiest 1% of the world’s population were responsible for the emission of more than twice as much carbon dioxide as the poorer half of the world from 1990 to 2015, according to new ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Good riddance
    The border closure and resulting lack of foreign slave-workers is driving the fishing industry out of business: One fishing company is effectively out of business while others are bracing for large financial hits as the deepwater New Zealand industry, unable to get skilled foreign workers into the country, have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... The tipping points at the heart of the climate crisis Many parts of the Earth’s climate system have been destabilised by ...
    5 days ago
  • Anyone for Collins?
    In the absence of national public opinion polls, we have had to make do in recent weeks with other guides to voter intentions. Those guides, such as the Auckland Central poll, the incidence of google enquiries and the responses to Vote Compass questions, have suggested, not unexpectedly, that Labour is ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
    Crusher Collins - National Party leaderWe all know that the National Party is desperate to gain some traction during this election campaign and have been throwing pretty much everything at the Labour Party in order to try and undermine Jacinda Ardern and what the Coalition Government has achieved. But unfortunately ...
    5 days ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh goloing@gmail.com (19/09/2020) Che Guevara said that a true revolutionary is motivated by love i.e. love of the oppressed, the poor, the children dying from preventable illnesses. This phrase of his is true but has been used by reformists and their more hippy wing have taken advantage ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    6 days ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
    With the National Party this week announcing a new policy of tax cuts to spice up the election campagin. MyThinks went along to the launch and afterwards we spoke to the party’s finance spokesperson Paul “Golden Touch” Goldsmith. MT: Thanks for speaking to us Mr Goldsmith. PG: No. Thank you. ...
    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
    Always to islanders danger Is what comes over the seas ‘Landfall in Unknown Seas’ (Allen Curnow)Six economic issues external to New Zealand, which will greatly impact upon us. 1.         The Diminishing Global Dominance of the US. Since 1941 America has dominated the world economically and politically. Probably it could ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
    Jacqui Maguire, registered clinical psychologist This podcast episode highlights how difficult it is to have effective conversations about euthanasia due to how polarised people’s views are. I’m a clinical psychologist, with a passion for science communication. In early 2020 I founded the podcast Mind Brew, with an aim to make psychological ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    1 week ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
    It would be a great time to reform the benefit system, according to former Deputy Chief Economic Advisor at the Treasury, Tony Burton. He argues the complexity of benefit system means that it’s failing to achieve its difficult three core objectives, which form an “iron triangle”.   New Zealand’s benefit ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
    Tax Justice UK, September 2020 Serious tax reform is on the political agenda for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus crisis. As this debate hots up it is important to understand what people think about public spending, wealth and tax. Tax Justice UK, along with Survation and ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    1 week ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
    Barbados is planning to remove the queen as head of state and become a republic in time for the 55th anniversary of its independence in 2021: Barbados has announced its intention to remove the Queen as its head of state and become a republic by November 2021. [...] Reading ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    1 week ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz What is the impact of temperature increases in the tropics? ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons It felt like 100 degrees in my in-laws’ Grass Valley, California, kitchen, but at least the lights were on and for the moment we were safely “distanced” from the Jones Fire. We’d just finished dessert, after pizza and a movie ...
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease New Zealand wants to eliminate, and genome sequencing is...
