web analytics

The more complete Donghua Liu timeline

Written By: - Date published: 2:34 pm, February 22nd, 2015 - 89 comments
Categories: john key, national - Tags: , , ,

The Herald yesterday ran a story about how Donghua Liu gave the National Party $25,000.  My jaw dropped when I read this.  Readers of that particular article were assisted by the provision of a timeline.  But it was really scanty and I though that I should augment it so that a greater appreciation of this very sorry incident could be given.  A lot of this information is derived from this excellent post by Frank Macskasy.

April 11, 2003:  David Cunliffe sends a pro forma letter to Immigration asking when a decision concerning Donghua Liu’s permit application may be granted.

March 6, 2007: Donghua Liu claims he purchased a bottle of wine for $100,000 at a Labour Party fundraiser on this date.

2012:  Liu’s company Roncon Pacific Hotel Management Holdings donates $22,000 to the National Party.  This donation is declared in National’s 2012 Party Donations return.

August 2013: Prime Minister John Key and National Party MP Jami-Lee Ross have a private dinner at Donghua Liu’s home. The Herald claims Liu donated later that month $25,000 to Mr Ross’s election campaign through the “Botany Cabinet Club”.

December 2013: Liu is arrested on domestic violence charges.

January 31, 2014:  Parliament’s register of pecuniary interests which is meant to include gifts valued over $500 does not include Donghua Liu’s apparent gift of $25,000 to Jamie Lee-Ross’s election campaign.  Genuine donations to an electoral campaign do not need to be declared.

March 2014: Herald reveals Maurice Williamson lobbied ministerial colleague to give Liu citizenship against official advice and Liu’s $22,000 donation to National.

April 30, 2014:  National Party Secretary Greg Hamilton files a Party Donations Return that does not include the Donghua Liu donation of $25,000.

May 1, 2014: Mr Williamson forced to resign as a minister after Herald investigation reveals he telephoned senior police officer about Liu’s domestic violence charges in January 2014. Prime Minister John Key said he recalled “seeing Mr Liu at various functions, including a dinner as part of a National Party fundraiser.” He does not mention that the private dinner was at Liu’s own home.

May 9, 2014:  Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse learns of the existence of the Cunliffe letter.

May 10, 2014:  Adam Bennett reports that Williamson had lobbied three different Immigration Ministers to relax the business migrant scheme entry requirements.

May 11, 2014:  Key’s office is informed of the existence of the Cunliffe letter.

May 26, 2014: A copy of the letter is given to Key’s office.

June 16, 2014:  Jared Savage posts a story claiming that Liu donated $15,000 to the Labour Party according to a party source.  His OIA application for information from Liu’s immigration file is declined.  He refiles an urgent application seeking correspondence from any MPs concerning Liu’s immigration application.  Brooke Sabin also files a similar request.

June 17, 2014:  Tova O’Brien asks Cunliffe if he advocated on Liu’s behalf at all and his response is “nope”.

June 18, 2014:  The Cunliffe letter is released.  The timing  of events that day is very revealing:

12.10 – Labour Leader’s office told of letters, and told OIA will be mailed in 1 hour.

12.30 – Office of Immigration Minister (Michael Woodhouse) told OIA being released, with letters.

12.49 – Jared Savage is emailed OIA.

12.53 – Brook Sabin – without a paper-trail of how he got the letters (but direct from Minister’s office?) – publishes his story on the letter.

12.57 – Whaleoil references Jared Savage’s OIA about the letter.

1.00 – John Armstrong publishes call for Cunliffe’s resignation due to letter.

1.06 – David Farrar refers to Jared Savage’s OIA.

2.29 – Herald publishes Savage’s story online.

Geoff posts “Reliable sources have also told me that Donghua is still donating cash to National too. (Any journos reading might like to ask Jamie-Lee Ross about this)”

June 19, 2014: Josie Pagani puts the boot into David Cunliffe and regurgitates National attack lines about “Gocha politics”.  Michael Woodhouse denies telling Key about the letter, then says that officials from his office briefed Mr Key’s office on the letters and then by 7 pm that day his office said the minister himself told Mr Key’s office about the letters and his office also gave copies of the letters to Mr Key’s office.

June 22, 2014: Herald publishes exclusive story claiming that Donghua Liu had bought a bottle of wine at a Labour Party fundraiser for $100,000 and donated more than $150,000 to the Labour Party.

June 25, 2014:  Herald publishes a further story stating that the $100,000 was not for a bottle of wine but the total of all donations to Labour.  $50,000 to $60,000 of this was the cost of hiring a boat [for] Liu’s concrete company which Labour Minister Rick Barker attends and $2,000 was a donation to the Hawkes Bay Rowing Club.  John Armstrong publishes a column saying Cunliffe managed to survive “his own self-inflicted body blows last week”.  No mention is made of his previous column.  Use of the phrase “fucking joke” peaks on social media.

June 27, 2014: the Herald publishes an editorial Cries of bias will not stop reporting and readers take the opportunity to pour scorn on the editorial.

November 2014: Mr Ross returns the $25,000 donation to Liu.

February 2015: Electoral returns to reveal the $25,000 donation.

The claim that this donation was for Jamie Lee Ross’s electoral expenses appears to me to be contrived in the extreme as it meant that the donation, unlike the previous donation made by Liu, did not have to be disclosed the day before Williamson resigned.  I am sure that Liu did not care or even think about the difference.  And why should any electorate seek donations when they were receiving a $24,000 cheque from head office?  This feels like an extra serving of spin designed to preserve as much as possible TeamKey TM branding.  If any media is reading this they should ask is who the cheque was made out to.  And which account it was banked into.  And why this particular Cabinet Club payment was treated differently to other Cabinet Club payments as well as the previous Liu donation.

And how do I feel about this?  Well fucking mad.  Extra words seem unnecessary.  This whole fiasco could have cost Labour the election.  Rob Salmond estimates that it may have cost Labour 2% of the vote and I agree with this.  That is up to three seats and it sucked a lot of momentum out of the campaign.

And you want to know the really funny thing?  There is no evidence of a donation to Labour or of Labour breaking any rules to help Liu.  But there is now pristine evidence of National receiving a donation from Liu and of subsequent action taken by a National Minister to help Liu in a police prosecution that resulted in this Minister being sacked.

New Zealand you got played.

89 comments on “The more complete Donghua Liu timeline”

  1. Excellent post. If John Armstrong (& the Fox NewZ Herald) has any conscience he needs to apologise to NZ for regurgitating unverified spin lines from National’s dirty election campaign.

    I hope that lying Liu is on the list of corrupt expats China wants extradited to face the music.

  2. Nordy 2

    Thanks MS – I always enjoy your contributions and the questions you raise.

    I sometimes despair at the ‘incompetence’ of much of our media. They have never got close to what this story is really about, and I’m not sure they ever will – even with yours and others putting it in ‘plain english’ for them.

    I would add just the one word to your final comment – ‘again’.

    • tc 2.1

      You have it all arse about, the MSM are very competant at running smear lines and NACT spin, its what they do as part of tge DP machine.

      Dont expect any serious independant journalism from sabin,savage,smellstrong, oshillivan etc they are as owned as the outlet they work for.

      Go read hagers book, like the hollowmen doco it tells you all you need to know about controlling the narrative and duping the sheeple.

