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The long reach of “5 Eyes”: Not in our name!

Written By: - Date published: 9:18 am, July 12th, 2013 - 66 comments
Categories: accountability, capitalism, child abuse, democracy under attack, john key, Spying, us politics - Tags: , , ,

The excellent journalism of the Campbell Live segment (Wednesday July 10, 2013) on the changes to the GCSB bill, and the Key government-Dotcom-GCSB timeline, brought the role of Eric Holder to the fore.  Eric Holder’s connections with his New Zealand counterparts shows how much Holder’s agenda links international surveillance with transnational organised crime and “terrorism” that reaches right into the homes of citizens.  And in doing this, Holder claims the moral high ground in aiming to protect women and children from sexual,and other forms of violence at a personal level.

The Campbell Live programme unfolded a sequence of meetings in July 2011, beginning with a 5 Eyes meeting in Australia that included the attorney generals of the 5 countries that participate in the Echelon intelligence network.  The GCSB is New Zealand’s branch.  The AG’s including NZ Chris Finlayson and Eric Holder, discussed issues of cybercrime, intelligence and extradition.  These attorney generals are also responsible for crime within their own countries.

5 Eyes attorney generals meeting, Sydney 2011

5 Eyes attorney generals meeting, Sydney 2011

Campbell Live went on to outline a series of meetings in July 2011 that included Key’s meeting with Obama in the US, and the shoulder-tapping of Ian Fletcher for the job as chief of the GCSB.

campbell-live-gcsb-10-july-2013a

Anne, regular Standard commenter, has helpfully laid out the timeline:

15 July 2011- Finlayson meets US Attorney General, Eric Holder.

22 July 2011 – Key meets Obama.

Maarten Wevers (former chief of the Prime Minister’s department) heads off to Washington with Key.

Sometime in July 2011 Key rings Fletcher about GCSB job.

Maarten Wevers returns from Washington July 2011 and interviews Fletcher the following day.

Grant Wormald is contacted by FBI and starts working on Dotcom case around August 2011.

Williamson grants Kim Dotcom consent to purchase Chrischo mansion in April 2011.

Simon Power overturns consent 3 mths later around July/August 2011.

Dotcom’s legal team claim Eric Holder has made pursuit of Kim Dotcom a bit of a mission, as indicated in this article of May 2013:

US Attorney General Eric Holder on Thursday denied allegations from Kim Dotcom that the prosecution against the Internet tycoon was launched to appease Hollywood moguls concerned about online piracy.

New Zealand-based Dotcom launched a “white paper” to coincide with a visit by Holder to Auckland this week claiming the case against his now-defunct Megaupload empire was baseless and did not stand up to legal scrutiny.

In the document, Dotcom’s lawyers argued Washington had bowed to pressure from the film industry to pursue Dotcom for alleged copyright infringement because it was a major contributor to Democratic Party coffers.

Holder rejected the accusation, saying intellectual property theft was “something that we take very seriously”.

Holder has particularly been concerned with combating transnationally organised crime.  His initiative on this was launched by the White House back in 2011.  This White House notice of 22 July 2011 states that the launch will be live in a few days from then.

Join us at the White House for an event to launch the Strategy to Combat Transnational Organized Crime on Monday, July 25 at 11:00am.  This new strategy seeks to build, balance, and integrate the tools of American power to combat the threats from transnational organized crime to our national and international security.  The strategy also seeks to disrupt and dismantle transnational illicit networks and converging threats — and to urge our partners around the world to do the same.

We will have a number of senior U.S. officials on hand to speak about the strategy and how we will carry it out, including:

John Brennan, Assistant to the President for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security
U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder
Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano
Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William J. Burns
Treasury Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David Cohen
USAID Deputy Administrator Don Steinberg
Office of National Drug Control Policy Director R. Gil Kerlikowske

This is a broad initiative linking the internal and external US security with their “partners” around the world.  This is further elaborated on by Holder in his speech at the University of Auckland on 8 May 2013.  This speech is full of hypocritical propaganda about the US authorities being the upholder and defender of “democracy”.

And in this speech, Holder links the protection of people from transnationally organised crime, with the protection of women from sexual and other violence in war zones and in the homes of immigrant communities in NZ and elsewhere.  In his speech, Holder stated:

For the United States, and for our Quintet allies, these meetings present an important chance to exchange ideas and share expertise; to advance the principles of peace, security, and equal justice that form the common foundation for our respective legal systems; and to explore strategies for working together – to address both domestic and international challenges – in order to build the brighter, safer future that all of our citizens deserve.

[…]

From combating cybercrime, terrorism, and human trafficking, to fighting corruption and protecting our citizens from exploitation, abuse, and violence – together, we’ve made significant progress on a variety of fronts. And this week, we’re sharing best practices for protecting some of the most vulnerable members of society – and prosecuting those who commit acts of sexual violence against women and children. Together, we will examine how we can improve domestic investigations and prosecutions of these serious crimes, as well as how we can increase our joint response to transnational sexual violence – including in the contexts of human trafficking, online child pornography, and armed conflicts.

He goes onto to talk about the Boston marathon bombings as a justification for widespread surveillance incorporating the NZ legal and crime-fighting services.

Undoubtedly sexual violence against women, and child pornography are significant issues that need to be understood, prosecuted and prevented.  However, linking this with “domestic  terrorism” coming from within immigrant communities, provides the state a (hypocritical) justification for violating citizen’s privacy within their homes.  Systems for combating crimes within the nation-state, and of a personal nature should be separated from surveillance that undermines democracy.