    Nigel French, Massey University Genome sequencing — the mapping of the genetic sequences of an organism — has helped track the spread of COVID-19 cases in Auckland, but it also plays an important role in the control of other infectious diseases in New Zealand. One example is Mycoplasma bovis, a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime
    A key part of our electoral funding regime is a requirement for some transparency around donations, on the basis that if we can find out who has bought our politicians (typically after we have voted for them) then everything is alright. There are a lot of problems with that regime ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Don’t Steal This Book
    On “In Defense of Looting” Matt Taibibi takes an entertaining look at this generation of woke activists and how they compare with Abbie Hoffman the iconic anti-Vietnam war counter-culture figure of the 1960s On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Hokitika Landmark earmarked for $22m restoration
    Seddon House in Hokitika, once a hub for government on the West Coast, has been earmarked for government use once again. “Today we’re announcing a $22 million investment from the Government’s $3 billion infrastructure fund for shovel ready projects for the purchase and restoration of Seddon House in the heart of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes two diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced two new diplomatic appointments: •         Michael Appleton as New Zealand’s first resident High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. •        Tredene Dobson as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Viet Nam.  Sri Lanka “New Zealand is opening a post in Colombo in 2021 because we are ready ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ’s most prestigious conservation award – Loder Cup presented to Graeme Atkins
    The Minister of Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, today presented Aotearoa New Zealand’s most prestigious conservation award, the Loder Cup, to the 2020 winner Graeme Atkins while in Gisborne/Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa. “Graeme Atkins of Ngāti Porou is a Department of Conservation ranger whose contribution to conservation goes well above and beyond his employment,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Parliament to install solar and cut carbon
    Parliament is leading by example by taking action to cut its carbon footprint by installing solar and improving energy efficiency, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today. The Minister confirmed that Parliamentary Services will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to install solar PV and LED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Tuvalu Language Week theme promotes community resilience in the face of COVID-19
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the 2020 Tuvalu Language Week theme of “Fakatili Te Kiloga Fou” which means “Navigating the changing environment” is a call on all Pacific peoples to be strong and resilient in the face of COVID-19. “This theme is a reminder to us ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • International sport back up and running in New Zealand
    The Government is welcoming today’s announcement that the West Indies and Pakistan cricket teams will tour New Zealand this summer.  “A lot of hard work has been undertaken by sports officials including New Zealand Cricket, Netball New Zealand and government officials to ensure that international sport can return safely to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 1BT funds for Northland forest taonga
    Northland’s indigenous tree canopy is set to grow for the benefit of mana whenua and the wider community thanks to nearly $2 million in One Billion Trees funding, Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Komanga Marae Trust has received more than $1.54 million to restore and enhance the native ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Better health care for West Coasters as Te Nikau Hospital officially opened
    The Government has delivered a new hospital for Greymouth and is starting work on a much needed new health centre in Westport, ensuring local communities will benefit from better access to high quality integrated health services. Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare officially open Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government backing local with PGF loan
    A West Coast distillery will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment that will enable it to expand its operations and create jobs in the town of Reefton, Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Reefton Distilling Co will receive a $928,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Primary sector exports and jobs up again
    Primary sector exports and jobs are up again, demonstrating the sector’s underlying strength amid the COVID-19 global pandemic and US-China trade war, and supporting New Zealand’s economic recovery. Stats NZ today reported New Zealand’s merchandise exports in August were up 8.6% on a year ago, driven by an increase in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Clean energy future for more schools
    Schools across Aotearoa New Zealand will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The Minister has allocated $50 million from the Clean Powered Public Service Fund to replace, or convert, coal boilers in schools with clean ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Building business strength with digital tools
    New training and tools for digital commerce will give small businesses, especially in the tourism sector, the support they need to adapt and innovate in a COVID world. Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced details of how $20 million digital capability funding set aside ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New pest lures to protect nature
    The Department of Conservation (DOC) is investing $1.4 million to develop new predator lures that would be game-changers for trapping and surveillance towards a predator-free Aotearoa, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage, announced in Christchurch today. The proposal is to develop long-life lures attractive to a range of predators—rats, mustelids ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs
    Supporting new and creative Pacific education practices as part of our COVID-19 response and recovery is the focus of a new $28.5 million Pacific Education Innovation Fund announced today by Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa.  “There is already an incredible amount of innovative and creative work going on in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
    Three ambitious and cutting-edge research programmes that will lift New Zealand’s advanced energy technology research capability over seven years, have been supported by Government today, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. The projects will each receive a share of $40.7 million investment from the Strategic Science Investment Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
    A new digital hub and development centre in Murupara will be instrumental in growing the region’s productivity, said Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau at the official opening of two community initiatives today. “I’m pleased to be here celebrating a significant milestone for two projects set to make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast
    PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast Unemployment to peak at 7.8%, down from 9.8% forecast in the Budget Year-to-June accounts show tax revenue, debt and OBEGAL better than forecast Global forecast downgraded as COVID-19 second waves and uncertainty grows Balanced plan to support critical public services, manage debt and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Spruce-up for Ōtaki community facilities
    The Kāpiti Coast town of Ōtaki will receive $1.4 million in Government funding for two projects providing scores of jobs for locals while improving community facilities, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Māoriland Charitable Trust will receive a $900,000 Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) grant to upgrade the ...
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