  3. Clemgeopin 3

    The WHOLE lot of the NATIONAL party hierarchy, the PM and the NATIONAL ministers should all be hauled before the ombudsman, the auditor general and the criminal courts and EVERY BIT of the corruption should be exposed fully so that New Zealand does not ever descend to the political corruption depths found in many other countries.

    But, as usual, with our weak and biased media and gutless officials, these crooks will lie, spin, bullshit, get away and pretend they are clean and that their clothes are made of Teflon.

    What a disgrace.

  4. Incognito 4

    Somebody ought to file a complaint with the Electoral Commission; surely they have the powers to investigate this properly, incl. to whom the cheque was made out.

    Those “Cabinet Clubs” are certainly not within the spirit of the law to declare donations; they look like money laundering clubs.

  5. Use of the phrase “fucking joke” peaks on social media.

    I LOL’d. 😀

  6. Neil 6

    Excellent post Mickey, OMG I knew this was a dirty affair, but until reading Franks post outlining the time line I didn’t relies how dirty it was. I reckon karma is going to bite Key fair & square on his backside over this, given the latest story run on the herald website this weekend about Lui’s donation to the nats.

  7. Clemgeopin 7

    Key, Jamie Lee Ross and indeed this government should resign immediately.

    If not, I hope that there are at least half a dozen or so National MPs of some integrity, ethics, conscience and courage, with some sense of right and wrong, who feel very angry and are ashamed, and decide not take this kind of shit anymore and leave this dodgy outfit of a government and become independent MPs. I bet they will get a lot of support and respect from the people of this country from all sides.

  8. Tom Jackson 8

    At the very least Armstrong needs to be hounded out of journalism.

    • halfcrown 8.1

      “At the very least Armstrong needs to be hounded out of journalism.”

      You beat me to it. I was going to suggest the same thing.

      Perhaps swamp the Herald with emails pointing out Armstrong’s and The Heralds hypocrisy.

      If anyone does do that, file a copy on here. Knowing that pathetic excuse for shithouse paper called the Herald, they will not publish them.

      • Tom Jackson 8.1.1

        I thought it would be better for Labour to go after him, and perhaps the Herald so as to make the bias a story and pour encourager les autres.

      • rhinocrates 8.1.2

        Of course the Herald is awful. Are you surprised? Consider these characteristics:

        It comes in inconveniently large sheets, not, as is the norm, on rolls with regularly perforated sections.

        It is single ply.

        The paper is of a very coarse and non-absorbent variety.

        It is single-ply.

        It is not embossed.

        It is covered in dark, poorly-fixed dark ink advertisements, rather than pastel images of seashells and starfish.

        It is not scented.

        You cannot buy it in packs of four or more.

        Really, what are you expecting?

  9. Visubversaviper 9

    You need to have a look at Liu’s citizenship ceremony being held at Williamson’s office the day after it was granted. As a JP, I am often asked to do citizenship ceremonies, but Internal Affairs makes it very difficult for them to be done privately. They turned down the request from the young Thai woman who worked at the local restaurant for me to do her ceremony in the afternoon at the restaurant where she and her Kiwi husband and all their workmates could participate, and insisted that she lose a nights pay or a days leave by going to the public ceremony. The only one I have managed to do recently was for someone who was on his way overseas to play rugby, and that was also facilitatd by a National MP.

    It takes several days to send the forms to Internal Affairs and get it all checked out and the certificate back from them to do the ceremony.

    Having it done the day after granting is exceptionally speedy service. An OIA request to see who in Wiliamson’s office did all the work and the greasing to get this done would be useful.

  10. Tom Jackson 10

    So all we know shows that the Herald along with TV3 and some talk radio was part of an organised smear machine against Labour. Yet some people still think that Labour should cosy up to these unelected brigands.

    • Anne 10.1

      And who helped facilitate TV3’s Brook Sabin’s copy of the letter and other information? His father Mike Sabin? Maybe I don’t feel too sorry for his current dilemma after all.

      It astounded me at the time that Frank Macskasy’s brilliant time-lines were not even touched upon by anyone in the MSM. It made me wonder just what was going on.
      Blackmail or intimidation if any journo stepped out of line?

      As for John Armstrong… who was standing over him wielding the stick eh? Or was he fulfilling the role of Cunliffe’s executioner as he knew it was expected of him?

      Time for some defamation cases to be seriously considered.

      • Tom Jackson 10.1.1

        I’m not sure that will work. Much of the so called neutral apparatus of democracy has been co opted by National. Quite how much wasn’t apparent until recently.

      • aaron 10.1.2

        There’s no need for anyone to get heavy with the MSM and Armstrong to make this happen – those people would never have become ‘successful’ journos if they really had the courage to take on the establishment. Sure they might throw the odd punch to make it look like they’re trying but when it comes to the crunch, like this example, they wouldn’t dare.

        Cowards, the lot of them.

        Also, if the major papers and TV news genuinely wanted that kind of journalist there would be a bidding war over the likes of Gordon Campbell and Selwyn Manning but instead they are forced to work on the fringes.

        Let’s face it, what sort of corporation would hire people like them if they could avoid it.

      • Tracey 10.1.3

        Any chance PG will NOW understand that Dirty Politics isn’t calling someone names in Parliament?

  11. adam 11

    So the weak ass social democrats in this country got played again by the Tory scum. So the weak as social democrats are going wring their collective hands and cry into their collective milk again?

    Is this a wake up call? Will the soft, fluffy left now get the message – these are Tory scum. They hate you as much as they hate everyone else. They love money, power and they have no morals. The Tory scum in this country want nothing more – than us to shut up and do as we are told. If you just take this – them you are the weak pathetic fools the Tory scum think you are.

    The time has come – To Quote Malcolm “Mal” Reynolds

    “I aim to misbehave”

    • Murray Rawshark 11.1

      Pretty much my sentiments. You can’t play by the rules when Tory scum make those rules and hand pick the referee.

  12. ianmac 12

    Interesting that this story re the Liu donation was published yesterday in the Herald but now is well buried and hard to find online.
    Funny that?

    • halfcrown 12.1

      Yeah, I went looking for it as well and could not find it. This why I think we should have the email blitz on the Herald as suggested in my reply to Tom Jackson
      @5.07pm (8.1)
      Don’t let it slip under the Radar as the rightwing shits would like it. After all they kept the Cuncliffe crap alive
      for weeks.

      • te reo putake 12.1.1

        Your typical Armstrong headline:

        Labour Leader in Bestiality Shock:

        Police today arrested an acquaintance of Labour leader Andrew Little for interfering with a sheep. The man, John Philip Key, aged 54, of Parnell …

      • halfcrown 12.1.2

        One other thing to my reply. The Labour party wants to treat that traitorous female Josie Pagani as a hostile witness.
        Every time she is used by the media as a “left” spokesperson the Labour party should state that she is nothing to do with them and her views do not represent the views of the Labour party. If she is a member of the Labour party expel her.
        and go public about how and why she is being expelled.
        It is time to say enough is enough,

        • Anne 12.1.2.1

          +1

        • Clemgeopin 12.1.2.2

          +1 Good point.

        • Anne 12.1.2.3

          It is the first time I have seen that TV1 Breakfast interview and I’m gobsmacked.

          Gotcha politics on the part of Labour? It was the NActs and the MSM who were indulging in the gotcha stuff. Labour and Cunliffe were the victims. A perfect example of te reo putake’s comment @ 12.1.1.