Not in the name of “women and children” and democracy!

In May 2013, 3News reported on Chris Finlayson’s role, linking international crime with domestic crimes of a sexual nature:

They [attorney generals] will share information on approaches to addressing historic allegations of sexual assault, and how courts deal with fair trial rights and supporting complainants and witnesses giving testimony, particularly in relation to sexual violence in indigenous and immigrant communities.

The same Attorney General that is responsible for issues of crime and justice within NZ, should not have so much responsibility for arrangements within the 5 Eyes network, and for the GCSB’s role within it.

66 comments on “The long reach of “5 Eyes”: Not in our name!”

  1. RedLogix 1

    Within a decade we will have the technology to securely record every moment of a person’s life from birth to death in a government database.

    Everywhere you go.

    Everyone you meet.

    Everything you say.

    Everything you do.

    Any gap, or attempt to spoof the record, will be a criminal offense with no defense.

    The components of this technology exist. (Think Google Glass). It is simply a matter of putting in place sufficient infrastructure to support it.

    We can eliminate violence, bribery, corruption, traffic offenses, sex crimes, prostitution, sex outside of marriage, masturbation even. For the first time the state will be able to fully enforce a moral code on all of it’s citizens. Criminal trials will simply be a matter of accessing the relevant records.

    And it’s going to happen within our lifetimes. If you think this crazy, then ask yourself… did you imagine 10 years ago that the NZ Parliament would be passing a law legalising the states ability to store and analyse any and all of our communications?

    • Te Reo Putake 1.1

      I’m more worried about what business will do with the information, to be honest.

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/11/microsoft-nsa-collaboration-user-data

      • RedLogix 1.1.1

        True enough. I’m not going to quibble with you. Most New Zealanders are already blissfully unaware of how much corporate information is already being captured from their day to day life, and how it is been mined for corporate benefit. Much of this is activity is probably quite benign … but there are no controls, no oversight and no transparency around this at all.

        But given that the state and the corporates interests are so deeply entwined, I don’t think the distinction is all that meaningful in the long run.

        • Te Reo Putake 1.1.1.1

          Intertwined! Exactly right, RL. Marx foresaw state capitalism (ie the state mimicking capital), but in this late stage, capitalism has co-opted the state to its own ends.

          • Colonial Viper 1.1.1.1.1

            I’ll suggest that by the time the Vietnam War was warming up, the “military industrial complex” associated with the Pentagon and with the CIA was already a force that politicians could not ignore. And from Ronald Reagan onwards, the reach of the financial institutions into Congress and the White House was irresistable.

            For those interested, the Untold History of the United States series by Oliver Stone is a must view.

          • joe90 1.1.1.1.2

            Eisenhower’s 1961 farewell address:

            In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
            We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.

            http://mcadams.posc.mu.edu/ike.htm

      • Rosetinted 1.1.2

        TRP
        To be honest – after thinking about business, and what use it will make of the stuff, then think about the unholy alliance of business and government that has grown so much, and the amount of lobbying contacts between big business and what we think of as ‘our’ politicians, but who are really ‘theirs’. Politicians are in this big-time.

        Because they are in cahoots with people and businesses who stand to benefit from the huge market that government can deliver, and who are increasingly wealthy and able to totally fund the promotion to the people of preferred politicians and their puerile parties.

        That’s the new tongue-twister. Now pick a peck of pickled politicians. And pickled can mean drunk with power, or being in a state of curation, where good past examples of the type are held for reference.

    • vto 1.2

      All the more reason to go offline and stick to cash, which is easier anyway. Plus the bloody phone wont go all the time.

      But seriously, why do I always get this sinking feeling that the world is sliding towards some sort of meltdown …..

      • marty mars 1.2.1

        I agree with your first sentence and it is serious, although I would extend offline to ‘out of the system’ as much as possible. The big issue I see is that people cannot see how to disconnect from the system. There are plenty of on-line resources – do some searching. The time to start is yesterday but today will do and every little disconnection is valuable. Don’t wait for someone else to do it for you – they can’t. Don’t wait for a white knight – they aren’t coming. It is time to start adjusting to a new way of doing things and that will mean giving up stuff – start giving it up, it is just stuff, not actually important. I know it sounds sanctimonious but it can be done. Stop thinking of why you can’t do it and start doing it. How do you eat an elephant? (bad metaphor for a vegetarian I know) – one bite at a time and it is time to start chewing. The world is changing and we are the frogs in the pot – jump for fucks sake jump!!!

        • muzza 1.2.1.1

          Hi Marty,

          Fully agree with your comment!

          Peace

        • Draco T Bastard 1.2.1.2

          The big issue I see is that people cannot see how to disconnect from the system.

          That’s because you can’t disconnect from the system and it’s not because it’s designed that way. You are part of the system and there is no way to change that. The design is that the system has been turned to benefit only the few and thus against everyone else.

      • Mariana Pineda 1.2.2

        This legislation should never be passed but if it is, perhaps we can start being creative with the things we write in all of our emails. we could pair phrases so that we use multiple key words in paragraphs and change these frequently

        We could enjoy “blowing up” lots of balloons or plant slug “bombs” in our gardens or insist that we see national party “terrorists” scaring the hell out of our beneficiaries with unfair “lethal packages”. We could be “killed” with kindness..

        I feel sure there could be lots more ideas in this vein which might cause any surveillance systems to be overworked with little actual useful outcomes.

    • muzza 1.3

      And it’s going to happen within our lifetimes.

      Unfortunately, it’s a done deal, always has been, and there is not anything which can stop this.
      Any opportunity to stop it, was crushed under manufactured threats/wars, deceit and lies, combined with the neo-liberal financial agenda, designed to crush the life of of humanity, while ensuring the resource/power/control base, always rolled upwards!

      If you think this crazy, then ask yourself… did you imagine 10 years ago that the NZ Parliament would be passing a law legalising the state’s ability to store and analyze any and all of our communications?

      Many still see no problems with it, of the small percentage that are aware what’s been going on.
      They believe the machine is there to protect them, and as a result, have been convinced, using transparent techniques, that they are progressing, while the reality is, 99.9% of the population, are regressing, just at different rates of velocity, which over time will level out rapidly.

      Life, is not going to be any such thing as it is currently known in under 20 years, at an absolute maximum, Less, if TPTB decide to hit the big button!

      Technology is not the constraint to the timeline, the capability has been in place for many years already (10+), what the public is told about/aware of, is already decades past, and being used in extremely nefarious ways!

      These agents who are executing the agenda, are wide in the open, the danger always has to present itself openly, prior to any end point, and what you write about, is a critical link in the systems designed, to control, everything!

      Genuine evil rules our world, and science is it’s primary weapon!

      So many are not aware, that their futures have already been taken!

      Another excellent article Karol

    • Rogue Trooper 1.4

      It was revealing that the MSM trawled the Beebo account of four years earlier of the ex-army shooter who carried out the recent home invasion, and was subsequently shot dead.

  2. Rosetinted 2

    Holder’s agenda links international surveillance with transnational organised crime and “terrorism” that reaches right into the homes of citizens. And in doing this, Holder claims the moral high ground in aiming to protect women and children from sexual,and other forms of violence at a personal level.

    United States Declaration of Independence – We hold these truths to be self-evident – blah blah. Listening in to every home is, simply put, home invasion and that rightly, is a criminal act in NZ. We have other methods of dealing with violence at a personal level, such as countering the lack of restraint and use of violence to dominate and express frustration with programs which are carried out right now and need adequate funding, both for adults and through anti-bullying and socialisation programs for children.

    Looking at the way that sports teams are virtually encouraged to aggression with money for winning as an incentive, and I think two teams in Australia determined to carry out some vendetta on the field, how can we regard violence as an individual aberration. It receives covert encouragement at many levels of society, and is reinforced through films, tv series, and unhappily news footage and documentaries. We need to see it to know it happens, but at the same time it is constantly normalised in some people’s (men’s?) minds. No amount of snooping is needed to reveal that. Just going into the problem with eyes wired open and seeing the truth which is self-evident.

  3. yeshe 3

    Wonder what Eric the Holder will say when he come to understand how Key’s Sky City deal opens us up to widespread money laundering. Paradox much ?

    And thx Karol and Anne.

  4. vto 4

    So why does John Key want to be able to record everything we do?

    What is his answer to that?

    (gawd, relying on the wisdom of John Key, how depressing…)

    • Colonial Viper 4.1

      It is part of the US intelligence philosophy of “Total Information Awareness” and “Full Spectrum Dominance” (which includes land, sea, air, space and cyberspace.

      This is why I do not accept that they are only collecting “metadata” on all our communications and not the content. After all, their motto is not “Partial Information Awareness” or “Partial Spectrum Dominance”, is it.

      • vto 4.1.1

        Why does John Key want us to give the US government this information?

        • Colonial Viper 4.1.1.1

          It’s the pragmatic thing to do. And I’m being serious.

        • Anne 4.1.1.2

          Why does John Key want us to give the US government this information?

          Read Frank Macskasy’s splendid piece on the Daily Blog. The answers are all there.

          http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/07/11/the-real-reason-for-the-gcsb-bill/

          The Bill, alongside it’s barely acknowledged “sister-Bill” – the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Amendment Bill – is designed deliberately to mandate the GCSB to spy on all New Zealanders.

          Everyone.

          Not just criminals.

          Not just left-wing radicals.

          Not just Maori nationalists.

          Not just anti-TPPA acctivists. Or environment campaigners. Or trade unionists.

          In fact, those people aren’t the real targets at all.

          The targets are all New Zealanders.

          • karol 4.1.1.2.1

            Basically Frank is arguing it’s all about the big corporations protecting their control over “intellectual property”. He argues that, with much manufacturing having gone to low wage countries, the main area of commercial activity left to the corporations is “intellectual property”, via Hollywood et al.

            • Rogue Trooper 4.1.1.2.1.1

              well, the irony is that states (US, China, etc) are among the largest miners of ‘intellectual property’ through cyber-attacks and hacking.

            • Huginn 4.1.1.2.1.2

              Yes, ‘national security’ and organised crime’ have been conflated with ‘copyright protection’

            • Huginn 4.1.1.2.1.3

              Yes, ‘national security’ and organised crime’ have been conflated with ‘copyright protection’

          • Anne 4.1.1.2.2

            Sorry. Ran out of edit time. The piece quoted summarises the answer. Read the rest to see how he gets there…
            [karol: fixed]

  5. tracey 5

    Until one of the 1% is spied on and makes an uproar we are all fucked

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      No good. I suspect that General Patreous and (Former NY AG) Eliot Spitzer were both taken down by email and txt information initially gleaned from these surveillance systems.