          She went on to ridicule Labour for not doing exactly what they were doing over and over again… talking about jobs, houses and economic issues. It wasn’t their fault the MSM chose to ignore/misrepresent everything they said and concentrate on all the Nact gotcha lies.

          Will Q+A have the nerve to keep her on their programme as a ‘left’ panellist? If so, a full onslaught of complaints directed at TV1 could be fruitful.

    • mary_a 12.2

      @ ianmac –

      Same with the Sabin issue! As well as the lost $200 million super fund! All buried by msm. Out of sight, out of mind!

      NZ has enough ammunition (no pun intended here) to fire up a revolt of some kind to get rid of this slimy, corrupt PM and his sleazy government!

  13. b waghorn 13

    I can’t remember if Tova O’Brien got a mention in DP but it would be interesting to know were she got the” idea” to ask Cunilliffe about the his helping Lieu.

    • Anne 13.1

      …it would be interesting to know were she got the” idea” to ask Cunilliffe about the his helping Lieu.

      Her colleague Brook Sabin?

      • b waghorn 13.1.1

        If I recall right Raw shark and Hager held back a lot of names why I don’t know.
        I have been wondering for awhile about Miss O’Brien she’s not as overtly anti labour as the fool paddy but I think she’s possible rotten to the core.

        • Anne 13.1.1.1

          I think she’s possible rotten to the core.

          No, I don’t think so. Just doing what she was instructed to do…

          I’m beginning to understand why these ‘young things’ (of both sexes) are taking over the relatively senior MSM political roles. They have next to no knowledge and experience under their belt which makes them easy to manipulate?

          • Sacha 13.1.1.1.1

            and cheap to hire

          • aaron 13.1.1.1.2

            Tova O’Brien lives on another planet. I try not to watch the TV news but I saw some raw footage of Cunliffe being questioned about the Liu letter and she was so excited; “Is this the mother of all brain fades?” she asked about a letter that was eleven years old.

            The question makes no sense, but if her focus was manufacturing the mother of all scandals in an attempt to advance her career and help her employers sell advertising then her excitement is understandable. It was the mother of all brain fades because it would cause the most political damage, not because she was expecting Cunliffe to actually remember anything.

            As real journalism goes it’s idiotic, but then she’s clearly not interested in doing real journalism and the idiocy is just a by-product of pure undiluted sensationalism. She would be more than happy to be played by National again and again if it meant she got to keep breaking scandals. Integrity be damned!

            • bearded git 13.1.1.1.2.1

              I liked Little’s response to a journalist when interviewed just after getting elected, which was something like “that’s a stupid question”

              While to some extent the MSM needs to be kept onside they also need to be called out on stupid or biased questions

          • Paul 13.1.1.1.3

            Yes young and easy to influence.

  14. hoom 14

    And why should any electorate seek donations when they were receiving a $24,000 cheque from head office?

    Can you add the timing of this $24k cheque into the timeline & when it was first referenced in public/rumored to exist?

    Also the date of the Citizenship ceremony in Williamsons’ Office.

    • Tautoko Mangō Mata 14.1

      “Donghua Liu was granted New Zealand residency in 2005 against official advice by Labour Party minister Damien O’Connor.

      Five years later, he was also granted citizenship against official advice after Maurice Williamson, Minister for Building and Construction at the time, lobbied on behalf of the property developer.

      Mr Williamson asked his ministerial colleague Nathan Guy to process the case “as fast as possible”, who then used his ministerial prerogative to grant Liu citizenship on December 16, 2010.

      The following day, Mr Williamson conducted the VIP ceremony himself in his Pakuranga electorate office.

      Mr Williamson resigned his ministerial portfolios last month after the Herald revealed he phoned a senior police officer about the domestic violence charges Liu was facing.”
      Written by Jared Savage.
      http://corruptionbribery.com/2014/06/03/nats-donor-in-china-bribery-case/

  15. Saarbo 15

    Given the time line, if the media dont put some serious attention into Nationals/Key’s attacks/workings on this issue, then clearly NZ has a serious issue with our political journalists…this is shocking. Armstrong has continuously been accused of being biased by the Left, well if he does nothing then this proves it.

  16. Paul 16

    Time for the opposition parties to stop kowtowing to a corrupt biased and puppet media.

  17. ankerawshark 17

    Yes I felt both sad and angry about this. This was a real smear against Cunliffe,

    I remember Frank Mc took this to the Press Council and they didn’t uphold his complaint as they said the Herald maintained there was more to come on the Labour donation scandal. And of course to date there is nothing. Only National and donations from Dong Liu.

    It makes me feel pretty sad about Cunliffe. He would have been a great PM. He has way more experience and a broader back ground than Little. I am not against Little, but just think it is a huge loss re Cunliffe.

    I still maintain the left lost the election because of the msm and their treatment of Cunliffe.

    • Northsider 17.1

      And sadder still there were some Labour people helping the attack on Cunliffe.
      Not just Auckland’s Shearer and his friend Pagani. There are post from that time eminating from Robertson/King’s ABC faction. They are ” in storage”.

      This undermining is still being played out.
      Andrew Little has to sort out his chief whips ongoing attachment to Robertson and King.

    • dv 17.2

      >>I remember Frank Mc took this to the Press Council and they didn’t uphold his complaint as they said the Herald maintained there was more to come on the Labour donation scandal. And of course to date there is nothing. Only National and donations from Dong Liu.

      Can the complaint be represented now as there has been nothing more come re Labour??

      • mpledger 17.2.1

        Yea, Frank should relay his complaint or make a new complaint since The Herald’s defence that more was to come has turned into a big fat nothing.

    • You are right. The media campaign against him was vicious and obvious.

  18. North 18

    I’m in a far away place and five hours behind NZ – what strikes me is the telling absence of the right wing scum, the worshippers at the temple of HisGaucheness TheGodKey who normally disport on TS. Why so absent ? Because they know. They know and even they don’t have the gall to even attempt rationalisation. The selling
    of the offices of state sticks out like dogs’ balls.

    If he has the near semblance of a conscience fool/equally corrupt John “Resign!” Armstrong will take his own advice. And all opposition forces must publicly unite and demand abject apology from the fetid National Party attack dog the Herald. “Democracy Under Attack !” you betcha !

  19. saveNZ 19

    Dirty Politics has defiantly contributed to National’s majority. But what is anyone going to do about it? Labour are not the only ones being targeted with half truths and smears often to disguise National’s behaviour.

    You can’t change other parties so what is Labour (and other parties) going to do to stop this type of attack happening again?

    Apart from the extremely popular and long awaited ‘cut the crap’ – what else has Labour done?

  20. saveNZ 20

    Just a thought, is it possible for Labour/Cunliffe to sue the Herald and other MSM that reported the biased facts? After all an election was effected on the basis of it, so it is defiantly in the public’s interest.

    • Anne 20.1

      It wasn’t just the facts were biased, they were downright lies both from the Nacts and Liu. There were no donations to Labour. There was no bottle of wine. One former Labour cabinet minister was invited (at the last minute) to attend a staff function on a boat when he was in China. Nothing happened. No donations offered or given… the minister only stayed at the function for 30 minutes or so then left. A dirty political scandal created out of absolutely nothing.

      Shame indeed on the NZ MSM for being a willing party to it!

  21. ankerawshark 21

    save NZ I think suing would be a great idea. But again Labour are very ham strung. Where you or I might sue, they have to weigh this up against what will help or hinder their chances of winning the election.