      BTW it’s the top 0.01% who are in charge of things. That’s about 30,000 people in the USA. included amongst their number are the Fortune 500 boards, certain politicians and generals, oligarchs, bankers etc.

      Most of the 1% are just moderately well paid professional sheeple who routinely get it in the neck themselves if they don’t toe the line.

  6. tracey 6

    Moderately well paid, source?

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      They’re the 1%. They are the $250,000 pa executive managers, lawyers, accountants, professional firm partners, IT professionals etc. who keep the whole machine ticking for the ultra-elite.

  7. Rogue Trooper 7

    Whose Bill is the GCSB Bill really. From Campbell Live;
    -the US DOJ under Eric Holder is “out of control”
    -from the meeting of A-G’s; ” let’s improve extradition”- Finlayson.
    -after Wevers returned from the US, he then interviewed Ian Fletcher.

    Then there is the discussion in the MSM that politicians (and state servants) may be relying on the use of private e-mail accounts (GMail, good luck with keeping that private) to “keep secrets” from colleagues.

    Example (not secret):” we need to help our Pacific friends resist China”- McCully in an e-mail to John Hays. And now, there is the convenient gift by China to Tonga of the MA60.

  8. yeshe 8

    So just how many august NZ bodies will Key be required to ignore to get what Holder demands of him …

    NZ Human Rights Commission just out .. nails Key completely on his arrogant stance:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10897315

    Methinx something constitutional is coming closer ….

    • RedLogix 8.1

      Mr Key dismissed the Human Rights Commission’s concerns about the Government’s controversial GCSB legislation and told the organisation to “pull its socks up” for not making a submission on time.

      The naked arrogance of Key on full display.

      The HRC is making a report direct to the PM, not a submission to the Select Committee. Key gets it completely wrong and owes the HRC a full public apology:

      “That’s one of the other issues, the urgency with which it’s been happening.”

      The commission was exercising its statutory ability to directly report to the Prime Minister for only the fourth time since 1993, “because of the seriousness of the proposed bills and to allow for more time to consider the bill’s impact”.

      • Veutoviper 8.1.1

        Key’s statements as quoted by the Herald also included this not so subtle threat – which is close to what seems to be a possible aim of the recent appointments to the Commission such as Dame Devoy.

        “I actually don’t think it was a very good submission at all and they need to pull their socks up. If they’re going to continue to be a government-funded organisation they should meet the deadline should everyone else.”

        Bold is mine. Wording is as quoted.

        • karol 8.1.1.1

          Could John Key show any more contempt for the majority of New Zealanders and their rights?

          Who is he governing for?

          • Rogue Trooper 8.1.1.1.1

            not u.s.

          • Veutoviper 8.1.1.1.2

            As RT says, definitely not NZ or NZers – or organisations, processes etc that represent our rights such as the HRC.

            And I don’t believe for one moment that Key has read the HRC report sent to him only a few hours ago to be able to say that “I actually don’t think it was a very good submission at all..”. It just does not say what he wants it to say.

            On the other hand, his arrogant and nasty ‘hit out at the messenger’ reaction is there for all to see, as opposed to the “‘smile and wave’ and ‘I am relaxed’ persona which he seems to be finding harder and harder to maintain.

            • RedLogix 8.1.1.1.2.1

              Well spotted Veuto. I read the same lines myself and completely missed the veiled threat.

              The implications of this can be scarcely understated.

            • RedLogix 8.1.1.1.2.2

              Well spotted Veuto. I read the same lines myself and completely missed the veiled threat.

              The implications of this can be scarcely understated.

              • Colonial Viper

                John Key. A sold out Kiwi marching on the direct orders of the USA.

                • muzza

                  I very much doubt, Key, nor any of the so called Americans, identify/affiliate themselves with any boarders/boundaries, or national identity, other than for show, and to deflect attention away from, who they , really are!

          • yeshe 8.1.1.1.3

            agree 100% karol .. but what can we do ?

        • muzza 8.1.1.2

          VV – Yes that was indeed a threat, made by a foreign agent, against NZ!

  9. Rogue Trooper 9

    …or, Something Wicked This Way Comes … (novel)

  10. tracey 10

    Didnt he make the police investigate a threat to publish his teacup chat in public to win votes….

    • yeshe 10.1

      yes ytracey .. he did …maybe there’s something in the arguments he used then to hoist key on his own petard …

  11. Colonial Viper 11

    Russian Guards Service goes back to typewriters

    Trust the Ruskies to sort out the problem.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/11/russia-reverts-paper-nsa-leaks

    In the wake of the US surveillance scandal revealed by the US whistleblower Edward Snowden, Russia is planning to adopt a foolproof means of avoiding global electronic snooping: by reverting to paper.

    The Federal Guard Service (FSO), a powerful body tasked with protecting Russia’s highest-ranking officials, has recently put in an order for 20 Triumph Adler typewriters, the Izvestiya newspaper reported.

    Each typewriter creates a unique “handwriting”, allowing its source to be traced, the report said.

    “After the scandal with the spread of secret documents by WikiLeaks, the revelations of Edward Snowden, reports of listening to Dmitry Medvedev during his visit to the G20 summit in London, the practice of creating paper documents will expand,” a source inside the FSO was quoted as saying.

    >

    • Rogue Trooper 11.1

      Too Many Suspects / The Fourth Side of the Triangle : a challenge to the reader.

      speaking of which

      The Reader : Outstanding!

    • yeshe 11.2

      reminds me of this story .. NASA spent $6 billion designing a pen that would work in space ( and a thing of beauty it was !) … and the Russians used a pencil.

      • Rogue Trooper 11.2.1

        Russian Literature, sublime and saltmine.

      • Rosetinted 11.2.2

        yeshe
        I was looking for a pen that I could be sure would write if I had to slope it upwards, sick of biros etc. I was told that I could buy one of the pens designed for space, though it would cost $60 to me. (They knocked some 000’s off.) I ended up getting a gel pen or similar. Works well. Costs a lot less.

        • Rosetinted 11.2.2.1

          Interesting link from QOT. So the pen was designed for space travel and cost roughly $1M
          to develop. Probably worth every $ of the retail price.

      • Colonial Viper 11.2.4

        That was the tale, but apparently a Russian aerospace engineer said it wasn’t true – you can’t risk having loose graphite particles (which are conductive) as dust inside a command module in space.

  12. Poission 12

    Bit of bad news for Hooton who says the Nats polling is unaffected by the GSCB scandals.

    http://www.themonthly.com.au/blog/roy-morgan-research/2013/06/11/1370907445/new-polling-shows-assanges-wikileaks-leads-new-partie

  13. BLiP 13

    John Key’s lies on this subject . . .

    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 (14)

    I have no reason to doubt at this stage that Peter Dunne did not leak the GCSB report

    I called directory service to get Ian Fletcher’s number

    the GCSB has been prevented from carrying out its functions because of the law governing its functions

    because the opposition is opposed the GCSB law ammendments, parliamentary urgency is required

    the increasing number of cyber intrusions which I can’t detail or discuss prove that the GCSB laws need to be extended to protect prive enterprise

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

    National Ltd™ is not explanding the activities of the GCSB with this new law

    cyber terrorists have attempted to gain access to information about weapons of mass destruction held on New Zealand computers

    the law which says the GCSB cannot spy on New Zealanders is not clear

    the illegal spying on Kim Dotcom was an isolated incident

    first I heard I heard about Kim Dotcom was on 19 January 2012

    first I heard about the illegal spying on Kim Dotcom was in September

    I did not mislead the House (6)

    I won’t be discussing Kim Dotcom during my Hollywood visit.

  14. karol 14

    So, 85% of Campbell Live’s non-scientific, usually leans to the right, txt poll are against the changes to the GCSB Bill.

    And will the GCSB be adding the phone numbers of that “85%” to their regular surveillance list?