    Other than hoping the Msm die a slow death, with people choosing other ways of getting their news, I am unsure of what would work.

    • saveNZ 21.1

      The only way to attack dirty politics from National and make MSM not print lies, is to sue them. It has worked to bring down Cameron Slater i.e. his lies being found out in a court of law.

      Labour actually need to get some balls, stop being NationalLite and actually fight back.

      Because they are actually fighting for their existence and brand.

      NZ like strong government. Labour looks weak. If they can’t stand up to National and MSM then they actually look too weak to govern.

      The 30% can be gone by lunch time next election with another smear attack. Now is the time to fight back, away from an election not with another issue before it.

  22. saveNZ 22

    If it is all lies, Labour can claim damages and put that into their coffers.

    • North 22.1

      Broadly, our legal system was never essentially directed towards guarding democracy. No. Democracy is what we do once every three years but not otherwise. Except at the pleasure of the beneficiaries of the triennial exercise who when right wing are applauded catatonically by a bought and paid for MSM. And so the myth endures out amongst the sheeple.

  23. MikiG 23

    Does Labour have the necessary guts to stand up (with the rest of the country firmly behind them) and call a vote of no confidence? Is it possible? Would it work? Can we do it… Please?

    • ropata 23.1

      Pretty sure that the opposition parties try for a motion of no confidence every week but it’s never passed. The phrase confidence and supply means the NACTs have enough seats to govern

  24. mary_a 24

    Maybe and this is just a big maybe, Rawshark and Nicky Hager might have more fresh damaging information on hand, including the Donghua Lui involvement timeline, against sleazy Key and his seedy government. Enough exposure to seal National’s fate, this time for good!

    We can always live in hope. But it’s so difficult to nail Key & co conspirators down, when the supposedly people’s proxy msm is not on our side, instead preferring to support and contribute to the corruption of this infestation of a government!

  25. Old Mickey 25

    Very helpful timeline – my stomach turned to see that Savage & Slater are again joined at the hip (both are unpleasant sicko “guns’ for hire).
    This still looks like a beltway issue and a distraction. Who will care or remeber in 6 weeks time ? WIll this topple the Govt ? No way – 49% in latest poll. Advice to Andy, find something major to focus on, and hammer it home.

  26. Tracey 26

    “here is no evidence of a donation to Labour or of Labour breaking any rules to help Liu. ”

    EXACTLY

    Interesting (and pleasingly) NO contribution from one PG to this thread. Now if Little had called Key a name iin parliament….

    • Sabine 26.1

      yes funny is it not. None of the usual apologists.

      • Clemgeopin 26.1.1

        I suspect something dubious is going on with the nexus of the rich pricks and some media, commentators and blogs. Have you noticed the sudden surge in the positive promotion and extraordinary propping up of David Seymour and the 0% ACT party recently? Looks quite fishy to me.

    • Pete George 26.2

      I didn’t feel a need to add anything here Tracey (and I don’t comment on most posts at TS). Instead I circulated the timeline in a repost and also at Kiwiblog because I think it justifies a wider audience. I thought that would be better than getting involved in pointless niggles here.

      • te reo putake 26.2.1

        Most people think if colors have attributes such as good or evil, that the color of evil is either the red of arterial blood gushing from a wound, or the deepest black of the darkest night sky. While these are certainly evil colors, they are not as evil as beige…. The most evil color has to appear benign.

        At first blush, of course, the color beige might have all kinds of comforting associations—from oatmeal, that pabulum of wintertime childhoods, to a worn-to-softness pair of trousers. But beige is also the color of deceit and oppression. Khaki, after all, originated in mid-19th-century colonial India, where it took its name from the Urdu term for “dusty.”

      • sabine 26.2.2

        pathetic as always.

  27. Linda 27

    The herald the national party ,lee Ross and john key have a lot of explaining to do

  28. Pete George 28

    Stuff makes a mention of related bits in John Key confirms dinner at Donghua Liu’s house:

    David Cunliffe, who had previously accused National of doing “cash for access” deals with Liu, was in turn embarrassed in the run-up to the election.

    It was revealed a letter that turned out to be inconsequential was sent in his name asking when an application by Liu would be dealt with. Cunliffe had denied meeting or lobbying for Liu.

    Labour also came under fire over Liu’s donations to the party, the size of which were never finally established.

    I don’t have confidence in either National or Labour to openly and honestly disclose donations.

    Part of the reason for secrecy is due to the political ammunition disclosure potentially gives opponents.

    But being upfront and transparent is the best way to avoid later embarrassments.

    • mickysavage 28.1

      I agree with the description of the letter that it “turned out to be inconsequential”. It turned out to be inconsequential as soon as it was read and it was immediately available. Did not stop the beat up from happening though.

      Labour’s head office has declared consistently that it has no record of receiving any donations from Liu. And the “donations” Liu described were to entities totally unrelated to Labour.

      And we have two clear examples of donations to National, one not long before a Minister interfered in a police prosecution involving Liu.

      • Sacha 28.1.1

        Yes, a senior gallery journo writing “Liu’s donations to the [Labour] party, the size of which were never finally established” is a bit rich when it is the media who have made allegations without any supporting evidence and without apology. They really have no shame.

      • Pete George 28.1.2

        So how to promote more evidence based media coverage? Old school journalists have struggled to adapt to a social media world. The race to the scoop has become a media rat race.

        Perhaps more evidence based blogging would set a better example.

        (And that’s not a dig at you Greg, you’re one who’s actually setting a much better standard in that regard, but it’s still a minority approach).

      • felix 28.1.3

        ” Did not stop the beat up from happening though.”

        And loyal to the end, Pete is still beating it, months after everyone else recognised it as utter bullshit and the result of a dodgy OIA job by the DP crew.

  29. mary_a 29

    Just a thought. Did National or the Botany Cabinet Club, keep the interest earned on the Liu donation, which was kept for a year before being handed back?