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    This week we moved into the second half of 2020 - and our Government delivered another week of big changes and major progress for New Zealanders. Read below for a wrap of the key things moments from the week - from extending paid parental leave, to making major investments in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party opposes RMA fast-track bill that cut corners on environmental safeguards and public cons...
    The Green Party has opposed the COVID-19 Recovery Fast-track Consenting Bill which shortcuts normal consenting processes under the Resource Management Act (RMA), reduces public participation and narrows environmental considerations. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Site of new freight hub revealed
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Regional Economic Development A regional freight hub for the lower North Island will be built just northeast of Palmerston North, Regional Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The Government is investing $40 million through the Provincial Growth Fund to designate and buy land and design ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens call for Guaranteed Minimum Income to alleviate skyrocketing debt with MSD
    Green Party Co-leader Marama Davidson is calling for the introduction of a Guaranteed Minimum Income to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty and prevent more families entering into further debt with the Ministry of Social Development.  ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Winston Peters: Facts matter when taxpayer money is on the line
    There has been renewed focus on New Zealand First acting as a handbrake on the Government after our decision to not support Auckland light rail. We are a handbrake for bad ideas, that is true, but our track record since 2017 has seen New Zealand First constructively also serve as an ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bill raising minimum residency requirement for NZ Super passes first reading
    Mark Patterson MP, New Zealand First List MP New Zealand First’s Fair Residency for Superannuation Bill passed its First Reading in Parliament today. The Bill makes a significant change to NZ Super by raising the minimum residency requirement from 10 to 20 years, after age 20. “Currently, a migrant of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Harsher penalties for assaults on first responders one step closer
    Darroch Ball MP, Spokesperson for Law and Order A New Zealand First member’s bill in the name of Darroch Ball introducing a six-month minimum prison sentence for assaults on first responders has passed its second reading in Parliament. The new offence of "injuring a first responder or corrections officer with ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Criminal Cases Review Commission delivers Coalition promise
    Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Deputy Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand First welcomes the launch of the new Criminal Cases Review Commission, gifted with the name from Waikato-Tainui - Te Kāhui Tātari Ture, announced in Hamilton today by Justice Minister Andrew Little. “New Zealand First has long believed in and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Greens welcome huge new investment in sustainable projects
    The Green Party is celebrating over $800m in new funding for green projects, which will get people into jobs while solving New Zealand’s long-term challenges. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand First demands answers from Meridian Energy
    Mark Patterson MP, Spokesperson for Primary Industries New Zealand First is appalled that Meridian seems to have been unnecessarily spilling water from its dams to drive up its profits."While New Zealanders have been coming together in some of our darkest hours, we don’t expect power gentailers to waste water and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Getting New Zealand moving again: June 2020
    We wrapped up the first half of 2020 with a busy month, taking additional steps to support New Zealanders as we continue with our economic recovery. We rolled out targeted packages to support key industries like tourism and construction, helped create jobs in the environmental and agriculture sectors, and set ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Māori union leader appointed to Infrastructure Commission board
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister for Infrastructure Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has welcomed the appointment of Maurice Davis and his deep infrastructure and construction experience to the board of the Infrastructure Commission. Mr Davis (Ngāti Maniapoto), is the seventh and final appointment to the board led by former Reserve Bank Governor ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Click-bait journalism at its worst
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First New Zealand’s click bait journalism is taking a turn for the worse, with yet another example of sensationalist, wilful-misrepresentation of the facts. “New Zealand First has worked constructively with its Coalition partner on hundreds of pieces of legislation and policy, and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Green Party proposes transformational Poverty Action Plan
    The Green Party is today unveiling its Poverty Action Plan, which includes a Guaranteed Minimum Income to ensure people have enough to live with dignity.     ...
    2 weeks ago
  • PGF accelerates Rotorua projects
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Rotorua Museum redevelopment and Whakarewarewa and Tokorangi Forest projects will be accelerated thanks to a $2.09 million Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) boost, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Week That Was: Getting people into jobs
    This week, we rolled out the next steps of our recovery plan, with new infrastructure investment, extra support for tourism operators, and a new programme to get Kiwis into agriculture careers. The global economic consequences of COVID-19 will continue to be a challenge, but we have a detailed plan to ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Coalition commitment establishing Mental Health Commission delivered
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its final reading in Parliament today fulfilling a coalition agreement commitment. “This is an important step in saving the lives of New Zealanders and delivers a key coalition commitment ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Whakatāne gets a $2.5m ‘turbo boost’
    Whakatāne has been given a $2.5 million boost to speed up previously funded projects and create more than 450 jobs in the next decade. Of those, the equivalent of 160 full-time jobs could be delivered in the next six weeks. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters is in town to make ...
    3 weeks ago
  • $2.5m PGF funding to speed up economic recovery in Whakatāne
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister Fletcher Tabuteau MP, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) is investing $2.5 million to accelerate three infrastructure projects in Whakatāne, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “This package is about ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Shane Jones calls out those holding drought-stricken Auckland ‘to ransom’ over water
    Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones is throwing his weight behind a bid by the Auckland Council to fast-track the more than doubling of the city's water allowance from the Waikato River. And he's coming out strongly against anyone who plans on getting in the way of this campaign. "It is my ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Another Green win as climate change considerations inserted into the RMA
    The Green Party is thrilled to see changes to the Resource Management Act (RMA) that mean consents for large projects can be declined if they will have significant climate change implications that are inconsistent with the Zero Carbon Act and Aotearoa New Zealand’s Paris Agreement obligations.  ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Navy vessel Aotearoa to arrive in New Zealand
    Hon Ron Mark, Minister of Defence The Royal New Zealand Navy’s new ship, Aotearoa, set sail for New Zealand on 10 June from the Republic of Korea, and is due to arrive in Auckland tomorrow, announced Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “Aotearoa is the Royal New Zealand Navy’s new fleet ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Racing Industry Bill passes third reading
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Racing Racing Minister Winston Peters has today welcomed the Racing Industry Bill passing its third reading, creating the legislative framework for revitalising the racing industry while limiting the need for future government intervention. “For too long our domestic racing industry has ...
    3 weeks ago

  • Wellbeing infrastructure for Kaipara
    A package of wellbeing infrastructure investments in Kaipara which focuses on improving the lives of the elderly and upgrading the iconic Kauri Museum has been announced by Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones today. “These shovel-ready projects will have significant benefits for their respective communities and I’m pleased this funding ...
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    19 hours ago
  • More support rolls out for SMEs
    More support is rolling out for small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from the COVID Response and Recovery Fund, to help them adapt and innovate to deal with the impact of the virus. The Ministers for Economic Development and Small Business have announced a further $40 million for the Regional Business ...
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    20 hours ago
  • District Court Judge appointed
    Stephen Clark, Māori Land Court Judge of Hamilton has been appointed as a District Court Judge with jury jurisdiction to be based in Hamilton, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Judge Clark graduated with an LLB from Auckland University in 1988 and was admitted to the Bar in the same year. ...
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    2 days ago
  • Hawke’s Bay Airport agreement protects jobs, safeguards terminal development
    The Crown will provide a loan to Hawke’s Bay Airport to ensure it can trade through COVID-19 economic impacts, support the region’s recovery and protect up to 200 jobs. The Crown has a 50 percent shareholding in Hawke’s Bay Airport Limited (HBAL), with Napier City Council holding 26 percent and ...
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    2 days ago
  • Funding boost for four cultural events
    Four celebrated Māori and Pasifika events will receive up to $100,000 each in funding from the new Creative and Cultural Events Incubator fund, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. The four events that were successful in the inaugural funding round are: Kia Mau Festival, Wellington Māoriland Film Festival, Otaki ...
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    2 days ago
  • Inaugural launch of Kiribati Language Week
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio is pleased to announce the inaugural launch of Kiribati Language Week as part of the 2020 Pacific language Weeks programme. “I am so pleased that this year we are able to provide resourcing support to the Kiribati community in Aotearoa which will ...
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    4 days ago
  • New support package for wildlife institutions
    Wildlife institutions affected by a loss of visitor revenue during the COVID-19 lockdown are set to receive government support with nearly $15 million of funding available announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage.  “Eco-sanctuaries, zoos, aquariums, wildlife parks, and wildlife rescue, hospital and rehabilitation facilities provide crucial support for the recovery ...
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    4 days ago
  • 300,000 students to benefit from free mental health services
    The Government is expanding and accelerating frontline mental health and wellbeing services at tertiary education institutes (TEI) to help students manage ongoing stresses related to COVID-19. “The lockdown has been hugely disruptive for students. Many of them have had to relocate and move to online learning, isolating them from their ...
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    4 days ago
  • Gang crime, meth harm targeted in Waikato
    The Minister of Police says a major operation against the Mongrel Mob in Waikato will make a big dent in drug harm and violent offending linked to organised crime networks. “Senior leadership of the Waikato Mongrel Mob has been taken out as a result of Operation Kingsville, which resulted in ...
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    5 days ago
  • Supporting victims and families to attend mosque attack sentencing
    The Government is extending the border exception criteria to enable some offshore victims and support people of the Christchurch mosque attacks to attend the sentencing of the accused beginning on 24 August2020, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “We want to support our valued Muslim brothers and sisters who were directly ...
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    5 days ago
  • Boost for community freshwater restoration projects
    A project to support volunteer efforts to look after streams and rivers is getting a boost thanks to support from DOC’s Community Conservation Fund announced Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today.  “The government is backing efforts to look after waterways with $199,400 for the Mountains to Sea Conservation Trust from ...
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    5 days ago
  • More support for women and girls
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter today announced that funding for the COVID-19 Community Fund for women and girls will be doubled, as the first successful funding applications for the initial $1million were revealed. “Women and girls across the country have suffered because of the effects of COVID-19, and I ...
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    5 days ago
  • Crown accounts stronger than forecast with higher consumer spending
    The Government’s books were better than forecast with a higher GST take as the economy got moving again after lockdown, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Crown Accounts for the 11 months to the end of May indicate the year end results for tax revenue will be stronger than forecast. ...
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    5 days ago
  • Govt releases plan to revitalise wool sector
    A plan to revitalise New Zealand’s strong wool sector and set it on a new, more sustainable and profitable path was unveiled today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The newly-released report - Vision and Action for New Zealand’s Wool Sector - was developed by the Wool Industry Project Action Group ...
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    5 days ago
  • Funding for Predator Free Whangārei
    Community efforts to create a Predator Free Whangārei will receive a $6 million boost, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. The new funding, through Government company Predator Free 2050 Ltd, will create around 12 jobs while enabling the complete removal of possums over ...
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    5 days ago
  • New Zealand to review relationship settings with Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced that the New Zealand Government is reviewing the settings of its relationship with Hong Kong. “China’s decision to pass a new national security law for Hong Kong has fundamentally changed the environment for international engagement there,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand remains deeply ...
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    6 days ago
  • Funding for Whangārei’s infrastructure projects revealed
    Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced details of a multimillion-dollar investment in Whangārei for infrastructure projects that will help it recover from the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 200 jobs are expected to be created through the $26 million investment from the Government’s rejuvenation package ...
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    6 days ago
  • Managed isolation and quarantine update
    Following a second incident in which a person escaped from a managed isolation facility, security is being enhanced, including more police presence onsite, Minister Megan Woods said. “The actions of some individuals who choose to break the very clear rules to stay within the facilities means that more resourcing is ...
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    6 days ago
  • Funding for Kaipara district community waste programmes
    Waste reduction and recycling programmes in Kaipara are set to get a boost with Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage today announcing a $361,447 grant from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF) Sustainable Kaipara. “The new funding will allow Sustainable Kaipara to partner with local schools, kura, community ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government will support the people and economy of Southland
    The Government will support the Southland economy in the wake of multinational mining company Rio Tinto’s decision to follow through with its long signalled closure of the Tiwai Point aluminium smelter. “This day has unfortunately been on the cards for some time now, but nevertheless the final decision is a ...
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    6 days ago
  • New transformational tools for the Predator Free 2050 effort