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • We have a right to know the rules we are expected to obey
    Outgoing Police Commissioner Mike Bush appeared before the Epidemic Response Committee today, who asked him for the rules police are using to enforce the lockdown. He refused:Police Commissioner Mike Bush has admitted the advice given to Kiwis about what they're able to do during the lockdown hasn't been clear enough. ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    34 mins ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7 (sanitised version)
    For those folk who find my other Lock-Down Diary versions too “negative” or otherwise unpalatable… Here’s a photo of my cat, . . Better? Tomorrow’s Sanitised Version: a pretty flower. . . . =fs= ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 hour ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 7
    . . April 1: Day seven of living in lock-down… This morning I had a brief chat with one of my neighbours, “D” (social distance between us, a good three or four metres). I learned he had resigned from his previous job and had been hired by another company – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 hour ago
  • RIP The Listener, New Zealand’s pioneering voice
    Funnily enough, my thought as I start this post is whether it will be well written enough. Or should that be well enough written? Because so much of what I know about good writing came from my two stints at The Listener, which this morning was shut down due to ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 hours ago
  • OK, Britney: stop sniping at National for doing its job
    With normal democratic procedures in abeyance, there were two ways to go. First, it was open for the government to dissolve itself and invite the National Party to join a ministry of national salvation. That would have lessened the democratic deficit of the times by having a team of rivals without ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    5 hours ago
  • Helpful tips for parents during lockdown
    Dr Kirsty Ross Children and young people can respond differently in times of distress. This also varies by age and developmental stage, with younger children having more magical and imaginative thinking, and older children having more awareness and knowledge of the issues our communities are facing (which brings up ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    6 hours ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #13, 2020
    19 hours ago
  • Hungary is now a dictatorship
    Hungary has been a virtual dictatorship for a decade now, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán has gradually eroded its democracy. But now, its official, with the passage of an indefinite emergency law allowing rule by decree:Hungary’s parliament has passed a new set of coronavirus measures that includes jail terms for ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    21 hours ago
  • A new Ministry of Works
    While the economy is on pause under lockdown, the government is beginning to plan how to cope with the post-lockdown, post-tourism, post-export education world we will eventually find ourselves in. They're planning a lot of infrastructure spending as economic stimulus, and have asked for proposals which can start the moment ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 day ago
  • Capture: Well spaced out
    It's my distraction,  setting up tiny scenes to photograph.  I've got stuck on the Babushka dolls for now.  Something about their bubble shape.  Something about their never changing, smiling features, suggesting persistent equanimity.  Can we get through everything that is being thrown at us and keep at least a tiny ...
    1 day ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 6
    . . March 31: Day six of living in lock-down… This time I managed to sleep a little longer and the alarm woke me at the pre-set time: 6.55am. Then remembered I was working a later shift and could’ve slept in. Oh well, there are things to do at home. ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    1 day ago
  • March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
    Image credit: Diamond Harbour School Blogs I notice a few regulars no longer allow public access to the site counters. This may happen accidentally when the blog format is altered. If your blog is unexpectedly missing or ...
    1 day ago
  • Hard News: Poll Pot and the partisans
    Yesterday's Horizon poll showing support for a "Yes" vote in this year's cannabis referendum sliding into the majority for the first time in a year looked like good news for reformers – and it probably is. But the result warrants some scrutiny.The poll is the fifth in a series commissioned ...
    1 day ago
  • Why those bubbles are so important
    For almost a week now, every one of us who isn’t an essential worker has been confined to their bubble. We are allowed to go shopping for groceries, to visit the doctor, and to get a bit of exercise if we stay local. The reason we are doing this is ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    1 day ago
  • A Government System That Works
    The Covid-19 saga will no doubt produce many twists and turns for us before it is finally brought to an end. But one thing it has shown us – and what comfort it should bring us – is that our country’s government is in good hands. I am not thinking ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 day ago
  • Smashing down the barriers: Where are we at with COVID vaccines?
    In the absence of a vaccine or a cure for a deadly disease, staying home in your bubble is what you do, the concept is not new.  To the best of my knowledge last time we did this in NZ was for polio, in the years before a vaccine came ...
    SciBlogsBy Helen Petousis Harris
    2 days ago
  • National Network on Cuba (USA): “Cuban medical solidarity is a pillar of its society and is founde...
    The following statement was released on March 28 by the National Network on Cuba, a coalition of 40 groups, based in the United States. In recent weeks, Cuba has deployed hundreds of medical providers to over a dozen countries in Europe, Asia, as well as to their neighbors in Latin ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 days ago
  • Alarming decrease in calves increases fears for endangered Hector’s dolphin
    This has been a terrible summer for Hector’s dolphins. The first indication was very low numbers of dolphin sightings during late spring and early summer. The Otago University Marine Mammal Research Team has carried out routine dolphin surveys at Banks Peninsula for more than 30 years. In all that time, ...
    SciBlogsBy Otago Marine Science
    2 days ago
  • Time for Grant Robertson to reveal package #2?
    On March 17, Finance Minister Grant Robertson was quick out of the blocks with an economic rescue package to help businesses through the inevitable recession resulting from the coronavirus pandemic. Robertson had pulled together a scheme in short order that so far seems to have saved many jobs. In his ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    2 days ago
  • Saving lives
    The purpose of the lockdown is to save lives, by reducing the spread of covid-19. We won't know if its really working for another week, but given the devastation that will result if it doesn't - 14,000 dead is the optimistic scenario - its definitely worth trying. But pausing the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 5
    . . March 30: Day five of living in lock-down… Woke up still in darkness. Alarm hadn’t gone off. Turn to radio clock; it’s a few minutes after 6am… I lie there in the dark, waiting to drift off to sleep… but it ain’t happening. Clock ticks over to 6.55 ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    2 days ago
  • Speaker: Les Gray: the man who told the truth
    The story of Les Gray, the public sector psychologist who told the truth about his use of cannabis and set off a storm, has a special place in the lore of cannabis reform in New Zealand.When Paul Shannon interviewed Gray for the 'Dope and Hope' issue of Planet magazine in ...
    2 days ago
  • Why now? Historical specificity and the perfect storm that has created trans identity politics
    by Phil Duncan For Marxists, a key concern about social trends is their context – not just their causes, but why they happen when they do.  Events and phenomena have causes, but they also are time or period-specific. While much of the left have capitulated recently to postmodernism, most notably ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    3 days ago
  • Time for a living wage for supermarket workers
    Since the lockdown began, we've all suddenly been reminded who the actually essential workers in our society are: not the people at the top who pay themselves the big bucks and rort the perks, but the people at the bottom they screw over and squeeze: cleaners, warehouse staff, truck drivers ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Hard News: MUSIC: Lockdown Grooves