    New tools being developed to help boost Aotearoa’s Predator Free 2050 effort were unveiled today by Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau. A new rat poison, a camera with predator recognition software to detect and report predators, a new predator lure and a ...
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    6 days ago
  • New Armoured vehicles for New Zealand Army
    The Coalition Government has approved the purchase of a fleet of Bushmaster vehicles to replace the New Zealand Army’s armoured Pinzgauers, Defence Minister Ron Mark has announced today. The new fleet of 43 Australian-designed and built Bushmaster NZ5.5 will provide better protection for personnel and improved carrying capacity. “The age ...
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    6 days ago
  • Community-led solutions to prevent family violence
    The Government’s three prevention frameworks to reduce family violence in Aotearoa were launched this week by Associate Minister for Social Development Poto Williams.   The frameworks were developed in partnership with communities around New Zealand, and build on the work the Government has already begun with its new family violence prevention ...
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    6 days ago
  • Govt confirms investment in better radiology and surgical services for Hawke’s Bay
    The Government is pleased to confirm funding for improvements to radiology and surgical services at Hawke's Bay DHB, Health Minister Chris Hipkins says.     "The Minister of Finance the Hon Grant Robertson and former Health Minister Dr David Clark approved funding for Hawke's Bay DHB’s redevelopment of their radiology facilities ...
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    7 days ago
  • Specialist alcohol and drug addiction services strengthened across New Zealand
    •    New funding for four beds at Napier’s Springhill Residential Addiction Centre •    A new managed withdrawal home and community service, and peer support before and after residential care at Tairāwhiti DHB  •    A co-ordinated network of withdrawal management services throughout the South Island •    Peer support in Rotorua and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Coastal Shipping Webinar
    Introduction, seafarers and POAL Good morning everyone, I am delighted to be online with you all today. Before I begin, I have to acknowledge that COVID-19 has disrupted the maritime sector on an unprecedented scale. The work of seafarers and the maritime industry is keeping many economies around the world ...
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    7 days ago
  • Support for resilient rail connection to the West Coast
    A $13 million investment from Government will create jobs and improve the resilience of the rail connection between Christchurch and the West Coast, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones and Regional Economic Development Under-Secretary Fletcher Tabuteau say. The funding comes from the tagged contingency set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure projects ...
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    7 days ago
  • Major investment in safe drinking water
    The Government is investing $761 million to assist local government upgrade under-pressure water services across the country, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.  The announcement was made at the site of the water bore that was found to be the source of the fatal ...
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    7 days ago
  • Supporting stranded seasonal workers to keep working with more flexible options
    Recognised Seasonal Employers and migrant seasonal workers stranded in New Zealand will be able to continue working and supporting themselves with more flexible hours and roles, says Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. The time-limited visa changes are: Stranded RSE workers will be able to work part-time (a minimum of 15 hours ...
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    7 days ago
  • Relief for temporary migrants, employers and New Zealanders who need work
    The Government is making immediate short-term changes to visa settings to support temporary migrants already onshore in New Zealand and their employers, while also ensuring New Zealanders needing work are prioritised, Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. We are: Extending temporary work visas due to expire by the end of 2020 ...
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    1 week ago
  • Freshwater commissioners and fast-track consenting convenor appointed
    Professor Peter Skelton CNZM has been appointed as Chief Freshwater Commissioner and Alternate Environment Court Judge Craig James Thompson as Deputy Chief Freshwater Commissioner for the newly established Freshwater Planning Process (FPP). Environment Minister David Parker today also announced the appointment of Chief Environment Court Judge Laurie Newhook as the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Appointment of Judge of the High Court
    Auckland Queen’s Counsel Neil Campbell has been appointed a Judge of the High Court, Attorney‑General David Parker announced today. Justice Campbell graduated with a BCom and LLB (Hons) from the University of Auckland in 1992. He spent two years with Bell Gully Buddle Weir in Auckland before travelling to the United ...
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    1 week ago
  • Feedback sought – Commercial Film and Video Production Facilities
    The Associate Minister for Greater Christchurch Regeneration, Poto Williams, is seeking feedback on a proposal to better enable the development and operation of commercial film and video facilities in Christchurch. The Proposal, developed by Regenerate Christchurch in response to a request from Christchurch City Council, asks that powers under section ...
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    1 week ago
  • Govt launches bold primary sector plan to boost economic recovery
    The Government has launched a bold plan to boost primary sector export earnings by $44 billion over the next decade, while protecting the environment and growing jobs. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today released Fit for a Better World – Accelerating our Economic Potential, a 10-year roadmap to unlock greater value ...
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    1 week ago
  • Wellbeing of whanau at heart of new hub
    A new approach to prevent family harm that encourages greater collaboration across government and community groups is being celebrated at the opening of a new facility in Auckland. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today opened the Multi-Disciplinary Family Harm Prevention Hub Te Taanga Manawa in Lambie Road in Manukau. The facility ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Report on Auckland Port Relocation
    The Government has released a major new report on the options for relocating the Port of Auckland’s freight operations while deferring any decision on the issue. “That decision needs to be informed by policy analysis that is still to be completed. As a result it will be up to a ...
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    1 week ago
  • Dual place names for Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula features
    The history of Rāpaki is being restored through the inclusion of te reo in thirteen official place names on Te Pātaka-o-Rākaihautū / Banks Peninsula and around Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō, the Minister for Land Information, Eugenie Sage, announced today.   “I am pleased to approve the proposals from Te Hapū o Ngāti ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government and Air New Zealand agree to manage incoming bookings
    Bookings for seats on Air New Zealand flights into New Zealand will be managed in the short term to ensure the Government is able to safely place New Zealanders arriving home into a managed isolation or quarantine facility, says Housing Minister Megan Woods.  “Last week Air Commodore Darryn Webb and I ...
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    1 week ago
  • $80 million for sport recovery at all levels
    Grant Robertson has today announced the first major release of funding from the $265 million Sport Recovery Package announced at Budget 2020.  “Today we’re setting out how $80 million will be invested, with $54 million of that over the 2020/2021 financial year for organisations from community level through to elite ...
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    1 week ago
  • Keeping ACC levies steady until 2022
    The Government is maintaining current levy rates for the next 2 years, as part of a set of changes to help ease the financial pressures of COVID-19 providing certainty for businesses and New Zealanders, ACC Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “New Zealanders and businesses are facing unprecedented financial pressures as a ...
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    1 week ago