    Kia ora! As I've watched nearly all my remaining work vanish over the past couple of days, it has occured to me that one good way to keep me away from arguing with fools on Twitter all the time (in the knowledge that all we're really doing is processing our ...
    3 days ago
  • A place of greater safety?
    Aotearoa New Zealand has committed to trying to extirpate the virus that causes COVID-19 from its shores. To do that, as a society we’ve moved to “Level 4”. That means adapting to unprecedented restrictions on our personal freedoms, particularly to our rights to move freely and associate with friends and ...
    PunditBy Andrew Geddis
    3 days ago
  • The police and public trust
    When the Prime Minister declared a state of emergency last week, she handed the police powers to enforce it. And almost immediately, we started hearing about heavy-handed, arbitrary "enforcement" by police who (at best) cared more about order than law, or (more likely) had no idea what the rules were ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    3 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 4
    . . Lock Down: Day 4 – A photo essay with observations . March 29: Usual wake up routine as RNZ snaps on my radio-clock. Jim Mora’s voice slowly enters my conciousness; there’s talk of a second wave of covid19 taking hold in South Korea; the week in Parliament – ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    3 days ago
  • COVID-19 vs New Zealand
    Yesterday, New Zealand recorded its first Covid-19 related death on the West Coast. Unfortunately this is unlikely to be the only fatality, with the virus now being found in every region of the country.However despite the significant danger, people are still unfortunately breaching lockdown rules.There’s really only one main very ...
    3 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13
    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... ‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial   Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images  Scientific ...
    3 days ago
  • Rāhui day 4
    The kids did surprisingly well today – meltdown count was about 3, and mostly fairly short ones. (And a fourth while I was writing.) Game-wise I had a go at Fell Seal: Arbiter’s Mark. It’s a fairly standard RPG with turn-based combat and what they call a “mature storyline” (it ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    4 days ago
  • Letter to a friend
    by Don Franks Hi David, Nice hearing from you, I’m glad to hear you’re getting by okay in these grim times. You asked how’s it going for us back here in New Zealand. You would have heard that the whole country is locked down and with breaks for exercise and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    4 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 3
    . . Lock Down: Day 3 – A photo essay with observations . March 28: First day of the first weekend in Lock Down. It feels like it’s been weeks since only Level 3 was declared last Tuesday, only four days ago. Woke up this morning to RNZ; coffee; toast, ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    4 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020 Articles Linked to on Facebook Sun, Mar 22, 2020 In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, ...
    4 days ago
  • Rāhui day 3
    I’m here in lockdown with my flatmate and her two girls (6 and 2) and it. is. a time. They’re usually really active so to start with the only boardgame in the house is the copy of Guess Who that the 6 year old got for her birthday. Flatmate commented ...
    The little pakehaBy chrismiller
    5 days ago
  • A test of civil society.
    The CV-19 (COVID) pandemic has seen the imposition of a government ordered national quarantine and the promulgation of a series of measures designed to spread the burden of pain and soften the economic blow on the most strategically important and most vulnerable sectors of society. The national narrative is framed ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    5 days ago
  • Life in Lock Down: Day 2
    . . Lock Down: Day 2 – A photo essay with observations . March 27 – Day 2 of our Strange New World. The Park and Ride near my suburb, usually filled with hundreds of vehicles, had just… four; . . Another drive into Wellington City on a highway nearly ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    5 days ago
  • How Do You Feel? What Do You Think?
    Fortune's Children: Under extraordinary pressure, the leader of the Government and the leader of the Opposition will each show us what they are made of. Have they been blessed with intelligence, grace, wit, poise, toughness, empathy and humour – and in what measure? More importantly, to what extent have they ...
    5 days ago
  • Landlords are NOT an essential service
    If you’ve ever had the misfortune of having to rent a property on the open market in New Zealand, which is one of the most expensive in the entire world, you’ll likely be keenly aware of just how arrogant and entitled landlords and their real estate agents can be.Unfortunately for ...
    5 days ago
  • A “new Society” post-COVID19 will definitely emerge. The question is: on what path?
    Society-wise, aside from the specific morbidity shall we say of the medically-oriented aspects of this COVID-19 crisis, what is unfolding before the world is in more than one way an instructive study of humanity and reactions to a high intensity, high stress environment in real time. Friends, we are at ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Raise the Bar: Everything you need to know about the wage subsidy
    Right now low waged and insecure workers are feeling the economic brunt of the looming #Covid19 Recession. In response legal advocate Toby Cooper* and hospitality and worker’s rights advocate Chloe Ann-King, are putting together a series of legal blogs about your employment rights: In this legal blog we outline some ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    6 days ago
  • The massacre of prisoners in Modelo jail, Bogota, March 21
    by Equipo Jurídico Pueblos and Gearóid Ó Loingsigh (25/03/2020) An escape plan in question On the night of March 21st and the early morning of the 22nd, the forces of the Colombian state stormed into the Modelo prison in Bogotá, murdering 23 prisoners and injuring 83, in response to the ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • We are not America
    When the government banned semi-automatic weapons in response to a terrorist atrocity, gun-nuts were outraged. Mired in toxic American gun culture, they thought owning weapons whose sole purpose was killing people was some sort of "constitutional right", a necessity for "defending themselves" against the government. Now, the Court of Appeal ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • When will we know the lockdown is working?
    Just before midnight on Wednesday March 25, Aotearoa New Zealand entered a countrywide alert level four lockdown. For at least the next four weeks, everyone who isn’t an essential worker is confined to their bubble. We are doing this to stop the explosive growth in people contracting and dying from ...
    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    6 days ago
  • Lock Down: Day 1
    . . Lock Down: Day 1 – A photo essay with observations . Day one of the Level 4 nationwide lock-down (or, DefCon 4 as I sometimes cheekily call it) started at 11.59PM on 25 March. For a moment, most of the nation held it’s collective breath. In that brief ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • A Compelling Recollection.
    Broad, Sunlit Uplands: How those words fired my young imagination! Or, perhaps, it is more accurate to say: how those words fused, in my young mind, with the image printed on every packet of Fielder’s Cornflour. Always fascinated by history, especially modern history, I cannot hear Churchill’s wonderfully evocative words, even ...
    6 days ago
  • The Warehouse – where everyone gets a virus
    . . 24 March 2020 9.46AM Number of covid19 cases in Aotearoa New Zealand: 102 . As of 11.59 on Thursday, most of New Zealand will go into “lock down”. People will be expected not to travel to work; not to socialise; and to stay home. I will not be ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    6 days ago
  • Aggressive action to address climate change could save the world $145 trillion
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs. The new 2020 Drawdown ...
    7 days ago
  • After the Pandemic
    It will pass. What happens next? Not immediately, but longer term. There are many opinions, fewer certainties. Will it “change everything!” as many confidently, and contradictorily predict? In this post I look at how foresight can help bound some of the uncertainties so you can more objectively consider the future. ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert Hickson
    7 days ago
  • Coronavirus – Cuba shows the way
    We’ve been meaning t write something on Cuba and the coronavirus but have just discovered a very good article on the subject in the US left publication Jacobin.  The article looks at how Cuba, a poor country but one where capitalism has been done away with, is leading the way ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    7 days ago
  • Using privacy law to prevent the death penalty
    In 2018, El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey - two British citizens who had purportedly been stripped of their citizenship by the British government - were captured while fighting for Isis in Syria. The British government then conspired to hand them over to the US, and agreed to provide evidence ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • It’s Time For Disaster Socialism.
    Transformers: The disaster of the Great Depression was transformed into a new and fairer society by the democratic socialism of the First Labour Government. The disaster of the Covid-19 Pandemic offers a similar transformative possibility to the Labour-NZ First-Green Government. Seize the time, Jacinda! You will never have a better ...
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #12, 2020
    Tamper with The System? Well, we already are. But there's a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy ...
    1 week ago
  • Avoidable hospitalisations: Helping our health system get through COVID-19
    Associate Prof George Thomson, Louise Delany, Prof Nick Wilson While it is possible that New Zealand can use intense public health controls to eradicate COVID-19 from the country – we must also plan for other scenarios where thousands of New Zealanders are sick – including many urgently hospitalised.1 Better resilience ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: 10 questions to ask your employer proposing redundancy
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or being ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • An equitable way to support business
    The Herald reports that the government is planning to lend billions of dollars to large businesses to keep them operating during the pandemic. As with mortgage relief, this is necessary: we need companies to stay in business, to reduce the economic damage and help things get restarted again when this ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Hard News: Together Alone
    We're about to do something unprecedented as a nation. We hope that by taking this extraordinary action before a single life in New Zealand has been lost to the deadly novel virus we will save tens of thousands of lives. Our  lives. We'll do it together, in households, in isolation ...
    1 week ago
  • Why timing is everything: ‘A time to refrain from embracing’ starts today
    “There is a time for everything,    and a season for every activity under the heavens.”So writes the author of Ecclesiastes, a book in the Old Testament that’s counted as a ‘wisdom’ book and written as if by an unnamed king of Jerusalem. But who would have thought there would be a time ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    1 week ago
  • Dealing with the Covid-19 Tsunami.
    I was surprised when the prime minister described the Economic Response to Covid-19 package as the ‘largest peacetime government spend in New Zealand's history’. Reflecting – checking through history – I realised that the term ‘spend’ was crucial and the package had no income tax cuts. Even so, it has ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • What about renters?
    The government today announced the latest part of its pandemic relief package: a six-month mortgage holiday for people whose incomes have been affected by the pandemic. Which is great, because these people are going to need help, and that's what the government should be doing. At the same time, it ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Living within our means.
    Years ago the Argentine sociologist Carlos Weisman wrote a book titled “Living within our Means.” It was a critique of Argentine society that focused on the paradoxical question of why, in a land of plenty, there was so much economic instability, inequality, corruption and political turmoil. His conclusion was basically ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Transparency and the pandemic
    Parliament will be leading by example and adjourning tomorrow after a special sitting to consider an epidemic notice and state of emergency. Day-to-day oversight of the government will be delegated to a select committee. But that's not the only overight mechanism. The OIA will still be law, and (so far) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • ‘Overjoyed’: a leading health expert on New Zealand’s coronavirus shutdown, and the challengin...
    Michael Baker, University of Otago Overjoyed. That’s not a word epidemiologists normally use, but that’s how I felt after hearing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s announcement about New Zealand’s COVID-19 shutdown of everything except essential services for at least four weeks from midnight on Wednesday. More than anything, I just ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • One way to solve the housing crisis
    How much homelessness is caused by house hoarding? We're about to find out. The pandemic has destroyed tourism, which means that house hoarders who put their hoarded properties up as short-term tourist rentals are now offering them on the ordinary rental market:Property investors are pulling properties from Airbnb to offer ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall. Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right ...
    1 week ago
  • Not a grand coalition, but a government of national salvation
    According to Newshub, Simon Bridges is open to joining a “grand coalition” with Labour as we hunker down to go into a month long lockdown. The idea is sound. Before now, the role of the opposition was to scrutinise and oppose. In the context of what almost amounts to a ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    1 week ago
  • Raise the Bar: hospitality workers & wage subsidy entitlements
    Kia ora my name is Chloe Ann-King* and I am the founder of Raise the Bar, a campaign and non-profit that gives free legal aid, advocacy and tautoko to hospitality workers in Aotearoa. Right now all over our country hospo workers are being fired at will, having shifts cut or ...
    PosseBy chloeanneking
    1 week ago
  • Lifting our game against COVID-19
    We need to be lifting our game against COVID-19. You and I need to help those working to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while they’re trying to lift the testing and treatment efforts. We don’t want to be playing this game running backwards. Best to play it solidly forward, from ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • The maths and ethics of minimising COVID-19 deaths in NZ
    Prof Tony Blakely, Prof Michael Baker, and Prof Nick Wilson The NZ Government must do more to clearly articulate its COVID-19 strategy: eradication or ‘flattening the curve’ mitigation. But to do so means understanding the maths and ethics of both these strategies. In this blog, we adapt our work for ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    1 week ago
  • All aboard the Covid Train
    A few days ago I was starting to write something about the pandemic, which now seems unconscionable. It took the form of a letter to an agony aunt:“Dear Deidre, I have an ugly confession. I am quite excited by Covid-19.”This is how the piece went:“I’m not a psychopath, honest. Although the ...
    PunditBy Phil Vine
    1 week ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12
    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week... Story of the Week... In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters The likelihood of extreme events ...
    1 week ago
  • We are all socialists now
    Last week, the government announced a $12 billion initial package to support people during the pandemic. Today, the Reserve Bank is buying government bonds - effectively printing money - to keep up the money supply during the crisis. Normally such moves would have the right apoplectic. Instead, the National Party ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A plea to experts: safeguard your role in public life
    I am a pundit, somebody who opines and comments on the news. There are no real qualifications to punditry though having a rudimentary way with words and good general knowledge helps. That is one reason there is a constant oversupply of would-be pundits and why it is quite hard to ...
    PunditBy Liam Hehir
    2 weeks ago
  • Enlightenment when?
    I recently encountered the following prescription from a Faculty of Education at a leading New Zealand University. At first I wondered if it was another product of the postmodern generator (http://www.elsewhere.org/journal/pomo/), designed to create gibberish in the postmodern form, but I’m told it is real: The “schooled” society: Towards the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Corballis
    2 weeks ago
  • What the Crisis Can teach Us
    The coronavirus pandemic has of course had a major impact on individual lives and on societies as a whole. But, long after the crisis has passed (assuming it does), we will begin to realise that its real and lasting significance lies in the lessons it has taught us, if only ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago

  • Susan Thomas the new Chief High Court Judge
    Justice Susan Thomas has been appointed Chief High Court Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  She replaces Justice Geoffrey Venning who has resigned from the position.   David Parker paid tribute to Justice Venning, who he said had stewarded the High Court very capably over the last five years.   “On behalf ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Business Finance Guarantee – applications open
    Businesses can start applying to their banks for loans under the Business Finance Guarantee Scheme set up to support the New Zealand economy during the COVID-19 pandemic. “We’re moving quickly to protect New Zealand businesses, jobs and the economy during this unprecedented global economic shock,” Finance Minister Grant Robertson said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Work starts on ways to fast-track consents to boost recovery from Covid-19 downturn
    Work is underway looking at measures to speed up consents for development and infrastructure projects during the recovery from COVID 19, to provide jobs and stimulate our economy.  Environment Minister David Parker said the COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global crisis that will have a wide ranging and lasting impact ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Advance payments to support contractors
    Advance payments will be made to transport construction industry contractors to retain the workforce and ensure it is ready to quickly gear up to build projects which will be vital to New Zealand’s COVID-19 economic recovery, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. He said keeping the workforce required to build ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government seeks infrastructure projects
    The Government has tasked a group of industry leaders to seek out infrastructure projects that are ready to start as soon as the construction industry returns to normal to reduce the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones say. The Infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Health system scaled up to prepare for COVID-19
    Work to scale up the health system in preparation for COVID-19 was today outlined by Health Minister David Clark, as he reported back to the new Epidemic Response Committee. “We are well placed to contain the spread of COVID-19. We have taken early and decisive action at our borders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Essential media COVID-19 guidelines refined
    The Government is refining its COVID-19 essential business guidance to include the distribution of news publications for communities which are hard to reach. The Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media, Kris Faafoi, said the move was in recognition of the importance for New Zealanders who might be harder to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand defence personnel conclude mission at Taji
    Following the successful conclusion of the Building Partner Capacity (BPC) mission at Taji, New Zealand defence personnel are returning to New Zealand from Iraq, in accordance with the Cabinet decision made in June 2019, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. “New Zealand is very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • State of National Emergency extended
    The State of National Emergency to help stop the spread of COVID-19 has been extended for a further seven days, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare said. The initial declaration on March 25 lasted seven days and can be extended as many times as necessary. “Since we went into isolation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Strong Govt books support ‘go hard, go early’ response
    New Zealand’s ability to go hard and go early in the fight against COVID-19 has been underpinned by strong Government finances and the growing economy heading into this global pandemic, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown financial statements for the eight months to the end ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Christchurch Hospital Hagley ICU to open to support COVID-19 response
    Health Minister Dr David Clark says 36 new intensive care beds at Christchurch Hospital’s new Hagley building are being fast tracked so they are available for treatment of COVID-19 patients.   The Ministry of Health is working with contractor CPB and Canterbury DHB to enable access to the hospital’s ICU, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government supports Air NZ freight flights
    The Government has fast-tracked up to $1 million to help Air New Zealand move urgent freight to and from New Zealand, with the first flight to Shanghai leaving tonight, Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says it’s crucial that trade in vital goods such as medical supplies and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tariff concessions on COVID-19 related products
    New Zealand will temporarily remove tariffs on all medical and hygiene imports needed for the COVID-19 response. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker and Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said today that the New Zealand Customs Service will apply tariff concessions to all diagnostic reagents and testing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Clarification of modification to wage subsidy scheme
    Minister of Finance Grant Robertson has clarified that the changes to the wage subsidy scheme announced yesterday mean that employers should be passing on the full subsidy to workers, except in the case where the person’s normal income is less than the level of the subsidy. “We still want employers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Face masks flowing to DHBs
    Medical face masks from the national reserve supply are now being distributed to District Health Boards, while at the same time local production is being ramped up. Yesterday more than 640,000 masks were sent to DHBS – that is an immediate two week supply, with more to follow in coming ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • COVID-19: Further steps to protect New Zealanders’ jobs
    The Government has made modifications to the wage subsidy scheme to ensure people don’t lose their jobs during the national lockdown. These changes will soften the impact of COVID-19 on workers, families and businesses, and position them to exit the lockdown and look to recovery, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Tax relief for Mycoplasma Bovis farmers
    Farmers whose herds were culled in response to the outbreak of Mycoplasma bovis will be able to minimise the tax treatment of their income in some circumstances. Revenue Minister Stuart Nash says Cabinet has agreed to change the law. It means farmers may be eligible to spread their income over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $27 million for NGOs and community groups to continue providing essential services
    A $27 million dollar package, effective immediately, is being provided to social sector services and community groups to ensure they can continue to provide essential support to communities as we stay at home as a nation to stop the spread of COVID-19, Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni announced. “At ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Statement on guilty plea of March 15 terrorist
    “The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “These guilty pleas and conviction bring accountability for what happened and also save the families who lost loved ones, those who were injured, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 updates
    The Prime Minister is holding daily press conferences to update New Zealanders on the Government's response to COVID-19. Links to videos and transcripts of these updates below. These transcripts also include All of Government press conferences led by Director Ministry of Health's Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield. 25 March: Live update from the Prime ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police numbers break through 10,000 mark
    Frontline Police numbers have broken through the 10,000 mark for the first time in history as officers step forward to keep the community safe during the COVID19 lockdown. “Two Police graduations in Auckland and Wellington in the past week have been conducted in unprecedented circumstances,” Police Minister Stuart Nash said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Urgent tax measures for economic recovery
    Urgent legislation has been passed to support the package of economic and social measures needed to recover from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. “The COVID-19 Response (Taxation and Social Assistance Urgent Measures) Bill will cushion New Zealanders from the worst economic impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Revenue Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Further support for farmers and growers as drought persists
    From tomorrow, Government support for farmers and growers affected by drought will be expanded and extended across the country, with access to Rural Assistance Payments (RAPS) available throughout the North Island, parts of the South Island and the Chatham Islands, Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced. “These challenging conditions have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Temporary changes to Education Act
    Parliament has passed amendments to legislation that give the Secretary of Education stronger powers to act in the fight to limit the spread of COVID-19, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “They are part of a suite of changes passed under the COVID-19 Response (Urgent Management Measures) Legislation Bill,” Chris ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar join NZ and Singapore in committing to keeping supply a...
    Canada, Australia, Chile, Brunei and Myanmar have joined forces with New Zealand and Singapore by committing to keep supply chains open and remove any existing trade restrictive measures on essential goods, especially medical supplies, in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.  Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker today welcomed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19: Rent increase freeze and more protection for tenants
    Immediate freeze on rent increases Tenancies will not be terminated during the lock-down period, unless the parties agree, or in limited circumstances Tenants who had previously given notice can stay in their if they need to stay in the tenancy during the lock-down period Tenants will still be able to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Working together to protect businesses and workers
    As New Zealand unites to lock-down in the fight against COVID-19, the Finance Minister is urging all businesses and workers to stay connected over the next four weeks. “We understand the extreme pressure many businesses are under right now. I know most business owners think of their workers as family ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • State of National Emergency declared to fight COVID-19
    A State of National Emergency has been declared across the country as the Government pulls out all the stops to curtail the spread of COVID-19. “Today we put in place our country’s second ever State of National Emergency as we fight a global pandemic, save New Zealanders’ lives and prevent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s statement on State of National Emergency and Epidemic Notice
    Mr Speaker I wish to make a Ministerial Statement under Standing Order 347 in relation to the recent declaration of a State of National Emergency. Having considered the advice of the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management, the Minister of Civil Defence declared a State of National Emergency for the whole of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Deadline for domestic travel extended
    People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get home before the country moves into level 4 lock-down tomorrow night will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Domestic passenger services, particularly ferries, have ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Mortgage holiday and business finance support schemes to cushion COVID impacts
    The Government, retail banks and the Reserve Bank are today announcing a major financial support package for home owners and businesses affected by the economic impacts of COVID-19. The package will include a six month principal and interest payment holiday for mortgage holders and SME customers whose incomes have been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government working to keep air freight moving
    Minister of Transport Phil Twyford has today announced details of the Government’s support package to keep key air freight moving and ensure New Zealanders retain access to essential goods during the four-week level 4 lockdown. “The Government is working with airlines and air freight operators to ensure New Zealand’s key ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand moves to COVID-19 Alert Level 3, then Level 4 in 48 hours
    New Zealand moved up to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 – Restrict New Zealand to move up to COVID-19 Alert Level 4 – Eliminate, in 48 hours Two-staged approach to give people and businesses time to prepare  Level 3, from tomorrow Non-essential businesses must close All events and gatherings must be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister: COVID-19 Alert Level increased
    Good afternoon  The Cabinet met this morning to discuss our next actions in the fight against COVID-19.  Like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this virus. But, through decisive action, and through working together, do we have a small window to get ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt takes significant economic decisions as NZ readies for Alert Level 4 in COVID-19 fight
    The Government is announcing significant further support for the economy, workers and businesses as the country unites to prepare for Alert Level 4 in the fight against COVID-19. Cabinet today agreed to remove the cap on the Government’s wage subsidy scheme, which will inject a further $4 billion into the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt backs RBNZ move to support economy with lower interest rates
    The Government is backing the Reserve Bank’s latest action to support the economy by reducing longer-term interest rates, meaning lower costs for businesses and mortgage holders, and a lower currency to help our exporters. The Minister of Finance has signed a memorandum of understanding and a letter of indemnity with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government statement on commercial cooperation during COVID-19
    The Government has asked the Commerce Commission to take account of the exceptional circumstances created by COVID-19 when monitoring business behaviour in coming weeks.   “The purpose of my request to the Commerce Commission is to make sure businesses can work together in ways that will allow them to provide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand temporarily closes diplomatic posts in Barbados and Myanmar due to COVID-19
    The New Zealand Government has temporarily closed its High Commission in Bridgetown, Barbados and its Embassy in Yangon, Myanmar due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “Due to the increasing scarcity of air links in and out of Bridgetown and Yangon, and the pressure COVID-19 is placing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting Māori communities and businesses through
    Associate Health and Whānau Ora Minister Peeni Henare has today announced the Government’s plan to support Māori communities and businesses in the face of COVID-19. “Our Government’s $12.1 billion economic package will help many Māori whānau, workers and businesses, whether it’s through wage subsidies, income support and worker redeployment, or ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Guidelines for hospitality establishments released
    The Government and the hospitality industry have worked together to produce guidelines to assist with managing and reducing transmission of COVID-19, Health Minister David Clark announced today.  The guidelines developed between the Government, Hospitality New Zealand and SkyCity Entertainment Group, set out how the new restrictions on physical distancing and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago